For the second December in a row, Mount Allison University lost a senior academic administrator, and it is causing concern among the university’s faculty.
“The recent resignation of the Vice-President (Academic and Research) indicates a serious crisis in administrative leadership within Mount Allison University,” says Professor Paul Berry, President of the Mount Allison Faculty Association (MAFA).
In a December 17th email to the university community, Dr. Michael Fox, now the former Vice-President, explained that he was resigning because “I simply could not see any real opportunity to make a meaningful contribution, based on my own personal approach to administration and principles of professional behaviour.”
He also noted in the email that he had “struggled to move the academic agenda forward in an environment of long-held ideologies, policies and processes within the administration of the University.”
“In the past year, the two most senior academics at the University have resigned, and the Board of Regents has shown a lack of concern for academic quality at Mount Allison,” Professor Berry says. A year ago, popular President Wayne MacKay refused to accept a five-year contract extension, leaving the job this year to an interim appointee.
“Dr. Michael Fox enjoyed the confidence of the faculty, students and staff at this institution, and we are really concerned that the positive changes he was trying to make will be blocked by other senior administrators and the Board of Regents,” Berry says.
Some of the concerns of faculty members were expressed at the meeting of Faculty Council last week, where a motion was passed calling for a special meeting of Faculty Council on January 28. Members of the Board of Regents will be invited to attend the meeting and to discuss issues relating to the academic leadership of Mount Allison University.
Berry says the faculty is also concerned about the coming search for a new President, and fear that the Board of Regents may plan on once again becoming more involved in the day-to-day running of the institution.
For further information, call Paul Berry, (w) (506) 364-2289 , (h) (506) 536-2974.
(Michael Fox’s email is available on request.)
Commerce Dept., Mount Allison University
144 Main St, Sackville, NB, E4A 1A7
tel. (506) 364-2330, fax. 364-2625