Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Did a Board Chair Overstep?

Inside Higher Ed
August 18th, 2015

As speculation continues about the reasons for Arvind Gupta’s abrupt resignation from the University of British Columbia presidency after one year in office, one professor whose blog post speculating that his skin color (brown) and advocacy for minority and female academics in leadership might have something to do with it has written a follow-up post describing what she characterizes as an institutional attempt to silence her.
Her account of the attempt -- and the UBC board chair's role in it -- has heightened faculty concerns about governance at UBC following Gupta's unexplained resignation.
It started when Jennifer Berdahl published a blog post last week titled, “Did President Arvind Gupta Lose the Masculinity Contest?” In that post Berdahl acknowledged that she did not know the “ins and outs” of the reasons for Gupta’s departure. “But what I do have are my personal observations and experiences after my first year here as the inaugural Montalbano Professor of Leadership Studies: Gender and Diversity,” Berdahl’s post says. “I believe that part of this outcome is that Arvind Gupta lost the masculinity contest among the leadership at UBC, as most women and minorities do at institutions dominated by white men.”

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