250 News - Your News, Your Views, Now

October 28, 2017 1:16 am

Students Formulating Response to Moore’s Appointment

Friday, December 4, 2015 @ 12:29 PM

Prince George, B.C. – The  Northern Undergraduate Student Society (NUGSS) at UNBC  is  inviting  Chancellor-elect James Moore to  come to the  UNBC campus  early in the new year.

In a  statement issued today,  NUGSS President Duncan Malkinson   says the  Society’s Board   held a  meeting recently and  passed a resolution  which calls  for  James Moore to be  invited to speak with students and that  NUGSS  “conduct an opinion poll of students to aid in the creation of a position on his appointment as Chancellor.”

Moore’s appointment  to the ceremonial role  has been challenged by the  University’s Faculty Association which  cites  policies and practices  of the Harper government,  of which Moore was a  member, as running afoul of  the University’s mission.

Malkinson says the  NUGSS Board is ” committed to engaging students on this issue to make the best decision possible. I hope that confidence and respect prevail in the coming weeks as this pivotal period in the university’s story is navigated through.”

Moore has  said he welcomes the  discussion over his appointment,  and the  Board of Governors  has  said it will  stand firm on this appointment ( see previous story).

Meantime, an online petition posted anonymously by a member of the UNBC senate on November 27th continues to gather signatures.   The petition, urging the UNBC Board of Governors to reverse the decision to appoint Moore as chancellor, has now been signed by 1,957 people.




These students should devote this degree of energy to their studies. It’s a nonsense ceremonial position, if you don’t like it, ignore it.

If UNBC’s Board of Governors is standing firm on the James Moore appointment, then this is a wasted exercise and expense. The BoG has already indicated that they do not listen to the opinions of UNBC’s stakeholders. This includes UNBC’s current students.

NUGSS and UNBC’s other stakeholders must now find a way to force UNBC’s BoG into alignment with the goals and the mission of the institution. UNBC’s leadership should not be permitted to make arbitrary decisions that do not reflect the interests of their constituents.

NUGSS and UNBC’s other stakeholders must now find a way to force UNBC’s BoG into alignment with the goals and the mission of the institution. UNBC’s leadership should not be permitted to make arbitrary decisions that do not reflect the interests of their constituents.


Their mission is to get you that little piece of paper, a piece of paper that 48% of you will use to get a job in the field you studied. Their mission is not to bend over to a bunch of people who are wasting their time trying to turn a non-issue into an issue.

Too many people are posting that the position of Chancellor is JUST a title and ceremonial position.

On the other side we have faculty who are concerned about the appointee. Most of those faculty have experiences from other Universities and thus can be expected to have more knowledge about what a Chancellor actually does or should be doing. The position is not just there for show. It is much borader than that.

Here is the description from one of Canada’s older and more established universities to give those who are not familiar with what is expected of a University Chancellor in Canada, which, by the way, is different from Chancellors in the USA.

The Chancellor serves as chair of Convocation, and confers all degrees of the University. The Chancellor is also the titular head of the University, and, with the President and the Chair and Vice-Chair of the Governing Council, represents the University to the external community.
In this role, the Chancellor is an advocate for the vision of the University as it is articulated by the President and endorsed by the Governing Council. He/she plays an essential ambassadorial role in advancing the University’s interests within the local, provincial, national and international arenas.

The Chancellor will be a distinguished person with a record of demonstrated excellence in his/her chosen field and in service to the community. Ideally, the Chancellor will be an individual whose reputation and experience will assist the Chair of the Governing Council and the President in “opening doors” both nationally and internationally.

Expectations of the Chancellor include the following:
• Demonstrated passion for the University
• Strong public presence and profile
• Well-developed relationship-building skills
• Evidence of ability to fulfill the ceremonial requirements of the position – desire, energy and stamina
• a student-friendly presence or demeanour
• a high level of ease and comfort with ceremony
• Integrity and commitment to inclusiveness.

He/she will exemplify and symbolize the University by his/her conduct and the standards he/she sets. The Chancellor will understand and be sensitive to the needs and concerns of all estates of the University, and will share the President’s commitment to equity, excellence and diversity.

He/she will be an individual who has a professional and personal profile which will facilitate the administration’s efforts to make the case for public research universities in government and other arenas. The Chancellor will add to the ability of the University’s senior officers to represent and respond to the diverse interests found among the University’s members, alumni and friends.

