A regular meeting of the Concordia Senate, held on April 5,
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 cant 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
Lightstone gave a partial list of the external research bodies whose meetings
he must attend, and added that we werent 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).
Tsangs 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. Were
making something complicated out of something relatively simple.
Tribunals: 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