A recent Ubyssey editorial accusing UBC of breaking the law by withholding information requested under BC’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, was immediately followed by the university’s release of 861 pages of documents (plus attachments) that give context to Gupta’s resignation and the behind the scenes skullduggery of the university’s Board of Governors.
The UBC Faculty Association has formally questioned the Board’s practice of secrecy and resulting lack of accountability, and is calling for “an external review of the Board and its practices.” The most recent Board of Governors meeting was crashed by UBC faculty, staff, and students who, under the banner of Take Back #TUUMEST, are demanding an audit of the university’s governance structure, a retooling of the Board’s mechanisms of accountability and transparency, and a recall of its membership.
In response to the Ubyssey editorial, a student letter published yesterday describes how UBC leadership has a habit of disregarding the university’s responsibilities under BC legislation, and particularly highlights how UBC’s Office of the University Council has contributed to opacity around the CIRDI mining institute by repeatedly thwarting the Freedom of Information mechanism.
In June 2015 we demonstrated how top UBC executives hustled a poorly considered Harper initiative through the back-channels of the Board’s decision-making structures, ultimately leading to CIRDI’s dubious establishment at the university.
In the aftermath of Gupta’s departure and leaked documents, UBC leadership is caught with its pants down. And folks are really starting to notice. It’s time we bring some transparency and accountability to the university. Alongside the Faculty Association’s demands and the Take Back #TUUMEST movement, urge UBC and BC’s Ministry of Advanced Education to sponsor formal, external reviews of the decision-making process that ultimately allowed the CIRDI mining think-tank into our university.
Reny Kahlon, Managing Director of UBC’s Board of Governors, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Andrew Wilkinson, Minister of Advanced Education, 250.356.0179, AVED.Minister@gov.bc.ca
Sandra Carroll, Deputy Minister, 250.356.5170, AVED.Deputy.Minister@gov.bc.ca
Claire Avison, Assistant Deputy Minister, 250.217.9059, Claire.Avison@gov.bc.ca
Ministry of Advanced Education’s “Government Communications & Public Engagement Office,” 250.952.6400