Board in brief
Highlights from the May 2-3, 2014 meeting of the Board of Trustees
Welcome from the chair
Chair Barb Palk welcomed new student leaders: Rector Mike Young, Alma Mater Society (AMS) President Allison Williams, and Society of Graduate and Professional Students (SGPS) President Kevin Wiener to the meeting. She noted that, on the recommendation of the Governance and Nominating Committee, the Board had approved the annual confirmation of the chair, vice-chairs and appointments to committees and other bodies during the closed session.
Principal’s strategic update
Principal Daniel Woolf noted that the provincial budget contains some items of benefit to universities, including $250 million for the Ontario Research Fund and a framework for regulations to enable the conversion of single employer pension plans to a jointly sponsored pension plan. However, an election was called for June 12 after the NDP indicated they would not support the budget. The principal expressed his hope that whichever party wins the current election will continue with these initiatives.
The principal reported on his 2013-14 goals, including:
Principal Woolf presented the strategic framework dashboard and noted that the Board will receive regular updates at its meetings. He cautioned that many of the metrics will not change from meeting to meeting, such as some student satisfaction surveys, which are conducted every two or three years.
Provost’s operational report
In addition to his written report, Provost Alan Harrison confirmed that the Strategic Mandate Agreement has now been signed.
Campaign progress report
Tom Harris, Vice-Principal (Advancement), reported that Queen’s raised a record $71.3 million in 2013-14. The fundraising campaign to raise $25 million for Richardson Stadium continues, with pledges totaling $15 million from Stu and Kim Lang and the Richardson Foundation. Consultations with the Kingston community including local neighbours will occur as the campaign and project move forward.
Strategic research update
Steven Liss, Vice-Principal (Research), reported that:
Report from Senate
Senator Iain Reeve updated trustees on Senate activities, including:
Kimberly Woodhouse, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, provided an overview of the faculty. Its 10 undergraduate programs attract more than 5,000 applications annually for 680 spaces. She noted the faculty’s focus on experiential learning and highlighted its 91 per cent graduation rate, the highest of any Canadian engineering program. The faculty also offers a number of graduate programs and boasts several leading research centres. The faculty has a number of initiatives that foster innovation, including the Queen’s Innovation Connector and the Queen’s Summer Innovation Initiative.
Rector Mike Young thanked former rector Nick Francis for his support during the transition period. He noted student concerns around growing enrolment targets, the funding of student services and access to the residence system.
AMS President Allison Williams introduced her fellow AMS executives: Philip Lloyd, Vice-President (University Affairs) and Justin Reekie, Vice-President (Operations). She suggested that the higher education sector is at a crossroads and there is an increasing focus on “training.” She noted that expanding credentials and an increasing focus on learning outcomes are already happening at Queen’s.
The AMS hopes to work with partners across the university around enrolment and the jump to a financially sustainable university.
SGPS President Kevin Wiener addressed a number of items, including his concern about adequate funding to student services in the face of increasing enrolment and the need to ensure Queen’s continues to provide a quality student experience.
Committee Motions and Reports
The Board approved:
On May 3, the Board received reports from Investment Committee chair Don Raymond and Pension Committee Chair David Grace on committee activities over the past year.
Caroline Davis, Vice-Principal (Finance and Administration), provided an update on the risk management framework. The Board approved the revised strategic risk register.
Alignment of the strategic framework and the enterprise risk management framework
Provost Alan Harrison and Vice-Principal (Finance and Administration) Caroline Davis noted that the two frameworks are closely aligned and that the accomplishment of the strategic framework will help the university’s risk mitigation efforts.