On Monday the University Governance Office sent an email to faculty members, specifying that, “Upon recommendation of the Governance Committee of Council, in light of interpretations of The University of Saskatchewan Act, 1995, and University Council Bylaws (2022) that occurred after the original call for nominations was open, nominations for University Council will remain open until March 22nd at 4:30pm.”
However, members continue to raise concerns about the validity of this process, which does not add clarity as to how a Dean, once nominated, will be elected as a College Representative under 53(2)(c), [or 53(2)(e), in the case of Librarians] of the University Act.
The interpretation by the Governance Office remains out of step with the bylaws, is not transparent, and, disappointingly, still does not explain how faculty members, including the Dean, may or may not be elected to the two College Representative positions.
The ambiguity lies in the fact that the nomination form contains only one field for the two College Representatives.
The Act and the Bylaws indicate that members may choose to nominate for one of three Sections:
College Representative under 53(2)(b), or [53(2)(d), in the case of Librarians]
College Representative under 53(2)(c), or [53(2)(e), in the case of Librarians]
Member at Large 53(2)(i)
The Bylaws state:
6. If there is a nomination or nominations under section 53(2)(c), or 53(2)(e), the Dean … will be so informed and asked if they wish to stand for election under this section.
According to the Governance Office, the way this will play out is that when two or more faculty members put their name forward as a College Representative, the Dean will be informed and asked if they wish to let their name stand. If the Dean wishes to do so, an election will be initiated by the Governance Office where all nominees for College Representatives, including the Dean, will be listed. Faculty members in the college will vote for up to two nominees and the two individuals who receive the most votes will be elected to Council “as per standard practices.”
Faculty members have been invited to re-verify their original nomination with respect to the Section under which they choose to stand. This invitation is particularly relevant for those faculty who were encouraged by the Governance Office to change their nomination from College Representative to Member at Large.
However, the nomination form still offers no option to choose to run specifically under 53(2)(c) / 53(2)(e), which would potentially trigger an election between the Faculty member(s) running under that Section and the Dean—and so there is no clarity about how the Dean’s election will take place.
For example, if three faculty members, one of whom is the Dean, run for the two open positions as College Representatives, will those two with the highest number of votes be elected under (b)/(d) and (c)/(e)? Or, because the standard practice has been to reserve one position for the Dean, will the Dean be considered elected under (c)/(e) regardless of number of votes, and of the two other faculty members the one with the highest number of votes be elected under (b)/(d)?
We have asked for clarification from the Governance Office on this question.
When you nominate yourself as a College Representative via the online form, also email the Governance Office to specify which of the two College Representative Sections under which your nomination stands: (b)/(d) OR (c)/(e).
Council Nominations Form:
Governance Office: firstname.lastname@example.org