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Athabasca University Faculty Association condemns dismissal of university president

(February 9, 2023) The Athabasca University Faculty Association (AUFA) is condemning the Board of Governors for the sudden firing without cause of University President Peter Scott.

“The Board’s actions demonstrate a flagrant abuse of the search process and a disregard for collegial governance,” says AUFA President Rhiannon Rutherford.

Scott openly defied the provincial government’s direction to expand its physical presence in Athabasca. The provincial minister of advanced education intervened to replace the Board chair and appointed multiple new governors last spring.

Davina Bhandar, a faculty member and AUFA Constituency Representative, expressed concern that “the Board is not working in the best interests of the university but, instead, to further political gain for the governing party.”

“The [provincial] government’s interference in a public institution’s governance threatens institutional autonomy, disrupts and undermines continuity of governance, drains the confidence and morale of students and staff, wastes inordinate money and time, and has made the Board’s composition less diverse,” AUFA said in a statement.