CAUT/ACPPU Bulletin Online
Faculty at Mount Allison, UNB lack confidence in administration
Recent votes of non-confidence at both Mount Allison University and the University of New Brunswick are strong indicators of faculty frustration and growing concern over lack of transparency, disrespect for staff and “years of mismanagement” at the schools.
“Our institution is being run into the ground,” said Miriam Jones, president of the Association of University of New Brunswick Teachers. “Buildings are falling apart and academic salaries average 12 per cent below comparative groups at similar, mid-size schools. It has become very, very difficult to attract new and qualified staff.”
Jones said access-to-information requests are revealing “eye-opening” financial statements, indicating that while academic and support staff have lived with a decade of cuts, the university has actually run a surplus for 11 of the past 12 years, and has “salted away” millions of dollars in a variety of restricted accounts.
The arts, business, education and engineering faculties at UNB have all passed motions of non-confidence or issued statements of concern against president Eddy Campbell and senior administration.
Similarly, the Faculty Council at Mount Allison voted 60–1 in support of a motion of non-confidence in the academic leadership of president Robert Campbell and provost Karen Grant.
That motion cited a lack of transparency, a disregard for collegiality and academic principles, and a lack of respect for faculty and librarians. It also pointed specifically to “a failure to provide support to the academic mission of the university by not providing adequate replacements for leaves and departures.”
The UNB votes, which were not promoted by AUNBT, but by individuals Jones call “roiled, and acting on it,” are non-binding, yet meant to pressure administrators and force changes that would improve the school’s management.
“It’s a real grass-roots movement and it’s very exciting to see this demand for accountability,” Jones said.
Eddy Campbell has replied publicly that he will not resign in the face of the strident display of non-confidence, and blames a lack of communication for the unrest.
“That’s an aggravating reaction,” Jones said. “The real problem is not lack of communication. The problem is how they are running the university. We don’t want them to tell us how badly they are doing it. We want them to stop it, and go forward with transparency.”