Do you want Brock’s next president to come from industry? Would you be satisfied if the next President is someone without recent experience in research and teaching? Or perhaps someone with an authoritarian “top down” management style, who is not comfortable with the shared governance that is important to maintaining academic quality. What about a President whose primary orientation is toward pleasing the Board of Trustees rather than being a strong advocate for faculty, professional librarians, students, and staff?
If we don’t speak up about what we want in our next President, we could have all of the above. The purpose of this email is to encourage you to express your opinions regarding the hiring of Brock’s next President to the Advisory Committee on the Presidency. Your submission to the Committee can be long and detailed or it can focus on a single point (e.g., “Our next President should be an academic.” or “I believe that the search process should be open and short-listed candidates should make a public address to the Brock Community.”). But the Committee should hear from you!
The Advisory Committee has invited all members of the Brock community to provide input on this issue. Only a very small percentage of BUFA members participated in the town hall meetings held by the Committee. Should this very low level of contribution continue, we might seriously regret missing this opportunity to influence the search, for the reasons below.
First, the vacuum left by the lack of ideas from academics will be filled by the ideas from non-academics. Perspectives from other sectors will be represented and argued more strongly and more often than those of faculty and professional librarians and these may not align well with our own priorities in domains important to us.
Second, this may be the only chance we have to influence the process. In previous searches, once the position and the desired qualities in a candidate were defined, the entire hiring process was conducted in secret until a decision was made.
Third, a poor response by faculty and professional librarians might be interpreted by the Advisory Committee, the Administration, and the Board of Trustees as indicating that we don’t care about the process or the outcome, and thus reduce the effectiveness of our voice in future.
You can find details about the presidential search and information about how to express your views on the website http://brocku.ca/presidential-search. In addition, I have attached a copy of my column from the most recent BUFA Voice, which outlines some of the issues that we believe are important to consider in the search for Brock’s next President.
Linda Rose-Krasnor, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Psychology
President, Brock University Faculty Association
500 Glenridge Avenue
St. Catharines ON Canada L2S 3A1
Phone: 905-688-5550, ext. 3870