Office of the President

President Amit Chakma's Senate Remarks April 17, 2015

Let me begin by expressing my respect for this Senate, and my appreciation of the dialogue we began last week.

I know we are all working with the best interests of the University uppermost in our minds.

And I am grateful that the issues surrounding my compensation were not conflated with our budget deliberations.

Today, we will discuss and debate the two motions before you, and we will make important decisions.

These decisions will have substantive consequences for the future of the University.

To ensure we remain focused on this business, let me first answer an important question that may be on your minds.

I have been asked to comment publicly on what my intentions are when my tenure ends as president.

As I indicated in my public statement of April 1, I am voluntarily refunding the in-lieu payment I received for the administrative leave I did not take at the end of my first contract.

I have also decided not to exercise my right under my contract to receive payment in lieu of Administrative leave at the end of my second term.

At the end of my tenure as president, I intend to return to my first love of teaching and research as a professor of chemical engineering, and at that time I would use the administrative leave to prepare for my return to academic life.

Fellow Senators, I have heard you and the voices of our community loud and clear.

The issues you have raised are real.

I hope that through our discussions today we can begin to shift our collective efforts to begin resolving these crucial issues together.

I am committed to working with you.

I have begun the process of listening, and taking concrete steps to regain your trust and confidence.

Earlier this week, I met with the Council of the Faculty of Science, and with senior academic leaders from the Faculty of Social Science.

Next week, I will be meeting with the Faculty of Engineering and the Faculty of Arts and Humanities to engage with members of their respective communities.

I also appreciate that the leadership of UWOFA has expressed its desire to move forward together by articulating three concrete action items.  I thank UWOFA for these constructive suggestions.

Fellow Senators, I remain strongly committed to doing the right thing and serving the good of this great institution. 

We have much work to do, and I ask for your support.

Our discussions today will lay the groundwork for renewing our community and set the course for the future of this academy, its faculty, students, staff, and future administrations.

Thank you for this opportunity.

I know that Western will benefit from your contributions here today.