May 29, 2014 Meeting Summary

May 29, 2014

Board Members present:  L. Brown-Ganzert, Chair; A. Petter, President; B. Cunningham; J. Earthy; J. Francis; J. Hinchliffe; J. Kim; C. Kwon; Y. Norouzi; F. Robin; P. Ruben; P. Sahota Regrets:  W. Grant-John; D. Poole; C. Taylor, Chancellor


  1. Finance and Administration
    1. The Board approved the Revised 2014-15 Consolidated Budget, including an allocation of a portion of the cumulative carry forward from the year ending March 31, 2014 for expenditures in 2014-15.
    2. The Board approved the composition of the Board of the SFU Initiatives Trust Board.
    3. The Board approved an increase of the endowment spend rate to 4.5% from 4% effective April 1, 2014.
  2. University Relations
    1. The Board approved the following action recommended by Senate on April 7, 2014:
      • Full Program Proposal for a Concurrent Bachelor’s – Master’s Program in Computing Science in the School of Computing Science within the Faculty of Applied Sciences, effective Fall 2014.
    2. Fundraising Progress Reports: The Board noted year-to-date progress reports as follows:


Fundraising Progress Report

For Information

2013/2014 Year to Date

To March 31, 2014


  1. The Board approved the Terms of Reference for the:
    • Dick McClure Endowed Award in Rowing;
    • International Student Award for Intercultural Engagement (Annual); and,
    • Dr. Bob McCormack Athletic Awards (Annual).
  2. The Board received for information a document highlighting SFU’s progress during the first year of the implementation of the three-year Community Engagement Strategy endorsed by the Board on March 21, 2013, and the structure for planning SFU’s 50th Anniversary year.
  1. Audit, Risk and Compliance
    1. The Board received for information the 2013 Annual Report of SFU’s Human Rights Office.
    2. The Board received for information the Annualized Full-Time Equivalent Enrollment Report for the year ending March 31, 2014.
    3. The Board received for information the Insurance and Liability Report for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2014.
    4. The Board received for information the 2013-14 report outlining workplace injury data and related prevention and mitigation strategies.
    5. The Board approved the Financial Statements of the University for the year ended March 31, 2014 on the basis that the Office of the Auditor General of BC, the University’s Auditor of Record has indicated that an unqualified audit report for fiscal year 2013/2014 will be issued.
  2. Human Resources
    1. The Board approved new Policy AD 10.22, Probationary Period, for new APSA employees.
    2. The Board approved revisions to the following policies:
      • AD 10.01 Employment Policy, clarifying the calculation for the amount of salary top-up when an employee’s status changes prior to the commencement of Maternity/Parental/Adoption Leave;
      • AD 10.08, Leaves With and Without Pay - Section 10: Maternity & Parental Leave - providing for a salary to-up of 35 weeks when on Maternity/Parental/Adoption Leave, and Section 4: the inclusion of Family Day;
      • AD 10.11, Reimbursement of Professional Development Expenses, providing for the change in the carryforward of unused professional development from three to four years.
      • AD 10.18, Elimination of Positions and Employment Continuity, providing for the capping of severance at 18 months and ensuring that laid off employees cannot be re-employed in the provincial public sector while collecting severance pay from the University.
  3. Other
    1. President Petter reported on SFU’s position in a number of recent university rankings:  a) in the latest Times Higher Education rankings of the top 25 universities under 50 years of age, SFU ranked 2nd in Canada, 6th in North America and 24th in the world based on its performance in research, citations, teaching, international outlook, and industry income; b) in the 2014 QS World University Rankings, SFU ranked 2nd in Canada, 3rd in North America and 17th in the world; c) in the recent Leiden rankings (expanded in 2014 to measure the performance of 750 universities worldwide), based solely on citation impact and scientific collaboration, SFU ranked 10th in Canada, 116th in North America, and 267th worldwide. SFU stands out in the Leiden rankings for its high level of collaboration, ranking 3rd in Canada and 61st in the world for its proportion of long distance collaborative publications, and 2nd in Canada and 122nd in the world for its proportion of international collaborative publications.  In terms of impact, SFU ranks in Canada’s top 10 universities both for its mean citation score (9th) and the proportion of its publications that belong to the top 10% most frequently cited (10th).
