Newspaper article The Canadian Press

University of Northern B.C. Board Failed to Consult on James Moore: Senate

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

University of Northern B.C. Board Failed to Consult on James Moore: Senate

Article excerpt

Board failed to consult on Moore: UNBC senate

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PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. - The University of Northern British Columbia's senate is formally opposing the process used to select former Conservative cabinet minister James Moore as chancellor.

After a lengthy debate on Wednesday, a majority of members voted to ask UNBC president Daniel Weeks to inform the school's board of governors that it didn't sufficiently consult with the senate on Moore's appointment.

The decision has caused an outcry among some faculty and students who say Moore's role in former prime minister Stephen Harper's government clashes with the values of the Prince George, B.C., institution.

The board is required by the University Act to consult with the senate before appointing a chancellor, but the legislation does not spell out what that consultation must entail.

Student senator Angela Kehler said the only discussion that took place was an in-camera meeting in October, shortly before the board announced on Nov. 26 that Moore had been selected.

"As far as following the letter of the legislation, we were notified ahead of time," she said. "We just felt that it wasn't meaningful consultation. We didn't have enough time to consider before a recommendation went to the board."

The senate is made up of about 45 faculty members and students and handles academic decisions, while the board controls financial affairs.

Each senator was given an opportunity to speak during Wednesday's meeting, which was so packed that 60 members of the public were shuttled into an overflow room and it stretched on for about two hours past the allotted time, Kehler said.

Moore's critics have pointed to the Harper government's environmental record and muzzling of federal scientists as inconsistent with the values of UNBC, which calls itself "Canada's Green University."

Paul Siakaluk, an associate psychology professor on the senate, said they were not given the name of the nominee prior to the in-camera meeting in October. …

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