concordia-woodsworth-0112

Concordia University President Judith Woodsworth said she was asked to step down, but the school said it was her request. ((CBC))

Professors at Concordia University are demanding an explanation from the school's Board of Governors after the suspicious departure of the university's president.

More than 200 Concordia professors have signed an open letter to the Board asking for a public review of the people who run the university, and the university's constitution.

The school announced only days before Christmas that Concordia University President Judith Woodsworth would be stepping down for personal reasons, but Woodsworth said she was asked to step down.

Mike Gasher, an associate professor of journalism at Concordia, wrote the letter and said most of the university is run quite democratically, and the Board should operate accordingly.

"I think there's far too much power concentrated over the governance of the university into a small body that really doesn't seem answerable to anyone," said Gasher.

concordia-gasher-0112

Concordia Associate Professor of Journalism Mike Gasher wrote an open letter to the university's Board of Directors. ((CBC))

Gasher said after two presidents leaving in the last three and a half years, and five vice-presidents leaving in the last six years, it's about time the Board be called to account.

"People read it as asking the board to clean up itself. Some people don't think that's good enough, and would really like to see the Minister of Education involved," he said.

A spokesperson for Concordia refused to comment on the letter, and denied recent rumors the university hired a public relations firm to deal with the school's recent fallout.

Concordia Student Union President Heather Lucas said the situation is unfortunate and supports the professors' demands.

"I think Concordia's a fine institution and it will remain that way," said Lucas. "But we need to look at the structure, on how decisions are made."

The Board will choose an interim president this week who will be in place by the end of the month.

With files from Kristin Falcao and Jesara Sinclair