This week we heard some disturbing news from USFA members who had chosen to run for University Council as college representatives. Questions are being asked as to whether there is an attempt to manipulate council elections.
There are 28 college representative position vacancies (two for each of the 14 colleges), as defined under article 53(2) of the University of Saskatchewan Act, 1995. Members told us that, after they had submitted their nomination form, they were prompted by the university Governance Office to change the position for which they had chosen to stand for election. They were advised to run for a member-at-large position rather than a college representative position.
Why? Because the Governance Office has chosen to reserve one of the two College representative positions for the Dean of each college. However, the Act does not require the dean to be one of the two representatives.
However, University Council Bylaws and Regulations specify that a faculty member “may choose to stand for election” for either of the two college representative positions:
3. A faculty member may choose to stand for election under one of the following sections:
(a) Section 53(2)(b), [53(2)(d) – in the case of Librarian]
“one faculty member representing each college or affiliated and federated college who is a member of the college and who has been elected by the members of the college;”
(b) Section 53(2)(c), [53(2)(e) – in the case of Librarian]
“one representative, in addition to the member mentioned in clause (b), representing each college or affiliated and federated college who is either:
(i) the Dean of the college, or a member of the college, who has been elected by the members of the college; or
(ii) if there is no election, the Dean of the college;”
(c) Section 53(2)(i)
“54 faculty members who have been elected by faculty members.”
University Council Bylaws and Regulations also state:
6. If there is a nomination or nominations under section 53(2)(c), or 53(2)(e), the Dean of the college or Dean, University Library, as the case may be, will be so informed and asked if they wish to stand for election under this section.
Why has the Governance Office chosen to disregard the Bylaws and Regulations of Council and bypass the required election in which the Dean must run against other nominated candidates?
If you have been asked to run as a member-at-large instead of as a college representative, keep in mind that you have the right to run and be elected as one of your college representatives.
Take back your Council. Demand a legitimate and fair election of your college representatives.