Despite a referendum recommending the impeachment of Queen’s rector Nick Day, no one at the university appears to have a clue what to do next. Following a senate meeting on Wednesday, Queen’s president Daniel Woolf said “The University Council has no power to remove the rector.” University Council includes representation from both the Board of Trustees and the Senate.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, undergraduate students voted 72 per cent to recommend the Council remove Day from office, largely in response to an open letter he wrote, and signed with his official title, criticizing Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff’s denunciation of Israeli Apartheid Week, and alleging that a “genocide” was occurring against Palestinians.
However, while University Council by-laws outline the procedure for installing a rector after a student vote, the Queen’s Journal reports that there is no policy for removing a rector. “There’s absolutely no statement or guidance at all about what the University Council could or couldn’t do,” University Secretariat Georgina Moore told the student paper.
Another point of contention is that the impeachment vote only included undergraduate students but graduate students also have a say in electing the rector in the first place. At an annual general meeting of the Society of Graduate and Professional Students this week, a motion to “Support Academic Freedom and Queen’s University Rector Nick Day” was passed.
The executive committee of the University Council will decide how to proceed and will consider the conflicting positions of undergraduate and graduate students.