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CAUT Bulletin Archives

June 2000

CAUT Backs Judicial Review in Trent Case

CAUT is supporting three Trent University faculty members seeking judicial review of a Trent Board of Governors' decision to overrule the university's senate.

The issue arose from Trent president Bonnie Patterson's proposal to close the university's two downtown colleges, sell the property, and move operations to Trent's suburban campus. Three days after senate rejected the proposal, Patterson took the matter to the board which voted to implement the plan.

"We believe the board's motion exceeded its jurisdiction," said Tom Booth, CAUT president. "Under the Trent University Act, senate has authority over educational policy and, given the educational role of Trent's colleges, a decision to close is a matter of educational policy."

"Collegial governance is essential for universities," Booth added. "When the power of senate is diminished, the university is endangered."

Andrew Wernick, one of the Trent professors named as applicants for the judicial review, said, "support by Canada's national faculty organization makes clear the seriousness and public importance of the issues being raised here."

The hearing for the judicial review will be before three Ontario Appeals Court judges, and is scheduled for Sept. 18.