Queen's University

Board of Trustees in brief

 
2012-03-12
Barbara Palk will become the new chair of the Queen's Board of Trustees on June 1.

Barbara Palk has been unanimously appointed chair of the Board of Trustees.

Ms Palk (BA’73) has been a member of the Investment committee since 1996. She was the committee Vice-Chair from 2002-2010 and was appointed Chair of the committee in 2010. She was elected to the Board in 2002 and has served as Vice-Chair of the Board since 2010. She is currently a member of the Finance and Human Resources committees, and she co-chaired the Advancement committee from 2008-2010.

Ms Palk has enjoyed an illustrious career in financial services. She recently retired as President of TD Asset Management. She is a fellow of the Canadian Securities Institute and recently joined the board of the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board. She was named one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women in the trailblazer category and received the Ontario Volunteer Award, both in 2004.

Ms Palk’s appointment as Board chair begins June 1.

Chair’s report

Current board chair Bill Young noted that the University Council meeting on May 5 will focus on the future of that governing body following last year’s amendments to the University Charter. Election to the University Council by graduates is currently underway. Polls open April 1 to elect two members of the Board of Trustees by the University Council.

Principal’s report

Principal Daniel Woolf provided an update to the Board on the external environment as well as planning at Queen’s. Even though universities and colleges remain a cornerstone of federal and provincial economic strategies, austerity budgets at both levels of government have caused uncertainly in the post-secondary education sector.

Principal Woolf indicated that Queen’s planning continues despite this uncertainty. He noted that it is important to bear in mind how the university’s decisions may fit with government priorities in order to maximize leverage and support. He noted further that central aspects of the learning experience at Queen’s in the Academic Plan – innovation in teaching and research, partnerships and global outreach – match government expectations for Canadian and Ontario universities.

Queen’s continues to enjoy a strong and positive profile externally as a result of its increased media coverage over the past year, Principal Woolf noted. He thanked faculty members who take the time to do media interviews and write opinion pieces and letters to the editor. He is also pleased with recent fundraising successes, including a major pledge to the Goodes Hall expansion project.

Principal Woolf congratulated this year’s Distinguished Service Award recipients University Secretary Georgina Moore, former Associate Vice-Principal and Dean of Student Affairs John Pierce and board chair Bill Young. They will receive their awards at the University Council dinner on May 5.

Principal Woolf’s full report can be read online.

Provost’s report

Provost Alan Harrison said the university is close to a balanced budget for 2012-13, but a number of unresolved issues related to government policy are causing concern. The university has budgeted conservatively for undergraduate growth funding. Ontario universities are still awaiting clarification and details from the provincial government on the tuition framework. Provost Harrison said that despite the challenges, he is confident that a balanced budget will be presented to the Board of Trustees in May.

Provost Harrison said that enrollment planning for the 2012-13 academic year is well advanced. The strategic enrollment planning group is in the early stages of its work.

In his report, Provost Harrison also detailed several recent campus highlights including a visit by Paul Davidson, president of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC). Mr. Davidson visited a class of a first-year psychology course that has been redesigned to incorporate fourth-year students as facilitators. He was most impressed with the level of student engagement.

Rector’s report

In his report, Rector Nick Francis said students benefit greatly from international exposure and experiences. Mr. Francis said that while the Queen’s University International Centre does great work supporting international students, he has spoken to a few international students who feel isolated and not integrated with the Queen’s community. He wonders if it’s a trend across the entire university. Mr. Francis also said the university requires a long-term sustainable model for international tuition.

AMS report

Outgoing Alma Mater Society President Morgan Campbell gave her final report to the Board of Trustees. Reflecting on her time at Queen’s, she noted the university is successful because of the opportunities afforded students. However, she expressed her concern that fewer resources are making it difficult to sustain excellence across the university.

SGPS report

Jillian Burford-Grinnell, outgoing president of the Society of Graduate and Professional Students (SGPS), recapped the year, noting that the SGPS has strengthened its relationship with the university administration, Advancement and the Board of Trustees. SGPS continues to build its capacity to support its constituents by hiring more staff. Ms Burford-Grinnell said the transition to student management of the Student Life Centre buildings has been challenging but SGPS has worked through the hurdles along with the AMS and the university.

The Board approved:

• The revised Signing Authority on Investment Related Transactions. The document was amended to reflect changes in position titles.
• 2012-13 Jean Royce Hall residence fees of $11,480 for 2012-13 which includes a mandatory meal plan for first-year students.
• The revised Statement of Investment Policies and Procedures that includes, among other significant changes, an updated asset mix policy for the Pooled Endowment Fund as a result of strategic review discussions of the investment committee.
• New spending policies for the Pooled Endowment Fund and the Pooled Investment Fund.
• Naming dedications

The Board received for information the Quarterly Financial Report and the Standard & Poor’s 2011 final credit rating report plus several other reports in the consent agenda.

The complete agenda can be viewed on the University Secretariat website.
 

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