Board in brief
Highlights from the Dec. 6-7 meeting of the Board of Trustees
Principal’s Strategic Update
Principal Woolf updated trustees on several initiatives and significant events. Highlights include:
- Flags on campus were lowered Dec. 6 in recognition of the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women, and in honour of the late Nelson Mandela, former president of South Africa, who received an honorary Doctor of Laws from Queen’s in 2010.
- Construction on the Bader Centre is progressing well and an official opening is planned for Sept. 20, 2014.
- The renovations to the active learning classrooms in Ellis Hall are nearing completion.
- In November the principal’s community breakfast highlighted experiential learning opportunities.
- As part of a broader talent management strategy, Human Resources has begun a pilot training program for emerging leaders at Queen’s and will hold a one-day boot camp workshop for managers on bringing top talent to Queen’s.
- The governance reform process is moving forward in the Senate, with a review of committees’ structure and mandates underway.
- University Council’s executive committee will meet early in 2014 to discuss the university’s goals and consider possible councilor-driven special-purpose committees that might be established to support those goals.
- Principal Woolf updated the Board on the progress of the university’s Strategic Framework, including the development of a series of metrics, or macro-indicators, to help gauge the university’s progress with respect to the framework’s strategic drivers (student engagement, student skill development, financial sustainability, research prominence and internationalization). He then introduced Provost Harrison who presented the macro indicators for each of the strategic drivers as well as a dashboard displaying the indicators.
In addition to his written report, Provost Harrison noted that he and Board Chair Barb Palk visited Queen’s Park for Ontario University Day organized by the Council of Ontario Universities. They and other executive heads and board chairs met with cabinet ministers and other political representatives to discuss higher education and also attended Question Period.
Initiative Campaign progress report
Judith Brown, Associate Vice-Principal (Advancement) reported on behalf of Tom Harris, Vice-Principal (Advancement), that the Initiative Campaign has raised a total of $374 million to date, or 75% of its $500-million goal. She noted that $31.6 million has been raised so far this fiscal year and that Principal Woolf continues to spend a significant amount of time working with prospective major donors.
Steven Liss, Vice-Principal (Research) provided an update on significant activities within the research portfolio. He noted that a review of the implementation of the strategic research plan is under way and that the tools for research administration at Queen’s (TRAQ) project is proceeding on schedule. A review of Queen’s research centres and institutes is also taking place, with the goal of providing recommendations for appropriate governance and financing structures. Vice-Principal Liss also noted that five professors received the university’s Prize for Excellence in Research and that results from the first year of the reinstated Queen’s National Scholar program will soon be announced.
Report from Senate
Iain Reeve, Senator and President of the Society of Graduate and Professional Students, updated trustees on Senate activities from its Oct. 29 and Dec. 2 meetings. Highlights included discussion of the new differentiation framework released by the Government of Ontario and the university’s enrolment report.
Richard Reznick, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, provided trustees with an overview of the faculty and activities. He noted that Health Sciences has 500 full-time and 750 part-time faculty members and more than 3,000 students in 57 programs. He also highlighted the faculty’s record of excellence in research and the competitiveness of its academic programs. He described an innovative new program, QuARMS, that admits 10 exceptional high-school students directly to the School of Medicine.
University Council report
Trustee and University Councillor Mary Wilson Trider updated the Board on the Council’s annual meeting on October 18-19. She noted the first meeting of the newly streamlined Council brought a renewed sense of enthusiasm and increased engagement from councilors.
Rector Nick Francis reported that 2013 marks the 100th anniversary of the Office of the Rector at Queen’s and reflected on his own term in office. He noted that he recently attended his last convocation and expressed his thanks to Chancellor David Dodge for exemplary service to the University.
Eril Berkok, President of the Alma Mater Society, highlighted the successful appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board of the City of Kingston’s municipal electoral boundary decision. He thanked the Sydenham district association and the Queen’s University Faculty Association for their support.
Iain Reeve, President of the Society of Graduate and Professional Students, noted that the university fell slightly short of its graduate enrolment targets for the year and suggested measures such as better reporting of employment outcomes and the development of new credentials and certificates to better allow graduate students to differentiate themselves in the job market.
Queen’s University Planning Committee
Provost Harrison and University Librarian Martha Whitehead presented the final version of the Library and Archives Master Plan (LAMP), noting its focus of improving the library’s spaces and services, and the better integration of technology. The board approved the LAMP.
Audit and Risk Committee
The board approved a motion to reappoint KPMG LLP as external auditors for the university for the fiscal year ending April 30, 2014.
Capital Assets and Finance Committee
Provost Harrison presented the 2013-14 enrolment report, noting that the university is working on a long-term strategic enrolment plan.
External Relations and Development Committee
A motion to adopt changes to the university’s naming policy was approved and it was reported that the committee had approved a new procedure for the naming of academic units.
Trustee David Grace provided a report from the pension committee, and a motion to approve amendments to the Statement of Investment Policies and Procedures of the Revised Pension Plan of Queen’s University was approved.
The Board recessed and resumed the meeting at 9 am on Saturday, Dec. 7.
Campus Master Plan
Deputy Provost Laeeque Daneshmend provided an overview of the Campus Master Plan and noted that an open house for the campus and community was held on Dec. 6. He introduced Warren Price of Urban Strategies Inc., Queen’s planning consultants, who presented an outline of the draft Campus Master Plan. The Campus Master Plan will be brought forward to the March meeting of the Board for final approval.