University Council is currently composed of 105 voting members – 64 faculty representatives from academic units on campus, 20 administrators, 10 representatives from affiliated and federated institutions and 11 student representatives. It is the most important decision-making body on campus. It is responsible for overseeing and directing the university’s academic affairs. It has the power to authorize the Board of Governors to establish or disestablish any college, school, department, chair, endowed chair or institute on academic grounds.
In a few short months recommendations may be coming forward from senior administrators to Council as part of the TransformUS process, which has a stated goal of cutting $20-25 million from the operating budget. These recommendations are likely to include disestablishment of academic programs.
While University Council utilizes financial information in its decision making, the UFSA position is that such information needs to be provided in a complete and comprehensive manner. It is incorrect to ask Council to disestablish programs because of what is proving to be a mythical financial crisis and overly ambitious budget. Council members should feel free to ask the hard questions and not act precipitously on the basis of the administration’s purported claim of a $44.5 million operating budget deficit.
Encourage your Council representatives to speak for you, to represent your views, whatever they happen to be.
A list of University Councilors can be found at http://www.usask.ca/secretariat/governing-bodies/council/members.php.
Remember too, you do not have to be a member of University Council to attend and participate in discussions at Council meetings. The next meeting is this Thursday, February 27, at 2:30pm in Room 241 Arts (Neatby-Timlin Theatre).