In the United States and increasingly in Canada, many of the problems in higher education can be linked to diminished funding, the domination of universities by market mechanisms, the rise of for-profit colleges, the intrusion of the national security state, and the diminished role of faculty in governing the university, all of which both contradicts the culture and democratic value of higher education and makes a mockery of the very meaning and mission of the university as a democratic public sphere.

Corporate gifts flood into universities making more and more demands regarding what should be taught.

Higher education has a responsibility not only to search for the truth regardless of where it may lead, but also to educate students to be capable of holding authority and power accountable while at the same time sustaining “the idea and hope of a public culture.”

Henry A. Giroux (2013)
Chair for Scholarship in the Public Interest
English and Cultural Studies Department
McMaster University

Issues outlined by Henry Giroux face colleagues in Canada, the United States, and indeed across the world. UNB is no exception. The problems are interrelated and difficult to disentangle. Corporate donations can have an effect on academic freedom (for example, intellectual property rights) and academic planning; diminished funding can have an effect on complement and workload; and corporate-style management, including increased reliance on external consultants,  can adversely affect collegial governance.

The pages linked below (and in the main menu) discuss these issues in the context of UNB. Several major initiatives are underway at UNB: administrative services review, a proposal to restructure the roles and responsibilities on the President’s Executive Team, academic planning, budget process review, and a new strategic plan.

It is important to remain watchful and engaged.

Academic Freedom

Academic Planning

Complement

Naming Policy for Faculties, Colleges and Schools (presented to Senates in October 2016)

Governance

Higher-education teaching personnel should have the right and opportunity, without discrimination of any kind, according to their abilities, to take part in the governing bodies and to criticize the functioning of higher education institutions, including their own, while respecting the right of other sections of the academic community to participate, and they should also have the right to elect a majority of representatives to academic bodies within the higher education institution.

The principles of collegiality include academic freedom, shared responsibility, the policy of participation of all concerned in internal decision making structures and practices, and the development of consultative mechanisms. Collegial decision-making should encompass decisions regarding the administration and determination of policies of higher education, curricula, research, extension work, the allocation of resources and other related activities, in order to improve academic excellence and quality for the benefit of society at large.

UNSECO Recommendation (1997)