Board of Governors meets for standing committee, delays talk of fee increases for two weeks

The Board of Governors held their standing committee meeting on Wednesday, April 1.

The morning meeting started with a closed session discussion. Once the public was allowed into the room, the Board announced that all talk of tuition and other fee increases had been postponed until Tuesday, April 14.

Student representative Chris Roach said that he was happy the discussion about fee increases was moved, as this would give the Board more time to go over the student feedback and proposals that were submitted in detail.

"There was a real concern about whether the Board is actually listening to students and the fact that we are going to take those extra two weeks to really dive into that 33 page[s] and read everything that students are saying is really important," said Roach.

After that, the Board approved four new programs, including the High-Performance Coaching and Technical Leadership Certificate, the Graduate Certificate in Global Surgical Care, the Master of Engineering and the Master of Health Leadership and Policy.

The two Master’s programs will cost $27,000 for domestic students and $46,000 for international students per year.

The Board also approved an expansion of Totem Park, which proposes housing 350 additional residents in the place of the current tennis courts. The budget that has been proposed for the project is $29.8 million.

“92 per cent of international students want to live in student residences, so we think there is going to be a strong demand,” said Andrew Parr, managing director of Student Housing and Hospitality Services.

The Board also gave approval to begin designing a new gallery that features art from the Pacific Northwest at the Museum of Anthropology. Dean of Arts Gage Averill said that he was thrilled about the prospect of such a project.

“This is well-known work by well-known recent Northwest artists,” said Averill. “A fabulous addition to MOA.”

David Farrar, provost and VP academic, John Hepburn, VP research and international, Lisa Castle, VP human resources and David Woodson, managing director Energy and Water Services, also gave a presentation on the Bioenergy Research and Demonstration Project currently taking place at UBC.

This year, there has been a 12 per cent decrease in greenhouse gas emissions on campus, but several system upgrades are also needed to fix equipment used for biomass syngas cleanup.

Woodson also said that they will be consulting FortisBC to see how the university can reduce the cost of renewable natural gas alternatives.

“This has been a very exciting project, but what I want to highlight is that this has been a tremendously challenging project,” said Woodson.

The next Board of Governors meeting is scheduled to take place at Walter Gage on April 14.

-With Files from Joshua Azizi

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article said that the proposed budget for the Totem Park expansion was $29.8 million. It is actually $29.8 million. The article has been updated to reflect this fact.