NUGSS Still Waiting for Moore’s Response to Invitation
Prince George, B.C. – The controversial appointment of former Conservative MP James Moore as the next chancellor of the University of Northern BC remains an issue of discussion on campus.
Moore’s appointment, which would take effect in May, has drawn opposition from members of the UNBC Faculty Association, some members of the UNBC Senate, people in various capacities in the university community, the Confederation of University Faculty Associations of B.C., members of the public and others. Sentiments have been expressed that Moore’s close ties to, and support of polices of the former Conservative government which did not reflect the values and principles of the university make him a poor choice as the next chancellor.
Last month Moore spoke by telephone to a meeting of the Northern Undergraduate Student Society board and, following that, Moore was invited by NUGSS to come to Prince George to speak with the university’s students about his appointment prior to the board taking a position on the matter. However, so far there has been no answer from Moore.
“We haven’t received a response yet to our request,” says board president Duncan Malkinson. “Hopefully in the next couple of days we’ll have a date from Mr. Moore on when he’ll be able to meet with students, but nothing yet.”
Meantime Malkinson says over the past two days NUGSS has had a table set up in a central location on campus for an informal poll of students, “getting feedback on his (Moore’s)appointment.” That input was being sought to direct the society’s position on the issue.
He says NUGSS has been “presenting some impartial information informing students of some of the background because some of them aren’t necessarily aware of some of the developments.” Students were asked “whether the student body should advocate for or against James Moore’s appointment, or remain neutral.”
Asked what influence the student input will have in the board’s position on the matter Malkinson says “I think it will have a strong weight. A lot of the representatives on the (11-member) board, in the November discussion when we were considering this, really felt that they didn’t have their finger on the pulse of the students’ opinion on this matter, so I think it will weight heavily in the minds of some of the representatives.”
“But on that topic specifically I can’t speak for the board as a whole. I don’t think that the board will feel bound by whatever decision is made, but I definitely think it will be respected and will be reflected in whatever decision the board decides to take.”
Malkinson believes the NUGSS board will take an official stand on the Moore appointment sometime in the next two weeks.
He says he is attempting to contact Moore in the event there has been some miscommunication over the invitation to visit UNBC to speak with students. Malkinson says if Moore does come the meeting will be open to “all interested students, that’s what we’ve got in our mind right now. Of course, if the capacity is there, anybody else that’s interested is obviously welcome to attend.”