On December 1, 2015, six campus organizations submitted to the Governance Committee of the Carleton University Board of Governors a list of recommendations for changing the Board to make it more democratic, accountable, and representative of the university community.
As graduate students, contract instructors, teaching assistants, research assistants, administrative and technical support staff, maintenance employees, patrol services staff, and postdoctoral scholars, we compose a significant portion of the diverse community here at Carleton University. Unfortunately, we have seen the Board of Governors continually fail to represent us, and to operate in an excessively secretive and heavy-handed manner.
Now, as the Board of Governors undertakes a review of its Bylaws, we have an opportunity to implement changes that would make the governance of the Board more democratic and accountable to the Carleton community, not less.
To read the entire submission, download the PDF document.
Summary of Recommendations
1.1. Better representation by reserving more seats for internal stakeholders, including contract instructors and postdoctoral scholars.
1.2. The Board must reflect the diversity of the Carleton community, and shift the balance so that internal stakeholders have at least 50% plus one of Board seats. Decisions should be made by the people who are affected by them.
1.3. The Bylaws should reaffirm the right of students and workers to elect their own representatives freely, including the right to elect their union executives to represent them at the Board level.
1.4. All elections for internal stakeholder seats should be held by the constituent organizations themselves, and not run by the University.
1.5. The nomination and elections for external “community-at-large” Governors should involve the campus community.
2.1. Governors must be allowed to freely communicate with the Carleton community.
2.2. The Board should affirm that Governors are accountable to their constituencies, and are encouraged to discuss (non-confidential) information with the people they represent.
2.3. The Board should affirm and encourage the responsibility of Governors to engage with the public about the (non-confidential) matters of the Board.
2.4. Governors’ contact information should be available to the Carleton community.
3.1. Open Meetings must be freely open to the public.
3.2. All sub-committees must be open to all Board members, including undergraduate and graduate students.
3.3. The full Board should be given better oversight of the Executive Committee, without limiting the Committee’s ability to respond to urgent items.
We trust that the Board will take these principled recommendations into account when revising its Bylaws. If you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact the below representatives of our organizations:
President, Graduate Students’ Association
President, CUPE 2424
Vice-President Internal, CUPE 4600
Vice President, CUPE 910
President, OPSEU 404
Executive Member, CUPA