Monday, August 11, 2008

Has UVIC just elected its last chancellor?

Murray Farmer was just elected as UVIC's new chancellor in July.
According to the Ring, 3838 members of convocation voted. Convocation includes UVic alumni, current and former Board of Governor and Senate members, UVic current and retired faculty, staff who have worked at UVIC for 12 months and hold a university degree,

But if the BC government gets its way, Farmer will be the last UVIC chancellor who is elected by convocation. Deep in the University Amendment Act 2008, bundled in with the creation of about a billion new universities all at once, lies the amendment to make the Chancellor appointed rather than elected.

The Chancellor will be appointed thus:

(1) There must be a chancellor of each university, who is to be appointed by the board on nomination by the alumni association and after consultation with the senate or, in the case of the University of British Columbia, after consultation with the council.

(1.1) The chancellor holds office for 3 years and after that until a successor is appointed.
Granted, you could argue the Chancellor is a figure head. But he or she also represents the University all around the world, confers degrees, and is an ex-officio member of BOG and Senate. The right to elect the person who plays that role gives the convocation the ability to decide the "face" of UVic.

I do wonder what the motivaton is. It's not as if no one participates--3838 people just voted at UVIC at the peak of summer holidays! And it certainly seems like we have had excellent people elected in past. So what exactly needs fixing?

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