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CAUT Bulletin Archives

May 2006

AUCC Gives FNUC Deadline

First Nations University of Canada has been given a deadline of mid-June to demonstrate that it is acting on recommendations to change its governance structure.

The Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada told FNUC that it has until June 14, failing which AUCC will create a committee to examine whether the university continues to qualify for membership in the association.

The recommendations on governance were put forward by a task force set up by the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations after more than a year of controversy created by the direct intervention of the chair of FNUC’s board of governors in administration of the institution.

Trouble began in early 2005 when the chair suspended three senior administrators indefinitely and replaced them with his appointees; had copies made of the university’s central server drive containing faculty records, research and email and student records; and commissioned a forensic audit without providing specific allegations to the FNUC board or the community.

Subsequently, the deans of the Regina and Saskatoon campuses were fired. Both Eber Hampton, the university’s long-serving president, and FNUC’s academic vice-president Denise Henning, deeply troubled by these events, left to take positions at the University of Regina. All this has forced the University of Regina Faculty Association to file more than 30 grievances.

Central to the task force report was a recommendation for an alternative governance model in which the board would be more arms length from FSIN, its political governing authority.

The leadership of FSIN has been unwilling to act on the task force’s recommendations, postponing final consideration for many months.

CAUT executive director James Turk said the recommendations had received support from more than 95 per cent of FNUC’s faculty.