Why am I running again to represent the faculty on UBC’s Board of Governors?

A good question indeed. My official statement below (restricted to 250 words) tells a part of the story but not all. I was personally stunned, upon rereading it, by how many times I call for “refocusing, re-establishing, reversing, returning, recovering …” An unintended illustration of how, long-held assumptions about the values of our academic mission, have been in full retreat. And, we the faculty, are merely trying to recover some of what we used to take for granted even less than 20 years ago.

Another part of the story goes back to my post of October 2015, i.e., before we even knew more through the unintended leaks. Much damage has been done to our institution, and this needs to stop. It gets to be even more urgent to do so, when remnants of those responsible come to epitomize, including through their candidacy statement, the continuing lack of transparency, the waste of university resources, the conceit, and the arrogance of someone who has been “an admin. groupie” for too long.

Here are the statements of the four candidates. And here is mine.

The voice of the faculty seems to be fainter than ever in our strange governance model. Two years have passed and UBC is yet to address the unprecedented vote of non-confidence in its Board of Governors by 800 faculty members. The UBC-V faculty ought to assume leadership roles on the Board’s committees, and not be sidelined. I will see to it.

With my previous experience on the Board, I will look forward to being an effective governor in addressing several old and new pressing issues that affect the future of our core mission. These include:

  • refocusing the institution on the academic mission;
  • re-establishing the faculty as the cornerstone of the academy and reforming governance accordingly;
  • providing academic focus to IMANT, UBC Properties Trust, and the forthcoming Student Housing Fund;
  • reprioritizing capital projects to address the needs of research and teaching;
  • re-evaluating and rescinding -if need be- low priority past financial commitments to non-academic projects;
  • re-establishing the full scale of the Housing Action Plan I developed in 2012 for the recruitment and retention of our scholars;
  • reversing administrative bloat to restore scholarly capacity:
  • reviewing policies on non-disclosure agreements;
  • returning to open searches for senior administrators and to convocation-elected chancellors;
  • recovering our know-how for attracting national and international research funding.

UBC also needs to tackle ethically and openly issues where the university has recently been seriously and publicly challenged: transparency, accountability, safety, diversity, social responsibility, systemic bias, and academic freedom. I will see to it.

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