University governance model proposed by Bill 38 goes against best practices

MONTREAL, Sept. 29 /CNW Telbec/ - Today, the Conference of Rectors and Principals of Quebec Universities (CREPUQ) presented to the Commission de la culture et de l'éducation the consensus position of Quebec universities regarding Bill 38 on university governance. Noteworthy is that thirteen university heads were present, underlying the important that they place on university governance.

The universities hold the firm conviction that the principles of good governance can be effectively applied only if the particular values, traditions and culture of each establishment are taken into account, as recommended by the report on university governance issued by the Institut sur la gouvernance d'organisations privées et publiques (IGOPP). This cannot be accomplished through legislation.

CREPUQ wishes to stress that universities adhere to and follow accepted principles of good governance and accountability without reservation. An effective and diversified board of competent directors, a majority of whom are independent, three mandatory board committees, and complete and transparent reporting procedures are among the objectives shared by all universities in Quebec. In fact, the institutions are committed to implementing evolving best practices in the field.

"At a time when other societies, particularly in Europe, are overcoming significant obstacles in order to develop university systems based on autonomy and decentralization, Quebec is embarking on the opposite path, even though there is nothing to show that such an approach would improve the quality of research and teaching, make a university education more accessible, or even ensure sounder management of public funds.

Universities play a critical role in ensuring Quebec's growth in the knowledge economy of the 21st century. The government should be providing the tools and means they need to remain competitive with the best universities in the world, even as they pursue ever-higher goals. Sadly, the proposed legislation, which reflects anything but a modern and responsible approach, will only undermine university management and the governing bodies of Québec universities, and make them weaker," noted Heather Munroe-Blum, Chair of CREPUQ and Principal and Vice-Chancellor of McGill University.

"Given the current level of international competition, what Quebec universities and society need is a united effort that will enable our universities to make a significant contribution to knowledge and science, as well as to help ensure Quebec's economic, social and cultural development and its influence throughout the world," added Daniel Zizian, President and Director General of CREPUQ.

CREPUQ represents Quebec's 18 universities, acting on their behalf before government authorities and other parties involved in higher education. It also facilitates university cooperation, serves as a research centre for university administrations, acts as coordinator and administrator of shared services and provides a resource centre and discussion forum for its members.


For further information: For further information: Chantal Pouliot, Director of Communications, Conference of Rectors and Principals of Quebec Universities, (514) 288-8524, ext. 244

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