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USFA e-Letter: Denial, Deflection and Distraction – Who is running our university?

Every day more troubling information comes to light underscoring the disarray of U of S leadership and the need to know who is ultimately responsible for decision-making. On the heels of the former President and Provost denying responsibility for critical decisions, more examples of mysterious decision-makers are brought to light.

The University has launched an appeal of the arbitration decision regarding a former President’s unlawful participation in the process for the award of tenure. It will be heard in Saskatoon’s Court of Queen’s Bench later this week. However, neither the Chair of the Board of Governors nor the interim President seems to have been in on critical decision-making.

The appeal was launched on June 27.

Before the appeal was launched, on May 29, the interim President gave assurances that the University is taking actions to solve problems and that he hopes to work through the change that’s needed in a painless, or less painful, approach. And, on June 4, the U of S Board of Governors chair stated that there is a need to hear from stakeholders and that the University needed a couple of months to decide on a possible appeal.

A week before the appeal is scheduled to be heard, the Board chair was quoted as saying the issue of presidential veto is being reviewed internally, and “If we need to reconsider, we’re open to that.” She admitted that she was not sure when the decision to appeal was made or exactly who made it, and we have no indication of where the new president fits.

If a less painful approach is hoped for and reconsideration is an option, how is it that we are finding ourselves in court? And, if the Board and the President are not making critical decisions like this, then who is running our university?