A joint press release (see below) was put out by the Faculty Association, Local 555 of the Public Service Alliance of Canada, and the Student Association on the recent policy shift at the Board of Governors AGM.
PDF Version of Press Release (found in the Student Association’s Website)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 30th 2015
Students and Professors Concerned with Lack of Transparency at UOIT
OSHAWA, ON – A motion passed by the Board of Governors at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) has raised concerns about transparency and public participation among the UOIT Faculty Association, Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) Local 555, and the Student Association at Durham College & UOIT (SA).
“This new policy is very concerning,” says Jeremy Baarbe, President of PSAC Local 555, representing teaching assistants, research assistants, and sessional faculty at UOIT. “It appears to place unecessary restrictions on access to the governance of this institution.”
According to the policy passed at their Annual General Meeting on June 25 2015, the UOIT Board of Governors requires any member of the public to provide advance notice of five business days if they wish to attend a Board meeting. If a member of the public wishes to present at a meeting, they must provide notice 10 days in advance and be approved by the Chair of the Board. However, in regards to the AGM, the agenda was released only two days prior to the meeting.
“This egregious move on the part of the highest decision-making body at UOIT shows a complete disregard for openness and transparency,” says Gary Genosko, President of the UOIT Faculty Association. “It goes against the very principles that this public institution was founded on.”
The policy also redefines committee meetings as “non-public meetings,” which would bar members of the public from attending regardless of advance notice. In contrast, the University of Toronto’s Governing Council webcasts their meetings and invites community input submitted in writing, in advance, directly to the Council and its committees.
“This new policy is a huge disservice to UOIT students and faculty,” says Jesse Cullen, SA President. “The Board of Governors should be moving toward more openness and transparency, not away from it. We want to keep them accountable to all of us allowing consultation and discussion from the people their decisions affect.”
Despite recently passing a policy consultation process, this policy was able to reach the Board of Governors without ever going through the Academic Council or any stakeholder organizations’ representatives. The Board plans to review this policy again in the near future, but there is currently no public plan in place to involve stakeholders in the discussion.
The Student Association is the official representative of all Durham College and UOIT students, across three distinct campuses within Durham Region. The Student Association serves to advance student interests in the campus community by delivering superior advocacy, services, and support.
The UOIT Faculty Association represents over 200 tenured, tenure-track, and teaching faculty at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology.
PSAC Local 555 represents over 600 teaching assistants, research assistants, and sessional faculty at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology.
JESSICA VERGE, Communications & Marketing Coordinator
The Student Association at Durham College & UOIT
P 905 721 1609 EXT 3972 | E [email protected]
DENISE MARTINS, Executive Assistant
UOIT Faculty Association
P 905 721 8668 EXT 2049 | E [email protected]
JEREMY BAARBE, President
Public Service Alliance of Canada, Local 555
P 905 926 2451 | E [email protected]