By Tamsin McMahon
Claude Lajeunesse plans to accept another term as Ryerson’s president, but a committee reviewing his presidency says he will have to work to improve low faculty morale and communication.
Ryerson’s board of governors chose to offer the president a second five-year term beginning in the year 2000, after hearing recommendations at its Monday meeting form a committee set up to review the president.
In a report released Tuesday, the committee said it approved Lajeunesse’s performance and recommended he continue at the university.
But Dale Patterson, board of governors chair and head of the review committee, said he had received complaints from faculty that Lajeunesse was not addressing their morale problems.
Patterson called the faculty “unhappy campers.” He said the committee took their complaints seriously, so it recommended the president’s new mandate should address improving morale.
Ryerson faculty have been without a contract since June 30.
Ryerson Faculty Association president Michael Doucet said while faculty morale was low before Lajeunesse came to the school, it has decreased since he took office.
“I think a case can be made quite clearly that it has not improved during his term. In fact, quite the opposite has happened,” Doucet said. “There is the general perception that what we do is not appreciated by senior administration.”
Lajeunesse would not comment on how he plans to deal with unhappy faculty.
He said he was pleased with the way his review was handled. “I’m really honoured the board has offered me this appointment,” he said.
RyeSAC president David Steele, the only student representative on the review committee, said the president needs to improve his communication with students during his next term.
Steele said he wants Lajeunesse to have more activities with student, such as the fireside chat the president held earlier this school year with Pitman Hall residents.
“I think that he needs to do more of these sort of things with the broader student community,” Steel said. “It’s important for people to understand that the upper administration is listening to students.”
But Patterson said Lajeunesse will need to improve communication with faculty and staff as well.
“We had many people on the committee who didn’t’ know what the president did,” he said. “That’s contributed to the morale problem.”
The committee also recommended Lajeunesse, who was first appointed as president in 1994, increase fundraising efforts before his second term is up in 2005.