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[Meeting minutes of the Senate of The University of British Columbia] 1995-09-20

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Vancouver Senate Secretariat
Senate and Curriculum Services
Enrolment Services
2016-1874 East Mall
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1
Present: President D. W. Strangway (Chair), Vice-President D. R. Birch, Mr. S. Arnold, Dr. D. R. Atkins,
Dr. A. P. Autor, Mr. J. A. Banfield, Dr. J. Barman, Dr. J. D. Berger, Dr. A. E. Boardman, Mr. J. Boritz, Mr.
P. T. Brady, Dr. D. M. Brunette, Dr. D. G. A. Carter, Ms. L. Chui, Dr. D. H. Cohen, Dr. T. S. Cook, Dr.
M. G. R. Coope, Dr. J. H. V. Gilbert, Mr. E. B. Goehring, Dean M. A. Goldberg, Dean J. R. Grace, Dr. S.
E. Grace, Mr. H.D. Gray, Rev. J. Hanrahan, Dr. M. Isaacson, Dr. J. G. T. Kelsey, Professor V. J. Kirkness,
Dr. S. B. Knight, Ms. L. Lam, Mr. A. Lau, Mr. L. Lau, Dr. M. Levine, Professor P. L. K. Lin, Mr. R.W.
Lowe, Dr. D. J. MacDougall, Dr. M. MacEntee, Dean M. P. Marchak, Dean B. C. McBride, Mr. W. B.
McNulty, Dr. M. D. Morrison, Dr. R. J. Patrick, Mr. R. L. de Pfyffer, Mr. L. Presley, Professor M. Quayle,
Professor R. S. Reid, Professor J. A. Rice, Dean J.F. Richards, Dr. H. B. Richer, Dr. R. A. Shearer, Mr.
David Shu, Dr. A. J. Sinclair, Dr. C. E. Slonecker, Dean C. L. Smith, Ms. C. A. Soong, Dr. L. J. Stan, Dr. J.
R. Lhompson, Dr. S. Lhorne, Dr. W. Uegama, Dr. J. Vanderstoep, Mr. D. R. Verma, Dr. E. W. Whittaker,
Dr. R. M. Will, Dr. D. Ll. Williams, Mr. E. C. H. Woo, Dean E. H. K. Yen.
Regrets: Chancellor R. H. Lee, Dr. S. Avramidis, Dean C. S. Binkley, Dr. J. Gosline, Dean M. J. Hollenberg,
Mr. D. Khan, Mr. C. Lim, Dr. S. C. Lindstrom, Dr. D. M. Lyster, Dean J. H. McNeill, Dean A. Meisen, Dr.
W. J. Phillips, Mrs. M. Price, Dr. D. J. Randall, Dean N. Sheehan, Ms. L. M. Sparrow, Dr. W. C. Wright Jr.
Senate membership
• Dr. Murray D. Morrison - Faculty of Medicine representative replacing Dr. Ross MacGillivray
• Mr. Paul G. Chan - student representative of the Faculty of Education
• Mr. Hugh Leung - student representative of the Faculty of Dentistry
• Mr. Willem Maas - student senator at-large
• Mr. Arron Oberman - student representative of the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences
• Mr. Brian B. Lelford - student representative of the Faculty of Forestry
Minutes of the previous meeting
Mr. Woo l        That the minutes of the ninth regular meeting
Dean McBride i        of Senate for the Session 1994-95, having been
circulated, be taken as read and adopted.
 Vancouver Senate 11169
Minutes of September 20,1995
Business arising from the Minutes
Business arising from the Minutes
Notice of the following motion was given at the May meeting:
"In light of the substantial academic and social impacts of tuition fee increases likely
needed to maintain university funding at appropriate levels, that Senate establish an ad
hoc committee to examine the academic and social implications and make
Ms. Chui informed Senate that the originator of the motion had resigned from Senate and
proposed that the motion be tabled until further notice.
Ms. Chui i        That the motion be tabled.
Mr. Woo J
Dr. Birch referred to recommendations of the committee asking that written reports be
provided by the Vice President Academic and Provost at the September meeting. Dr. Birch
informed Senate that progress reports would be provided for the October meeting.
The Registrar reminded Senate that the following schedule for Faculty to be elected to the
Board of Governors had been approved at the May meeting:
Call for nominations: Monday, September 11, 1995
Close of nominations: Monday, October 2, 1995
Last day of voting: Friday, November 3, 1995
He informed Senate that because of difficulties encountered in preparing and circulating
the call for nominations the dates had been changed to one week later.
 Vancouver Senate 11170
Minutes of September 20,1995
From the Board of Governors
From the Board of Governors
Subject, where applicable, to the proviso that none of the programs be implemented
without formal reference to the President; and that the Deans and Heads concerned with
new programs be asked to indicate the space requirements, if any, of such new programs.
i.     Awards (p. 11050 & pp.11056-7) (p.11068-9 & p.11102)
ii.      Enrolment quotas (p. 11055)
iii.      Curriculum proposals from the Faculties of Applied Science, Arts, Education,
Graduate Studies, Law, and Science. (pp.H061-3& 11081-11100)
iv.      Education Abroad Programs (pp.11048-9)
v.      Diploma Program in Management of Aquaculture Systems (pp.11111-9)
vi.      Amalgamation of the Westwater Research Centre and the Graduate Program in
Resource Management and Environmental Studies (pp.11155-6)
Financial Statements
In accordance with section 31(2) of the University Act, Financial Statements for the year
ended March 31, 1995, had been submitted to Senate for information.
Mr. Gellatly, Vice President of Administration and Finance, spoke briefly to the report,
highlighting various aspects of the financial statements and some other sections of the
report for the information of Senate.
President Strangway noted that this was the last occasion upon which Mr. Gellatly would
be presenting the Financial Statements to Senate and he expressed thanks and
appreciation for the 12years of service Mr. Gellatly has given to the University.
Reports of Committees of Senate
Uniform system for the calculation of degree standings
Dr. Berger, chair of the committee, explained that the committee had consulted the
various Faculties before proposing a uniform system for the calculation of degree
 Vancouver Senate 11171
Minutes of September 20,1995
Reports of Committees of Senate
Dr. Berger l        That degree standings in Faculties that grant
Dr. Coope i        initial degrees be designated as Class I, Class II
and Pass when the degree is granted based on
the average percentage grade of all upper
level(300 or higher) courses used to satisfy the
degree requirements (excluding courses graded
as Pass/Fail). When a student has passed
courses that are surplus to degree requirements
the courses with the highest grades among
those that satisfy these requirements will be
used in calculating the degree standing; and
That the average percentage grade calculated
to determine degree standing appear on the
transcript as the degree average.
In speaking to the proposal Dr. Berger stated that one of the specific questions he had
been about the proposal was whether the graduating average includes courses passed or
courses completed since courses completed could be either successfully or unsuccessfully
completed. He stated that as the wording is "all courses used to satisfy the degree
requirements" his understanding is that it refers to all courses passed.
In response to a query, Dr. Berger stated that instead of the calculations being based on
the best 30 credits required for the degree, as they are at present in some Faculties, they
would now be based on all upper level course work required for the degree.
Dr. Berger confirmed that first class standing refers to a grade of 80% and above, second
class 65% and above, and a pass 50% and above.
The motion was
put and carried.
 Vancouver Senate 11172
Minutes of September 20,1995
Reports of Committees of Senate
Desirable Qualities of a UBC Graduate
Dr. Berger explained that the committee had been asked to consider a proposed statement
on the desirable qualities of a UBC graduate and to report back to Senate.
Dr. Berger reported that the committee considers that the statement has little value and
recommended that it not be considered further.
Dr. Berger l        That the report of the committee on Desirable
Dr. Williams i        Qualities of a UB C Graduate be received.
Dr. Williams, chair of the committee, presented the following report which had been
Vacancies on Senate Committees
The Nominating Committee nominates the following to fill vacancies on Senate
Dr. J. R. Thompson - replacing Dr. Ross MacGillivray
Student Appeals on Academic Discipline
Dr. A. J. Sinclair - replacing Dr. George Eaton
Vice Chair
Section 36(a) of the University Act states that Senate shall elect a Vice Chair at least
annually, who shall chair meetings in the absence of the President; but in no case shall
a Vice Chair serve more than two consecutive terms.
The committee nominates Dr. R. M. Will for the position of Vice Chair for the
1995-96 session.
 Vancouver Senate
Minutes of September 20,1995
Faculty of Arts
Dr. Williams
Dr. MacDougall
That the recommendations concerning
vacancies on Senate committee be approved.
Dr. Williams
Dr. Shearer
That Dr. R. M. Will be appointed Vice Chair
of Senate for thel995-96 session.
Faculty of Arts
A proposal to merge the Departments of Creative Writing and Theatre& Film had been
Dean Marchak
Dr. Berger
That the Departments of Creative Writing and
Theatre & Film be merged to form the
Department of Theatre, Film and Creative
Dean Marchak explained that the proposal was partly in response to the Senate motion to
decrease the number of small departments and, more importantly, the two departments
already have very strong interactions in both teaching and creative work.
The motion was
put and carried.
Other business
A preliminary report on enrolment as at September 5, 1995 was circulated at the meeting.
In response to a query the Registrar, Dr. Spencer, explained that students who had not
paid at least 45% of their tuition fee assessment were cancelled on September 14. At that
time 666 undergraduate students were cancelled. Dr. Spencer stated that he did not
 Vancouver Senate 11174
Minutes of September 20,1995
Other business
know how many of those students were included in the figures circulated or how many
are attending the University but had not yet paid their tuition fees.
Dr. Spencer confirmed that, in accordance with the usual practice, a complete report on
registration in all years of all programs would be circulated at the November meeting.
In response to a query concerning quotas, Dr. Spencer stated that the quota for first year
was 3,709 and that registration as of September 14 was 3,826 or 103% of the quota. The
total quota for first, second and third year was 5,800, and there were 6,079 students or
105% of the quota registered in those programs. Dr. Spencer explained that the intention
in administering those quotas this year was to register more students than the number in
the quota because there is usually some attrition during the year.
Dr. Birch pointed out that there had been a reduction in the average number of credits
being carried by students in a number of programs. In the upper years of some programs
it had diminished by 10% over three years which means there is a reduction of 10% in
full time equivalent enrolment without any reduction in head count. This was part of the
reason why Deans agreed this year to increase the number admitted in order to offset the
reduction in the concentration of what people are taking to maintain roughly the same
full time equivalent counts. As a result, the full time equivalent number based on the
credits carried by students at the undergraduate level is 69 or 70 ahead of last year which
is very close to last year's total enrolment of full time equivalents at the undergraduate
level and it is down by approximately the same number at the graduate level.
 Vancouver Senate 11175
Minutes of September 20,1995
Chair's remarks and related questions
Chair's remarks and related questions
President Strangway stated that there had been a great deal of publicity in the press about
the Political Science Department, and that a fairly comprehensive package of material had
subsequently been sent to members of Senate containing information on the activities and
the steps that had been taken by the various units that are engaged with the particular
issues that had arisen.
President Strangway stated that from his own perspective the issues that are of
fundamental significance to the University and its activities as it looks forward to the
future are the twin principles of academic freedom and freedom from discrimination and
harassment, principles which have been already been espoused by the University. He said
that these are typically seen as opposing principles but he believed that the debate being
undertaken on this campus, and perhaps at many other campuses, is the linkage between
these principles. They are in fact interrelated, not two independent principles, and, in the
view of many, principles that ought to be linked and to be debated.
The President noted that reports on the chronology of events, a progress report from the
Department of Political Science, and a report from the Faculty of Graduate Studies on the
plans that it is undertaking concerning the re-opening of admissions to the department
had been distributed. In addition, a report from Dr. Birch had been included in
connection with some other items that the University is looking at or is preparing to
consider. The President stated that he had also asked Dr. Elkins, Acting Head of the
Department of Political Science, if he would give a report on the progress of activities
taking place in the Department.
 Vancouver Senate 11176
Minutes of September 20,1995
Chair's remarks and related questions
President Strangway informed Senate that the University was in the process of organizing
a major conference on these issues because the university was the best place to have such
a debate. President Strangway referred to the University Policy on Harassment and
Discrimination stating that the policy would be reviewed in the next few months with a
view to examining how the University is dealing with the kinds of issues that have been
brought to its attention by recent activities.
The following overview of events that led to the McEwen Report and its subsequent
impact had been prepared for the President by the Associate Vice-President, Academic and
Legal Affairs, Professor Dennis Pavlich:
In June 1995 the Report in Respect of the Political Science Department of The
University of British Columbia was submitted to the Dean of Arts and the Dean of
Graduate Studies by Ms. Joan McEwen, a lawyer retained "to inquire into allegations
of 'pervasive racism and sexism' within the Political Science Department, particularly
in its treatment of graduate students... "Among many other things, the Report
recommends the immediate suspension of graduate admissions to the Political Science
Department. The events leading up to this Report and its recommendations are as
1. In the Spring of 1992 a number of concerned Political Science graduate
students sought the assistance of one of the Associate Deans of Graduate
Studies. They were told that their concerns could not be addressed unless they
were in writing.
2. In June 1992 and again in November 1993 a group representingl2 graduate
students (mainly women) submitted a confidential memorandum to the Faculty
of Graduate Studies voicing various matters of concern that was later to form
the basis of the McEwen Inquiry. The document was transmitted to the then
Head and Graduate Advisor of the Department of Political Science.
3. During the Fall of 1992 a cyclical review of the Department of Political Science
was constituted by the Dean of Arts. In Marchl993 that committee gave a
generally favourable report of the Department as noted by the internal report
distributed to the Department. The opinions of the external reviewers, not
routinely made available to the departments,
 Vancouver Senate 11177
Minutes of September 20,1995
Chair's remarks and related questions
were especially critical of the "low representation of women" and the need to
deal with the "significant" absence of gender studies or feminist theory. The
negative tone of these criticisms was not adequately conveyed.
4. In 1992 and 1993 a number of meetings occurred at various times between
several of the students and senior academic administrators, including the Dean,
in the Faculty of Graduate Studies. At the behest of the Dean of Graduate
Studies the students' concerns were reduced to writing and forwarded to both
the then Head of the Department of Political Science and the then Graduate
Advisor with a copy to the Dean of Arts.
5. A letter received from a former student in Graduate Studies in the Spring of
1994 was also forwarded to the Head - with deletions that prevented him from
identifying the complainant. The Head initiated some process steps within the
Department to improve faculty-student liaison, enabled the hiring of graduate
students as sessionals and opened discussions aimed at improving the
intellectual climate for women and minority groups. However, he denied the
student charges and felt unable to deal with the accusations made by
individuals because, for the most part, their identity and that of those accused
had been deliberately withheld from him.
The charges of harassment and discrimination made by two of the graduate
students later became public within and outside the Department. One of the
students refused to accept apologies tendered by the Head in his official
capacity and sought financial relief.
6. In a memorandum dated July 21, 1994 the Head advised both the Deans of
Arts and Graduate Studies that the Department had voted unanimously to
request them "to initiate an inquiry into allegations that there is a pervasive
atmosphere of sexism and racism affecting graduate students in the
7. In August 1994 the terms of reference for the inquiry were drafted by my office
after discussions involving the Provost, my predecessor, Dr. A. J. McClean,
Associate Vice-Presidents Kahn and Webber, the Dean of Arts and the Dean of
Graduate Studies. The terms were also discussed with the President and
Executive Officer of the Faculty Association and representatives of the
Graduate Students Society. In response to concerns expressed by both of these
groups, draft terms that would involve the naming of individuals, if necessary,
were modified. Discretion was left to the Investigator regarding the naming of
accusers and accused.