    2. The President informed the Board that the Institute for Diaspora Research and Engagement was successfully launched at SFU Surrey on April 25.  It aims to “promote a greater awareness of diaspora-related issues and establish a reputation as a leading research centre and incubator of diaspora social innovation.”
    3. The President reported that the Interdisciplinary Research in the Mathematical and Computational Sciences (IRMACS) Centre celebrated its 9th anniversary in April, launching its 2014 thematic year dedicated to the pan-Canadian research initiative AGE-WELL: Aging Gracefully across Environments using Technology to Support Wellness, Engagement, and Long Life.
    4. The President reported that SFU Vancouver celebrated its 25th year in the City on May 22, 2014.  He informed Board members that a link to the video created to mark the occasion is accessible from the President’s blog.
    5. The President reported on his visit to Chile from May 1 to 11, 2014 with the Dean and Associate Dean of Science and the Dean of Education, during which positive meetings were held with Canadian Embassy Officials and with the U.S. naval research unit for the Americas, visits were made to six universities, a high school, and the Chilean Ministry of Education’s Comisión Nacional de Investigación Científica y Tecnológica.  Areas of interest include Education, Science (e.g. Genomics and Volcanology), Criminology, Social Innovation and Indigenous issues.  The trip also included a reception with SFU alumni.  A number of MOUs were signed, and A. Petter said the trip was highly productive and had set the stage for future research and program collaborations and graduate student exchanges.
    6. The President informed the Board that Gwen Bird was recently appointed as the new Dean of Libraries/University Librarian effective October 1, 2014 for a five-year period.
    7. President Petter reported that Joanne Curry, Associate Vice-President, External Relations, received an honorary degree from Kwantlen Polytechnical University on May 28, 2014.
    8. Two pieces of correspondence addressed to the Board were distributed, concerning the divestment of SFU’s investments from the fossil fuel industry and the University’s consideration of new responsible investment policies:
      • A petition signed electronically via web ballot by members of the SFU community;
      • A letter from supporters in the SFU community, SFU 350 and The Divest SFU coalition.
    9. The Board Chair informed the Board that Wendy Grant-John has been re-appointed to the Board by Order-in-Council for two years from July 31, 2014 to July 31, 2016.
    10. The Board Chair acknowledged Carole Taylor’s service to the Board, noting that her term as member of the Board and Chancellor of the University ends on June 13, 2014.
    11. L. Brown-Ganzert also acknowledged the service of student Board members Yasmine Norouzi and Caleb Kwon whose terms on the Board end effective May 31, 2014, and presented each with a certificate and token of appreciation.
    12. L. Brown-Ganzert informed the Board that L. Broshko, General Counsel and Associate University Secretary, began a one-year maternity leave on May 27, 2014.
    13. L. Brown-Ganzert briefly commented on the useful discussion in which Board members engaged at the Board Strategy Session on May 28.
    14. The Board Chair encouraged Board members to participate in one or more Convocation ceremonies between June 10 and 13, noting that the official installation of Anne Giardini, Q.C., succeeding Carole Taylor as the University’s 11th Chancellor will take place on Friday, June 13.
    15. The Report of the Vice-President, Research on recent research-related news and awards was before the Board for information.
    16. The report of the Vice-President, Finance and Administration on the major activities and developments within her portfolio was provided for information.  The Board was informed that the University will test its emergency response plan in a full scale simulation at SFU Burnaby on June 4, 2014.
    17. The Board reviewed the report of the Vice-President, Academic on various academic-related matters.  It included highlights from the Senate meetings of March 3 and April 7, 2014.   The Board was also provided with a copy of the 2014 Annual Strategic Review, a regular review of performance in relation to the University’s vision and mission.  The report links a set of progress indicators to the primary objectives SFU has set for itself, allowing the University to monitor its progress in that regard.


  1. Finance and Administration
    1. The Board approved the University’s request to renovate the third floor of the Discovery 1 building.  The completed renovation will provide instructional spaces, open office areas, and swing spaces to house SFU staff, students and faculty who may be displaced by future renovation projects on the Burnaby campus and fulfil SFU’s contractual obligation to Fraser International College (FIC) to meet its current and possible future space needs for expansion.  The total cost will be funded from FIC revenues.
    2. The Board received for information a Capital Projects and Planning Program Status Report.
    3. Other matters were discussed.
  2. University Relations
    1. The Board received the fundraising progress report for March 2014.
    2. The Vice-President, Advancement and Alumni Engagement provided an update on fundraising in 2013/14.
    3. The Vice-President, Advancement and Alumni Engagement provided an update on the Campus Campaign, which is the next phase of the University’s 50th Anniversary Campaign.
  3. Audit, Risk and Compliance
    1. The Board received for information the Report from the Auditor for 2013-2014.
    2. The Board received for information the Internal Audit Annual Report for 2013-2014.
    3. The Board received for information the 2014 Due Diligence and Compliance Report.
    4. The Board received for information and update on the University’s progress toward implementing five recommendations made by KPMG in their November 2013 report to the Audit, Risk and Compliance Committee.
    5. The Board was informed that the appointment of the Auditor General as SFU’s auditor of record and their external contractor, BDO Canada LLP, ended upon completion of the March 31, 2014 Financial Statements.  An open public competition to engage an Auditor of Record will be undertaken by the University in September 2014.
  4. Human Resources
    1. Faculty Appointments

The following academic appointments were approved and have been accepted:

  •  Mr. Eliav Danziger, Instructor/Assistant Professor, Economics, 1 Sep 14-31 Aug 18
  • Dr. Maya Gislason, Assistant Professor, Health Sciences, 1 Sep 14 – 31 Aug 18
  • Mr. Lucas Herrenbrueck, Instructor/Assistant Professor, Economics, 1 Sep 14 – 31 Aug 18
  • Dr. Owen Ware, Assistant Professor, Philosophy, 1 Jul 14- 31 Aug 18
  • Dr. Joy Palacios, French, Assistant Professor, 1 May 14 – 31 Aug 18
  1. Administrative Appointments

            The Board approved:

  •  Dr. Brent Ward, Earth Sciences, Chair, 1 Sep 14 – 31 Aug 17
  • Dr. Stephen Steele, French, Chair, 1 Sep 14 – 31 Aug 17
  • Dr. Thomas Loughin, Statistics and Actuarial Science, Chair, 1 Sep 14 – 31 Aug 17
  • Dr. James Busumtwi-Sam, Political Science, Chair, 1 Sep 14 – 31 Aug 15
  1. Other
    1. The Board received the President’s Activities Report for March and April 2014.
    2. President Petter noted that C. Taylor’s contributions as SFU’s 10th Chancellor will be formally acknowledged at the Chancellor’s Dinner on Thursday, June 12.  Anne Giardini, Q.C. will be installed as her successor on Friday, June 13.  He encouraged the participation of Board members at these events.
    3. The President reported that Seattle Seahawks Quarterback Russell Wilson, Saskatchewan Roughriders Quarterback Darian Durant, and Canadian broadcaster and SFU honorary degree recipient Brian Williams will participate in the Gathering of the Clan Fundraising Breakfast on Friday, May 30, at the Vancouver Convention Centre West.
    4. A. Petter reported that on June 3rd he will address the Burnaby Board of Trade about the impact of post-secondary institutions on the economic health of the province and overcoming the expected skills shortage.
    5. The President informed the Board that on May 1st he was interviewed by Rick Cluff on CBC Radio’s Early Edition about the BC Government’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint.
    6. The Board approved the University’s Core Review Final Report to be submitted to Government and formally presented to the Minister of Advanced Education on June 9, 2014.
    7. The Board Chair encouraged Board members to review the two letters that were distributed at the beginning of the meeting concerning the divestment of SFU’s investments from the fossil fuel industry and the University’s consideration of new responsible investment policies.


  1. The Board approved that Dr. Mark Walker be appointed as the Registrar and Executive Director, Student Enrolment, effective August 1, 2014.
  2. The President commended J. Hinchliffe for her service as Acting Executive Director, Student Enrollment, and Acting Secretary to Senate, in addition to her responsibilities as Associate Registrar, during the search for the new Registrar.
  3. At the conclusion of the Board meeting, P. Ruben, Board member and Associate Dean, Faculty of Science, escorted Board members to the Faculty of Science for a light lunch and tour of the Faculty.
  4. Paper copies of the Board’s Bienniel Evaluation for 2014 were distributed and the Board Chair encouraged members to participate in the anonymous self-evaluation process by either returning the completed form to the Board Office or doing so on-line.
  5. Other matters were discussed.

The next Board of Governors Meeting will be held at 8:00 a.m. on Thursday, June 26, 2014 in Room 126 of the Halpern Centre, SFU Burnaby.