The University of New Brunswick’s business faculty passed a “non-confidence” motion against the UNB senior administration Friday morning.
The motion was passed at their faculty council meeting. The motioned passed with 19 in favour, two against and one blank ballot. This is the second department at UNB to pass such a motion. The arts faculty passed a similar motion last week.
The Brunswickan has also confirmed that the engineering and education faculty will be discussing and voting on similar motions next Wednesday.
Recently, UNB faculties were told they would face $1.2 million in cuts for the 2014-2015 academic year. Many faculties are arguing they cannot sustain any more cuts, and that university has strayed too far from its academic vision.
“I don’t think any of us are against financial prudence, but, we are against management decisions that divert resources away from our core mission activities in favour of supporting inflated bureaucracy and we are against a lack of transparency about such decisions,” said associate business professor Martin Weilmaker, who sits on the university-wide academic council.
“Management seems to forget they are not business owners…they are managers of public dollars and they are managers of a non-profit entity with mission-related versus profit-related goals.”
At UNB, non-confidence motions are not binding, meaning the senior administration doesn’t need to act upon them. However, faculties’ goal is to send a message.
“What I think it does is it clearly articulates to the senior administration that there is a fundamental concern: that they are not representing the core values of the university,” said English department chair Jennifer Andrews to the Brunswickan last week.
“And unless there is a very dramatic shift in behaviour, we as the core providers of services are not going to feel that we are able to do our jobs.” Facing another year of cuts, Andrews said many departments could soon be in trouble.
“It becomes very clear that departments are at the point where they are on the brink of losing accreditation, losing the abilities to deliver certain key programs whether it be graduate or undergraduate programs and the ability to serve students in the meaningful way,” she said.
UNB president Eddy Campbell said in the statement on Friday that he understands faculties’ frustrations and the university is working to address them.
“We understand some members of our faculty are frustrated right now, and we sincerely want to work with them to address their concerns. They have provided us with questions. We have already provided some responses and we will be sharing more information soon,” Campbell said.
“We are committed to providing more information about the decisions we make and why we make them. This is an investment in the future of UNB.”