Campus Catch-Up

Thompson Rivers president ousted

Thompson Rivers University’s president was fired on Sept. 14 from the B.C. school after just one year on the job.

According to the board of directors’ report, the board lost confidence in Kathleen Scherf, president and vice-chancellor of Thompson Rivers since Sept. 2008.

Some have speculated it was Scherf’s eccentricities, such as keeping boldly-coloured streaks in her hair and using the word “dude” in conversation around campus, that cost her the job.

Scherf, a theatre professor, was the fifth president of Thompson Rivers and had previously been a dean at the University of Calgary. She also taught at the University of British Columbia and the University of New Brunswick.

She will receive a severance of $168,000 and can opt to stay at Thompson Rivers as a professor if she chooses.

Under Scherf’s leadership, Thompson Rivers established Canada’s first new law school in 35 years.

—Holly Tousignant

Pension package sparks outrage at University of Calgary

Details of the University of Calgary’s president’s $4.75-million pension have been kept from the public since 2002.

University of Calgary President Harvey Weingarten will collect the multi-million dollar pension when he steps down in January after nine years on the job.

News of the pension package sparked outrage around the University’s campus.

In July, Weingarten said the University might cut up to 200 jobs in order to reduce the University’s estimated $14.3-million debt.

The University’s board of directors said the pension was meant to reflect Weingarten’s 22 years of service at McMaster University, where the University of Calgary recruited him from.

—Holly Tousignant

Faculty faith oath raises concerns

The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) has formed a commission to investigate Crandall University’s policy that requires professors to swear a statement of faith in order to teach at the school.

Crandall University, formerly known as Atlantic Baptist University, is a liberal arts college in Moncton, N.B.

Despite teaching from a biblical perspective, students of all denominations are accepted into the school.

The commission is investigating the policy’s effect on academic freedom.

“There are a number of Catholic universities, like St. Francis Xavier in Antigonish, [N.S.], St. Michael’s College at the University of Toronto, St. Mary’s University College in Calgary—there are dozens of universities with a church affiliation, or a religious affiliation, that respect academic freedom,” CAUT Executive Director Jim Turk told CBC News on Sept. 16.

—Rachel Kuper

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