#UBC redaction rampant in release of Gupta resignation records #ubc100 #ubcnews #bced #ubysseynews

by Stephen Petrina on January 25, 2016

The University of British Columbia’s Office of the University Counsel released records this morning related to  “Dr. Arvind Gupta’s resignation of his appointment as President and Vice-Chancellor.” Click here for Freedom of Information Disclosure Package.

Initial assessment: Redaction is rampant (e.g.,  281-287, 467-83, 492-501, Strategic Plan 516-546, 566-577, 581-584, 846-861). This is sad but predictable. But now we have something to work with. Finally. Thank you FoI?

The process of redaction is simply discretionary: a body can decide what to redact and what to disclose. And for too many records in this Disclosure the redaction is wholesale. Exemptions from disclosure are discretionary and in this case legalism prevails over UBC. Sections 13 (Policy advice or recommendations) and 22 (Disclosure harmful to personal privacy) of the Act are used wholesale in this Disclosure.

Second assessment: Records are undisclosed. There is a large volume of records related to this controversy that remain undisclosed–withheld from Freedom of Information disclosure.

Third assessment: It’s quite a shame and sham, depending on how this disclosure is read. There are way too many red herrings and entirely irrelevant records in this Disclosure (e.g., the Ministry of Advanced Education records, 630-681). I read through the Disclosure package and learned little to nothing about President Gupta’s resignation, his Performance Evaluation, and the role of actors on campus, such as the VPs, Deans, and Board of Governors.

The most relevant records (566-584) are unreasonably redacted: BoG problems late July leading to the resignation. The sole record between Gupta and BoG concerning the resignation (589) is fully redacted. There is an interesting record concerning the Deans (439) as heads were rolling RE President Gupta’s reform of the the now infamous “Provost Model.”

Tentative Final assessment: Request comprehensive disclosure. Follow the money. Deans are running up deficits year after year in many cases as they bloat the admin ranks. Meantime, FT hires stagnate, graduate funding declines, and tuition rises. Follow the money to find out what happened between President Gupta and the BoG.

Index to the Disclosure Package:

  1. Records related to Dr. Arvind Gupta’s Departure, 1-7
  2. Records related to Dr. Arvind Gupta’s Performance Targets, 8-33
  3. Dr. Arvind Gupta’s Expenses, 34-124
  4. Dr. Arvind Gupta’s Calendar, 125-132
  5. Records related to Dr. Arvind Gupta’s Emails, 133-248
  6. Emails between Dr. Arvind Gupta and John Montalbano, 249-587
  7. Emails between Dr. Arvind Gupta and Board of Governors in relation to resignation, 588-589
  8. John Montalbano Emails containing “Arvind or Gupta” and “resignation or Piper”, 590-611
  9. Susan Danard Emails containing “Arvind or Gupta” and “resignation or Piper”, 612-629
  10. Emails between President’s Office, Board of Governors & Ministry of Education, 630-681