 Vancouver Senate 11178
Minutes of September 20,1995
Chair's remarks and related questions
8. Ms. Joan McEwen was asked to conduct the Inquiry. She is a well known
labour arbitrator whose candidacy was chosen after conferring with the Dean
of Arts. The Faculty Association was made aware of the nomination. Ms.
McEwen was permitted under the terms of the Inquiry to consult two retired
professors as academic advisors and two recent Masters or doctoral graduates
of the Department. She chose to have little contact with these persons.
9. On June 19, 1995 you received the McEwen Report and advised senior
academic administrators that you would accept most of the Report's
recommendations. The Provost met with the Dean of Arts, the Dean of
Graduate Studies, Dr. McClean, Dr. Kahn and Ms. Nason. The Dean of
Graduate Studies, the academic officer with jurisdiction in this matter,
suspended further graduate admissions until satisfied that there are provisions
in place in the Department relating to educational equity.
10. On July 4, 1995 the Department invited dialogue with the graduate students on
the issues specified in the McEwen Report.
11. After meetings with the Department and others the Dean of Arts published a
letter dated July 13, 1995 that described the Report as "deeply flawed" and
reaffirmed the Faculty's commitment to a more inclusive and equitable
educational environment.
12. On August 4, 1995 you sent a letter to faculty and students giving your
evaluation of the Report, its recommendations and its effect on the Department
specifically and the University community generally. In this letter you invited
"various campus bodies to participate in a national conference on the issue of
academic freedom and learning environments."
13.During August 1995 Dean Grace, after consultation, forged the Committee to
Advise the Dean of Graduate Studies Regarding Equity Issues in the Political
Science Department. Its terms of reference are:
a. To advise the Dean of Graduate Studies on steps that might be
undertaken to assist in ensuring educational equity and a learning and
working environment which is harassment and discrimination free in the
Political Science Department.
b. To recommend to the Dean of Graduate Studies the point at which the
suspension in graduate admissions should be lifted.
c. To make any other recommendations to the Dean of Graduate Studies
regarding issues of equity, student/faculty relations and other matters
which could be helpful in improving the climate for graduate study at
 Vancouver Senate 11179
Minutes of September 20,1995
Chair's remarks and related questions
14. On September 7, 1995 a special meeting of the Faculty of Arts was constituted.
By a vote of 97 to 52 with 7 abstentions, a motion to ask the President to
remove the suspension of admissions to graduate programs in the Department
of Political Science was adopted. Although significant to the University
community, this vote is without legal effect. The Dean of Graduate Studies who
is charged with jurisdiction in this matter, issued a statement on September 8,
1995 in which he said that he would not be prepared to admit any more
graduate students into the Department until unresolved problems are seriously
President Strangway, with the concurrence of Senate, invited Dr. David Elkins, Acting
Head of the Department of Political Science, to report on the activities taking place in the
Dr. Elkins read to Senate the following statement:
Thank you for the opportunity to discuss the progress being made in the Department
regarding the renewal of our graduate program. Each of you should have received a
large package of materials on this topic, much of it dealing with changes and
improvements before and during the McEwen Inquiry. Before discussing the latest
developments, let me outline some important perspectives and considerations which
have, in my view, received too little or no attention on campus or in the media
coverage of the crisis to which we have been subjected.
As I have reported to the President and to other bodies on campus, we have steadfastly
endeavoured to improve the Department and its graduate program for some years
now. In that sense, we have pursued the goal of educational equity even though that
terminology has not been used until after the McEwen Report was made public 13
weeks ago. Whatever the term, our efforts began before the Inquiry was set up and
continued while it was in process.
My first point concerns the impossible situation in which we find ourselves. Not only
have we been accused of many failings, our efforts at reform have often been
portrayed as proving the very defects we have intended to eliminate. This puts us in a
no-win situation. If we do little, we are seen as intransigent; if we undertake major
changes, this proves we have problems. All our responses and replies to allegations
were rejected or misleadingly characterized by Ms. McEwen.
 Vancouver Senate 11180
Minutes of September 20,1995
Chair's remarks and related questions
Second, many members of faculty are concerned that what we are being asked to do
and the nature of some allegations pose a danger to academic freedom. Their view has
been substantially corroborated by the CAUT report on September 6, 1995, which
found that the McEwen Report and the actions of the President and Dean of Graduate
Studies in suspending graduate admissions do pose a threat to academic freedom. I
urge all Senators to read this report carefully since it comments repeatedly on the role
Senate should have played. Although I believe there have been threats to academic
freedom, there are other issues which complicate the picture even further. I believe that
one should frame these issues in ways which maybe relevant to the university
(1) What process and standards should apply to complaints about climate or
systemic issues?
(2) What is the appropriate balance between speech protected by academic
freedom and objectionable or offensive speech subject to potential discipline?
(3) What are the obligations of an academic unit towards pluralism in its
curriculum and program design?
The UBC Policy on Harassment and Discrimination offers no guidance whatsoever on
such matters and no administrative officer of this university has been able to help us in
this thorny area.
Third, the embargo on admissions to our graduate program shall be lifted, according
to President Strangway, when we have in place satisfactory provisions for educational
equity. Nobody on this campus has agreed on a definition to guide our reforms. The
President has charged the Dean of Graduate Studies with providing such a definition,
but in my personal opinion, that would be a grave mistake. Such a definition should
be devised through a very different body involving all faculties on campus and not just
Graduate Studies. I suggest that the Committee of Deans and Senate would be much
more appropriate academic bodies for this task. Furthermore, such a definition should
not be promulgated to deal with a particular situation in one Department; it must be
applicable to all academic units.
Fourth, the embargo on admissions must be lifted soon, or we will not be able to
admit next year's class in time to recruit the best students. One should recall that it
has been 91 days since the McEwen Report was released to members of my
Department —almost three full months during which we have had no indication at all
about the criteria by which Dean Grace's committee will decide if we have in place
satisfactory provisions for educational equity. I met with Dean Grace's committee on
Monday, and no such guidance has yet been offered.
Fifth, even if we immediately receive from relevant officials clear indications of what
steps we should take, it is unlikely they could be fully implemented by the relevant
deadline. Hence, and this is extremely important in my view, the decision to lift the
embargo must be made on the
 Vancouver Senate 11181
Minutes of September 20,1995
Chair's remarks and related questions
basis of good faith efforts and not on the basis of reforms completely in place. If my
reasoning is correct, and the Dean of Graduate Studies agreed recently that it is, then I
submit that we have already demonstrated much good faith based on our progress to
date. Thus, the time to lift the sanction is now rather than in a few weeks or months.
This conclusion is shared, as you know, by the vast majority of faculty in the Faculty
of Arts.
Sixth, I feel obliged to point out a logical conclusion which has been overlooked by
several individuals or groups who have commented on our character or situation.
There may be a presumption in some quarters that good faith will be demonstrated
solely by the reforms or changes which we make in our graduate program in the future
or since the McEwen Report was published. That is an illogical position, because it
assumes that we are guilty of unproven allegations and because it assumes that the
graduate program as now constituted has no merit. Both assumptions lack credibility
when all the evidence is weighed. Thus, I assert that our current program and practices
need to be assessed by some standard or some criteria. Only where they clearly fail to
meet that test would new efforts at reform be justified. This should be a broad and fair
test that can be applied to all departments in the university. I am not arguing that no
further reforms would be desirable, but that only a limited number are mandatory. We
have been struggling with this issue for at least two years, and we believe we have
come a good distance along the road we must travel.
