Many of the biggest decisions at UBC are made by two governing bodies — the Senate and Board of Governors. Each has elected student representatives chosen in the AMS elections every spring.
The Senate is the university’s academic governing body. It approves things like new courses, awards, and degrees for new graduates. There are actually two Senates — one for UBC Vancouver and one for UBC Okanagan — but all the information here is about UBC Vancouver’s Senate.
The Vancouver Senate has 88 members, including students, faculty and deans from each faculty. In terms of student representation, there are 18 elected student members — one per faculty, two from graduate and postdoctoral studies and five student senators-at-large.
Student senators frequently push for change for students, like extending the course drop deadline in January 2021.
Senate also has two appeals committees, which hear and determine punishment on academic mis- conduct cases such as cheating and plagiarism.
The Senate meets virtually once a month during the academic year and live-streams its meetings on the UBC Senate Facebook page.
The Board of Governors (BoG) is UBC’s highest governing body. It makes financial, property use and other high-level strategic decisions.
BoG has 21 members — UBC’s chancellor and president, 11 provincial appointees, 5 elected faculty and staff and 3 elected students. Two of the elected students represent UBC Vancouver and the other represents UBC Okanagan.
One of BoG’s most important functions is the creation and approval of UBC’s annual budget — which includes student tuition. Student governors have voted against the budget for the past two years, partially due to its proposals to increase tuition.
BoG meets five times a year, and livestream links for committee and full board meetings can be found on its website.
In addition to the Senate and BoG, UBC has administrative leaders who oversee university governance on a day-to-day basis. These include the chancellor, president, provost and various vice-presidents, such as the VP students, VP health and VP research and innovation, to name a few. These administrators are responsible for strategic planning, university organization and policy development.
If you want to stay caught up on Senate and BoG without attending every meeting, The Ubyssey live-tweets these meetings @UbysseyNews on Twitter and publishes articles recapping each meeting.