Highlights from the March 7-8, 2014 meeting of the Board of Trustees
Welcome from the chair
Chair Barb Palk welcomed trustees and asked for a moment of silence in memory of John Matheson, Arts’40, LLD’84. She thanked Rector Nick Francis and the outgoing executives of the Alma Mater Society (AMS) and the Society of Graduate and Professional Students (SGPS) for their service to Queen’s, and congratulated Rector-elect Mike Young and AMS President-elect Allison Williams together with her executive.
The Board approved naming dedications.
Principal’s strategic update
Principal Woolf updated trustees on several initiatives, including:
- Classes are now underway in the newly renovated active learning classrooms in Ellis Hall.
- Under a recent restructuring, University Communications, Marketing, and Public and Government Relations will all report to Chief Communications Officer Michael Fraser.
- The latest federal budget contains good news for universities, including the new $1.5-billion Canada First Research Excellence Fund, an additional $37 million annually for Canada’s research granting councils, and $9 million each year to support the indirect costs of research. As a research-intensive university, this news is important for Queen’s.
- The principal presented the Strategic Framework document to the Board. The framework will advance the university’s vision as the “quintessential balanced academy” and guide decision making over the next five years.
- Al Orth, Associate Vice-Principal of Human Resources, and his team are developing a Talent Management Framework to foster leadership and cultivate talent at Queen’s. The principal announced that Mary Elms has been seconded from her position as organizational development consultant in Human Resources to serve as manager of organizational development for a two-year term. Ms. Elms will take on the responsibility for completing and implementing the talent management framework and will report directly to the principal.
Provost's operational report
In addition to his written report, Provost Harrison noted that the university withdrew its application for a noise by-law exemption pending further consultation on the matter.
Campaign progress report
Judith Brown, Associate Vice-Principal (Advancement) and Executive Director of Alumni Relations, reported that Queen’s has raised $55.8 million so far this fiscal year, on an overall annual goal of $60 million. A total of $398.3 million has been raised out of the overall Initiative Campaign goal of $500 million.
Strategic research update
Steven Liss, Vice-Principal (Research) reported that:
- A progress update on the implementation of the Strategic Research Plan is posted to the website of the Office of the Vice-Principal (Research).
- Hon. Reza Moridi, Ontario’s Minister of Research and Innovation, visited Queen’s in January to announce a province-wide investment of $190 million over the next six years though the Ontario Research Fund and the Research Infrastructure Program.
- Jim Banting has been named president and CEO of PARTEQ.
- The fourth issue of Queen’s research magazine (e)AFFECT is now online.
Campus Master Plan
The Campus Master Plan (CMP) was approved by the Board following a presentation by Laeeque Daneshmend, Deputy Provost, with Joe Berridge and Warren Price from Urban Strategies Inc., Queen’s lead planning consultant. The CMP provides a framework to guide the evolution of the campus over the next 10 to 15 years and is the result of nearly a year and a half of study and consultation. More information.
Report from Senate
Senator Iain Reeve updated trustees on Senate activities, including the approval of a new Graduate Diploma in Risk Policy and Regulation and a concurrent Bachelor of Music/Music and Digital Media program with St. Lawrence College, and the presentation of the Teaching and Learning Action Plan.
Brenda Brouwer, Vice-Provost and Dean of the School of Graduate Studies (SGS), provided an overview of the school and its activities. She noted that the SGS provides a service function to faculties and acts as the administrative office for all graduate activities, including postdoctoral fellows. Twenty per cent of Queen’s students are graduate students and applications have risen 26 per cent since 2008. Queen’s has the highest nine-year doctoral completion rate in the U15, and the third-highest five-year master’s completion rate. Queen’s ranks third among its U15 peers in recipient rate of tri-council graduate scholarships.
Queen’s University Alumni Association (QUAA) report
QUAA President Jess Joss provided an update on the association’s activities and welcomed incoming QUAA president George Jackson, as well as incoming Queen’s Student Alumni Association president Taylor Jennings. She noted that the alumni volunteer summit and awards gala will happen April 4 and 5. She also noted that Queen’s email addresses are now available to all alumni.
Rector Nick Francis expressed his congratulations to Rector-elect Mike Young and his gratitude to fellow students for his Queen’s experience. He highlighted that the many important roles students play in the life of the university, including orientation week and non-academic discipline, are central to the Queen’s experience, but expressed concern about the university’s increasing focus on risk and liability.
AMS President Eril Berkok congratulated President-elect Allison Williams, who is the current academic affairs commissioner. Mr. Berkok praised the unique learning environment at Queen’s and the significant role that students play in the governance and campus culture at the university; however, he also expressed concern about the university’s focus on risk management.
SGPS President Iain Reeve encouraged the board to look at the possibility of financial incentives for graduate students during the final stages of their degrees to encourage shorter completion times. He also reflected on his experience at Queen’s and said it is a place where students can make a real impact on the institution. He observed that there is more work to be done in engaging graduate students and encouraging them to get involved.
Capital Assets and Finance committee
The Board approved the domestic, international and Bader International Study Centre tuition fees for 2014-15.
Provost Alan Harrison provided the Board with an overview of the preliminary 2014-15 budget.
The Board approved a motion for an increase of $700,000 to the construction budget of the Queen’s University Micro-Nano Facility at Innovation Park.
The Board approved revisions to the spending policy for the Pooled Endowment Fund as well as changes to the Statement of Investment Policies and Procedures.
The Board recessed and resumed the meeting at 9 am on Saturday, March 8.
Caroline Davis, Vice-Principal (Finance and Administration), presented a risk management dashboard that acts as the capstone to the enterprise risk management process developed over the past two years. Trustee Karyn Brooks commended Vice-Principal Davis and her team for their work in integrating risk mitigation into the management of the university.
Provost Harrison noted that the student learning experience is central to the Strategic Framework and many of the university’s planning documents, including the Teaching and Learning Action Plan that was recently released by the Provost’s Task Force on the Student Learning Experience. He highlighted that technology will have an increasing role in enhanced learning.
Jill Scott, Vice-Provost (Teaching and Learning) and co-chair of the task force, provided a more detailed overview of how the action plan calls for the purposeful use of technology to enhance the student learning experience. She noted that student engagement is a goal, whether learning occurs face to face on in an online or blended model.
Provost Alan Harrison gave a presentation on the employment and income outcomes for Queen’s graduates. Queen’s alumni are above the Ontario university average for both incomes and employment rates six months after graduation.
Long-term Strategic Enrolment Management Framework
Provost Alan Harrison provided an update on the Long-term Strategic Enrolment Management Framework, noting that it will be brought to Senate for approval. The framework does not provide prescriptive enrolment targets for the long-term; rather, it ensures the necessary considerations are taken into account as short-term targets are developed each year.