Seventh, I want to cast the previous point in a different light by reference to our
undergraduate program. Ms. McEwen had little to criticize about that aspect of the
Department; there was positive evidence from the external assessors; and the evidence
of how our graduates succeed in graduate programs and law schools elsewhere
suggests very successful Majors and Honours Programs. The McEwen Report is
supposedly about "systemic" discrimination. Yet the most comprehensive evidence we
have on the climate in the classroom is the more than 2000 questionnaire responses
gathered in all our undergraduate classes in fall 1993 and spring 1994 to such
statements as "The instructor treated you and other students with equal respect
regardless of sex, culture, or other special characteristics." and/or "The instructor used
language, examples or stories that were demeaning either to women or to men." This
questionnaire indicated a very high level of satisfaction in almost all our classes, but it
was dismissed and ignored in the McEwen Report. Indeed, out of approximately 60
courses typically offered each year, no more than one or two each year attract any
negative comments concerning equity issues. Yet Ms. McEwen asserts that the
graduate program is pervaded by sexism and/or racism. One must ask how there can
be two distinct and distinctly different climates or environments in the Department.
The same group of faculty teach and supervise graduate students as well as lecture to
and lead seminars for undergraduates. Is it credible that these actions can lead to such
opposite climates, or are there perhaps fewer problems or different types of problems
in the graduate program than some have supposed?
 Vancouver Senate 11182
Minutes of September 20,1995
Chair's remarks and related questions
The Department provided overwhelming evidence, and present and former graduate
students offered dozens of testimonials, challenging the general allegation of
"pervasive" sexism and racism in the Department of Political Science. For reasons
unknown to us, Ms. McEwen chose to suppress this evidence in her report. We are
therefore asked to remedy a situation—pervasive sexism and racism—that in the
opinion of most faculty and present and former graduate students, does not exist.
Finally, let me note for the record that our graduate students are deeply divided, as are
faculty, over the nature and extent of the problems and what might be done to heal
the Department. I say that not to cast aspersions or to lay blame but to ensure that
you are aware of a feature of the "climate" which is easily overlooked. Let me
summarize this feature as follows: Some students believe we have been negligent,
injurious, and intolerant, while many others have spoken or written in praise of our
support, concern, and tolerance. Some students have refused to meet with other
students or to respect differences of opinion honestly expressed, but these same
students have met repeatedly with faculty. How can students who are intolerant of
each other's views pass judgement on the faculty's level of tolerance?
Let me turn now to concrete evidence of progress. I draw your attention especially to
the memo dated August 9, 1995, and prepared by Don Blake, Head of the Department
until June 30 of this year. He does not refer to every action but a sample of major
initiatives undertaken well before Ms. McEwen began her inquiry and completed
before her report appeared in June. Let me emphasize that there was no "gun at our
head" and no intimation that our admissions might be suspended at the time we began
or completed these actions. They are in every sense evidence of good faith efforts to
create a climate more inclusive and supportive of our graduate students.
It is worth saying a few words about the progress in recent weeks. This involves the
so-called working groups mentioned in the memos dated July 25, 1995 and August 8,
1995. You will recall from those memos that the faculty proposed three working
groups or committees with specialized and focussed mandates, each to be composed of
equal numbers of faculty and students.
A meeting of graduate students approved our proposal with very minor modifications
on August 15, 1995. As a result, a group of students staged a "walkout" of the
meeting and refused to meet further with their fellow students. They did, however,
make it clear that they wanted to work with the faculty on relevant issues.
Students with differing views made it known that they felt it worth one further effort
to find a process which would be more legitimate by enticing
 Vancouver Senate 11183
Minutes of September 20,1995
Chair's remarks and related questions
the dissident students to participate. The Dean of Graduate Studies struggled with this
conundrum for some time and finally achieved on September 1 a compromise that all
three student factions found acceptable albeit reluctantly.
Faculty reaction was reserved or hostile because the key point concerned the staffing
of each working group with students from single faction. In other words, students
from faction A would staff group 1, those from faction B would staff group 2, and so
on. This is undemocratic in the eyes of most faculty and some students.
Despite grave reservations, members of faculty voted on September 15 to work within
the terms of reference devised by Dean Grace but with qualifications which would
reduce undemocratic features of the proposal. Students and faculty are now in process
of selecting members to serve on each working group.
The plan as it stands calls for interim reports by October 15 and final reports by
December 1. The interim reports will presumably make recommendations about
matters on which consensus can be reached promptly, while more difficult or complex
topics will be dealt with in the final reports. I believe there are many aspects on which
agreement can be reached quickly. There are approximately 70 suggestions already on
the table which have been canvassed by faculty or graduate students or both, many of
which have significant support.
As recommendations are received from the working groups, they will be circulated to
all faculty, graduate students, and to the Political Science Students' Association. Final
decisions will be taken in duly constituted Department meetings at which
representatives of graduate and undergraduate students will be present and voting. We
expect much of this work will spill over into 1996, but we are dedicated to adopting a
wide range of concrete measures as quickly as possible.
I apologize for the length of this statement and the bulk of the package you were sent.
The issues raised are difficult, controversial, bitterly contested, and far reaching in
scope. Every Department on this campus and many throughout the world are
watching with keen interest how we resolve our differences and how my Department
will be treated in the process of renewing the graduate program. So far we have been
treated badly, and our academic freedom threatened, by the failure of due process in
Ms. McEwen's Report and even more by the precipitate actions of the University
administration, as the CAUT concluded two weeks ago and as the B.C. Civil Liberties
Association concluded in July. My colleagues are very conscious of the fact that we are
scapegoats or surrogates or test cases— depending on your perspective — and that
precedents are being set by our actions. We accept with great reluctance the heavy
burden this imposes,
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and we trust that all who judge us in this crisis will exercise the tolerance, the respect
for diverse opinions, and the forbearance which we have been asked to demonstrate in
regard to our present and future graduate students. I thank you for your attention,
and I ask that Senate exercise leadership in resolving the tragic situation in which my
Department and the entire University now find themselves.
Dr. Autor asked why Senate had not been involved in such important decisions,
particularly since they were decisions of an academic nature. Dr. Autor supported Dr.
Elkins' comments concerning the lack of the use of rules of evidence and the lack of due
process, and stated that this was very disturbing and something that should be anathema
to university institutions. In view of at least 1500 years of development of democratic
processes in our society it is troubling that our administration has set them aside in
arriving at their decision.
In response, Dean Grace stated that the powers of Faculties are clearly defined in the
University Act, one of those powers being "subject to an appeal to Senate ... to decide on
all applications" which, of course, means admissions. Senate does, however, have ultimate
control of these matters. He reminded Senate that the powers of Graduate Council,
consistent with the University Act, had been approved by Senate. The Council has various
powers and duties relating to the academic quality of graduate studies at the university,
and the Dean and Associate Deans act with the Registrar as administrative officers for
Graduate Council in all matters concerning admissions, programs and examinations.
When the McEwen Report came down in June, Senate was not in session, nor would
there be a Graduate Council meeting until September. Dean Grace stated that there are
precedents where graduate programs have been suspended because of non-responsiveness
and/or climates that were not conducive to study by students.
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In referring to the question of why the suspension was imposed in the first place, Dean
Grace urged members of Senate to read the McEwen Report before judging whether or
not this action was justified. He agreed that the report has its faults but stated that the
report also portrays a situation where there are problems. Dean Grace went on to outline
three factors that led to his conclusion that the suspension should be implemented.
First, the question of non-responsiveness. Complaints first came forward in the spring of
1992 to the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies. Subsequently, the students were told
that if they wanted these matters dealt with, they must be brought to the attention of the
Department as the Faculty could not deal with them in isolation. A letter was received in
early June 1992 which was immediately sent to the then Head of the Department of
Political Science and the Graduate Advisor. There were a number of sensitive matters
raised in the letter which had been written by 12 students, five of whom had been to see
the Associate Dean. Many of the details from then until July 1994 are portrayed in the
McEwen Report, including lack of promised action and failure to respond. An external
review was conducted for the Faculty of Arts in the Fall of 1992 but the external
reviewers' comments, which certainly related to some of the matters in question, were not
relayed back to the department. In the Fall of 1993 the students returned reporting that in
their view nothing had changed in the department. It turned out, in fact, that the
department as a whole had not at this stage even known about the original complaints,
contrary to what had been promised. In late 1993 and early 1994 there was some
discussion of issues among the faculty, and some attempts
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were made to get together with students to discuss the issues. However, events conspired
in the spring of 1994 to polarize the atmosphere. The spring of 1994 was extremely
difficult. It was the department that requested an inquiry in an effort to exonerate itself.
