Students send Claude feedback

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By Tamsin McMahon

More students than were expected have sent in their feedback on Ryerson president Claude Lajeunesse. 

A committee set up to review the president has almost a month until they decide the president’s future at Ryerson.

Lajeunesse’s five-year contract ends in 2000, but he has an option to renew if the review committee decides to offer him another term.

Last month, the committee called on students, staff and faculty to send in their reviews of the president by letter or e-mail.

Student evaluation of the Ryerson president turned out to be longer and more detailed than the committee expected.

RyeSAC’s president David Steele, who sits on the 13-member committee, said the student response was excellent.

“I expected more sarcastic or not serious responses,” Steele said, “but they were all well-though out.”

But committee chair Dale Patterson said he hoped to see more student input.  Between 16 and 18 students sent in responses, mostly through e-mail, while 35 to 40 faculty members sent evaluations, said Patterson.

The committee plans to compile to compile the responses at a five-hour meeting next Monday and will make their final recommendation to Ryerson’s board of governors Nov. 30.

Unlike Ryerson’s past president Terry Grier, who had his contract extended by two years without a review, Lajeunesse had to complete a self-evaluation and will have a one-and-a-half-hour interview with the committee.

“This is an awkward time for our president,” Patterson said.  “Claude’s in a situation that he knows that everyone knows about [his review].”

The committee will also interview everyone from faculty deans to government  ministers and corporate leaders.  And they hired the same consulting firm that helped appoint Lajeunesse in 1994 to make sure all bases were covered.

Patterson said such a thorough review is needed.  “The president is the most significant appointment,” he said.  “You can’t afford to make a mistake.”

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