July 15th, 2024

University board responds to faculty group vote of non-confidence

By Al Beeber - Lethbridge Herald on May 4, 2022.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDabeeber@lethbridgeherald.com

The University of Lethbridge Board of Governors is disappointed in a non-confidence vote by a group of professors.
On Monday, the Faculty Governance Group of the U of L sent a press release to city media saying 328 faculty members had participated in the vote with 296 supporting it.
The motion states “I, a faculty member at the University of Lethbridge, have no confidence in President Michael Mahon, Vice-President (academic) Erasmus Okine and Vice-President (Finance) Nancy Walker to perform their respective duties as senior administrators at the University of Lethbridge. I have no confidence in their decision-making, leadership and manner of governing the University of Lethbridge.”
“We were deeply disappointed to learn of this development considering the recent resolution of a significant labour disruption that negatively affected our entire community, and particularly our students. The board’s hope was that after faculty overwhelmingly supported the ratification of a new collective agreement, there would be a collective focus on allowing us to again move forward as an institution,” said University Board of Governors chair Kurt Schlacter in an email.
“The board has a robust process for annually evaluating our president, which includes a request for feedback from the entire university community. During the course of my term as board chair, which is nearing six years, no negative comments have ever been shared through this activity. Feedback throughout the years has been overwhelmingly positive.
As a result of our comprehensive evaluation process, and our extensive ongoing work with President Mahon, the board confirms its complete confidence in Dr. Mahon and our entire senior leadership team, with whom we also work closely. 
 The board looks forward to working closely with these leaders as they complete their terms. As has been publicly shared, the search process is already underway with respect to the university’s next president, and a similar process has recently been announced with respect to our next provost,” Schlachter wrote.
The board chair also stated the university is committed to undertaking the work needed to strengthen the school following the recent labour disruption and ensuring it meets the expectations of its students and the communities it serves.
“Re-establishing strong relationships on campus is in the best interest of our community and will demand compassionate and focused leadership, patience and a commitment from everyone to move forward,” added Schlachter.

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