The inquiry was instituted in the summer of 1994. A few minor things were done during
the period of the inquiry, which took more than nine months, but they did not materially
alter the situation. In total, more than three years have gone by and very little has been
done to address the substantive concerns of a significant number of students, in particular
of women and women of colour. This was of grave concern to Dean Grace, and far from
the report exonerating the department as had been hoped, it reinforced the concerns and
raised new issues. If admissions to the graduate program had not been suspended when
the report was released, the campus and Senate would now be debating whether or not to
do so. Another three months would have been lost and there would have been a great deal
of press coverage and debate over the question of whether or not admissions should be
suspended. The suspension has crystalized the attention of the department on the fact that
there are matters to be considered and, as Dr. Elkins has pointed out, some early steps are
finally being taken to resolve these issues.
The second factor, and perhaps the more important one, is the seriousness of the issues
that are on the table. It is extremely important that a university promote equity for its
students. UBC now has an equity policy passed by Senate and the Board of Governors.
This is a serious policy. Dean Grace stressed that he takes it seriously, that his Faculty
takes it seriously, and that all senators should take it very seriously.
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The matters which have been alleged, and for which Ms. McEwen finds there is a basis,
are matters that cannot be ignored. There must be an environment where students can
study, where they are respected, where they have a climate where they can express their
views, where the University as a whole supports efforts to bring together people, and
where students are provided educational equity. This has to do with a level playing field
so that students are not categorized or subjected to stereotypes because of their colour,
because of their gender or because of other extraneous factors that have nothing
whatsoever to do with the quality of their work or the opportunities which should be
open to them. Dean Grace referred to various initiatives in his Faculty where attempts
have been made to advance in these areas. He referred in particular to a report soon to be
released related to the graduate student survey carried out in the spring of 1994. There
are some very disturbing findings which should be of concern to the whole campus.
Women in graduate studies on this campus do not on average feel they are receiving the
same treatment as male students, for example in terms of their supervision and the
resources for their work. The decision with respect to graduate admissions in Political
Science is consistent with the seriousness with which the overall equity issues must be
The third factor, while less serious, makes it more difficult to correct the situation in
which we now find ourselves. There is a new graduate advisor in the Department of
Political Science who is extremely dedicated to making changes in the graduate program.
However, over a period of time there has been a certain laxness in the administration of
the graduate program in general. For example, there is a graduate
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handbook, but while it has various rules and regulations and procedures in it, the
exceptions seem to be much more common than what is written as a rule, and so the
exception has virtually become the rule in a number of cases. As a result there are
difficulties with the administration of the program. Had it been a well running program,
it clearly would be easier to resolve the current situation. Although not of itself sufficient
to suspend graduate admissions, this third factor acts in combination with the other two.
Dean Grace stressed that these issues that should affect Senate. He recognized that all
academic matters are subject to appeal to Senate.
Dean Grace informed Senate that subsequent to the suspension of admission, a process
was initiated whereby the Faculty proposed working groups to bring together students
and faculty. The students met on August 15, 1995 and voted to accept this proposal. The
majority had used Robert's Rules of Order to pass a motion to support this process.
However, the majority was composed of all white students, all except one being male, and
they had overrun the smaller group which was balanced racially and genderwise. A
democracy in his view is one which certainly respects the will of the majority but also
respects significant minorities, finding ways to accommodate them, to work with them
and to make sure that they are properly taken care of. If the suspension of graduate
admissions were lifted leaving the women and minority groups unhappy, the problem
would not have been resolved. Some way had to be found of bringing those students who
are most disenchanted into a situation where they are talking to faculty. The solution
worked out rather laboriously with the students is one whereby there are provisions for
the majority and provision also for those students who are most affected to be involved in
the process.
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Dean Grace informed Senate that the Committee to Advise the Dean of Graduate Studies
regarding Equity Issues had held four meetings and that it was working towards
guidelines. Problems identified with respect to Political Science are not unique to one
department. It would be unfair to expect some standard which is significantly higher than
that of other departments. On the other hand, all departments should be striving to
achieve excellence. The committee is drawing up a set of criteria covering the various
processes involved in graduate programs, starting with advertising the program,
specifying essential elements to assure adequate treatment with regard to equity and
proper attention to graduate students. It is hoped that departments will adopt additional
measures which go beyond the essentials. A draft of the criteria will be sent to the
Department of Political Science for comment, and ultimately the document will be made
available campus-wide. Once the department has had an opportunity to provide input, it
will be asked to specify how it satisfies each of the criteria. The committee met recently
with Dr. Elkins and Dr. Hoberg, the graduate advisor and will be meeting with students
soon. It is hoped that this process will proceed as quickly as possible. Students are
choosing their representatives from the focus groups, and the faculty are doing the same.
The equity committee criteria should be helpful to the parity-committee process. Dean
Grace stressed that the reform process should result in a stronger department and a
stronger program if the Department can bring itself can bring itself to look seriously at
these matters.
Dean Marchak stated that she agreed with Dean Grace and President Strangway that
every effort must be made to have a more inclusive campus, and said that she respected
the efforts that the President and Dean Grace had made towards creating not only a
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more inclusive but a much fairer and freer campus for the university community. Dean
Marchak wished to make it very clear that her discomfort with the events that had taken
place was not in any respect to be read as an opposition to that objective.
Dean Marchak referred to the Faculty of Arts meeting at which the faculty voted 97 to 52
in favour of asking that the suspension of admissions to the graduate program in Political
Science be lifted, and to the very strong letter written to the President in July by 24 heads,
directors and chairs, asking that the suspension be lifted. In presenting both of those
communications to the President, Dean Marchak stated that she had made it very clear
that the faculty and the Department of Political Science supports educational reform for
the entire campus, as well as the development of a learning environment that is a positive
climate for all students and faculty. She stated, however, that the Faculty had very serious
concerns with respect to the McEwen Report. Dean Marchak said that she was perfectly
willing to take her personal share of the blame for the terms of reference which were,
perhaps, inadequate for the kind of investigator hired, and also for the hiring of that
person since she was one of the group that included the Vice President, the Associate Vice
Presidents Academic and the Dean of Graduate Studies. The group agreed to McEwen's
appointment, although in retrospect Dean Marchak thought they could have taken a
closer look at her record. Dean Marchak stated, however, that retrospective wisdom did
not solve the problem being faced. She could not accept the McEwen Report or the
imposition of discipline based on it, not because of any opposition to educational equity,
but because she is in favour of a judicious process, a process in which evidence is weighed,
in which accusations are not taken as proof of guilt, in which all of the persons
contributing to the inquiry are treated fairly
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and evenly and she did not believe that that occurred. She did not think that the Report
was a fair report, and she reminded the President that from the beginning she had stated
that she could not go along with it and that she disagreed very strongly with him about
the reading of the Report and the action taken with respect to it.
Dean Marchak drew Senate's attention to the chronology which the President had
circulated, noting that several matters were omitted including the letter from 24 heads
and directors that was sent July 13. This was almost all heads in residence at that time.
Some of the program chairs did not agree with that statement and, after being listened to
with respect by the heads and directors, they wrote to the President separately. She stated
that there had been a great deal of respect for diverse points of view in the Faculty of
Arts. In addition, shortly after that group sent a letter, all of the resident faculty in the
Psychology Department signed a letter protesting the suspension and this had been
published in various media. On August 18, the entire faculty in the Economics
department signed a strong letter of protest. She said this was a very substantial portion
of the Faculty of Arts.
