In accordance with University procedures for selecting senior administrators, an open meeting was held December 10 to present the only candidate for Provost and Vice-Rector, Research, for the five-year term that begins June 1, 2000.
The post was widely advertised; 19 applications were received, and six candidates interviewed. Two were chosen for the shortlist, but one of those withdrew, leaving only the incumbent, Jack Lightstone.
"My enthusiasm for this University has never waned," Lightstone told the 50 or so people who attended the December 10 meeting.
He remarked that the past five years have seen more change than he can remember in his 23 years at Concordia, with deep funding cuts, the renewal of the faculty complement, and innovative reconfiguration of many course offerings.
"Fortitude, flexibility and mutual trust" are needed to continue to meet the challenges of the future, he said. He admitted that he had made "some mistakes," and "was made aware of them," a reference to the sometimes difficult academic planning process.
He listed coming challenges, including finding appropriate academic space, "learning to earn our own way," being accountable to students and the public, meeting the information-technology revolution, and responding to the incursion of francophone universities into the anglophone constituency.
The questions put to Lightstone were generally low-key and thoughtful. They made reference to the administration of research services, the involvement of staff in decision-making, the need to respond at the graduate level to an increasing interest in interdisciplinarity, the lack of a supportive structure for teachers working heavily with teaching technology, and the pressures of teaching and other duties on funded researchers. - BB