Provincial government shakes up UBC’s Board of Governors

The NDP provincial government has approved three new appointments and three reappointments to UBC’s Board of Governors (BoG), in order to fill the upcoming gap of six members whose terms expire on December 31, 2017. The government also rescinded the appointment of Alan Shuster, whose term was supposed to last until February 2020.

The three new appointments are Nancy McKenzie, Chaslynn Gillanders and Joel Solomon. They are to replace current BoG members Graham Lee, Beverlee Park and David Sidoo.

As stated in the orders in council, McKenzie, Gillanders and Solomon are all expected to serve until December 31, 2018. Following this one-year term, they could potentially serve a second two-year term and a final three-year term, according to government appointment policy.

Until June 2017, McKenzie was the chief financial officer of Seaspan, a group of Canadian companies that focuses on shipbuilding and other coastal marine transportation services, for 12 years.

A member of the Nisga’a Nation in BC, Gillanders is a senior counsel at Callison & Hanna — a law firm that is both Indigenous-led and focused. Her speciality is in “comprehensive land claims, employment law and finance law.”

Solomon is the chairman of Renewal Funds — a venture capital firm that invests in “organic food [and] green products” — and a founding member of non-profit organizations like Social Venture Network, the Tides Canada Foundation and Hollyhock. He is also a financial supporter of current Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson’s political campaigns.

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The three reappointed BoG members are Celeste Haldane, Raghwa Gopal and Michael Korenberg, who is also the Board’s vice-chair. While Haldane’s term will only go to December 18, 2019, both Gopal and Korenberg’s terms will be two weeks longer, ending on December 30, 2019.

Currently, the government has yet to announce who would be appointed to fill Shuster’s rescinded role. While it is unclear when this information would be released, it is expected to be through another order in council.

Prior to his terms as BoG member, Shuster was the campaign manager for Christy Clark — the previous Liberal premier of BC — in UBC’s riding, Vancouver-Point Grey. He was first appointed to the Board in February 2014.

The transition will take place on December 31, 2017.