Dean Marchak said that there were other inputs that the Senate should know about. The
McEwen Report stated that staff were harassed and were afraid to speak. On August 17,
the staff of Political Science wrote a letter to the Chair of the Women's Committee of
CUPE 2950, with copies to the President and others, stating very clearly that they were
not facing injustices or harassment and discrimination as claimed and further that they
had said that to McEwen. It was their second letter to that effect. Dean Marchak stated
that if they were not going to be believed then that seemed to her to be a
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problem of discrimination. Earlier, on August 8, fifteen current and recently graduated
Ph.D. students in Political Science wrote to President Strangway, with copies to Dean
Marchak and others stating their wish to express their extreme consternation because
they had gone to McEwen, had given their testimony, and it had been (using their phrase)
"systematically expunged from the Report" which, in their opinion, "presented a highly
distorted account of graduate student attitude in the department." In addition to a very
strong statement, they said "many of the undersigned actively involved themselves in the
inquiry attempting to correct the scandalous and unjustified allegations of pervasive
racism and sexism." They were also very distressed at the harm that was being done to
them. They pointed out that their reputations and careers become harmed in what they
called "the ready acceptance of the McEwen Report" because, the value of their degrees
are diminished. That group consisted of both men and women. On August 4, President
Strangway wrote a letter to all faculty, as mentioned in the chronology. Dean Marchak
was a little disturbed by the way in which it was mentioned. The letter stated that the
McEwen Report was flawed and then said "However, despite the limitations of the
Report, the University felt it had to act. Indeed the Report's limitations serve to obscure,
not eliminate, the basic reality that the Political Science Department must confront its
learning environment, which has been found (not only by the McEwen Report) to
constitute a serious impediment to learning and discourse." Dean Marchak stated that
insofar as she was able to understand that paragraph it appeared that the President had
disowned the report and then created something beyond it to justify action. Dean
Marchak said that she had asked the President in a private meeting, and in a letter, if
there was something beyond the report
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to make it public because the department could not respond to allegations that were not
even concrete enough for them to know what they were being accused of. In her opinion,
such accusations had a lot to do with the problem. The President's response indicated that
he was referring to the Report, which included extracts from the external reports and
extracts from a report on graduate education. As a result of that letter, members of other
departments in the Faculty of Arts put together motions that asked the Dean of Arts to
have a special meeting as soon as possible to discuss the report. This resulted in the
request by a vote of 97-52 by the Faculty of Arts that the suspension be lifted. The Dean
also drew attention to a memo issued by the Dean of Graduate Studies saying that the
lifting of the suspension was not within the jurisdiction of the Faculty of Arts, and noted
that she had not been sent a copy.
Dean Marchak went on to say that the reasons for suspending admissions goes beyond
the kind of reasoning that caused the Faculty in 1990, and its predecessors in 1989/90, to
close admissions to the Russian Department. The reasons there were much more clearly
academic. She stated that the University was dealing here with something much more
difficult and with repercussions throughout the whole University. Because of that it really
did require widespread debate. She understood that the decision was made on the basis of
what information was available in June, but felt this matter should have come to Senate
for a vote in September, and must now come to Senate in a very formal way and be
deliberated on as soon as possible. It could not be simply a matter of reporting to Senate.
Dean Marchak drew Senate's attention to some up-to-date statistics on admissions in the
department. Earlier data were given to McEwen but not reported on by her.
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She stated that these do not substantiate the claim of systematic discrimination against
women. One of the unstated problems was that there had been enormous growth in
graduate programs throughout the Faculty. As a result, not all students could be
accommodated either physically or financially. This was a problem, and one from which
all departments in the Faculty of Arts were suffering. Another problem was demography.
The faculty were hired primarily in the late 60s and early 70s and at the time of the
allegations being made there were 21 male and 2 female faculty members in the
department. One of the external reviewers made a great deal out of this and saw it as the
central reason for some of the problems. There was scarcely any hiring in the 80s but five
people have been hired since, four of whom are women and one a non-Caucasian male.
They were hired because those people are now available in the recruitment pool and they
meet the needs of the department. They were hired before the report was published. Dean
Marchak stated that some faculty were in their 50s and early 60s and then there was
another group with a gap in between which was not healthy situation demographically,
but was a situation in many departments throughout the Faculty, and perhaps throughout
the whole university. Other problems highlighted by Dean Marchak were those of
communication and lifestyles.
Dean Marchak referred to data that showed that the M.A. program and the number of
women students had steadily grown and the ratio was now about fifty-fifty. She also
noted that the distribution of university fellowships for the M.A. was 60-40 in favour of
women. Dean Marchak stated that this was a pretty hard figure to explain if the
department was being systematically sexist. Referring to the Ph.D. program, Dean
Marchak noted that fewer women were applying for admission to the program but that
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even so the proportion of women accepted was greater than the proportion applying, so
again at that level it could not be said that there was systematic discrimination. She stated
that the department had obviously been trying to get more women into the program and
they still had many fewer women than men but this was also true of most departments in
the Faculty of Arts. Since the number of women in M.A. programs had increased very
substantially it was likely that over the next decade this increase would be reflected in the
Ph.D. programs. As far as distribution of grades was concerned, Dean Marchak pointed
out that the distribution of grades showed that women had a slight advantage in the
overall grades, so again it was very hard say that systemic discrimination was taking
place. Dean Marchak noted that the McEwen Report indicated that there was a dramatic
increase in the withdrawal rate of women graduate students but the data did not
substantiate that claim. There were two female and one male withdrawal between 1990
and 1995 but that was hardly precipitous.
Dean Marchak stated the department had been praised very strongly in the external
review, and that it was very strong in many respects. However, the Ph.D. program was
seen as being weak. She stated that its weakness was probably because it was organized as
if it were still operating on a very small basis with disciples and had not made the
transition that some other departments had made. This problem had been identified
before the Report came out and was being addressed by the department. Dean Marchak
said she strongly rejected Dean Grace's comment that nothing was happening. On the
contrary, the head really was trying to give adequate responses. First, the material sent to
the department in 1992 did not indicate who made the allegations nor
 Vancouver Senate 11196
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about whom they were made. The head was told that it was extremely confidential and
that he had better be very discreet in what he said. She stated that it was very hard to go
to your department and make an announcement under those circumstances. The same
thing was true in 1993. Dean Marchak stated that material was sent to her and she was
told no action was required, she simply needed to be told, and it was very confidential.
Commenting on the McEwen Report, Dean Marchak stated that copious amounts of
material had been made available to McEwen that were not included in the Report. They
were systematically ignored and this had resulted in an unbalanced report. Dean Marchak
said that had it been a balanced report and it had said "I have looked at all of this, I have
really sifted through it, here are the serious allegations and here is the evidence" she
would have agreed that there was a problem, but the report did not give that evidence. It
was true, she said, that the department, through no present fault, does indeed consist of a
majority of Caucasian males but queried whether that was cause for suspending
admissions. Apart from that, which she did acknowledge was the case, Dean Marchak
said she could not know, on the basis of the report, whether the department was
systematically sexist and racist, and that was why she had to disagree with the action
In response to a question by Mr. Gray, the President stated that a proposal to lift the
suspension would require notice of motion to that effect to be debated at the next
 Vancouver Senate 11197
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Dr. Coope gave notice of the following motion:
"That the suspension of graduate admissions to Political Science be rescinded."
Dr. Kelsey asked what purpose was now being served by continuation of the suspension.
Dean Grace responded that if the suspension were to be lifted at this point it would send a
message to concerned students that actions taken on their behalf to try to bring about
improvements in the department were not supported by the University.
In addition, Dean Grace said, it would probably lessen the pressure on the department to
get on with the process because even giving notice of such a motion could make people
think that if they wait month this suspension will be lifted and things can go back to
where they were before, or, perhaps, they would continue to make changes. Based on past
performance, the Dean said he was sceptical about that. The Dean pointed out that the
students coming in September 1995 had been admitted prior to the McEwen Report, so
perhaps with the exception of one or two the suspension had not yet had any effect in
terms of blocking students from coming here. The admission of new students for
September 1996 will take place typically in the spring, so in fact the suspension would
have very minimal effect for some time to come. Dean Grace said that the suspension was
a symbolic act and he supposed the lifting of the suspension would be a symbolic act and
he would worry profoundly about the symbolism of such an act.
