Re: Draft of query letter

L. Young (lyoung@yorku.ca)
Sun, 09 Nov 1997 17:41:50 +0000


Hello David,
Here some comments.
L=E9lia
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All decisions should flow, directly or indirectly, from values and =

principles enunciated in the University Act and differentiated over the =

years by collective debate. To what extend are decisions and the =

decision-making process reflective of these underlying principles? Do =

decisions emanate from arbitrary procedures, nonaccountable dictates, =

secret covens, etc., at one extreme, or speak to the advancement of =

learning, dissemination of knowledge, development of university =

members, and betterment of society at the other. We need a =

decision-making culture steeped in respect for each individual in our =

community (student, professor, fulltime faculty, contract faculty, =

etc.), the community as a whole, and its societal context. These and =

related values should impregnate decision-makers at the university. =

They need to be educated so that they are on constant vigil, so that =

they feel a deep personal satisfaction in respecting and contributing =

to the communal process.

As for my role as representative of contract faculty, I believe that =

once the decision-making process becomes value-based and sensitive to =

all members of our community, then the contract faculty at York (among =

them around 800 unit 2 members, according to the1995-96 estimate) will =

come to be better respected and incorporated at all levels of =

university decision-making. Inevitably, this will lead to more time for =

us to improve the quality of our research, teaching, and administrative =

service. And moreover, we are confident that a value-based =

decision-making culture will recognize some of our most important =

concerns, such as obtaining more conversions for qualified/ competent =

long service.

As for the particular question at hand, of addressing questions to =

chairs about decision-making, I wonder to what extent they function =

from within the perspective that I have described. We need specific =

questions concerning the decision-making practices involving them, both =

in the past and present, but more important we need general questions =

(i.e., about principles / values) which address the manner in which =

these procedures should function in the future.

L=E9lia Young