Thursday, July 20, 2017
Last updated: 2 years ago

Senate report says changes not coming to presidential selection processes

The procedures it took to select this man will remain largely the same. File Photo Cherihan Hassun / The Ubyssey

The procedures it took to select this man will remain largely the same. File Photo Cherihan Hassun / The Ubyssey

Despite calls for change following the scandal surrounding the unexpected resignation of UBC president Arvind Gupta last month, a university Senate report released yesterday says the processes for selecting a president will remain the same.

The report attributed the lack of change to the pressure the Senate and the university face in finding a new leader before interim president Martha Piper leaves in June.

“Given more time, the nominating committees believe that a document more in line with other leading institution could be produced; however, we are acutely aware of the time pressure facing the University to find a successor,” read the report.

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UBC Public Affairs said no members of senate were available for comment, referring The Ubyssey to a statement from Chancellor Lindsay Gordon.

“The nominating committees of UBC’s senates believe that the university should establish an ongoing policy on presidential searches, taking input from both UBC’s traditions and best practices across Canada and the world, rather than striking new terms of reference with each presidential search. I welcome that discussion,” said Gordon.

Criticism over the presidential search process was raised as news came out that Gupta will continue to be paid his full presidential salary of $446,750 over the next year and that the search process that selected Gupta cost $430,000. Given that it usually takes a year to settle into the president’s job, some have complained that nearly $1.5 million was spent on bringing Gupta into the job before he abruptly departed.

Former faculty Board of Governors representative Nassif Ghoussoub pointed out in an interview with The Ubyssey last month that a poor search process may have been responsible for Gupta’s brief tenure.

“[Maybe] we selected the wrong person who just couldn’t handle it for one reason or another,” said Ghoussoub. “Somebody should be accountable.”

The Senate will discuss the report and other matters at their meeting tomorrow at 6 p.m. in room 812 of Irving K. Barber Learning Centre.