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.
-Check out Episode Nineteen of the Audio Circus-