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All day I have been putting off

May 13, 2009

listening to John Barry on Information Morning but I finally had to bite the bullet.

Oh, my blood pressure!

sharedvisionsJohn Barry, for those just joining us, is part of the “shared vision” group made up of various members of Enterprise Saint John and the Saint John Board of Trade, corporate lobbyists with strong opinions about the Saint John campus of UNB and what it should (and should not) be doing. Opinions shared among themselves, at least: they are probably the only ones who are still calling for the opening of the UNB Act and the granting of “independence” to UNBSJ. Independence from UNBF, at any rate, though it seems doubtful that real institutional autonomy is part of the “vision.” And they are almost certainly the only ones still defending the Miner/L’Écuyer report; even Miner and L’Écuyer have moved on.

And what a lot of baiting! Mr Barry admitted that he had not seen the list of signatories, yet went on to characterize them as being only from the Saint John campus, and from the Faculty of Arts in particular. No scientists, no engineers — or so he assumes.

Won’t he be surprised when he reads that list?

Even more concerning, he virtually accused Greg Marquis of disdaining applied degrees. Nothing could be further from the truth. It is the “shared vision” group who see academic versus applied degrees as an either/or issue: they very plainly want to get rid of the former in favour of the latter, at least here in New Brunswicks’s largest city.

At the university, we are perhaps naive enough to think that it’s a big old world out there and there is plenty of room for everybody.

That is our shared vision.

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