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March 28, 2002 Names in the News





A regular meeting of the Concordia Senate, held on April 5, 2002

Chief research officer:
A proposal was tabled for discussion by Provost and Vice-Rector (Research) Jack Lightstone. He said that judging from discussion at Faculty Councils, there are many points of agreement on this post (that the holder should be in the senior administration and vote in Senate), though some disagreement, notably on the name of the position and the voting structure. Some wanted to call it “Vice-Rector Research,” but other names had been suggested by Arts and Science, such as “Vice-Provost,” “Chief Research Officer,” and “Vice [or] Associate Provost and Vice-Rector Academic.”

In the discussion, Deans Martin Singer and Nabil Esmail expressed their concern about the creation of such a post (though they feel it is inevitable), because it would overlap with the deans’ role in overseeing research. Singer said that “incredible internal confusion” could result. Responding to a remark from Lightstone that the name given the post is relatively unimportant, he quoted Confucius to say that major misunderstandings result from using the wrong name. Esmail said that you can’t divide teaching and research, or have two academic visions that clash.

Rector Frederick Lowy said he would be the last to suggest a system parallel to the current one, which works well, but Concordia needs strong representation externally in terms of research, and should strengthen its central service component.

Lightstone gave a partial list of the external research bodies whose meetings he must attend, and added that “we weren’t even present at most of these bodies seven years ago.” As an example of how important this role is to the university, he gave the $7.5-million grant just awarded to Adrian Tsang (See story). Tsang’s application in the first round was unsuccessful, apparently because none of the Génome Québec adjudicators had any experience with the non-human genome. Lightstone said that he and Dean of Graduate Studies and Research Claude Bédard protested, and lobbied on behalf of the project, with the result that it was successful in the second round.

Dean of the John Molson School of Business Jerry Tomberlin said that having a vice-rector for research reporting to the provost fitted in with the structure of many large businesses, where one vice-president may report to another vice-president, and need not be confusing. “We’re making something complicated out of something relatively simple.”

Owing to the extended sick leave of one of the four chairs of the Tribunal Hearing Pool, and the expectation that more hearings will be needed than usual, University Counsel Bram Freedman proposed the appointment of lawyers Ilinca Ghibu and Vincent Lesage as chairs. Approved.

University by-laws: Discussion of proposed changes to these by-laws continued. The changes being considered were in the category of those conforming to current or longstanding practice.
Student election: Dr. Lowy congratulated the winning slate in the recent Concordia Student Union election (See story), and the chief electoral officer, who appeared to have done a good job.

Next meeting: May 10