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September 13, 2001 Students In BriefLetters


Faculty Association supports student ban

The executive of the Concordia University Faculty Association (CUFA) strongly supports the decisions of Concordia’s administration and Rector Fred Lowy to expel of two members of the Concordia Student Union and to refuse permission to use Concordia property for a large and potentially disruptive public rally.

CUFA’s principal concern is the preservation of an open and free university where students, staff, and faculty interact in the pursuit of knowledge. The protection and advancement of academic freedom is as close to an absolute requirement in university life as there is, and this right, if it is to be meaningful, has to be available to all members of Concordia’s diverse community.

For this reason we expect the university administration to provide a secure environment through which we can all, whatever our views, contribute to the cross-current of opinions that invigorate and inform university life.

We are proud of our university community’s tradition and practice of welcoming students and faculty regardless of their origin or views.

Throughout his term as rector, Dr. Lowy has represented Concordia with integrity and dignity. Members of the executive of CUFA who have dealt with him know Dr Lowy to be a most fair and open-minded administrator.

Suggestions that Rector Lowy has acted to countenance bias or prejudice at Concordia, or to deny anyone their right to due process are, frankly, not credible, and we reject them. We speak for the executive of the Concordia University Faculty Association, but we believe these views are shared by a vast majority of the students, staff and faculty who make up the Concordia community.

Academic freedom cannot thrive where the rule of law is undermined. All members of the Concordia community have the right to expect our administration to act to sustain, and ensure, our valued rights and civil liberties, that we believe are fundamental for the survival of the academy.

Lucie Lequin, president, for the executive of CUFA

Honour is hollow if given to all

I acknowledge your letter of July 23 informing me that I may attach the title of emeritus to my rank, a resolution that also applies to all retiring and already-retired faculty members.

What have I done so special? I find this resolution ridiculous, meaningless and very regrettable for the reputation of the university as a whole.

In my mind, the title of emeritus reflects exceptional academic achievement, for which the title of distinguished professor emeritus is now given.

If one gets an honorific title, it is normally for a special reason. To have been “in good standing” at the time of retirement has little to do with the notion of emeritus, and awarding this title to all does not achieve anything more than giving a phony title to all. When everyone gets merit, no matter what, no one has any merit!

I would have hoped that the Board of Governors and the Senate had better things to do than to award phony titles.

I hereby decline this title, as I am very satisfied with my past career at the university, at the rank of associate professor when I left.

Gérard Leduc

Petition to protest moving physics labs

We, the undersigned, ask the administration to reconsider its decision to move the physics laboratories to the new science complex on the Loyola campus.

We ask the administration to keep them in their present format (individual cabinets and flexible hours) on the eighth floor of the Hall Building or be integrated into the new engineering complex to be built on the corner of Guy and Ste. Catherine St..

One of the essential elements is that the physics laboratories be close to a Metro station. An estimated 1,500 student laboratories are taken each year. Every laboratory course has approximately 10 labs, making a total of 15,000 visits.

If the teaching laboratories are located at the back end of the Loyola campus this means that students will make 30,000 trips back and forth across town, some late at night in the dead of winter.

Moving the teaching physics laboratories to the back end of the Loyola campus will ensure that the physics program will die completely and inevitably, the entire science and engineering programs at Concordia.

The physics laboratories were created in 1967 when the Hall Building was built. They have served the community for 35 years, and will continue to do so in future if left in the present format. The teaching physics laboratories arose as an accident of history and are unique in the world. It would be a crime if the administration were to be allowed to wantonly destroy this resource that has served the community so well.

John MacKinnon, PhD, Associate Professor Emeritus
The petition may be signed at H-815-1.