Main menu:

History of RPE Thought

Posts by Tag

RSS New from the CCPA

  • The 2018 Living Wage for Metro Vancouver April 25, 2018
    The cost of raising a family in British Columbia increased slightly from 2017 to 2018. A $20.91 hourly wage is needed to cover the costs of raising a family in Metro Vancouver, up from $20.61 per hour in 2017 due to soaring housing costs. This is the hourly wage that two working parents with two young children […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Mobility pricing must be fair and equitable for all April 12, 2018
    As Metro Vancouver’s population has grown, so have its traffic congestion problems. Whether it’s a long wait to cross a bridge or get on a bus, everyone can relate to the additional time and stress caused by a transportation system under strain. Mobility pricing is seen as a solution to Metro Vancouver’s transportation challenges with […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Budget 2018: The Most Disappointing Budget Ever March 14, 2018
    Premier Pallister’s Trump-esque statement that budget 2018 was going to be the “best budget ever” has fallen a bit flat. Instead of a bold plan to deal with climate change, poverty and our crumbling infrastructure, we are presented with two alarmist scenarios to justify further tax cuts and a lack of decisive action: the recent […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • 2018 Federal Budget Analysis February 14, 2018
    Watch this space for response and analysis of the federal budget from CCPA staff and our Alternative Federal Budget partners. More information will be added as it is available. Commentary and Analysis Some baby steps for dad and big steps forward for women, by Kate McInturff (CCPA) An ambition constrained budget, by David Macdonald (CCPA) Five things […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • CED in Manitoba - The Video January 29, 2018
    Community Economic Development in Manitoba - nudging capitalism out of the way?
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
Progressive Bloggers

Meta

Recent Blog Posts

Posts by Author

Recent Blog Comments

The Progressive Economics Forum

Concordia’s “Culture of Contempt”

In June of this year, a report was released on governance at Concordia University. Entitled Strengthening Governance at Concordia: A Collective Challenge, the report can be accessed here: www.concordia.ca/vpirsg/documents/EGRC-REPORT.pdf.

The 39-page report was written by the External Governance Review Committee, a three-person committee chaired by none other than Bernard J. Shapiro (Canada’s first Ethics Commissioner).

The report paints a picture of a rogue Board of Governors that ignored its own rules, undermined its President, and micro-managed the operations of the university. I find the report makes for interesting reading and makes some sensible recommendations. Yet, I’m a bit surprised that the report doesn’t recommend that any Board members be reprimanded.

According to the report:

-The Committee “was a response by both the Senate and the Board of Governors to the departure, no more than half-way through their first term of office, of the two most recent Concordia Presidents, apparently as a result of irreconcilable differences between each of them and the Board.  These departures, especially the second one which took place in late December 2010, represented a public relations nightmare…[T]his event revealed a substantial degree of misunderstanding, blatantly deficient internal communications and a lot of distrust, often bordering on mutual contempt, between the various communities of the University.”

-Concordia was experiencing a “culture of contempt.”

-The large size of the Board of Governors (42 members) led to important decisions being made by a small, inner circle of Board members, in some cases “without any formal status.” Put differently, Concordia has witnessed the unofficial creation of a “Board within the Board.”

-Some members of the Board of Governors were being elected to multiple terms, and stated term limits were being ignored.

-The report suggests that some Board members were “insert[ing] themselves into day-to-day management” of the university. Indeed, “[t]here was…some evidence of Board members working directly with members of the Administration in such a way as to by-pass and, therefore, weaken the function of the President.” This led to “the micro-management of specific dossiers.”

The report makes 38 recommendations, including that the Board be reduced in size from 42 to 25 members, and that any contact between Board members and senior university administrators (e.g. Vice-Presidents) be “directly sanctioned by and arranged through the President.”

While the above recommendations seem sensible to me, I’m a bit surprised by what wasn’t recommended. In particular, I’m left with two questions:

1. If term limits on the Board weren’t being enforced, why wasn’t it recommended that those Board officials responsible for their enforcement be reprimanded?

2. If Board members were circumventing the Presidnet and micro-managing specific dossiers, why wasn’t it recommended that those particular individuals be removed from the Board at once?

Enjoy and share:

Comments

Comment from Sedate Me
Time: August 15, 2011, 8:28 am

I wonder what happens to Concordia University students when they ignore the time limits on their term (papers)? I’m sure handing in late essays is punished more harshly than Board members ignoring the time limits on their work.

Comment from KP
Time: August 16, 2011, 10:28 am

I am trying to access the link for the report released it fails. May I have the title of the report

Comment from Nick Falvo
Time: August 16, 2011, 11:31 am

KP: My apologies.

The report’s title is Strengthening Governance at Concordia: A Collective Challenge.

It can be accessed here: http://www.concordia.ca/vpirsg/documents/EGRC-REPORT.pdf

Comment from KP
Time: August 19, 2011, 6:02 am

Mr. Flavo

Thank you very much.

Write a comment





Related articles