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VP-academic under survey
By Dave Yasvinski
This week university faculty will have the opportunity to judge the job Western's VP-academic and provost has done for the school.
Greg Moran's five-year contract expires July 1, 2000 and a selection committee has been established to review his performance and possibly consider other candidates for the position. The University of Western Ontario Faculty Association recently circulated a survey to find out how its membership feels about Moran.
The survey, suggested by psychology Prof. Stephen Lupker, rates Moran on a scale from one to five on seven different criteria, including academic leadership, identifying and promoting academic excellence, planning for the future and a final question asking whether the faculty member supports the re-appointment of the incumbent.
"The faculty association's job is to make this a university that works," Lupker said. "The provost is the second most important person here."
Lupker added the anonymous survey makes sense because it would carry more weight than the comments of individual faculty members, who might be concerned about the confidentiality of their opinions. The survey itself was put together by the UWOFA's executive committee who will also be responsible for collecting and presenting the results to the selection committee.
Lupker added he was concerned whether or not the executive would make the results of the survey public knowledge. "It would be unfair to ask the membership to do this without telling us the outcome I'm surprised they're considering it."
Aniko Varpalotai, president of the UWOFA, said while the association has been asked to respond to reviews before, this is the first time it has surveyed its members. Because the executive scrambled to get the survey out in time to get the results for the meeting with the selection committee, details about how much information will be released have not been decided on, she added.
"We'll share in some general terms the results the executive is meeting to sort this out," Varpalotai said.
David Spencer, associate professor in the faculty of information and media studies, said he did not have a problem with the idea of the survey as long as the questions were not biased. He added it is probably a good idea to keep the results of the survey confidential in light of the fact they come from an organization which would be in a natural adversarial position to the VP-academic.
"I'm hoping this will have a positive effect on the process," Spencer said.
Although limited by what he could say while under review, Moran said he has enjoyed his job. "I'm willing to consider another term if the committee would like to ask me to the emphasis is on consider."