Two hundred and eleven of us signed the Petition from Queen’s Employees for Real Academic Planning in time for presentation to the Board of Trustees.
Thanks to Peter Taylor, who is a faculty member on the Board, and to Bill Young, the Chair of the Board, Roberta Lamb and I were invited to present the petition on April 30 at 7 p.m. Due to the lateness of our request to present, the Board could afford us only five minutes, and there was no time for questions or discussion.
That was sufficient time, however, to read the petition and a short statement. We also presented the petition with all signatures (but no emails and no identifying information for anonymous signatories) to the Chair, and left 34 copies of the petition itself for the Trustees. These copies also included the following information:
“Signed (as of 2 p.m., April 30, 2010) by 211 Queen’s Faculty, Teaching Assistants, Librarians/Archivists, and Staff members, including 13 anonymous signatories.
“All signatories have supplied queensu.ca emails or have been otherwise verified as Queen’s University employees.
“This petition was first posted April 18, 2010.
“To view all signatures please go to http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/queensemployeesforrealacademicplanning/signatures“
My address to the Board was as follows:
“Thank you, Mr. Chair, for permitting me to address the Board tonight. I also thank Peter Taylor for facilitating this presentation.
“Queen’s Employees for Real Academic Planning present this petition, opposing budget cuts and lack of democracy in campus decision-making, to the Board of Trustees.
“I have to read a slightly abbreviated version, but I have supplied copies.
“This petition has been signed by over 210 Queen’s employees, comprising roughly 141 QUFA members and 70 staff members and other employees.
“We are from the ranks of those who have undergone the specialized training to know what our disciplines aim for and require. We are from the ranks of those who know the Queen’s learning experience first-hand, not as it is mediated by our brochures and our slogans, but as it actually occurs in our classrooms and with our students.
“The budget-cutting regime has already done real damage to our learning environments. University budget-cutting has gone ahead of academic planning, and now it is driving something called “academic planning.” We do not say there cannot be budget cuts. But there must be real academic planning first. To do otherwise is to put amputation before triage. Real academic planning is planning that begins with and genuinely involves those who are in the learning environments, those who know.
“As Adam Kennedy, an undergraduate in the Department of Film, says of the current situation: “If I were a new applicant, I would be very disinclined to come. . . . these programs are what make this university special and you won’t realize what you’ve lost until they’re gone.”
“We hope that if you will not listen to us, you will listen to Adam.”