Arts Governance recommendations

James N. Porter (
Mon, 5 Jan 1998 22:21:08 -0500 (EST)

People - As you may recall, at an early meeting of Council this year
the Chair of the Council of the Faculty of Arts reported to Council a
decision of the Executive Committee to the effect that results of votes in
Council elections would only be reported in part to Council, specifically
that the names of those elected would be reported. He further noted that
the number of votes cast for a candidate would be reported to a candidate
upon request by that candidate, but that the votes cast for other
candidates would not be reported. In the case of my election as Council
representative to Senate, both the votes cast for me and the total number
of votes cast were reported to me at my request.

This is, I believe, an unacceptable lack of democratic openness in our
Faculty, and I doubt that it is supported by the majority of Councillors.
It irrationally constricts the knowledge by Councillors of the state of
opinion in the body politic and casts doubt upon the probity of the
election process. The reasoning advanced by the Chair in favour of the
ruling was condecending both to Council and to actual and prospective

Consequently, I request that among your recommendations to Council
you include full disclosure of all results of all Council elections.

You may also have heard that two motions respecting disclosure of
salaries of faculty appointed in the Faculty of Arts will be introduced at
the next meeting of Council. In the event that these motions have not
been debated and decided by Council at the time of your report, I request
that their substance be included as recommendations in your report. Neal
Madris <> is the person to be contacted for texts of
the motions.

Respectfully - James Porter
Associate Professor of Sociology, Arts