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New faces coming to Concordia

by Marilla Steuter-Martin April 3, 2012
New faces coming to Concordia

Concordia’s administration will be undergoing some major changes in the next few months.

Interim President Frederick Lowy’s term will be over in August and the presidential advisory search committee has been deliberating over a shortlist of candidates.

“The search process is proceeding well and it is expected that the name of the recommended candidate will be made public in the next few weeks,” said Concordia spokesperson Chris Mota.

Under the rules of the committee, only one name will be announced as the official recommendation. In terms of student involvement in the process, Mota explained that there are two students on the advisory search committee.

Once the name is released, “the recommended candidate makes a public presentation and all members of the community are encouraged to submit their comments following the public meeting,” said Mota.

There will be more than one new face at Concordia next year. Come July 1, the Board of Governors will be reduced to 25 members and current chair Peter Kruyt will be replaced.

The board’s governance and ethics committee, which has external members, faculty members, a staff member and a student member on it, is responsible for recommending any new external members as well as the chair of the board, explained Mota.

“They are going about their work and will be making their recommendations to the board at the June meeting,” she said.

Concordia Student Union President Lex Gill said that “the motivation for a smaller board was to create more dialogue at the meetings themselves rather than through backroom deals, though I doubt that’s a promising outcome in actuality.”

Gill explained that two student representatives would also be chosen to sit on the board for the 2012-13 academic year.

“One is chosen by the [CSU] executive, normally the president, and the other chosen by council,” she explained. Under new rules that will come into effect July 1, undergraduates will only have one representative with voting rights, while the other representative will have speaking rights only at the board level.

Ever since Education Minister Line Beauchamp sent a letter to the board in early March informing them that Concordia was going to be fined $2 million for its sometimes questionable handling of public funds, Concordia’s finances have been in the spotlight.

This much talked of move came shortly after Concordia released documents to the public concerning several generous severance packages given out to five senior employees over the past few years, totalling $2.4 million.

Just prior to receiving Beauchamp’s letter, Concordia made the decision to hire external auditors to review the $2.4 million handed out between 2009 and 2010. According to Mota, the Board of Governors’ audit committee has selected PricewaterhouseCoopers to conduct the review. The cost of hiring these auditors is estimated at $25,000 and was approved by the Board of Governors on March 2.

“The [auditors’] report is due by the end of June and a summary of the results will be made public,” said Mota.

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