Decanal...(2 of 8)

James N. Porter (
Sun, 11 Jan 1998 17:17:39 -0500 (EST)

as promised - James

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sun, 11 Jan 1998 14:21:38 -0500
From: nuri t jazairi <nuri@YORKU.CA>
Reply-To: York University Faculty Association List <YUFA-L@YORKU.CA>
Subject: Re: Please tell me...

Phillip - many, many thanks for this very thoughtful contribution to an
important topic. Another reform I believe would have enormous implications
is that the dean should not be part of the "administration". He or she
will be responsible for negotiating the Faculty budget but s/he will spend
her time on the academic concerns of her Faculty and not on the committees
and politics of "restructuring" and fund-raising.

Nuri Jazairi

On Sun, 11 Jan 1998, Phillip Silver wrote:
> Paul,
> Today is a hectic tidy-things-up day preparatory to heading to Winnipeg,
> but I think your very direct question to me on Jan 8 deserves as mush of
> an answer as I can give now, with perhaps some elaboration at a future
> time.
> You asked if I was REALLY satisfied with the current process for the
> decanal search. The answer is both "yes" and "no".
> YES given the point of departure, the info we had when we started, the
> support faculty members have given to the process and the result, which is
> a committee that both in numbers and distribution is far more
> representative than previous committees have been. My personal judgment
> is that it will be a balanced committee with strong
> representation from various points of view. James Tenney's e-mail gives
> some indication of faculty council's support for the process. And I guess
> that, to some extent, my satisfaction with the process is secondary to
> theirs. As I pointed out in my first YUFA-L, I was not and still am not
> aware of FFA council (YUFA) members who were unhappy with the way we
> proceeded.
> NO because, as we proceeded, we did discover things that were not as we
> came to think they should be, or were the subject of alternate
> interpretations. It seems to me that the composition of any search
> committee should be unassailable so that their eventual
> recommendation(s) will also be seen as unassailable (or at very
> least, valid as an expression of the will of a majority of faculty).
> There have already been some informal discussions as to the changes we
> might make for the next time. I hope that before this term is over our
> Council Executive will be able to draft motions for debate in Council on
> these items. To give some idea of what some of us now feel should be
> in place:
> - The current York decanal reappointment process seems to start at the
> President's level, with the Pres asking a Dean if s/he wishes to continue
> into a second full or partial term. If the answer is "Yes", the Pres
> then asks Council for its support/non-support, with whatever votes,
> letters, forums, etc. council establishes to ascertain that support. Our
> Council has shown interest in procedures that essentially are an
> assumption of a FIXED five year term for a Dean, with the COUNCIL
> initiating the request to the President for an extension or renewal. This
> obviously has to happen at a predetermined time in the Deans' term, so
> that the timeline for the possible search is sufficient.
> - There was very little in our Faculty records that clearly stated the
> search committee routine, and as we have already discussed, the contract
> and "search procedures" documents leave too much potential for
> interpretation. I hope that Council wil be able to draft procedures that
> clearly outline the actual numbers, the distribution of reps and the
> methods for election among faculty, staff, grads and undergrads, as well
> as how we should put forward our recommendations to the President for
> her/his appointees. There are obviously several parties to all this and we
> will work with them to assure that their independence is protected and
> their input is assured. All of this would have to be clearly within the
> letter and spirit of 12.28.
> So to sum up, from where we started to where we are, I do think the
> process has created a committee that will serve the faculty and the
> Faculty well. I don't think the proposed improved procedures would
> have found a better group of individuals, but it would have made
> their election a cleaner process.
> Phillip Silver
> Department of Theatre
> York University
> Phone: (416) 736-2100, ext. 44019
> e-mail:
> Home Phone: (519) 273-3760 Fax: (519) 273-4651