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University Council news

Members of University ­Council met on campus in November for their AGM. ­University Council is an advisory body elected by and from the alumni body. In ­recent years, it has undergone a number of ­reforms to increase engagement among councillors and the university, including the creation of task forces known as special ­purpose committees.

Council struck three committees last year in a bid to explore ­pertinent ­issues affecting the university – from exploring ­models for support for student athletics and council engagement, to whether the university should take stances on current ­issues. The committees are expected to ­present their position papers to Principal Woolf and the rest of Council this spring.

Council will create new committees once the new slate has been elected in September and the executive committee identifies its priorities for 2015-16. University ­Council also has three standing committees, two of which are ­relatively new. Joining the executive committee are the program committee, which plans the strategic direction and priorities for the AGM, and the nominating committee, which oversees the election of alumni to Council.

As nominations open this month, members of the nominating committee hope that alumni will explore how they can contribute to Council’s work.

“This is a wonderful volunteer opportunity for alumni who want to be active in the university’s ­future,” says Annie Hillock, NSc’85, chair of the nominating committee, who, outside of her volunteer work, is head of ­guidance at a high school in Collingwood, Ont. “Being a member of Council is not only an opportunity to return to ­campus to discuss important ­issues with other alumni, ­students and university leaders, it is also a chance to draw on our own ­perspectives and experiences to help Queen’s address its ­priorities.”

An elected member of ­University Council since 2011, Kingsley Chak, Artsci’08, sits on both the nominating and executive ­committees. The former AMS president, who attended his first Council meeting as a student trustee in 2005, is now a management consultant in Toronto.

“Queen’s has a long ­tradition of building consensus and making decisions as a ­community,” he says. “Taking part in University Council, by exercising your vote, and by running for election, ­allows alumni to participate directly in the governance of the ­university.”

Queen’s has a long tradition of building consensus and making decisions as a community.”

Fellow members of the nominating committee are Katherine Crewe, Sc’81, John Frezell, Artsci’87, and Elaine Wu, Artsci’98, MIR’00, Law’03. The ­committee has begun drafting a role description that ­articulates ­responsibilities, ­expectations and opportunities for councillors within the reformed Council ­by-laws. Learn more at the ­University ­Council website

Alumni thinking about ­running for University Council are invited to ­contact the nominating committee; its members can answer your questions about Council’s work and the ­expectations of, and ­opportunities for, incoming councillors. They can be reached via uncouncil@queensu.ca

[cover of Queen's Review 2015-1]