By Roberta Lamb and Mark Jones, as posted in QUFA Forum, 29 March 2010.
[All Academic Units were required to respond to the Principal’s Vision Statement, Where Next?, with planning recommendations by April 15. The deans in FAS had circulated three drafts at weekly intervals, 11, 18, and 25 March, when Faculty Board met on 26 March. This meeting was slated to be the faculty’s last opportunity to discuss its Response.
Students, staff, and faculty therefore attended in numbers (Queen’s Journal reported an attendance of “more than 300”). The following motion to reject not just the draft but the “academic planning” process was passed overwhelmingly; there were no motions to amend and votes did not need to be counted.
The Faculty of Arts and Science subsequently ignored this motion: it proceeded with two more drafts and published its final Response on schedule. Its only acknowledgment of this formal democratic rejection of the process is an appendix that reproduces an abridged version of the motion and minimizes the numbers attending.]
Given that the two drafts of the Arts and Science Response to Principal’s Vision Statement, circulated by the Dean’s office on March 11 and March 18, are substantially identical, despite objections voiced at the subsequent Committee of Departments meeting and in the departments;
Given that both the content of these drafts and the second draft’s disregard of objections to the first draft typify the flaws in the current so-called academic planning exercise in the Faculty of Arts and Science; and
Given that Principal Woolf reported to the March 2010 Board of Trustees meeting that Queen’s “projected in-year 2009-2010 deficit has been reduced from $8.3 million to $4.7 million,” and that the DBRS June 2009 report on Queen’s identifies “access to over $300 million in expendable resources (more than 3.0 times debt),” thus demonstrating that funds are available to support an appropriate and meaningful academic planning exercise;
a. that Faculty Board reject the Draft Reply to Principal Woolf’s “Where Next”;
b. that Faculty Board reject the current academic planning exercise as a budget-cutting exercise that gives insufficient consideration to the academic mission of the University;
c. that Faculty Board require the Faculty of Arts & Science to initiate an academic planning process designed to support the academic mission of the University, a process that privileges academic principles and objectives and includes substantive interaction of all stakeholders (students, faculty, and staff) among all areas and disciplines; and
d. that Faculty of Arts and Science report to the Board of Trustees the rationale for an extended academic plan and get financial provision for that process.
Moved by Roberta Lamb, Music
Seconded by Mark Jones, English