Silence of the Board

The fact that the Board of Governors remains silent on their decision to delegate veto power over tenure and promotion decisions to the President is a sign of failed leadership.

Two of our members have received a positive recommendation for tenure by the appropriate collegial bodies on campus and are awaiting a tenure decision by the Board. The Board has unlawfully delegated veto power to the President, who, until yesterday insisted on meeting with the affected individuals to “discuss” their case. Yesterday, after our press release expressed grave concern on this fundamentally important academic issue, we were informed that the meetings with the two faculty members and the President to determine their academic/professional fate were cancelled. This has left our two colleagues in a suspended state of indefinite academic purgatory as neither member has yet to see a letter granting them tenure.

On an individual level such treatment is insensitive and inhumane. On the academic front it violates the very principles of natural justice, tramples on collegial self-governance, and it flies in the face of our Collective Agreement. It is simply shameful. Two individuals who have been recommended for tenure by appropriate collegial committees on campus may lose their job at the end of next month unless something meaningful is done immediately. Such actions by the President and Board undermine and threaten the very foundation of tenure and the principles of academic freedom. The faculty on this campus and around the world should be outraged. Have we entered an era where there is complete disregard for our collegial processes and collective agreement?

If the recent ruling of an arbitrator and Court of Queen’s Bench are wrong and the Board believes they are in compliance with the University of Saskatchewan Act, then the Act needs to be changed. Without such a change, there will be no hope that the University of Saskatchewan can repair the damage done to its internal collegial processes and national and international reputation.