UNBC Board of Governors confirm Moore choice

Former federal cabinet minister James Moore will be University of Northern B.C.'s next chancellor.

The university's Board of Governors made the final decision last week at an in-camera special meeting after the November appointment earned community and faculty backlash.

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In an email to faculty Wednesday, chair Ryan Matheson said "the board listened to and considered feedback, positive and negative, received from university stakeholders, including students, senate, faculty, staff and community members."

Matheson said he couldn't tell the Citizen how many voted for or against keeping Moore as its sixth chancellor and the first alumni to take up the role.

"We're not at liberty to discuss the specifics of the vote," Matheson said.

"It was a respectful conversation and a productive discussion that we continue to want to have at UNBC... We were able to have the dialogue that we needed to have and ultimately we moved forward with the decision we had made."

The UNBC Faculty Association said it was disappointed with the decision.

"The board of governors is responsible to the university and the public and they should be looking for opportunities to bring people together rather than divide them," said Stephen Rader, association president.

"I don't feel with this whole thing is they've taken that responsibility really seriously.

"As far as I know we've never had a contentious appointment previous to this. It's hard to imagine that in all of Canada that they couldn't have found a better choice."

But Matheson said the board agreed Moore was the best choice.

"We know he can help us with our fundraising endeavours, our student recruitment, our government relationships," he said.

"I think the board looked at the totality of who the individual was and his qualifications."

Rader also objected to the process that led to Moore's appointment, although Matheson said UNBC followed all the proper procedures.

"The University Act is very clear about the board's requirement to consult with senate," Rader said.

"The senate was informed that this was the choice that had been made, but informing somebody is not the same as consulting with them."

At its December meeting, the senate almost unanimously agreed to notify the board that the senate wasn't sufficiently consulted about Moore's appointment, which was made after nomination by the school's alumni association.

An online petition, started by an anonymous member of the senate in November, has more than 2,100 signatures calling for the board of governors to reverse its decision for Moore as chancellor.

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