The Canadian Association of University Teachers has issued a strong rebuke of Carleton University’s Board of Governors for holding meetings in secret.
“All publicly funded institutions have an obligation to be responsive to the communities they serve by being transparent in their policies, administration, and decision-making processes,” CAUT executive director David Robinson stated in a letter written to Carleton President Roseann O’Reilly Runte. “With the exception of dealing with a very narrowly defined set of confidential matters, there is absolutely no justification for holding Board meetings in camera.
Students, faculty, and staff at Carleton recently issued an open letter charging that the Board is becoming less accountable, diverse, and open.
CAUT warns that this runs contrary to basic democratic traditions and academic values.
“Secrecy undermines fundamental principles of democratic accountability and collegial governance, and runs contrary to the values of open debate, academic freedom, and freedom of expression that should lie at the very heart of our universities and colleges,” writes Robinson.
Robinson says that concerns about governance at Carleton will be discussed at next month’s meeting of CAUT Council at which time further steps and sanctions against the administration may be taken.