Office of Advancement
Office of Advancement

ALTogether Now

Vol. 58 – July 27, 2020

exterior photo of Summerhill building


Karen Bertrand

A season of contradictions

By Karen Bertrand, Vice-Principal (Advancement)

At least in my world, summer is a study in contradictions.

On one hand, it is supposed to be a time to take it easy. Relax. Rest. Summer is, however, the time of year I find myself the most active because of access to outdoor activities like kayaking, cycling, and swimming.

Summer is the time to dress more casually to deal with heat and humidity. Setting aside the fact that I am wearing t-shirts and working out of a cl’office this year due the pandemic, summer is typically the time I tend to pull out nicer shoes, higher heals, or strappy sandals that I wouldn’t dream of wearing when they would be exposed to snow, slush, or salt.

And summer is a slower time at the office.

Wait. What?

I expect you have also noticed that the pace this summer is unusual. You are all acutely aware of all the things demanding our attention right now, so I won’t go into them. What I will do is promise that members of ALT are also carving out time to look ahead. ALTogether Now this week provides a snapshot of the forward-facing work that is currently underway in my office.

While keeping all the balls in the air this summer is important, I am looking forward to experiencing the other side of summer over the next three weeks. From July 27 to August 14 inclusive, I will be enjoying summer activities with my family, extra-casual summer attire, and a break from work.

If you haven’t done so already, I hope you take time to enjoy the other side of summer this year, and I look forward to catching up with everyone this fall.

icon of trophyValues update

Following the final confirmation of the five values of the Office of Advancement — accountability, collaboration, customer service focus/orientation, inclusion, and integrity — we are pleased to share that Kate Bearse has agreed to lead the next phases of this exercise.

Over the coming months, Kate will take the full Queen’s advancement team through a series of activities to define our values and build strategies to incorporate them into our day-to-day routines.

Thank you, Kate, for agreeing to take this on, and thank you to everyone for your commitment to bringing these values to life.

Advancement Leadership Team hire

Following the recent departure of our Chief Development Officer, a search process for a new member of the Advancement Leadership Team is now underway.

As the result of a competitive bid process, KCI Ketchum has been engaged to help facilitate the search. Tara George from KCI is already known to many members of this team, and she recently completed a series of pre-search consultations to assist with this hire.

We can also share that this position will be retitled to better align with Queen’s executive positions – this position is already one – and industry titles in the advancement sector. The new position title is Associate Vice-Principal (Development), and we plan to actively advertise our search for a new AVP through the month of August and much of September.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to Karen if you have any questions about this search. We look forward to providing an update on the hire later this fall.

icon of lightbulb connected with a cord to a keyboardRemote work survey reminder

We would like to remind everyone to please complete the survey announced in ALTogether Now last week.

Now that we have been working remotely for four months, the ALT would like to assess the Advancement team’s well-being, satisfaction, and needs in our remote-work environment. Your feedback is appreciated at this time given the likely continuation of remote work arrangements into the fall.

TAKE POLL button

Preparations for September governance meetings

Advancement will play a prominent role in governance meetings this fall.

In addition to our regular dashboard report, quarterly update, and advancing proposals for new namings across campus, we are now preparing special submissions for the External Relations and Development Committee (ERD) and Board of Trustees meetings in September that fall into three categories – orientation, strategic oversight, and policy review.


As you might expect, orientation for university governance leaders will play a big role in these initial meetings for the 2020-21 fiscal year. Formal orientation presentations for Queen’s Advancement will include a variety of information about Queen’s alumni and donors, as well as our strategic priorities and operations.

There has also been a discussion underway for the past year about the culture of philanthropy on the Board at Queen’s – and specifically the role of our Board of Trustees to help foster a culture of philanthropy. A special task team explored the issue in the summer of 2019, and ERD deliberated the issue on several occasions in 2019-20. This discussion will now be taken to the Board of Trustees this September.

Strategic oversight

On the recommendation of ERD at their February meeting, the strategic directions of Forward, Together will be presented to the Board for final approval in September. Our intention was to include a new multi-year fundraising target in this submission. In light of the pandemic and economic downturn that has accompanied it, we are instead proposing a one-year $80M fundraising target for 2020-21, and a commitment to consider a multi-year fundraising target to coincide with Forward, Together in the future.

ERD will discuss the final Alumni Assessment Report completed in June of this year at the September meeting.

ERD will also receive an update on how Queen’s Advancement has responded to the COVID-19 pandemic, our strategy at this time, and the expected impact of the pandemic.

Policy review

We have also been working on a review of university naming policies and practices for almost a year. Many individuals have worked on or provided their input into this work – and continue to do so this summer – and it will finally be tabled at ERD and the Board this September.

Committee and Board meetings will be held from September 24 – 26. Watch for updates following those meetings!

Jobs with Advancement

We need your recruitment help. Know great talent that would be a good addition to our team? If so, please promote the vacancy below with your networks and let’s find some amazing new team members.

Applications (including a cover letter and resume) must be submitted through CareerQ. For additional information on this posting, please reach out to either Katelyn, Carla, or the hiring manager for the position you are interested in.

Available Position:

Relationship Manager, Development & Stewardship Smith Development and Alumni Engagement August 4, 2020 8

black and white photo of Queen's BandFun fact

Scottish heritage and influence

Queen's was founded in 1841 by Scottish Presbyterian settlers in Upper Canada and owes a great deal to its Scottish origins.

Queen's Royal Charter of 1841 modelled the university's governance after that of Edinburgh University. Consistent with the charter's provisions, Queen's is still governed by a Board of Trustees, a Senate, and a Principal.

The offices of Chancellor and Rector, added in later years, were also inspired by Scottish models. The presence of a powerful and independent student government at Queen's, with substantial responsibilities for student discipline, is due in part to the tradition of student independence at Scottish universities.

Many of Queen's most colourful traditions also have a Scottish flavour, from the bagpipes and kilts of the Queen's Bands to the tams of Orientation Week and the Gaelic chorus of the Oil Thigh song.