Robert MacKinnon reaches the end of his term: Could UNBSJ see a new vice-president?

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Robert MacKinnon, the current vice-president, has reached the end of his five-year term at UNBSJ and will be eligible for reappointment if he wishes to return to the position.

MacKinnon was the university’s Dean of Arts until his term began on July 1, 2008. This year marks his fifth year as vice-president and the end of his contract. According to Sarah DeVarenne, the secretary for both UNB campuses, if MacKinnon chooses to continue, he must go through a lengthy renewal process to determine whether he’s fit to resume his post.

This process would involve a conversation between MacKinnon and Eddy Campbell, the current president of UNB. When it’s made clear that he would like to offer to stay in office another term, the review process begins. A summary of the vice-president’s achievements during his term at UNBSJ is sent to a specially-formed review and search committee where it’s looked over among many other things regarding his performance.

With the permission of the vice-president, the committee releases this information to the university community, who comments on it and adds their own inputs and critiques. These statements are compiled and given to the president, who would in turn give it to MacKinnon to advise him in the future if he’s reappointed.

DeVarenne says that if after the initial review process the incumbent is eligible for reinstatement, the review committee informs the president, who relays the answer to UNB’s Board of Governors, who will make the ultimate decision.

If MacKinnon decides to step down, a similar process occurs; the review and search committee, with the help of a search consultant, would send out a call for expressions of interest, primarily to those within the university community.

A position profile would be developed, explaining to potential candidates what their new position would entail. Those who would fit the profile are then entered into a process very familiar to filling jobs such as this: candidates are chosen from the initial pool and put on a short list. Those shortlisted are then subject to an interview process where two or three successful candidates are picked.

These hopefuls make presentations to members of the university community, who then evaluate them and send their feedback to the review and search committee who then, as they would do if they were reviewing the vice-president for reinstatement, sends their recommendation to the president who passes it on to the Board of Governors.

Regardless of whether MacKinnon is interested in renewing his position at UNBSJ, students can be assured that whoever sits in office next year will be the best match possible for the school; not one candidate is deemed eligible until a carefully chosen group of students, faculty, staff and other important players make sure that they would have the best interests of the school in mind. It’s made certain that the school is in good hands.

MacKinnon was unavailable for comment.