Open Letter to Peter Kruyt

Clear Message from 36 Fromer Students

Dear Mr. Kruyt,

We, the undersigned former students of Concordia, are writing to express our deep concern over the governance of Concordia University. Many of the signatories to this letter have been directly involved in the governance of Concordia University and the many students’ organizations at this institution.

Having helped to shape what the university is today, we are extremely alarmed by recent events. Concordia is not merely the bricks and mortar of its ever-growing campus. It is a great university that challenges its students to critically engage with the world around them.

We are writing today to add our voices to those of Concordia faculty, students and staff who have expressed concern over the untimely departure of President Judith Wordsworth and the Concordia Board of Governors’ lack of openness, transparency and forthrightness on this matter. The reasons surrounding her departure and the settlement paid to her have not been made clear. Moreover, the entire process involved in the termination of her employment has been shrouded in secrecy.

We are especially concerned about this matter because President Woodsworth is the second president in three years to be forced out. In the fall of 2007, Dr. Claude Lajeunesse resigned in a similar manner, with a golden parachute of over $1 million. At the time, the many questions respecting the reasons for the abrupt departure were left unanswered by the Board.

These and other departures of senior administrators come at a high cost to an institution whose operations are paid for by the public and its student body.

As many of us continue to pay off large student loans incurred in order to study, it is difficult for us to fathom how an institution that routinely claims to be barely making ends meet manages to justify spending millions of dollars paying senior administrators to leave.

Lastly, we wish to make it clear that the statement issued by the Concordia Alumni Association on Jan. 14, 2011 with regards to this matter does not represent the views of the many alumni who have signed this letter.

As chair of the Concordia University Board of Governors, we call on you to:

1. Make public the amount of all payouts (and existing liabilities) to senior university administrators over the last five years.

2. Clearly identify what process was followed, and all of the individuals involved in the decision-making regarding all departures of senior administrators over the last five years, and make public any documentation that exists, including minutes of meetings, where such decisions where discussed.

3. Provide an honest and full description of the events that led to the departure of Dr. Judith Woodsworth.

4. Resign your position as chairperson of the Concordia University Board of Governors.

Until the actions outlined above have been taken, the Board of Governors will not have our confidence.

In addition, we call for a complete review of the governance of Concordia University that meaningfully includes students, staff and faculty with the goal of democratizing the university’s governance structure and reducing the influence of external members on the university’s Board of Governors. To have credibility, this review must be public.

There is no question that Concordia’s Board of Governors is experiencing a deep crisis of confidence. It is not, however, too late to undo the damage.

Answering the questions and taking the actions put forward in this letter in a timely manner will go a long way to rebuilding trust with the Concordia community. We sign this letter as proud Concordia alumni who remain deeply committed to Concordia University’s continued success as an institution rooted in its community. We stand ready to contribute to the further development of our alma mater.


36 Former Concordia Students

Mathieu Murphy Perron

VP Loyola & Sustainability, CSU, 2007-2008
Member, Concordia University Senate, 2005-2006
VP, FASA, 2004-2007

Chris Schwartz
Campaigns Coordinator, CSU, 2007-2008

Edwin Janzen
President, FASA, 2006-2007
Member, Concordia University Board of Governors, 2007-2008

Chris Godziuck
President, FASA, 2004-2006

Dr. David Bernans
President, GSA, 2005-2006
Member, Concordia University Board of Governors, 2005-2006

Mariane Bourcheix-Laporte
VP External, FASA, 2006-2010

Nanette Soucy
BFA, Class of 2006

Larry R. Lamont
BFA, Class of 2006

Daniel Tetraut
Member, Concordia Student Union Councilor, 2005-2006
BA, Class of 2007

Clara Hessler
BA, Class of 2009

Heidi Craig
BA, Class of 2008

Angela Potvin
L.L.B., BA, Class of 2007

Jessie Vaillancourt
Member, ASFA Council, 2006-2008
President, Communications Guild, 2007-2008
BA, 2008

Chris DeLuca
BA, Class of 2008

Sarah Gutman
BA, Class of 2010

Tania Tabar
Class of 2007

Yannic Wolfe
Student Advocate, CSU, 2007-2009

Caroline Fernandez
Member, CSU Council, 2006-2007

Matt Jones

BA, Class of 2004
MA, Class of 2007
Part-Time Faculty, English Department

Ken McMurray
BA, Class of 1996
ASFA, Presidentm 1995-1997
Member, CSU Council, 1993-1995
Member, Arts & Science Faculty Council, 1992-1996

Joannie Tremblay-Boired
MPPPA, Class of 2010

Anthony Sanford
B. Comms, Class of 2009

Katharine Childs
BFA, Class of 2006
Member, Concordia University Senate, 2003-2004
Member, CSU Council, 2003-2004
President, Concordia Queer Union, 2003-2004

Ariela Freedman
BA, Class of 1994

Craig Sauvé
BA, Class of 2004
President, Liberal Arts Society
Member, ASFA Council

Cherry Marshall
BA, Class of 2006
MPPPA, Class of 2010
Member, CSU Council, 2005-2006
Member, Concordia University Senate, 2005-2006
Member, Concordia Council for Student Life, 2005-2006

Cynthia Kelly
Class of 2002

Robert Green

President, CSU, 1999-2001
Member, Concordia University Board of Governors, 1999-2001
VP Administration, CSU, 1998-1999
BA, Class of 1998
Graduate Diploma, 2004

Gregory Johansson
Member, Concordia University Senate, 2009-2010
BA,. Class of 2010

Dania Fawaz
Member, CSU Council, 2007-2008
BA, Class of 2008

Devin Wells
President, FASA, 2008-2009
Member, Concordia Council for Student Life, 2008-2009
BFA, Class of 2010

David DesBaillets
BA, Class of 2002

Stéfanny Beaudoin
B. Sc, Class of 2009

Tom Snabl
B.Comm, Class of 1973

Beisan Zubi
Member, ASFA Council, 2009-2010
Member, Political Science Council, 2009-2010
Member, Arts & Science Council, 2009-2010
BA, Class of 2010

Nadia Hausfather
Graduate Diploma in Journalism, Class of 2008