Concordia University’s Board of Governors voted in favour of temporarily waiving a policy that compels candidates for senior administration positions to conduct public presentations during a special meeting last Wednesday morning.
President Alan Shepard initially introduced the idea during a regular BoG meeting in January, stating that he was uncomfortable with applicants’ names being publicized during the provost search.
In accordance with university policy, the shortlist of candidates for provost and other senior administrative roles must be made public.
“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.
The motion temporarily waived articles 34 to 39 of section B.10 of the rules and procedures for senior administration appointments at Concordia. With 20 governors present, the motion passed with 19 in favour and one opposed.
By waiving those articles, provost candidates will not have to attend public forums with the university or attend a joint open meeting between BoG and Senate. Furthermore, members of the university community can no longer submit written comments on the shortlist of candidates since it will remain private.
Shepard feared that individuals vying for the position of provost would withdraw their candidacy because it may compromise their current employment.
“To do this will jeopardize the candidates,” said Shepard. “I don’t want to jeopardize the search with a public presentation.”
In January, Shepard stated that he almost decided to rescind his application for presidency due to the public presentation when he was still employed by Ryerson University.
During the meeting Wednesday, Shepard said that he felt the motion helped modernize Concordia — a recommendation that stemmed from two external reviews made over the last three years. As a method of comparison, Shepard emphasized during both BoG and Senate meetings that McGill University also does not reveal its applicants for senior administrative positions.