In response to a question by Dr. Cohen, Dr. Elkins said that the groups about whom he
could speak from first hand knowledge are prepared to work at this process
 Vancouver Senate 11198
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but whether they were satisfied with it he was not sure was quite the right question. He
said that right now they were selecting faculty to be on working groups and hoped that at
the department meeting next Tuesday they would have that in place and be ready to move
forward with this process. In that sense they were working with it even though there were
grave reservations of the way in which the process was laid out. However, they were
prepared to work with it as the current available means to this end.
Dean Grace commented that as far as students were concerned, with one exception
that he knew of, the students that had talked to him or had attended the meetings that he
had chaired were willing to work with this process also. He thought that everybody
would prefer to have some other kind of process but that this was one that was at least
workable, and one that everybody could live with.
Mr. Goehring responded on behalf of the Graduate Student Society stating that its
position is that it supports the present committee and it supports an extension of time for
the process to at least give the perception of dealing with this particular issue. He asked
that it be recorded that the Graduate Student Society supported and continues to support
Dean Grace in this particular situation.
Dr. Will stated that it was urgent that the issue be addressed and resolved. He stated that
in the Faculty of Arts the issue was consuming much time and thought and was
preventing faculty from doing the things they are here for. Dr. Will said he lamented very
much to see the University, whose visibility we are trying to raise, and our administrators,
ridiculed in the press. He said that the realities that have taken over
 Vancouver Senate 11199
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in the debate are not whatever were the realities in the Political Science Department that
were addressed in the McEwen Report. He said it was not clear what there is in the
Report in the way of misdeeds and behaviour that require discipline, but that this is what
the University should be focussing on. He said that, in fact, the CAUT report says that the
McEwen Report at the most might be viewed as the first step, whereby those responsible
might come to some conclusion as to whether a second step, which would hold people
accountable for what they did, need be taken, but that all of that had been superseded.
The realities that now drive the debate, and embarrass us, are the actions taken in
response to the report. Dr. Will said that he had heard a lot of things in the debate, and
had seen a lot of things in the documents circulated to Senate that gave him some
encouragement and comfort that things are moving in the right direction. He stated that
there were some fundamentals that have to be faced now, and not at some time in the
future. Dr. Will said that the way the University as an institution was going to get this
matter off its back, and turn perceptions around, was to do something that is read and
perceived by other people as decisive action — brave actions taken to turn things around,
and to admit even, if necessary, that mistakes have been made. Such action, he said,
would allow people to get back to doing the things they are here for.
Dr. Will said that he went into administration into 1969, right at the beginning of that
period in the University's history depicted by some as the year of the student revolution.
He said that the University was strong then and that it is strong now, and capable of
coping with the present situation. UBC came out of that period relatively unscathed with
its the curriculum largely intact. Many universities in North America,
 Vancouver Senate 11200
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including some in Canada, allowed their curriculum to be turned upside down and voided
of structure and design. Then in the 1970s and 1980s they had to get back much of what
was given up and put back some structure into their curriculum. UBC held its own. It
allowed minimal change.
Dr. Will said he was not concerned by the fact that something occurred in the summer,
and that action to deal with it was not brought to Senate. He said that if the Dean had
acted differently in relation to the McEwen Report, in the way some thought he should
have, his action would not be an issue tonight. A suspension of admission is not the same
as admissions or admissions policy, which under the University Act, is a power not of the
Faculties but of Senate. The suspension of graduate admissions into Political Science has
not been brought to the first meeting of Senate, as some think it should have, but it will
be before Senate at the next meeting. The issue was brought before the Faculty of Arts on
September 7. Dr. Will said he usually questions what he reads in the media, and therefore
hopes that the Dean of Graduate Studies was misquoted by the Ubyssey which reported
the Dean as saying that the vote of 97 to 52 in favour of requesting the President to lift
the ban on admissions to the graduate program in Political Science was only a statement
of opinion of 97 faculty members in that Faculty. Dr. Will questioned whether "opinion"
was the right word to describe decisions arrived at by faculty members by reasoned
argument, and in some cases, reflective of deeply held principles and feelings.
Dr. Will also said he was encouraged to see in the terms of reference of one of the
committees to be established by Vice President Birch the question of the respective
 Vancouver Senate 11201
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jurisdictions of the Graduate Faculty and the budget of operational Faculties. He said
there was bound to be some overlap of jurisdictions and this is most apparent in
membership. For example, the great majority of faculty members who voted in the
Faculty of Arts in favour of removing the suspension of Graduate admissions were also
members of the Faculty of Graduate Studies. Faculty members in the Faculty of Arts are
closest to the issues of pluralism and the right of minority views to be heard and
respected, and it is for this reason that their views and advice on how to assure the
freedom of expression the issue requires should be given careful attention. This issue does
not exist, or assume the same importance, say, in geology or biology, Dr. Will added. Not
only the voice of faculty in the humanities and social sciences should be heard and
respected on the issue being addressed, but also should the position taken by
administrators. He noted that the Dean of Arts, as an academic administrator, is in the
enviable position of finding herself supported by a large majority of her faculty.
Ms. Soong stated that she had read the McEwen Report, but understood that other
convocation senators had not had an opportunity to do so. Ms. Soong's reaction to the
report was that it was up to the Senate to ensure that the academic environment in the
University was free of every kind of harassment. Ms. Soong asked how was it possible
that harassment of certain female students in the Political Science Department could have
continued for months without some kind of proper resolution, and how posters had been
actually put up in the Honours Students reading room that threatened physical violence
and death to female honour students. Ms. Soong suggested that it was not only the
Political Science Department which needed to look at educational
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conditions of students here but all sectors of the University. She felt that everyone had to
address themselves to ensuring that there is no misunderstanding by staff and students
that harassment will not be tolerated at UBC. It was important, she said, that the
educational environment on this campus is conducive to students' success in their studies.
That was the reason why she stood for election as a convocation senator. Ms. Soong
acknowledged that many faculty had made good points but she was speaking both as a
convocation senator and an alumnus of the university who is interested in seeing that
things are properly looked after. She did not want to see fingers pointed. She was only
interested in seeing a resolution of the problems of harassment so that students can study
and study successfully.
Dr. Shearer stated that he was deeply disturbed and agreed with Ms. Soong's comments
about the appropriate environment, but like others he was concerned about the contents
and the interpretation of the McEwen Report. He was particularly concerned about the
process and the evidence. He stated that what concerned many faculty members was the
paragraph in the letter to all faculty that suggests rather strongly that there is other
evidence which has not been revealed to the academic community and which somehow
justifies the action that has been taken against the Political Science Department whereas
the McEwen Report does not support that claim. Dr. Shearer stated that he would very
much like to know what is the other corroborative evidence.
President Strangway stated that the other evidence was in fact evidence that was made
available to McEwen and to the external reviewers. It was a separate set of reports and
the reference in the letter pertained to that material.
 Vancouver Senate 11203
Minutes of September 20,1995
Chair's remarks and related questions
Vice President Birch said he would rather focus on the commonality of the statements
made by members of Senate, rather than on the differences, in that they had declared a
commitment both to excellence and equity, and a commitment to assisting and supporting
the resolution of difficulties or problems related to climate and the contents of programs
for graduate students. That same declaration and commitment has been made explicitly
and strongly by the Head of the Department, the Dean of Arts and the Dean of Graduate
Studies and by a number of members of Senate.
Vice President Birch felt that it was important that Senate not spend its energy thinking
about how to mobilize the arguments pro and con lifting the suspension a month from
now. Instead, it should support the department in its efforts to address the problems and
to maintain the momentum. He believed that the department would emerge from the
process strengthened, if anything, as would the university.
