Apr 082013

Students and staff peppered members of the University of Saskatchewan’s board of governors with questions about uranium development and transparency.

In one exchange, the board was asked about the role of a new board member – Grant Isaac – who is also a senior vice-president and chief financial officer at uranium mining company Cameco.

Isaac is also a former dean of the business school at the U of S.

The questions Monday focused on a proposed centre for Nuclear Innovation at the university.

Ilene Busch-Vishniac, president of the university, responded that nuclear research and uranium development are two different things.

“It is clear that there are some people in the community very concerned about our involvement with certain businesses,” Busch-Vishniac said. “But the truth of the matter is that as a university we are not engaged in any uranium development. We are engaged in research and discovery. Those are neutral processes.”

The board members were also questioned about meeting behind closed doors.

Another board member, Susan Milburn, said it is possible for the board to be transparent even without holding open meetings.

“We are providing lots of opportunities to be transparent without holding open meetings,” Milburn said, adding she was open to listening to other points of view. “So if we believe that and there is a difference of opinion we would be really interested in hearing what other folks would like.”

With files from CBC’s Jennifer Quesnel

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