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Letter sparks controversy

by Archives January 17, 2001

CSU President Rob Green and Concordia rector Dr. Frederick Lowy butted heads last week over a letter Lowy sent to Quebec’s Ministry of Education concerning the CSU’s fraud late last year. Tge letter was sent one day before the official accreditation of the CSU by Quebec.

In a demonstration at SGW campus Jan. 10, Green said Lowy was trying to get the accreditation approval recinded with his letter. Later that afternoon, Lowy sent a letter to Green, saying that was not his intention at all and that his position on the matter was being misrepresented.

The Dec. 19 letter, written by Lowy, outlines the current situation of the fraud investigation, how the CSU had asked the university for budgeting help, and pointed out that the CSU and university are separate entities. The letter also says that the fraud was not mentioned during the accreditation drive, although some already knew about it.

According to Green, the fraud was the first topic mentioned when he and two other students presented Ministry of Education accreditation officer Guy Major with the referendum ballots last October. Green added that Major’s only interest was whether or not Concordia’s administration had interfered on the issue.

Green wondered what Lowy’s purpose was in writing the letter. He also disapproved of what he called “double-talk” from the administration. “It is obviously in the university’s interest that we are not accredited, so why can’t he just say so?” Green asked.

Lowy said that the purpose of the letter was simply to inform the minister of the fraud situation, and that the minister’s staff had inquired on the issue after reading articles about the fraud in The Gazette and La Presse. Lowy added that the letter has been the only communication from the school to the ministry about the issue, and that the ministry has not inquired further.

Both Green and Lowy speculate that there’s not much the ministry could do about the CSU’s accreditation in light of the fraud. But Lowy defended his letter about the CSU’s fraud. “In the public eye, everything to do with [Concordia] University, is the university [adminsitration]’s responsibility.”

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