Vice President Birch said that it was also important to recognize that support for the
actions that had been taken, and support for the Dean of Graduate Studies committee and
its attempt to assist and work with the department, had been expressed by the Graduate
Student Society and by a majority motion of the Faculty Association executive. He said it
was important to note that the Graduate Student Society, the AMS and the Faculty
Association had agreed to join in sponsoring the forum that has been planned for later in
the year to discuss these issues in a larger and more generic way.
Vice President Birch again stressed that it was important not to lose momentum by
anticipating the debate over a notice of motion given tonight to be debated at the next
 Vancouver Senate 11204
Minutes of September 20,1995
Chair's remarks and related questions
Senate meeting, and that time not be spent on lining up on one side or another of that
issue on which there is a difference of opinion, but rather that everyone commit
themselves to continuing the process with the utmost empathy and support for the
graduate students and the faculty concerned in the Department of Political Science.
Dean Goldberg agreed that it was very important that Senate engage in a process that
above all honours the integrity of the institution. However, he did not think that the
process described honoured either academic inquiry or rules of evidence. As an academic
administrator, Dean Goldberg said that he could not have taken any substantive action on
the basis of the McEwen Report other than to have another inquiry to tell him what the
problem was. The fundamental issue was that the evidence that was presented in the
McEwen Report was so flawed as to make it impossible to take any meaningful action
other than to get the evidence needed to engage in a process that would lead to a
reasonable set of decisions. He thought it important that Senate debate this matter in
order to address both the issue of evidence, which was terribly flawed, and the issue of a
suitable process.
Mr. Gray gave notice of the following motion:
"That the Policy on Harassment and Discrimination be referred to a committee of the
Senate for full review."
President Strangway pointed out that the Policy on Harassment and Discrimination,
which was adopted by Senate and subsequently by the Board, was in fact in the process of
being reviewed because at the time the Board approved it they also agreed
 Vancouver Senate 11205
Minutes of September 20,1995
Chair's remarks and related questions
that it be would be reviewed. The President pointed out that the process involving the
Political Science department was in place before the policy and its associated procedures
were adopted and he thought it would be interesting to see with the existing policy how
the processes would have been carried out.
The President agreed to a request by Mr. Brady that members of Senate be sent copies of
the McEwen Report and the B.C. Civil Liberties letter.
Dr. Birch suggested that the Chair of Senate and the Chairs of the Academic Policy and
Agenda Committees consider the matter of by what process that motion is brought back
to Senate so that Senate does not find itself in the position of debating it without the
opportunity for reflection and consideration prior to the Senate meeting.
Dr. Knight noted that copies of the McEwen Report had been sent to all incoming
graduate students and asked whether this had had an effect on admission. Dean Grace
that the number was slightly below normal but he could not say if any importance could
be attached to that.
Dr. Hoberg, graduate advisor in the Department of Political Science, informed Senate that
the current number of new students in the department is ten and that there will be twelve
starting in January. He stated that this was less than half the normal intake. The number
of people who applied this year was substantially below the normal numbers and the
quality of applications was substantially below normal. He stated that the McEwen
inquiry had an impact on that prior to the issuance of the report. When the report came
out on June 21st many students had already foreclosed options
 Vancouver Senate 11206
Minutes of September 20,1995
Chair's remarks and related questions
and some of them still had options available. None of the studentswho declined said the
reason was because of the McEwen Report, though Dr. Hoberg thought that if students
did not come because of the McEwen inquiry they would be reluctant to say and therefore
it was impossible to know what effect it had had on admission.
Mr. Presley, student senator for the Faculty of Arts, asked for assurance that both
undergraduate and graduate students will be involved at all levels of decision making if a
new process were to be implemented.
President Strangway stated that it would be appropriate to discuss this when the motion is
discussed by Senate at the next meeting, but in the meantime he noted that the Dean of
Graduate Studies and the Department of Political Science were continuing with their
activities and that, as could be seen from the reports, they do have substantial student
involvement in those processes.
Dr. Elkins confirmed that students are involved at two stages in the existing process. He
explained that the working groups have an equal number of students and faculty and co-
chairs. The recommendations of the working groups then go to the department which
also has graduate and undergraduate students sitting as voting members when decisions
are made on how to dispose of the recommendations.
Dean Grace informed Senate that of the eleven members of his committee, four are
In response to a query by the Chair, Dr. Elkins confirmed that the Department is prepared
to work with the Faculty of Graduate Studies in resolving this issue, subject to all the
issues that he had raised, and this had been communicated to the Faculty.
 Vancouver Senate 11207
Minutes of September 20,1995
Other business
Mr. Boritz, student senator at-large, agreed that there were flaws in the McEwen Report
but stated that, even so, a number of extremely distasteful incidents were reported. He
expressed concern that these very serious incidents had been tossed aside and had lost
their significance in the debate over the issue of suspension. He noted that there had been
a great deal of discussion about due process and the current lack of due process, but
asked where due process had been in 1992 and 1993. Mr. Boritz said he was pleased,
however, to see some movement towards due process now taking place.
Other business
Dr. Cook asked that it be noted in the minutes of Senate that the Assistant Secretary of
Senate, Fran Medley, is back with us tonight.
Report of the Tributes Committee (in camera)
Dean McBride, chair of the committee, presented a report recommending that the
following be offered emeritus status:
Mrs. Marilyn E. Dewis - Assistant Professor Emerita of Nursing
Dr. Malcome Wvong - Assistant Professor Emeritus of Electrical Engineering
Dr. Robert J. Tolsma - Assistant Professor Emeritus of Counselling Psychology
Dr. K. G. Atkinson - Clinical Professor Emeritus of Surgery
Dr. A. D. Courtemanche - Clinical Professor Emeritus of Surgery
Dr. Daniel W. Froese - Clinical Associate Professor Emeritus of Family Practice
Dr. Henry Hildebrand - Clinical Professor Emeritus of Surgery
Dr. Michael Rigg - Clinical Professor Emeritus of Paediatrics
Dr. Edison Sinanan - Clinical Assistant Professor Emeritus of Surgery
Dr. Irwin F. Stewart - Clinical Professor Emeritus of Surgery
 Vancouver Senate 11208
Minutes of September 20,1995
Report of the Tributes Committee (in camera)
Dean McBride l        That the recommendations of the Tributes
Dean Smith i        Committee concerning emeritus status be
Dean McBride reminded Senate that at the May meeting a motion had been approved
granting honorary degrees to lawyers who qualified for practice in B.C. prior to the
establishment of the UBC Faculty of Law. Dean McBride read to Senate the following list
of people who met this criteria, and recommended that they be invited to accept honorary
LL.B. degrees at the ceremonies to be held to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the
founding of the UBC Faculty of Law.
Graham Campbell Blair Baillie
John Allan Bourne
Eric Brown
Montague Gregory Caple
Irwin Davis
Charles Albert Stuart DeVitt
The Honourable Thomas Anthony Dohm
Robert Theodore DuMoulin, Q.C.
The Honourable John Groves Gould
Arthur Morrell Harper
The Honourable James Teetzel Harvey
Ian M. Home, Q.C.
Hubert Bell King
Donald James Lawson
The Honourable Charles Conrad Locke
The Honourable Meredith Milner McFarlane
The Honourable Allen Stewart McMorran
Colin Dunslaff McQuarrie
Winifred Murphy
The Honourable Nathaniel T. Nemetz
Douglas Archibald MacRae Patterson
Alfred Watts
Harry Lloyd Wilson
 Vancouver Senate
Minutes of September 20,1995
Dean McBride
Dean Smith
That the recommendations of the Tributes
Committee concerning honorary LL.B. degrees
be approved.
The meeting adjourned at 10:30 p.m.
Next meeting
The next regular meeting ofSenate will be held on Wednesday, October 18, 1995.


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