UNB president won't quit amid faculty concerns
Eddy Campbell defends university's administration despite concerns from 4 faculties
University of New Brunswick president Eddy Campbell has no intention of resigning despite a growing number of academic faculties that have passed motions of non-confidence in the university’s administration.
“I chose to come here in 2009 because I really liked what I saw here at this university — I saw enormous potential,” Campbell said on Information Morning Fredericton on Monday.
“I haven't regretted that decision for a moment. I really like being here. I am really attracted by what we are doing. We face a challenge at the moment ... But I tell you, I have no intention of going anywhere.”
Four faculties — arts, business, education and engineering — have all passed motions of non-confidence or expressed concerns about the university’s management practices.
The motions have all been passed in the months after the university went through a labour dispute in January.
About 550 full-time professors, teaching staff and librarians walked off the job on Jan. 13 over concerns about wages and working conditions. Classes did not resume again until Feb. 3.
The new contract calls for salary increases of 2.5 per cent in the first two years of the deal, with any increase in the third year to be determined through arbitration.
Administration answering questions
Campbell said members of the university’s administration have been holding meetings on campus since the end of the dispute to answer questions.
The votes of non-confidence show that more needs to be done to smooth over the problems with the university’s faculty, he said. The fact that four faculties have formally voted to express their concerns with the university suggests the lines of communication could be improved, Campbell added.
Campbell said the discontent is a product of nine years of cutbacks, which have been necessary because expenses are growing by four per cent, while revenues only grow by two per cent.
The university president said that has meant fewer faculty members. But he said he rejects the suggestion the administration has been growing.
“There are folks we hire on a one-time basis, you might call it soft money or people in term positions that we brought on to help us with some of our efforts to generate new revenue,” Campbell said.
“And those people, it’s true, have increased. But it is not just as straightforward to say the administration is growing at the expense of the faculty. I think that statement in and of itself is not accurate.”
Campbell also said the administration’s small management group was supported by the wider board of governors in many of the decisions now being questioned.
The administration is planning a number of meetings in the coming weeks to try to win back support.
Further, Campbell said the university’s senate will be having a special meeting where the administration hopes to explain its past decisions and discuss the future.
“I am pretty sure that meeting will generate another series of questions and we have to be prepared to answer those,” he said.