Next up 2016-03-14


  • Why NO CONFIDENCE (2): the rhetoric of faith
  • Guilhem de Peitieus and CON
  • What next: constructive next steps. 

What to avoid, what’s not wanted, what to get rid of, these are very clear. Not throwing money at problems. Not sweeping thm under the carpet of yet more committees and subcommittees and facilitated workshops, not drowning faculty with good will and breaking them with admin, not farming out that policy-making admin to administrators, nor to admin-appointed expensive external consultants.

Elephants in the room: a need to cut swathes of middle management, the administrative bloat of all the vice presidents and accountants. A need for deans and univ admin to be perceived not as service (and self-sacrifice for the general good, good of colleagues) but as a step up a career ladder. The error of false professionalisation: let’s be LESS professional rather than more. A UBC that misunderstands “interest” and “the greater good.” Profit before people. Profit before all else. Short-term profit. The interest of UBC Properties. 

And how any of that ties in with First Nations rights, territory, and practices. Elephant in the room: obvious other ways of doing and being, right here, and anothr need: to acknowledge another side of that last 100 years of UBC history, just as the whole history of Canada and its development as a modern nation-state reads differently read from a First Nations point of view.

What I want but won’t happen: acknowledgement that harm has been done (this is most likely with the sexual assault mishandling, and with external legal action), genuine contrition, remorse. Regret. Apology. PUBLIC APOLOGY. Understanding of what a moral course of action would have been, that it didn’t happen, and that morality was ignored or an irrelevance or actors were reckless as to consequences of actions, and blind to their causing actual harm to other persons. And then making reparations for harm done.

What might happen: reparations, promises of future good behaviour, mechanisms to ensure that anyone in a position of power has noral fibre and receives ethical training (properly, not just as lip-service) as a pre-requisite for service, retraining every year, annual review (with opportunities for feedback: annual reviews are on balance positive helpful things). 

Stopping the current PSC immediately, before they present the university with a fait accompli and then, faced with complaints, offer a choice: continue, or stop and start again and spend more money. (Faculty in departments heavioy dependent on money from the university for experimental research may then follow the money… or otherwise be bought off / out.) 

A caretaker government in the interrim will involve compromise. That compromise may mean the current interrim president, for practical reasons. 

It should not include, in any position of power, anyone who has servd on the Board of Governors between July 2015 and March 2016 and who is therefore tainted by events in that time: whether from what they said or did, or what they left unsaid and undone (ex. not asking questions in meetings, swallowing half-information fed to them hook line and sinker). 
The Board should resign. As should the PSC. There should be fresh elections for both, asap. 

A compromise if the above is a negotiating starting-position: all tainted hands should go.

Suspension pending and in the duration of independent external investigation. At the Board’s expense. 

Truth and reconciliation (Northern Ireland, South Africa, Canada, Australia). Peace process. Balancing justice (and retribution, apology, “cleansing”) and future (ensuring past errors do not happen again, fairness, equity). 

But what happens in a period without government; or rather, without a continuity of the kind of government that there has been, treated as an immutable status quo? And there will have to be a transition period, and no, ensuring smooth business as usual is not a reason or an excuse for imposing a continuity. There are more important things: ethics, justice, righting wrongs.

Get colleagues in the appropriate departments working on historical and other parallels of caretaker governance. We have experts who can jollywell do some work here: in history, politics, Sauder, law, anthropology, CNERS, and the various — studies departments. 

Interrim period: limited government simply ensuring continuing smooth stable running, teaching and research, salaries paid, lights stay on, water, toilets flush, there’s toilet paper; no signing of any new contracts; no new projects; no new anything and no changes at all. Like when a department head is away in the summer and the associate head steps in temporarily: things like signing cheques, but not making any changes, not making any decisions. 

In short: a caretaker. As contrased with a full household staff under a housekeeper; or an active home-owner. 

Minimal government.

(And hey, it might catch on…)

Tie in with UBC100: evaluating the last 100 years, thinking forward to the next 100. Imagining UBC in 100 years. 

Creative project: writing, painting, film-making, theatre, dance, etc. of imaginary futures.

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