Fundraising Activities
The Chancellor works closely with the President and the Vice-President, Advancement, and will be active, visible, and credible in fundraising campaigns and have connections and access to public and/or private funders. The Chancellor must have the respect of many of the corporate/foundation/special interest groups with which the University must cultivate and maintain relations.

Community Outreach
The Chancellor will be an articulate and effective communicator, comfortable in a wide variety of public and private settings and across a diverse range of audiences.

All that, and it is a voluntary position with payment for out of pocket expenses.

As with voluntary positions, sometimes one gets a dud and at other times one lucks out with excellent benefits accruing to the University.

This letter to the editor, from todays Citizen, has hit the nail on the head:

I have lived here for a while now, and I never thought it would come to this, but in a way I am not surprised. Some people at UNBC don’t agree with the values of the new chancellor. Well I’ve got news for you, there are some people in this town that don’t agree with your values.

I was under the impression that a university is a centre for higher learning. Closing one’s mind to other people’s views is not the way to enlightenment. A diverse university should be more than just what suits the faculty. My beliefs and values should be as important as yours. Who represents me? Don’t forget, this university is a public institution. It’s not only for you, or the students that attend, it’s for the whole community.

What’s the plan here? Shall we go through the students and not allow anybody with a conservative view to attend? Shall we go through the staff? The left thinks that they are on a roll and they are going to drum out anybody that doesn’t agree with their views. I don’t see a University of Northern BC for Liberals anywhere. I would hope that the university does not cave in to this type of phony, goody-two-shoes tripe.

David N. Moffat

Prince George

…well said Mr. Moffat!!

I see a lot of entitled people who think they deserve to vet and appoint.

If you want to have your opinion “respected” try acting smarter.

The students and faculty at the pricey day care on the hill should realize one day that the stakeholders of UNBC are the taxpayers that subsidize their sorry asses.

Sounds to me that a bunch of useless left wingers trying to find a reason for existence. Sometimes, you just don’t get everything you asked for, or are you one of those useless kids, that the parents gave you everything that you asked for, so you feel the rest of the world needs to serve your entitlement.

I say shut up, and get in the real world. Where you’re waste deep into crap you don’t know, and you see more flowing your way. That is what the real people are doing, and paying taxes, to support your lily assed life style. So stop your whinning.

The indoctrinated up in Pleasantville sure got their knickers in a knot about nothing. Yes well said Mr. Moffat.

Welcome him and you might learn something from each other about diversity.

All this from some left wing students who think the world owes them something
AND they haven’t paid a cent in taxes yet.

Hope their parents will someday get more for their money than the useless and ignorant whining the students are presenting them with at this time.

These students are here for a short period of time. They are somewhat representative of North Central BC.. but they are not in a position, nor do they have the knowledge to pass judgement on this appointment.

The faculty are in the process of setting up a bargaining unit to represent them, and advocate for higher wages, benefits, etc; so one can see why they might prefer a left leaner for a Chancellor.

Bottom line. This University is in trouble. Has been for a number of years. Enrolments have not gone up for a number of years and in fact have declined. Enrolments for 2015 are down 5.6%. There are no indications at this time that enrolments will increase anytime soon.

The University does not forecast any increases in funding from the Provincial Government in the near term, and are projecting a deficit of $2 Million per year for the next three years. Who knows what will happen after that.

So. Lets get our heads out of our backsides and figure out a way to make this University as viable as others in BC and Canada, or admit that we stand a good chance of losing it.

The kind of BS surrounding this appointment has no benefit whatsoever to the University, or to its reputation in the region/province/country.

We have bigger fish to fry, so lets move out of the area of mediocrity and into the world of common sense.

Students haven’t paid a cent in taxes yet?

If they work they pay federal and provincial income tax.
If they purchase anything, they pay GST and PST.
If they drive, they pay carbon tax on gas.
The only tax they likely aren’t paying is property taxes. Property taxes fund municipal services, not UNBC.

This article about the Chancellor issue deals with current students, and specifically the undergraduate students. It really does not matter whether they are paying taxes or not. They do have to pay tuition, lodging away from home for many of them, not going to work or working only part time while going to University, etc. It is well known that a University education costs money for those who participate.

Too many commentators are forgetting that the very purpose of a University is to teach in an environment which encourages students to learn. That simple fact means that the students are the primary clients. As we know from private businesses, if the clients are not satisfied with the service and products, they tend to leave and take their business elsewhere as soon as they can. As Palopu so often points out, enrolment at UNBC is not as good as it could be. Assuming that is true when compared to other similar universities, we may be looking at one of the reasons right now with this issue.

