The headline on the latest edition of the AASUA’s Rhumblines declares that “The Members Have Spoken” in the AASUA ratification vote on the “Dual Tentative Proposals.”
The AASUA comprises about 4,400 members.
The numbers from the vote: 743 members voted for the proposals; 523, against.
Let’s do a little quick math, shall we?
1266/4400 = 29%
743/4400 = 17%
That’s right: fewer than 3 in 10 members cast a vote on these proposals, with every trio within that third having one member voting for, one member voting against, and one riven down the middle.
To put it another way: Seven out of 10 members left the decision to the 29% who voted, and what did that 29% decide? That they are divided on the matter.
And the only thing the seven out of ten who did not vote can be said to have endorsed is letting a minority decide.
Another 12% has formally registered their non-endorsement, and only 17% of the membership approves of these proposals.
Seventeen percent. Fewer than 1 in 5.
That’s not exactly a mandate, is it? Especially when we remember that the 17% who have approved the proposals include members of the administration.
One wonders what the Board of Governors will make of this.
Will the Board be content that only 1 in 5 of the Association’s members has approved the proposals?
Even if it is, it is now time for us to keep our eye on the Terms of Reference, which we have been told will remain fluid. If the Board of Governors approves the proposals, and the Renaissance Committee goes forward with the work, Rhumblines tells us:
With only 17% of the membership voting for these proposals, the very least we need to do is hold the AASUA to its promise that the Committee for which it will supply half of the members will aim for transparency. Of course, we really need more from it than that. We want engagement. We especially need dedicated and significant engagement with the constituency that will be most affected by these proposals. The Renaissance Committee will furnish recommendations of such momentous implications for the institution that the AASUA Officers should make it a matter of honour to ensure that the ratification of those recommendations comes from a truly significant percentage of the membership. Look for initiatives on this front in the Fall from members of the Faculty of Arts and the Academic Faculty Committee of the AASUA.