Our committee and its mission

David Bakan (dbakan@yorku.ca)
Fri, 2 Jan 1998 11:10:54 -0500 (EST)


To my fellow members of the committee from the Faculty of Arts on governance:

I have been reflecting a lot about our committee and its mission. I believe
that we have to go back to the Faculty of Arts and tell them that the task
which is involved necessarily goes beyond the Faculty of Arts to the whole
University.
The issues of governance are about the way in which decisions concerning the
apportionment of resources and appointments are made. The issues of
governance of the University are about the procedures that legitimated the
decisions that produced the "hollowing of the York University" indicated in
the following note which is posted on the YUFA website:

The Hollowing of York University

from a Sept. 3, 1997 posting on YUFA-L, updated on Sept. 16

Between 1991/92 and 1996/97:

The number of full time undergraduate students rose from 23,263 to 26,015.
The number of full time graduate students rose from 2,210 to 2,416.

The number of professional librarians dropped from 44 to 35.
The number of part-time faculty dropped from 1,401 to 702.
The number of contractually limited faculty dropped from 105 to 43.
The number of tenured/probationary faculty dropped from 1,144 to 1,082.

Income from operating grants and fees rose from $251.5 to $285.2 million.
Total administration expenses rose from $20.1 million to $23.7 million.
Total instruction and research expenditures fell from $182.7 million to
$174.6 million

According to the same sources, York now has the highest administration
expenses among all Ontario
universities and the second-fastest increase over the last 20 years
(143% increase since 1978/79;
only Nipissing is faster at 196%). Meanwhile, York's
instruction/research expenditures increased by
only 57%.

Sources:

Fact Book and
April 30, 1996 Financial Statements
COU Financial Report of Ontario Universities

I suggest that we go back to the Faculty of Arts with a proposal that this
committee be abolished, and that the Senators in the Faculty of Arts act to
create a Senate Committee to examine the governance of the university as a
whole.