Letters to the Editor: October 24, 2012

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Campus line ups shorter at library

Dear Editor,

The Cord had a great article on coffee lineups on campus on October 17, 2012, which mentioned that some coffee shops on campus have up to 20-minute waits before people get their dose of caffeine. Have you considered The Second Cup in the library, though? I’m usually served right away, or at most within a minute or two if I’m caught in the rush between classes.  Check it out.

–Michael Steeleworthy, Government information librarian and coffee fiend. Laurier Library, Waterloo Campus

 

The university, the Senate and the IPRM: 13 Theses

The University and the Senate

1. What makes the university distinctive is that it is an academic institution. It’s why universities exist, to do the academic work of research and teaching in pursuit of truth through free, independent, disciplined and critical inquiry.

2. The principal bearers of the university’s academic mission are the faculty.

3. The principal organizational expression of faculty self-government is the body known as the Senate, or simply Senate.

4. On Senate are represented all the constituencies that bear on the academic function of the university, but faculty form a majority both on Senate as a whole and on its committees.

5. Faculty are elected to the Senate and its committees.

Planning and the Senate

6. The IPRM (Integrated Planning and Resource Management) is, according to its proponents, a planning process. It will end up deciding which of the university’s academic programs are to be enhanced, which maintained and which phased out. The planning involves both academic and resource allocation decisions. (See the university IPRM website.)

7. According to the Wilfrid Laurier University Act, which establishes WLU as a legal entity and sets out its structure of governance, the Senate has the power to “undertake, consider and co-ordinate long-range academic planning” (19(i)) and to “consider and recommend to the Board of Governors policies concerning the internal allocation or use of University resources” (19(j)), “which would include recommendations to modify or terminate an academic unit” (university website).

8. Because both academic planning and resource allocation are properly done by Senate, it has an Academic Planning Committee and a Finance Committee. That’s what they are there for. Senate nevertheless recognizes that the final decisions on resource allocation (the money decisions) are made by the Board of Governors.

The IPRM and the Senate

9. The IPRM was NOT undertaken by Senate. It was undertaken by the president.

10. The IPRM is NOT to be considered by Senate, simply approved (rubber-stamped). When faculty strenuously objected, the vote to approve the IPRM’s mandate was postponed from the Senate meeting of Oct. 16 to that of Nov. 26 and the president permitted a “discussion” in the October meeting. The IPRM is to be considered by the non-Senate derived Planning Task Force (PTF) and its three constituent committees. Senate gets to express its opinion at the end of the process before the Board of Governors decides. (See the IPRM website.)

11. The PTF is NOT composed of a majority of elected faculty. Elected faculty comprise 30 per cent of its membership.

12. The IPRM is NOT being co-ordinated by Senate. It is being co-ordinated by the senior administration assisted by American consultants.

Conclusion

13. The IPRM usurps the role of Senate, and thereby the faculty, in university academic planning and resource allocation. It is therefore illegitimate, and should be rejected.

Coda

When the IPRM process was begun, you the students were to be excluded entirely. Now you have token representation.

-Peter Eglin, Professor of Sociology

 

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Letters must not exceed 250 words. Include your full name and telephone number. Letters must be received by 12:00 p.m. noon Monday via e-mail to letters@thecord.ca. The Cord reserves the right to edit for length and clarity or to reject any letter.

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