A Call to Open the Carleton Board of Governors

September 2015

The Board of Governors is the highest decision-making body of Carleton University. Unfortunately, it is increasingly out of touch with those who study and work here and is adopting an increasingly adversarial stance towards the university community.

We, the undersigned, are a coalition of unions and student associations on campus. Our members are the Carleton community. As the Board undertakes a review of its Bylaws, we see an opportunity to change the Board to make it more democratic, not less.

We deserve a Board of Governors that:

is accountable to the university community. The Board is responsible for advancing the university as an institution of higher learning, and it cannot do so if it remains disconnected from those of us in the Carleton community who embody its mission. The decisions of the Board should be made by us, not for us. Towards this end, Carleton’s students and employees should democratically nominate and elect any external or “community” members to the Board, so that they reflect our values and priorities, without over-representing people from business, financial, legal and political backgrounds.
reflects the internal diversity of the university community. The Board should be composed of the diverse constituencies on campus, including faculty, contract instructors, staff, and students. These constituencies should have the right to elect their own representatives freely, and their representatives should not face the threat of being arbitrarily removed from the Board.
is open and responsive to the university community. The Board does not operate democratically when it engages in excessive secrecy, and makes meetings inaccessible and/or closed to the public. Instead, the Board should strive to be as open to the community as possible. The Board should also demonstrate that meaningful consultation, informed debate, and freedom of expression are central to Carleton’s civic purpose.
The Board of Governors does not currently meet these standards, but we believe that a better Board is possible. We seek reform of the democratic procedures of the university to reflect and uphold these principles, so that the Carleton community may finally get the Board that it deserves.

For More Information Contact:

Dr. Peter Gose Peter.Gose@carleton.ca CUASA
Pam Griffin-Hody Pam.GriffinHody@carleton.ca CUPE 2424
Courtney Lockhart prescupe4600@gmail.com CUPE 4600
Jennifer Harrington jenn.harrington@icloud.com OPSEU 404
Michael Bueckert pres@gsacarleton.ca CUGSA – CFS Local 78


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