Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Former Tory James Moore Opposed as Next Chancellor of B.C. University

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Former Tory James Moore Opposed as Next Chancellor of B.C. University

Article excerpt

Faculty opposition grows against James Moore

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PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. - Faculty members are speaking out against the University of Northern British Columbia's decision to name former Conservative cabinet minister James Moore as its next chancellor.

The president of the Prince George, B.C., university's faculty association said the chancellor is supposed to be a symbol of the institution and reflect its values.

"UNBC is Canada's green university," Stephen Rader said. "There's a lot of emphasis here on environmental issues and sustainability, and things like that. There's a really strong emphasis on First Nations and relations with aboriginal people.

"James Moore is not associated with those kinds of values," he said Tuesday.

The biochemistry professor said Moore was part of a government that laid off thousands of federal scientists and blocked government researchers from speaking freely to the media.

He said the appointment sparked a "lot of concern" among his colleagues, and it potentially speaks to a disconnect between the board of governors and the rest of the UNBC community.

"Perhaps they didn't consult broadly enough or think carefully enough about what this appointment means to people on campus."

Board of governors chairman Ryan Matheson said he's open to feedback and appreciates the passionate discussion, but the university will not reconsider the decision.

Matheson said he's spoken with Moore and is confident he will reflect the values of the university, including its environmental priorities.

"He really does want to give back to UNBC to its fullest extent and help the students, the faculty, the community and the alumni, move forward and make UNBC better."

Matheson said the appointment is the result of a 12-month selection process that included extensive consultation and that some people on campus have reacted positively to the choice.

"We're confident that ... we will look back in many years and this will be the best decision the university had made, although it's a difficult one and one that's sparking lots of conversation. …

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