Five times per year, the UBC Board of Governors (BoG) meets to discuss issues of money, property, policy and people. As your student representatives on the BoG, we are here to keep you in the loop with what is up at Board — but if you ever want to learn more, you can check out the BoG website for full dockets, agendas and documents! Here are the cliffnotes of the upcoming meetings — committees are May 31, June 3 and 5, followed by the full Board on June 13.
Excellence fund changes
The Provost is proposing some changes to the Excellence Fund to create more stratification to better address strategic priorities. This would create five Academic Funds rather than one big Excellence Fund: a strategic excellence fund (similar to before), a Revenue Sharing Fund (to help faculties with limited budget capacity) and Academic Capital Fund (to help save towards academic building renewal/replacement), some directed funding to Student Financial Aid programs and some directed funding to the Integrated Renewal Program. This proposal was reviewed at the April meeting and after some adjustments, it is now being proposed for adoption.
Indigenous strategic plan
The Indigenous Engagement Committee met on May 31 to discuss the Indigenous Strategic Plan. The vision and mission of the plan were adopted.
Vision: UBC as the leading university globally in implementation of Indigenous peoples’ human rights, as articulated in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and other international human rights law.
Mission: To guide UBC’s engagement with Indigenous peoples and its commitment to reconciliation, as articulated and called for by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) of Canada.
Dr. Sheryl Lightfoot, the senior advisor to the president on Indigenous affairs, discussed the next steps which include building TRC action plans for each campus and combining them with the draft plan developed under former Senior Advisor Dr. Linc Kessler to create one unified plan. The intention is for this to iterate through consultation with stakeholders and be finalized by the end of the calendar year.
Policy 131 annual report
The Board receives the annual report for Policy 131 every June. The report highlights the progress in implementation, the usage of both Sexual Violence Prevent and Response Office and Independent Investigations Office, and the challenges faced during the past year. It also previews priority areas that still require work and the policy review that will begin this fall.
Stadium road neighbourhood update
The Housing Action Plan Working Group will be receiving an update on the current progress of the Stadium Road Neighbourhood Plan. The Stadium Road Neighbourhood plans to deliver around 1.5 million square feet of residential space and will include a new 5,000-seat Thunderbird Football Stadium. The new neighbourhood will be located around the current football stadium. A notable change in the plan is increasing UBC community housing from the original idea of 40 per cent of residential space to 66 per cent of residential space. The new neighbourhood will deliver over 1,000 new UBC community housing units for faculty, staff and students.
Graduate and postdoctoral studies strategic plan
G+PS has a new strategic plan that outlines the goals for grad studies for the next five years, which ties into the broader UBC strategic plan.
Student financial support annual report
The annual report on Student Financial Support, which includes bursary programs, scholarships and WorkLearn programs, will be presented to the People Community & International committee. This highlights a number of changes to current programs, such as the Access Promise program, the removal of age restrictions for post-care tuition waivers and increased funding in certain entrance scholarship programs.
Five year capital plan
The Property Committee will be approving the Five Year Capital Plan submission to the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training. The Five Year Capital Plan is submitted to the provincial government every year in June and is an opportunity to highlight capital priorities for potential government funding. The five top capital priorities are submitted to the province: the new School of Biomedical Engineering building, a new building to support the growing needs of Nursing and Kinesiology, a new Chemistry Lab Complex to keep up with program growth, an Interdisciplinary Collaboration and Innovation Building at UBC Okanagan and a new Mathematics Building to replace the current aging complex.
UBC academic and non-academic staffing analysis
The Evolution of Academic and Non-Academic Staffing 2009-2018 Report will be discussed by the Joint Finance and Learning & Research Committees. The analysis was completed at the request of the Board to help identify how faculty and staff employment changed in terms of size and composition during the past decade of increased student enrolment at both campuses.
Stay up to date
The following iteration of open Board of Governors meetings will be September 12 (committees) and September 24 (full Board, at UBC-O). Both Committees and Board primarily consist of open sessions that members of the UBC community are welcome to attend . Or if you can’t attend, you can always follow @UbysseyNews for the play by play.
Jeanie Malone and Max Holmes are the student representatives on the UBC Board of Governors for the 2019/20 year.