On Campus

Lowy to make contract public

Concordia's interim president says he is aiming to promote transparency

In a public message, Concordia University’s interim president, Fred Lowy, warned of a “hypercharged atmosphere” following the controversial departure of his predecessor Judith Woodsworth.

Lowy, who had previously served as Concordia’s president for two terms ending in 2005, is tasked with steering the university until a permanent replacement  for Wordsworth can be found. While noting that Concordia’s “academic programs seem to be humming along, student enrolment is up” and that “finances are in good shape,” Lowy acknowledged that “it is clear that there is a worrisome degree of turbulence at the moment.”

Just before Christmas, the university announced that Woodsworth had resigned for “personal reasons,” but she later claimed that the Board of Governors had pushed her out. The board was immediately criticized for acting in secret. Several faculty councils passed motions condemning the incident, including the fact that Woodsworth received a $700,000 severance package. The turmoil culminated when the senate voted unanimously for board chair Peter Kruyt to resign.

Lowy writes that the board has mandated him “to assist our institution to regain its equilibrium.” In an effort to promote transparency, Lowy’s employment contract will be made fully public. Joint meetings of board and senate committees are scheduled, and a joint meeting of the entire board and entire senate is being planned.

Looking for more?

Get the Best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.