University of Northern B.C. board failed to consult on James Moore: senate

PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. -- The University of Northern British Columbia's senate is formally opposing the process used to select former Conservative cabinet minister James Moore as chancellor.

See Full Article

After a lengthy debate on Wednesday, a majority of members voted to ask UNBC president Daniel Weeks to inform the school's board of governors that it didn't sufficiently consult with the senate on Moore's appointment.

The decision has caused an outcry among some faculty and students who say Moore's role in former prime minister Stephen Harper's government clashes with the values of the Prince George, B.C., institution.

The board is required by the University Act to consult with the senate before appointing a chancellor, but the legislation does not spell out what that consultation must entail.

Student senator Angela Kehler said the only discussion that took place was an in-camera meeting in October, shortly before the board announced on Nov. 26 that Moore had been selected.

"As far as following the letter of the legislation, we were notified ahead of time," she said. "We just felt that it wasn't meaningful consultation. We didn't have enough time to consider before a recommendation went to the board."

The senate is made up of about 45 faculty members and students and handles academic decisions, while the board controls financial affairs.

Each senator was given an opportunity to speak during Wednesday's meeting, which was so packed that 60 members of the public were shuttled into an overflow room and it stretched on for about two hours past the allotted time, Kehler said.

Moore's critics have pointed to the Harper government's environmental record and muzzling of federal scientists as inconsistent with the values of UNBC, which calls itself "Canada's Green University."

Paul Siakaluk, an associate psychology professor on the senate, said they were not given the name of the nominee prior to the in-camera meeting in October.

"Basically, we were surprised at the in-camera meeting. We expressed our views and that was it. There was no effort afterwards to have any more dialogue or discussion between the board and the senate."

Brian Menounos, a faculty senator and the Canada Research Chair in Glacier Change, called on the board to reconsider the appointment or for Moore to step aside.

"A chancellor is supposed to unify a community, not divide it. The amount of controversy this has caused, and division at the university, is really unfortunate."

Weeks, the university's president, said he will set up a meeting with board chairman Ryan Matheson to relay the senate's concerns as soon as possible. He will also raise the issue at the next board meeting once it's called.

He downplayed the division at UNBC over Moore's appointment, saying there's no better place than a university to have passionate dialogue on controversial issues.

"My job as the president is to take that passion and make sure that we channel it toward working in the best interest of our students," he said.

Matheson said the board followed the process as set out in the University Act.

"The board always considers information and input from the senate," he said in an email on Thursday. "Yesterday, the senate provided our president with direction, and the board will consider the president's report at our next opportunity."

Moore announced in June that he would not seek re-election for family reasons. The former Industry Minister and graduate of UNBC has said he's honoured to be named chancellor and wants to work with everyone in the community to build on UNBC's successes.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • New earthquake, magnitude 6.1, shakes jittery Mexico [Video]

    World News Toronto Sun
    MEXICO CITY — A strong new earthquake shook Mexico on Saturday, toppling already damaged homes and a highway bridge and causing new alarm in a country reeling from two even more powerful quakes this month that together have killed nearly 400 people. Source
  • NFL responds to Donald Trump's call to fire players who take a knee during anthem

    World News Toronto Sun
    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — President Donald Trump says National Football League owners should fire players who kneel during the national anthem. And he’s encouraging spectators to walk out in protest. In an extended riff during a freewheeling rally speech in Alabama Friday night, Trump also bemoaned that football games have become less violent. Source
  • Soul singer Charles Bradley dead at age 68

    World News CBC News
    Singer Charles Bradley, seen here performing in June in Pasadena, Calif., has died according to a tweet from his official account. Source
  • New Zealand PM wins most votes but needs help to form gov't

    World News CTV News
    AUCKLAND, New Zealand -- Prime Minister Bill English's National Party won the most votes in New Zealand's general election on Saturday but not enough to form a government without help from other political parties. That means New Zealanders may need to wait for days or even weeks to confirm whether English will retain the top job as the various parties try to negotiate with each other to form a coalition. Source
  • McCain's choice: Ailing senator plays spoiler again for GOP

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- John McCain faced a choice that balanced friendship, party loyalty and his convictions. He made the decision some of his closest advisers expected. Looking at the twilight of his career and a grim cancer diagnosis, the Republican senator from Arizona who prides himself on an independent streak could not be moved to go along with a last-ditch GOP push to overhaul the nation's health care system. Source
  • New earthquake, magnitude 6.1, shakes jittery Mexico

    World News Toronto Sun
    MEXICO CITY — A strong new earthquake shook Mexico on Saturday, toppling already damaged homes and a highway bridge and causing new alarm in a country reeling from two even more powerful quakes this month that together have killed nearly 400 people. Source
  • Earthquake in North Korea briefly stokes nuclear fears

    World News CBC News
    A minor but mysterious earthquake in North Korea on Saturday, close to where the country recently conducted a nuclear test, briefly set off concerns it might have been caused by an explosion, though South Korean officials tried to allay those fears. Source
  • Donald Trump tells Warriors star Stephen Curry that White House visit is off

    World News Toronto Sun
    SOMERSET, N.J. — President Donald Trump says if a basketball player doesn’t want to visit the White House to celebrate an NBA title, then don’t bother showing up. Trump responded Saturday on Twitter to Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry, who has made clear he’s not interested in a traditional White House trip. Source
  • 'Get that son of a bitch off the field': Donald Trump says NFL should fire players who kneel during anthem

    World News Toronto Sun
    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — President Donald Trump says National Football League owners should fire players who kneel during the national anthem. And he’s encouraging spectators to walk out in protest. In an extended riff during a freewheeling rally speech in Alabama Friday night, Trump also bemoaned that football games have become less violent. Source
  • People flee homes and hotels as earthquake aftershocks hit Mexico

    World News CBC News
    Alarms sounded in Mexico City as a new earthquake struck Saturday morning, prompting people with fresh memories of this week's devastating tremor to flee homes and hotels. The quake was much weaker than the magnitude 7.1 earthquake that hit on Tuesday, killing at least 295 people and knocking down buildings across the capital. Source