Students and faculty are mobilizing to push back against proposals that will severely limit the openness and transparency of Carleton University’s Board of Governors. Following on the Board’s controversial move to bar community members from attending Board meetings, the new policies will prevent Board members from disseminating information about Board proceedings and will ban union office holders from sitting on the Board.
In response, six campus organizations have issued a series of recommendations to democratize how the Board conducts its business. The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) is also investigating whether Carleton should be blacklisted for the proposed closed-door, uncollegial governance practices.
Carleton is the latest example of the challenges facing good governance at Ontario universities. Increasingly, administrators and Boards of Governors are subverting collegial governance and proper academic decision making in favour of a more corporate, top-down style. This type of governance is at odds with the principles of collegiality and collaboration at the heart of our universities.