As emailed to campus lists on 13 December 2011:
There is a revealing story just out in Queen’s Journal concerning Friday’s Faculty Board motion to rescind the BFA Freeze:
“The fact that there was a majority is, in a sense, irrelevant because it is not in the authority of Faculty Board to rule in a resource issue,” Dean of Arts and Sciences Alistair MacLean said.
This is the first explicit assurance we have had, so far as I know, that the Deans of Arts and Science mean to disobey their own Faculty Board again (as they did in 2009).
This denies Faculty Board the functions that are specified in the Motion that it passed on 9 December, and puts very much in question whether the Deans will recognize any function of Faculty Board beyond the rubber-stamping of Administrative proposals.
See also this statement:
“This came up two or three years ago and the legal ruling is the same as Diane Kelly gave in Senate. The authority is not that of Faculty Board or Senate,” MacLean said.
Note that Dean MacLean explicitly poses Diane Kelly’s legal opinion as a “legal ruling.” It is not a ruling but an opinion.
Queen’s needs to work out the contest of authorities by (a) admitting that this is an opinion on behalf of the managerial rights of the Board of Trustees in financial matters, (b) considering another opinion on behalf of the rights of Senate and the Faculty Boards to govern in academic matters, and (c) putting those opinions into dialogue with one another to decide how Queen’s financial and academic authorities can cooperate in matters that have both financial and academic dimensions.