Notes on Governance Committee meeting of January 9, 1998

Marla Chodak (
Mon, 12 Jan 1998 18:12:42 -0500 (Eastern Standard Time)

Following are notes on our meeting of January 9, 1998. Dean Fallis has
indicated that members of the Dean's Office will be pleased to meet with
us on Friday, January 23; time and place to be confirmed, but please hold
our regular meeting time (12:30) on that date.

Present: A. Pilgrim, R. Drummond, G. Monette, L. Young, S. Kociper, M.

- it was noted that the committee has gone beyond the date at which it was
asked to report to Council (December /97); in addition to providing an
up-date to Council in February about the committee's agenda for the coming
months, the specific issue of voting procedures for Council elections
should be dealt with

- several agenda items to which the committee should direct its attention
(as arising from the Council motion) were noted:
- budget transparency; where decisions are made and on what
information and assumptions, i.e., process, not just outcomes of
decisions; communication of information and decisions to departments and
faculty members
- relation between the Dean and Council (financial accountability,
academic policy); Council input into decision-making;
responsibility of the Dean to Council (e.g., meaning and
implications of a Council motion of non-confidence in the Dean)
- evaluation of administrators
- democracy in Council and at the departmental level (including
students and contract faculty)
- role of Chairs

- it was suggested that the February report to Council should identify
these items and invite comment, both on the list of items (should some be
deleted/others added) and on the substance of the items - things not
within the purview of Council might be identified for reference to
appropriate bodies (e.g., Senate)

- particular concern was expressed about decision-making in relation to
appointments and the openness of results of such decisions; while it may
not be possible to have Council input to specific appointments decisions,
underlying assumptions (e.g., should appointments be aimed at building on
strengths or shoring up weak areas?) might be debated in Council

- in relation to election process, several issues were noted:
- should students be permitted to vote for faculty representatives
on Council committees; it was suggested that any move to restrict
students' power should be resisted though it is not clear that students
wish to vote for faculty
- should candidates for committees be given an opportunity to
provide statements about background and interest (such statements could be
made available on the web); other ways of allowing faculty (esp. new
faculty) to get to know each other better might also be considered
- nominating committee should include at least one junior faculty
- need to clarify who is eligible to vote
- nominating committee should try to have a number of nominees
equalling at least number of vacancies plus two for each committee or
- secretary of Council should count ballots with a member of
nominating committee present
- should results (#s of votes for each candidate) of elections be
announced -- probably yes
- distribution and collection of ballots to ensure security and
anomymity; several options were suggested for further
consideration/investigation of feasibility/costs/staff implications:
- distribution of ballots with individual members'
mailing labels
- distribution and collection of ballots by staff in
- setting up a central location where members can come to
- electronic balloting

Marla Chodak
Office of the Vice-President (Academic Affairs)
Room S935 Ross Building
York University
Phone: 416-736-2100; ext. 44505; FAX: 416-736-5876