Letter demeans professionalism
In their recent letter, Robin Kenyon, Don Hubbard and Jane Gregory (three former chairs of Vancouver Island University (VIU)/Malaspina’s Board of Governors) show they do not understand the issues at stake in the labour dispute at VIU [“Faculty demands disappointing,” April 27]. Nor do they appear to know much about contemporary governance at Canadian universities.
Almost every other university in Canada has legislated or contractual safeguards to protect education. These safeguards ensure that decisions around cuts to programs or to the availability of classes are made through an open, transparent process, one that clearly demonstrates such cuts do not endanger the ability of the affected students to further or complete their education.
Under the current (tentative) agreement, VIU administration would have substantially more unfettered power than administrators at almost any other university in Canada. Thus, far from making “huge demands,” VIU faculty are seeking the minimum provisions that will protect the integrity of educational programs at our institution. This is the reason that the majority of faculty made the difficult decision in March to vote in favour of labour action, and the reason we continue to work as constructive partners in development of VIU’s true “vision” to be an excellent teaching university.
We want transparency and accountability. To imply otherwise, as Kenyon, Hubbard and Gregory have done, not only demeans the professionalism of faculty but also demonstrates a willingness to generate a greater degree of tension during these negotiations.
Dr. Daniel Burgoyne, department of English
Dr. Erick Groot, department of biology
Dr. Ross MacKay, department of English
Dr. Robert Willis, faculty of management
Vancouver Island University
Safe trail use
It’s nice to see people being active, walking dogs, mountain biking, horseback riding, motorcycling and quadding. But we all have to remember, we’re not the only ones on these trails [“Committee works to reduce conflict,” May 4].
This is especially true for those on horseback. We try to find clearance to move safely from others, but people with loud motors, who ride too fast along narrow trails, won’t hear and often don’t see other users on the trail ahead.
My horse and I had a very close call of being hit. This time I had a tree to protect us. We crossed our fingers and prayed that we didn’t get hurt. But the response from the motorcyclist was “get off the trails.”
We all enjoy riding and walking on the backcountry trails, but we also have to watch out for others. One day I saw a man carrying his dog. His dog had been hit by a motorcycle. The rider hadn’t even stopped to see if the dog was hit. Damages on a motorcycle can get fixed; it’s hard to replace a loved one that is killed.
Riding on Padgett Road is not even safe. There is not enough shoulder on either side of the road to walk with a stroller and a dog. We used to ride across the pole line from Padgett to Duncan Street, but now can’t because of the Fisheries Act restricting access in the riparian zone. Could there be a bridge built across Myrtle Creek so we can cross safely?
Please slow down. There are other people using the trails.