Fix First Nations University Now

So here's the deal: the auditor who "left" the university last fall (and is suing for wrongful dismissal, which is not what one normally does when they leave a position voluntarily), penned an alarm-filled report--that was leaked to media last week--saying the university improperly paid out thousands of dollars to administrators.

Now the provincial education minister has called an emergency meeting with the University of Regina--which grants FNUniv degrees--to discuss the situation.

My take? Ultimatum time. Norris, the University of Regina and the federal government, all need to demand 1.) the recommendations of the All Chiefs Report on the Future of First Nations university--a report co-chaired by Del Anaquod and Harry Lafond and presented to the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations in 2005--be fully implemented by, oh let's say May 1, or provincial funding should be frozen for the fall. And 2.) The current top administrators need to go.

And maybe it's time for the Association of Universities And Colleges of Canada put FNUniv on probation again. (The university was on probation but the AUCC went soft and lifted it. Ironically, FNUniv fired its academic vice-president, Shauneen Pete, shortly after the probation, which most mostly in response to political interference in University affairs--was lifted. Which in term was probably karma for a report Pete wrote in 2004 saying the AUCC should butt-out of First Nations University affairs. (Yes, this has been a long, winding and complicated story.))

Saskatchewan's First Nations students deserve a first-rate school. They do NOT deserve this mismanaged fiasco. Time to fix it.

No comments: