Board Governance Update

To: Faculty, staff and students in Vancouver and the Okanagan

If you are a manager of staff whose work is not computer-based, please print this email and display it in a common work area for them to review.

On behalf of the Board of Governors I am writing to give you an update on actions the Board is taking to address governance concerns raised by members of the university community.

I am aware that the Faculty Association met yesterday to discuss a motion of no confidence in the UBC Board of Governors and is currently holding an electronic vote of its membership. While the primary faculty role in university governance is through the elected faculty members on the Board and on the Senates, we respect the views of the Faculty Association as we do other organizations at the university.

To this end, the Board has invited representatives of various University groups to attend the April 14 Board meeting to discuss concerns about governance. I am pleased to advise that the Faculty Association, the Alumni Association and other employee and student groups have confirmed attendance at the meeting. This meeting will be an opportunity for invited groups to provide written submissions, verbal presentations, and to engage in discussion. We also welcome written submissions or comments from any members of the university community (these can be sent to bog.ubc@ubc.ca)

The Board looks forward to this discussion and will listen to and consider the views and recommendations of these representatives as it works to improve Board practices. As newly appointed Board Chair, I have asked the Governance Committee to review the rules and procedures that govern meetings. In my view most Board items should be considered in sessions that are open to the community; some items of a sensitive nature, usually involving personnel or commercial matters, may need to be reviewed in confidential sessions, but these will be the exception. Furthermore, we will be working to ensure that notices for every Board meeting are posted publicly, and that minutes of open sessions are posted for public review in a timely fashion.

The Board is undergoing significant renewal. In addition to five newly appointed members, we will be joined at the April 14 session by two newly elected student members. The Board members, elected and appointed, come from a variety of backgrounds, bring a wide range of skills to the job and many have previous board experience. We are indeed fortunate to have such a wealth of talent to draw on to chair and serve on the various committees and provide critical advice on the many issues that come forward for consideration and decision. I have full confidence in all Board members and I want to commend them for volunteering significant time and energy to Board duties. With a renewed Board and a commitment to good governance, we are determined to earn the trust of faculty, staff, students, alumni and the broader community.

In 100 short years, UBC has advanced from small beginnings in ramshackle premises on the Fairview slopes to a large, world-renowned institution with beautiful campuses in Point Grey and the Okanagan. This outstanding record is one that reflects significant public and private investment, the strength of the bicameral form of governance, and most importantly contributions of exceptional students, faculty, staff and alumni. We on the Board are honoured to be part of this tradition and are committed to act in the best interests of the university, moving it from strength to strength. 

I would like to take this opportunity to thank members of the Presidential Search Committee. There is no more important task facing the university right now than the selection of a new President. I am encouraged that the committee, mandated by the Board and the Senates, is making good progress on this front and is on track to name a new President by June 30, 2016.

On behalf of the Board, I want to thank all the groups that have confirmed their interest in presenting to the Board on April 14. Their views and those of other members of the community will help inform the actions we will take to strengthen board governance. 

Stuart Belkin
Chair, Board of Governors

Update on Blue Phone installation

To: Faculty, staff and students in Vancouver

If you are a manager of staff whose work is not computer-based, please print this email and display it in a common work area for them to review. 

You may have noticed that UBC’s network of Campus Blue Phones (http://security.ubc.ca/campus-blue-phones/) has expanded, and that the newly installed phones are equipped with security cameras.

Campus Security has doubled the number of Campus Blue Phones to 40, placing them in strategic locations across campus. We are also installing cameras at the bus loop on University Boulevard, and installing wall-mounted Blue Phones and cameras in the parkades.

In advance of installing these cameras, the university approved Policy 118 (Safety and Security Cameras) to ensure that cameras are used in a way that respects and safeguards personal privacy. More information on this policy is available at: http://cameras.ubc.ca.

The installation of the new Blue Phones and cameras were among the several recommendations made by UBC’s Campus Safety Working Group (https://www.ubc.ca/staysafe/campus-safety-working-group.html) to improve safety on campus. For more information about the cameras and the measures that have been taken to protect your privacy, see our latest Campus Security Update: http://security.ubc.ca/2016/03/17/safety-update-campus-blue-phone-update/.

Louise Cowin
Vice-President, Students

Voting now open for faculty member vacancy on the Vancouver Senate

To: Faculty in Vancouver

This email is to inform you that voting in the by-election to select a representative of the Joint Faculties to Senate is now underway. To vote and for more information, please visit https://facultystaff.students.ubc.ca/enrolment-services/senate/elections
Polls close on March 25, 2016 at 11:59 pm.

Kate Ross
Associate Vice-President, Enrolment Services and Registrar

Presidential search: Candidate longlist finalized

To: Faculty, staff, and students in Vancouver and the Okanagan

If you are a manager of staff whose work is not computer-based, please print this email and display it in a common work area for them to review.

I am pleased to provide a further update on the Presidential search process.

Following publication of the position profile for the 15th President and Vice-Chancellor of UBC (http://bog.ubc.ca/?page_id=11433), our consultant Perrett Laver has contacted potential candidates and, as expected, there is significant interest in the position from a large group of highly qualified individuals.

The search committee met last week to review the longlist of potential candidates who have either proactively shown interest or have been contacted by the search firm and similarly shown active interest. I am delighted to say that the committee, after much discussion and deliberation, has constructed a final list of 16 names representing a strong and diverse pool of candidates.

At its next meeting in April, the search committee will finalize the shortlist of candidates in preparation for interviews in late April and May, with the objective of reaching a decision for recommendation to the UBC Board of Governors. We remain on track to announce our new President by June 30.

There is one recent change in committee membership. Dr. Jennifer Berdahl has resigned from the committee and will be replaced by another UBC Vancouver faculty representative to be announced shortly. I thank Dr. Berdahl for her contributions to the committee over the past few months.

On behalf of the search committee, I would like to thank the UBC community for its ongoing support of the search process and I encourage you to continue to submit your comments in confidence to the search committee by email to president.search@ubc.ca or online: http://bog.ubc.ca/?page_id=10215

Best regards

Lindsay Gordon
Chancellor
Chair, Presidential Search Committee

Call for applications: Senior Advisor on academic freedom

To: Faculty in Vancouver and the Okanagan

UBC is committed to a proactive approach to the preservation and advancement of academic freedom. The university is seeking to appoint a Senior Advisor on academic freedom to lead a system-wide conversation concerning the scope of academic freedom, and to develop materials to educate the university community concerning the need to support and protect academic freedom.

Composition of the advisory committee and the call for applications may be found on the Office of the Provost and Vice-President Academic website.

Call for applications: http://vpacademic.ubc.ca/2016/03/call-for-applications-senior-advisor-to-the-provosts-on-academic-freedom/

Composition of the advisory committee: http://vpacademic.ubc.ca/2016/02/advisory-committee-for-the-selection-of-a-senior-advisor-to-the-provosts-on-academic-freedom/

Angela Redish
Provost and Vice-President Academic pro tem

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