Finance, Assets, and Strategic Infrastructure Committee

(As approved by the Board of Trustees in June 2023)

I.  Purpose 

The Finance, Assets, and Strategic Infrastructure Committee (“Committee”) is formed to support and enhance the capacity of the Queen’s University Board of Trustees (“Board”) to fulfil both its strategic responsibilities, and its fiduciary obligations to ensure the financial health of the University through oversight of the University’s financial and capital planning, major capital and information technology projects, the integrity of the University’s digital infrastructure, and associated risks. 

II.  Authority

The Finance, Assets, and Strategic Infrastructure Committee is a Committee of the Board of Trustees of Queen’s University from which it derives its authority and to which it reports. 

Oversight Areas: The Committee has delegated authority from the Board in respect of the areas of oversight for which it has accountability under these Terms of Reference. As specified under “Duties and Responsibilities” below, the Board delegates to the Finance, Assets, and Strategic Infrastructure Committee the authority to monitor and oversee, provide advice to the Board, to review and recommend matters to the Board for approval, and to approve matters on behalf of the Board. 

Professional Advisors: The Committee has the authority, with the consent of the Chair of the Board, to retain professional advisors as it deems appropriate to fulfilling its obligations under this Mandate. 

III. Duties and Responsibilities 

The Committee is accountable to the Board of Trustees for oversight of the University’s financial and capital planning, major capital and information technology projects, the integrity of the University’s digital infrastructure, and associated risks (“Oversight Areas”). 

i. Financial Health 

The Committee will monitor and oversee the effectiveness of the University’s financial health and specifically will:

Oversee the financial health of the University by identifying indicators of financial sustainability against which the University will report annually, and reporting to the Board the Committee’s assessment of the financial health of the University, identifying areas for further Board discussion and monitoring. 

Annually approve the proposed annual budget planning process, including significant assumptions and risks, strategic and operational priorities, and any proposed community engagement plan. 

Review and recommend to the Board the proposed annual budget, along with a report setting out the Committee’s assessment of the budget process, the basis for such assessment, significant assumptions and risks, and the strategic and operational priorities addressed. 

Monitor annual and multi-year cash-flow projections and budget forecasts throughout the year and report to the Board on significant anticipated and actual deviations from that which was approved or previously presented to the Board.     

Review and recommend to the Board for approval changes to tuition and student/ancillary fees. 

Ensure that the University has policies in place for sound financial planning (including, but not limited to, debt management policy), annually review those policies for currency and effectiveness.  The Committee will report to the Board respecting significant policy gaps.

ii. Capital Assets and Planning 

The Committee will monitor and oversee the effectiveness of the University’s capital planning processes and specifically will:

Oversee and annually report to the Board on the adequacy of the capital assets to support the University’s strategic direction and major operational needs of the University, as well as the alignment of the use, acquisition, and development of capital assets in accordance with the University’s commitment to environmental sustainability. 

Oversee campus master planning processes.  

Within the annual budget process, approve the proposed annual capital projects plan, (including the acquisition, disposition, and planned deployment of real property in support of the strategic priorities of the University) and budget for all Capital Projects. 

Review and recommend to the Board approval of Major Capital Projects1 and their financing.

Monitor Major Capital Projects for compliance with the conditions of Board approval, bring to the Board’s attention any significant non-compliance, and recommend to the Board proposed amendments to terms and conditions on which the Major Capital Project was approved by the Board. 

Oversee the University’s deferred maintenance liability, alerting the Board to any significant issues or risks arising therefrom. 

Ensure that the University has policies in place for sound capital planning and effective capital project management, annually review those policies for currency and effectiveness, and oversee University compliance with said policies.  The Committee will report to the Board respecting significant policy gaps or non-compliance and monitor remediation of the same.  

iii. Digital and Information Technology Assets and Infrastructure 

The Committee will oversee the integrity and sufficiency of the University’s digital and information technology assets and infrastructure, and specifically will: 

Review the University’s digital and information technology assets and infrastructure and annually report to the Board on the adequacy of those assets and the existing infrastructure to support the University’s strategic direction and major operational needs of the University, as well as risks to the assets, including but not limited to, information governance and cybersecurity risks. 

Review and recommend to the Board approval of major information technology projects (those projects meeting the value threshold specified for Board approval in the Policy on Approval and Execution of Contracts and Invoices). 

Monitor major information technology projects for implementation and compliance with the conditions of Board approval, bring to the Board’s attention any significant non-compliance, and recommend to the Board proposed amendments to terms and conditions on which the information technology project was approved by the Board. 

iv. Risk Management

The Committee will support a robust risk management framework at the University, and specifically will: 

Consider and probe risk(s), risk mitigation, and risk management as a part of all its decision-making processes and within its Oversight Areas. 

Oversee the strategic or other risk(s) assigned to the Committee by the Board and report annually to the Audit & Risk Committee respecting the Committee’s assessment of the risk(s) assigned, the basis for such assessment, and the ongoing work of the Committee to monitor work to address deficiencies in the management or mitigation of such risks. 

IV. Composition and Skills

The Committee will include six to eight members the majority of whom will be appointed from the Board of Trustees.
In addition to the above, the Chair of the Board, the Chancellor, the Principal, and the Rector will serve ex officio on the Committee.

A majority of members of the Committee must be financially literate, and financial literacy education will be made available to all members of the Committee. A member is financially literate if they have the demonstrated ability to read, understand, and ask probing questions about the University’s financial statements.

V. Governance Practices

Each year, the Committee will provide applicable training and education to its members to allow them to fulfil their responsibilities to the Committee. The Committee will annually report its training and education work to the Governance, Human Resources, and Nominating Committee.

All Committee members will foster an inclusive Committee culture that encourages the sharing of diverse perspectives in line with the Board’s commitments to advance Indigenization, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, Anti-Racism and Accessibility.

All Committee members will fulfil the same expectations, and are held to the same standards as Trustees, including compliance with the Board’s Code of Conduct. All Committee members will fully and effectively engage in the work of the Committee, including through attendance at Committee meetings. In conducting its work, the Committee will remain mindful of any legal or regulatory requirements, governance leading practices, the Queen’s University Charter, By-Laws, Policies, and the Board of Trustees’ Guiding Principles for Board Committees.

VI. Meetings

The Committee will meet at least four times annually.

1The definition of Major Capital Project in these Terms of Reference is drawn from the Capital Projects Approval Policy.

Membership Status Term Ends
N. Boytchuk-Hale Ex Officio  
P. Deane Ex Officio  
M. Sinclair Ex Officio  
M. Wilson Trider  Ex Officio  
H. Black Appointed Jun-2025
D. Court Appointed Jun-2024
N. Evans Appointed Jun-2024
S. Kingsmill Appointed Jun-2024
S. Lounsbury Appointed Jun-2024
T. Mattina Appointed Jun-2025
S. Murray Appointed Jun-2025
G. Patry Appointed Jun-2025
V. Remenda Appointed Jun-2025
P. Walch-Watson Appointed Jun-2024

Chair: D. Court
Vice-Chair: S. Lounsbury