This motion is being presented on behalf of the School of Kinesiology & Health Studies’ Budget Cut Awareness Subcommittee. Our subcommittee is overseen by two graduate co-chairs and comprised of undergraduate, graduate, and faculty representatives of SKHS. We hope to enable dialogue and share information regarding the status of proposed budget cuts at SKHS, Queen’s, and beyond.
The text below is a letter drafted by our grad rep, on behalf of our subcommittee; it calls for the open publication of submissions to Principal Woolf’s Vision document (“Where Next: Toward a University Academic Plan”). \"Where Next?\" Given that the AMS, SGPS, and QUFA have the common purpose of representing student and faculty interests and maintaining quality education, we are seeking the support of these bodies as signatories on this letter. Although we are prepared to take full responsibility for handling the logistics of compiling and publishing such a document over the course of the summer, we are open to any suggestions or conditions that you may have regarding the process. At this juncture, we are only requesting that the SGPS consider signing the document.
Dear Queen’s Community Member,
Principal Woolf’s recent vision statement Where Next? invites the Queen’s community “to engage in a discussion process that leads to a set of clear choices on what we will do and what we will not do” (p. 2) both academically and financially. This academic planning exercise, initiated by Woolf’s own document, is framed as a collective engagement that will ultimately reflect the shared values of our university. To determine the strengths and priorities of the various units that constitute Queen’s, the Principal requested submissions from faculties, departments, schools, and individuals that will be subsequently synthesized into a draft university plan to present to the Senate and to the Board of Trustees by the end of 2010 (p. 3).
The gravity of this university plan cannot be overstated. Although Principal Woolf assures us that “[a]s we choose institution-wide areas of focus, we must continue to support individual or group activities that do not (at the moment) reflect institution-wide priorities” (p. 9), he clearly indicates the impermanence of this protection. Equal allocation of funds, or enforcement of cuts, is effectively “inequitable” (p. 9), he argues, and the difficult spending decisions facing the university “involve funding some areas at higher levels than others” (p. 9). We are confronted, then, with the inevitable reduction or elimination of some services and programs, to be determined based upon majority interests; yet how are we to know what these “institution-wide priorities” are?
One of the fundamental “values” that Principal Woolf proffers as central to the role of Queen’s is “transparency in decision-making” (p. 6); we suggest that transparency in this academic planning process is not only necessary, but also achievable. All of the Queen’s community will be far better poised to understand the administration’s recommendations if we are already acquainted with each other’s concerns and interests. Unfortunately, there is no provision in the Principal’s proposed Timeline (p. 22) for an open publication of the submissions that will be used to shape the future of this institution.
As a remedy to this oversight, we propose a compilation of those documents to be made publicly available in both electronic and print versions. To this end, we urge you to share with the Queen’s community the response that you provided to Principal Woolf. Instructions for uploading the document to a (preferably secure) website, and details about our planned publication to be determined.
When all of the voices at Queen’s are heard by all of the stakeholders in this academic planning exercise, then a true “discussion process” can begin.
Whereas the School of Kinesiology & Health Studies’ has created a Budget
Cut Awareness Subcommittee; and
Whereas this subcommittee is overseen by two graduate co-chairs (Rob
Millington and Lauren McNicol) and is comprised of undergraduate,
graduate, and faculty representatives of SKHS; and
Whereas this subcommittee has as purpose to enable dialogue and share
information regarding the status of proposed budget cuts at SKHS, Queen’s,
Moved _________/__________ BIRT the SGPS sign and endorse the attached
letter (appendix 3) calling for the open publication of submissions to
Principal Woolf’s Vision document (“Where Next: Toward a University