Madame Chair, Members of the Board, Fellow Stakeholders:
Thank you very much for this opportunity to speak to you today.
We know your time is valuable, so we will get right to the point. There are two reasons for our visit today.
The first is to say that the Lakehead University Faculty Association has the greatest respect for the important work that you do, and we are very pleased to reach out to you in the spirit of solidarity to assert the importance of universities as a public good in Ontario.
Too often, university boards and faculty associations are viewed as adversaries because we sit on opposite sides of the negotiating table. In fact, we are very much on the same team, and we very much want the same things. We want a university that serves the needs of the community, that is a welcoming and nurturing place to learn, that is a safe and fulfilling place to work, and most of all, a university that is resilient and sustainable through difficult times.
The second reason we are here today, which I will spend some time elaborating, stems from the first. The partnership I am describing—according to which two governing bodies (a faculty Senate and a Board of Governors) work side by side, like the two hemispheres of the human brain in a structure of collegial, “bi-cameral” governance—is under threat and needs our attention.