Simon Fraser University

Noble's request dismissed

Sep 05, 2002 , vol. 25, no. 1

A special university appointments committee (UAC), at Simon Fraser University has unanimously dismissed a request from David Noble that the process used in the search for the J.S. Woodsworth chair in humanities be reviewed.

The committee was convened in response to a challenge on the part of Noble, a candidate for the chair. An earlier recommendation for Noble's appointment was sent back to the department of humanities for further work. When it was resubmitted the requirement for additional references and other documentation remained incomplete and the committee called for a new search to begin.

Dissatisfied with this outcome, Noble sought a review alleging procedural irregularities, personal prejudice and discrimination.

The special UAC that met to review his complaint consists entirely of faculty members elected by their peers; there are no university administrators on the committee. None of the members of the special UAC participated in the original committee that called for a new search.
The special UAC found nothing in the information submitted by Noble to support his allegations of procedural irregularities, bias on the grounds of personal prejudice or discrimination.

This is the fourth independent assessment of Noble's candidacy and the findings in all cases have been consistent. The university is satisfied that Noble has been treated fairly in all respects and considers the matter closed.

The dean of arts has authorized a new search for a limited term appointment to the J.S. Woodsworth chair in humanities. The chair honours the legacy of J.S. Woodsworth, a clergyman, social reformer, member of Parliament and founder of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF).

He championed issues of social justice, peace and equality. The chair holder is expected to combine teaching and research while actively engaging the wider community. Funding for the chair comes from an endowment established with contributions from the federal government, foundations, corp-orations, unions and individual donors as well as annual operating funds from the SFU faculty of arts.