Before the firing squad

In Editorial /

By Kenny Yum

It is said that the toughest judgment of your performance is done by your peers, your equals.  If so, Claude Lajeunesse, our school’s president, is facing a firing squad.

You see, Claude — I hope we can go by a first-name basis, Dr. Lajeunesse — is in the fourth year of a five-year term.  And, at this time, the university’s Board of Governors has set up a Presidential Advisory Review Committee to examine the possibility of a second five-year term.

Now this committee is stacked with 13 members, most of which come from our Board of Governors.  Only four come from outside this body, among them is David Steele, our only representative — the other three are faculty representatives.

So David, and Angela DeLuca, last year’s RyeSAC president and outgoing member of the Board, remain our only two voices on this committee.

The question we want to ask is: Is a judgment by peers fair in this case?

Might as well give the firing squad rifles loaded with Nerf ball bullets.

Now we can try arguing that a university is a democratic institution, where voices, like ours, have the same sway as those in the upper echelons of Jorgeson Tower.

But arguing along those lines proves futile — just remember the vote to raise tuition at the board level last year, which was passed by a staggering majority.  Yes, the board argued, through its votes, that tuition hikes are needed to ensure that this university stays in the black.

The truth is, this school is managed and run like a corporation.

Now imagine a corporation.  This corporation, which is publicly traded, has a Board of Directors.  Like most firms, this company operates to maximize stakeholder value.  Although its board has ultimate governing power, the shareholders can have the power to demand change.

How much say do you think a stakeholder should have?  And is it safe enough to say that students who have put in money into this corporation — stakeholders — should have a say?

Our Board seems to think so.  Last week, it sent a memo to “Faculty, Staff and Students” through the school’s internal mail.

In 10-point type in the middle of this letter, reads “…the committee wishes to provide all members of the Ryerson community with an opportunity to have their input into this important process.”

If you are reading this editorial on Wednesday, the 21, you have exactly six days to provide a submission, you input to Claude’s review.  If you are reading this past Oct. 26, we’re sorry, you lost your chance to have a say.

E-mail your response to parc@acs.ryerson.ca or drop it off at the 13th floor of Jorgenson.

The committee is waiting for your response, no doubt.  Drown them in it.

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