Walking the plank

Concordia University’s internal relations with its senior employees is complex, confusing and sometimes expensive.

Here is The Concordian’s guide to understanding who these individuals are, and the events leading up to their resignations.

Ted Nowak and Saad Zubair

Former auditors Ted Nowak and Saad Zubair were dismissed in September 2009 for allegedly expensing meals. The accusations were dropped following a grievance filed with the Quebec Labour Review Board. Nowak left the institution with a $605,000 severance package while Zubair departed with $639,000.

Larry English

After 13 years at Concordia, former Chief Financial Officer Larry English announced his resignation in September 2009. English departed with $332,000 in his pocket in December 2009.

Jean Brisebois

The former security director retired from Concordia in December 2009, taking a severance package of $129,000 with him. Brisebois began his position as director in 2001.

Kathy Assayag

The former vice-president of advancement and alumni affairs resigned from her position in September 2010 for personal reasons. Following the departure of the university’s head fundraiser, then-VP Services Michael Di Grappa left Concordia for a high-ranking position at McGill University. The suddenly high turnover rate of vice-presidents led to a questioning of governance. Assayag’s parting gift was $700,000.

Judith Woodsworth

Judith Woodsworth stepped down in December 2010 following a series of missteps. The BoG announced Woodsworth’s resignation was due to personal reasons that were later revealed to be untrue. Woodsworth was asked to leave Concordia halfway through her contract. The high-profile dismissal divided the university community, and marked a five-year crisis of senior personnel departures. Woodsworth was the second president in five years to resign, and five VPs left within the same five years. The ambiguous resignation sparked external reviews and public backlash in an effort to understand the troubled governance of Concordia. Woodsworth’s severance package was $703,500.

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