In the process of searching for a new provost at Concordia University, President Alan Shepard is hoping to waive a policy in order to garner more applications.
Shepard suggested temporarily suspending the rules during a Board of Governors meeting last Wednesday afternoon, citing that he did not want to “parade” potential candidates in the public eye for employment purposes.
The university is conducting an ongoing search into hiring a new provost for the upcoming academic year that starts this May, an issue that was addressed earlier in the meeting during the president’s remarks. The search committee is close to reaching a shortlist of candidates.
In accordance with the university’s policy, candidates on the shortlist for senior administrative roles must be made public — something that Shepard feels could be detrimental for individuals who do not make the cut.
“After informing the candidates, the shortlist of candidates shall be made public within the University community no less than fifteen and no more than thirty days before the Search Committee is scheduled to make its recommendation to the Board,” Section B.10, article 34 reads.
“If we parade three people in public and pick one, then two suffer a very serious public blow,” said Shepard. “For president and provost, this is a mistake.”
Shepard stated that publicizing the names of the contenders could compromise their current employment and that this was a notice of a proposed motion to be put forth in the next month.
While he was still at Ryerson University, Shepard says the notion of announcing his candidacy in such a public forum almost forced him to reconsider his application to Concordia last year. His fear is that it will severely limit the applicant pool for the position of provost if the university fails to suspend the current rules.
The notice of motion proposes that the articles 34 to 39 of section B.10 of the rules and procedures for senior administration appointments be waived. This includes a stipulation where members of the Concordia community are able to submit signed, written comments regarding applicants on the shortlist.
The motion can only pass if there is a two-thirds majority vote from the BoG in an open session meeting.
A new deal
It was announced during the BoG meeting by Vice-President Institutional Relations Bram Freedman that COPIBEC, a non-for-profit collective representing publishers and authors, came to new deal with Quebec universities.
“The final offer was accepted,” said Freedman.
The 17-month agreement allows for an increase in copyright content per course pack, a reduction in costs covered by students and for online and print content. For full-time university students, the cost will be decreased from $25.50 to $21.
Salaries, increases and retentions
A few governors were displeased with the answers compiled in response to a question that arose from the last meeting in November where two members raised concerns over the increases in salaries of non-academic administrators.
Chairperson Norman Hébert submitted an answer that detailed the legal framework of increases under Bill 100. In the same report it was noted that the annual salary increase of all senior administrators was 2.75 per cent.
Governor Lawrence Kryzanowski said that the claim that administrative raises are comparable to faculty wasn’t true and that the response was “creative” with the numbers.
The answer also emphasized that the university made three retention adjustments in the 2011-12 year for two senior non-academic administrators and one senior administrator. In order to keep administrators from accepting external job offers, universities and places of employment will adjust a salary when they are in danger of losing an employee.