At the May 20, 2014 CBE public board meeting, we witnessed an effort by three trustees to govern by policy, and the resistance of the other four trustees. We also witnessed a lack of leadership by the board.
Trustee Hurdman proposed three motions relative to OE5: Financial Planning that would have instructed administration to comply with an existing board policy. Four trustees argued that the cited policy was irrelevant (as they tried to score partisan political points against the government of Alberta). If the policy is irrelevant, they should move to change policy, not simply refuse to govern. (See video here)
With regard to curriculum redesign, Chair Taylor expressed that trustees look forward to having their input. In a democracy, our elected representative (Trustees) should be the public face of the CBE, presenting ideas to the public and soliciting feedback. It should be the trustees who initiate public conversations, who go out to the public. Trustees should be the ones who approach corporations and other partner non-profit organizations. They should not leave the administration to run any public consultation completely unbridled. This, and every public consultation, is an opportunity for trustees to show leadership and to represent the public who elected them. Instead they look forward to having input.
The most shocking moment came when Trustee Hehr expressed feeling unequal to the task of considering issues as they arise. Rather, she indicated a preference against holding conversations in public. This, from a publicly elected representative. We at ARTICS think the public deserves better.