The University of Northern British Columbia is standing behind the appointment of former Conservative cabinet minister James Moore as chancellor, despite the 1,500 signatures on a petition opposed to the move.

The anonymous petition, which has been endorsed by the faculty association in a tweet, says Moore's background and qualifications fall short of UNBC's official description for the position of Chancellor.

It claims Moore was a willing participant in a government that muzzled federal scientists, failed to address global climate change, refused to consider an inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous woman, and — during the last election — exploited anti-Muslim sentiment.

But UNBC Board of Governor's Chair Ryan Matheson says the appointment will remain in place.

"I'm listening, James is listening, the board is listening ... to the discussion that's there. The result, the announcement from the board of governors is that we will be moving forward with James Moore as the next chancellor for UNBC," he said.

According the the university website the Chancellor is the ceremonial head of the university, conferring all degrees, acting as a senior representative of the university, and distinguishing the university by his/her reputation as an outstanding leader in British Columbia and in Canada.

'It's sincerely an honour'

Moore earned his undergraduate degree from the Prince George university and is the first alumnus to be named chancellor. 

Shortly after graduating from UNBC, at the age of 24, Moore was elected as the Canadian Alliance MP in the riding of Port Moody-Coquitalam- Port Coquitlam in the 2000 federal election.

He told CBC last week the appointment was an honour. He says the decision to leave the Lower Mainland and study in B.C.'s north was a pivotal time in his life.

"I wanted to have that dual experience of academic exposure but also learn more about myself and to be away. And frankly I wanted to know a little bit more about British Columbia." he said.

He is scheduled to officially take the unpaid position position next May. The appointment will last for three years.