It can get quite lonely for faculty representatives on the Board of Governors. I have written before about the latent disparity in status between the elected and the appointed. But there is also the occasional dreadful feeling: what if no one cares? What if your colleagues on the faculty do not find issues of land development, faculty housing, collective bargaining, flexible learning, faculty industrial engagement, district energy, and the international college, among others, worth thinking about, let alone dealing with? I was therefore comforted to see that eight faculty members at UBC-Vancouver have declared their candidacy in the election for the two slots available to them on the presidential search committee. Surprisingly, the faculty at UBC-Okanagan will have an equal number of representatives on that committee. Both are already known. One is an uncontested candidate for the election there. The other is one of the four Governors chosen by the MRCC to represent the Board on the search committee.
We need to continue to argue for more equitable representation for the faculty at UBC-Vancouver. After all, they are the ones who made, and will continue to play a primary role in upholding this university’s national and international reputation. They are 90% of the 3500 faculty members at UBC, and while representation for both the Vancouver and Okanagan campuses is important, a 2-2 ratio (4-3 if you count Senate) for faculty representation from the two campuses is extraordinarily disproportionate, and so dilutes the voices of those on the Vancouver campus.
Of the eight candidates at UBC-Vancouver, three are from the Faculty of Arts; four are from Medicine and one from Science. In other words, at least one of these huge and venerable Faculties will be deprived of a voice around the table. Contrast this with the fact that three members of the Alumni association Board will be on the presidential search committee.
In any case, kudos and congratulations to the eight faculty members from UBC-Vancouver who put their names forward in order to contribute to a most important exercise and a crucial decision. They have all already won.