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Faculty are leaving for more money

by Laurie Zack

Concordia is a bit like the Montreal Expos, explained Rector Frederick Lowy at the first Board of Governors meeting of the year, held September 15: We develop rookie faculty talent that universities outside Quebec then lure away with higher salary offers.

Both Dr. Lowy and Provost Jack Lightstone gave examples of the serious impact of provincial funding cuts on our operations in presentations to the Board. Lightstone reported that 68 of the 80 faculty resignations (not retirements) since 1992 have occurred in the last three years. Most of the faculty members who left were in the prime of their careers. He suggested that higher salaries elsewhere were a major factor.

Dr. Lowy added that because of Quebec's slashing of funding to universities over the past five years, the province now invests 18 per cent less per student than four years ago, compared to Ontario, where funding per student has increased by 21 per cent over the same four-year period.

On a more positive note, Lowy told the Board members that enrolment was up for the third straight year (see story, page 1) and that both our average entering grades, as well as our graduation success rates, have risen steadily over the past four years.

Concordia Student Union president Rob Green raised the issue of more student representation on the search committee for Vice-Rector, Services. (The three-year term of Charles Emond ends on December 31.) The Board was asked to approve an 11-member advisory search committee that includes two student representatives, but Green argued that given the impact that the portfolio has on students, each of the four Faculties should be represented on the search committee.

After a lengthy discussion, Green's motion was defeated, but at the suggestion of the Rector and Board Vice-Chair John Parisella, Green was invited to sit on a task force that is reviewing the rules and procedures for senior administrative appointments.

The Board approved a memorandum of agreement between the University and the Graduate Students Association that sets out a legal framework for issues such as collection of fees, services, accounting, the use of the Concordia name and emblem, representation on University bodies and various other contractual and legal responsibility issues. The agreement is a model for similar agreements being concluded with other student associations.

Copyright 1999 Concordia's Thursday Report.