This year, the refashioned and significantly smaller BoG consists of 25 members. Before the restructuring, BoG consisted of 42 members and a large portion were community at large members. Friday also marked the first meeting for President Alan Shepard and for Norman Hébert as chair.
Closed session lasted for nearly two hours, where the external report reviewing the departure of senior officials from September 2009 to December 2010 was discussed. Members voted to adopt all 17 recommendations made by the external review and released the report to the public later that afternoon.
The BoG also discussed the repeal of the tuition fee increase by Premier Pauline Marois of the newly elected Parti Québécois government. Shepard announced the university was still waiting on official instructions from the government with regards to the tuition fee increase since a majority of Concordia students already paid their tuition in full including the increase. Shepard went on to commend the formation of a Higher Education Ministry by the PQ government, saying it was a good thing for Quebec.
It was clarified that students who chose to pay their tuition without the increase would not be subjected to a $75 penalty.
The board went on to address an article published in last week’s issue of The Link that exposed the questionable living conditions of a Chinese student at Concordia University who has dealings with Peter Low, a recruitment agent associated with Concordia.
Student governor Lex Gill questioned if Concordia used similar agencies to enroll other international students, while other members expressed concern that they were unaware of the situation and why Low is associated so closely with Concordia.
“The Concordia logo is all over this and I think we need to fess up to that,” said Gill. “These students were taken advantage of.”
Shepard said the university was investigating the claim, and had a “moral obligation” to see if any more international students had experienced the same problem.