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Arts & Science gains clout in choosing new administrators

by Archives March 13, 2002

Concordia University senate has decided to increase the number of people on the committee that approves second terms for university administrators and searches for new ones.
The vote ended 17-to-6 after senators hotly debated the issue.
Martin Singer, the dean of arts and science, began the debate by asking senators to allow for five faculty members on this committee, instead of the current four, and to have two of these representatives be from the arts and science faculty.
“More than 50 per cent of the university is made up of arts and science students. This kind of a committee diminishes the impact of the arts and science faculty. They need to be more appropriately represented.”
Jack Lightstone, vice-rector academic and provost, said Singer’s claim was a misconception and that if more people were to be added to the committee it would harder for the committee to meet.
CSU interim President Patrice Blais said the current number of students on the committee is not enough to represent 23,000 students. There are two seats for students on the committee one is for an undergraduate student and the other is for a graduate student.
He added that there should be three student seats in all, with two seats given to undergraduate students, one of which would be granted to an arts and science student.
“I have chaired a lot of these committee and it is almost impossible to schedule these meetings. It makes sense to have a larger committee, but it is impossible,” responded Lightstone to Blais’s suggestion.
Former CSU President Sabrina Stea countered to Lightstone’s argument by saying: “It is not a big deal to schedule meetings. If someone cannot make it you send someone else. The issue is about representation.”
Other senators worried about the arts and science faculty taking over the committee with its numbers.
Senate also agreed the the numerical vote should be included in the minutes.
Singer later proposed a motion to increase the faculty representation of arts and science from one to two and to have another undergraduate representative from arts and science.
Lightstone rebuked this by saying that Singer’s motion had a problem. “It is important to have an increased faculty representation, but then the other members will be voting against the two from arts and science.”
Dean of Engineering and Computer Science Nabil Esabil said Concordia is a comprehensive university and that if arts and science were to have another faculty member then there would be a monopoly. He added that this would be a step back.

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