The undergraduate clients, via their association, have not taken a position on this yet. In fact, it is the alumnus association which has had some input, of which Mr. Moore is a member and he hopefully abstained from providing input with respect to his pending appointment. The students have rightfully realized that whoever is Chancellor may have an outcome on their education at UNBC and are doing what reasonable people do, informing themselves to the best of their ability of the issue and, for what it might be worth, take some action based on their findings.

What an education in participatory action they are receiving. This is all about quality and who participates in making decisions about the quality of an educational institute. How important a role does a Chancellor play? How important is the symbolism that he/she represents?

It is not for me to be the judge of that, nor most of the people posting on here. It is, however, the responsibility of all involved in the process to be the judge of that and provide the best informed input that they can. In my opinion, we are seeing the basic principles of quality management and decision making regimes at play.

gopg2015 That sounds like wishing on a moonbeam. In a perfect world what you state maybe, but with the indoctrinated bunch up in Pleasantville and their critical lacking of critical thinking, no chance.

The students should get back to their books The faculty association should butt out. The decision on who will be chancellor was made by the board of Governors for this appointment the same as the previous 5 or 6.

Why is this one different?. Anyone with half a brain and a butt would know that this one is different because Moore is a Conservative. This crap is a carry over from the last election, and has no place at the University.

Time to get on with issues that are much more serious and have much more merit.

At the end of the day this chancellor will complete his term and move on much the same as the others, and will have very little impact on anything.

Most people in this town could not even name the previous chancellors, so that should give you some indication as to just how important this issue is.

Petition now sits at 2012 signatures . 2012 people can’t stand the stink of this decision .

Moore very well could be the next Prime Minister of Canada. He is of the right age to make a serious run in ten years time and has the experience in top posts within a conservative government to make this pitch next time the pendlum swings.

For Moore this is the perfect place for a holding pattern for that type of leadership position and likely what attracts him to the post.

For Prince George this would be an opportunity to shape a future Prime Minister in the views that concern our community. One would think the university would want to be in a position to mold and influence a young man that could very well have a large impact on the country.

Some times the old adage of hold your friends close but your enemies closer has some merrit to it.

Why is this one different?
Two reasons as I see it.
The governance system of Universities is a national topic, not just local. The Board has one function; the Senate has another function. The problem is that the two functions are sometimes at odds and each does not want to lose their influence.

Read Charles Jago’s “An Ex-President’s Perspective On University Governance” date 2009, available on the internet.

The presentation at a conference concluded with the following:
• Governance is critically important.
• Your role is critically important.
• The role of the president in ensuring high quality governance is important.
• If governance is ceded, either to internal forces or to governments, the essence of the university will be lost.
• The autonomy and the privilege of self-government that Canadian and American universities hold so dear are critically important to their ability to achieve their societal role as centres of free-thinking and open debate committed to preserving, disseminating and augmenting the sources of knowledge upon which human civilization depends.
• Consequently, the onus is on us to deserve our autonomy and self-governance, by conducting our governance professionally, responsibly, and effectively.
• To my mind, we cannot ignore our critics and must work together to achieve good governance, boards and senates alike.
• We have a long way to go.

Just google with a few key words such as Canadian university governance senate vs board of governors

Start by looking up Western University’s (London, On) recent report date November 19, 2015, which reviewed the move by the Senate for a vote of non-confidence.

There are several others I can point you to. If you are really interested in learning something of the roots of the issue, I will provide a few others.

The second issue, of course is the person chosen. I suspect it is the first time that someone was chosen who has made comments himself while an MP and Minister of the Crown as well as participated in the Cabinet of a government which do not parallel the atmosphere which should be found at a University.

Well said eagle . That’s the obvious plan for this BoG . Just why and how they get away with playing politic with the purse strings is disturbing . Only the most delusional would believe the this appointment doesn’t come with a cost .

“For Moore this is the perfect place for a holding pattern”

Moore’s “holding pattern” is actually with Dentons, an international law firm in Vancouver.

His pending position as Chancellor of UNBC provides him and the firm with some nice credentials on his corporate staff CV.


Moore is the type of individual who espouses the Alliance/Reform group more than the Conservatives. That is his history.

I have a feeling that the Conservatives are going to be moving a bit more to the center in the choice of their next leader. If he does not participate in that convention as a candidate, he will be gone forever from the political landscape in Canada, especially if his new job turns out well for him.

Comments for this article are closed.