Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Carleton University President Quits

A very interesting storyline has emerged from my Alma Mater.

David Atkinson, after only 15 months on the job, has resigned as the President of Carleton. The news has shocked many people in the Carleton community. Many students felt that he was doing an adequate job. Although he didn't always agree with the Student Councils, he still maintained a line of communication.

His reason for leaving his post has been kept very quiet. It looks as though he was "forced" to resign. The press release stated that the Board of Governors and Dr. Atkinson had a difference of opinion in regards to the University's vision of the future. I have a feeling that this all relates to Dr. Atkinson's campaign against Macleans Magazine and the Ottawa Citizen.

Carleton was one of the schools that refused to submit information for Macleans' yearly University rankings. Regardless, Macleans still released the rankings for all schools and Carleton, did not place well. This prompted the Citizen to run an article using the term "Last Chance U" in the headline. For those that don't know, "Last Chance U" is a stereotype (and it's completely false in my opinion) that is used to describe Carleton. It suggests that Carleton sets its entrance requirements really low so that students who barley got by in High School, can attend University when they would have been turned down by other post-secondary institutions. Dr. Atkinson was quite upset with the content of the article and began a campaign where he urged all students, faculty and alumni to contact the Citizen and voice their displeasure.

It's possible that certain members on the Board as well as the faculty felt that Atkinson, was too aggressive in this campaign and may have hurt Carleton's reputation. Although I don't have this information, it's also possible that there are certain financial donors who are involved with CanWest, the company that owns the Citizen, who threatened to withdraw their donations if Dr. Atkinson was not disciplined for his actions.

There are parts to this story that are being left out. Needless to say, the Carleton community has to once again, find a new President. It's going to be a long process especially after what's happened.

The Hek

-Check out Episode Nineteen of the Audio Circus-


Blake said...

Been following the story back here in the Ottawa area. As a Carleton alumnus myself, it certainly got my attention! Though I left before Dr. Atkinson's tenure is president, he did seems as though he was doing a good job. It's a shame his departure is so abrupt and premature.

I just hope that this isn't an ominous sign of university admin cowering in fear of corporate interests and pressure. That runs completely contrary to Carleton's fundamental values & principles, as well as those espoused by most of its students.

We just have to search for the truth of the matter as things unfold further...

The Hek said...

For sure,

Sometimes, money can rank over vaules. It's a shame.

Actually, Blake, you should apply to be the new President! You'd be perfect for the role ;-)

Blake said...

Thanks, buddy! I appreciate the compliment. I'd nominate you as my VP :-)

My first official act would be to decree free beer for all! ;-)

The Hek said...


Anonymous said...

No, it was his lack of interpersonal skills.
Brock was thrilled when Carleton rescued Brock from the David! Google Brock faculty association

The Hek said...

He seemed like a nice guy when he gave me my diploma. Then again, I was in a bit of a fog that day.

Anonymous said...

f*ck censorship!
14 Oct 2005
kevin: the year before last year, when [brock university president] david atkinson
was making his speech, he directed a number of racial and ethnic slurs toward
the chinese students in the room. he lost a little bit of control when he ...
moving right along - http://spaces.msn.com/members/nwokevin/

The Hek said...

if he did that, i'm sure he'd get in big trouble. there's no way carleton would have hired him.

Anonymous said...

Here is an interesting article in the Chronicle of Higher Education that sounds very like the situation at Carleton. Might shed some light on the subject.


very anonymous

Eric Rosenhek said...

Thank you "Very"

Anonymous said...

Carlton is still known as Last Chance U across Canada.