May 26, 2016 Meeting Summary

Board Members present: B. Cunningham, Board Chair; A. Petter, President; D. Azevedo; M. Cordoba;J. Earthy; J. Francis; J. Hinchliffe; C. Lewis; K. McDougall; D. Poole; F. Robin; P. Ruben; P. Sahota

Regrets:  J. Kim; A. Giardini, Chancellor


A.        Finance and Administration

a.         The Board approved the 2016/17 Consolidated Budget, including an allocation of the cumulative
            carry forward from the year ending March 31, 2016 for expenditures in 2016/17, and
            adjustments for the operating fund and non-operating funds.

B.         University Relations

a.         Fundraising Progress Reports: The Board noted year-to-date progress reports as follows:


Fundraising Progress Report
For Information
2015/2016 Year to Date

To March 31, 2016



Fundraising Progress Report
For Information
2016/2017 Year to Date

To April 30, 2016


b.         The Board approved the Terms of Reference for the:

·         Brian Taylor Undergraduate Award in Dance Endowment;
·         Jim Babcock Fellowship in Graduate Liberal Studies Endowment;
·         BDO Entrepreneurship Award in SIAT;
·         Heritage Education Funds Endowment;
·         Diamond Family International Mobility Endowment;
·         Premier Diversified Holdings Graduate Award;
·         The Kamal Basra Undergraduate Bursary for Aboriginal Students in Science;
·         Edward and Emily McWhinney Foundation Scholarship;
·         McEwen Family Teacher Recognition Grants;
·         Maureen McBeath Graduate Scholarship in Education;
·         Dr. Ivor Fleming Endowed Undergraduate Student Research Award;
·         Pay It Forward Bursary in Gerontology and Psychology;
·         Youth Futures Education Fund;
·         Dr. Reza Nouri BPK Undergraduate Endowment Fund;
·         Ronale Sanjay Naidu Foundation Endowment Award in Men’s Varsity Soccer;
·         City of Surrey Undergraduate Bursary;
·         Alpha August Real Estate Advisory Bursary in Business Administration;
·         Marianne Gibson Endowment supporting the Edward M.W. Gibson Fellowship and the
          Gibson Fellows Research Stipend in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences; and,
·         Theodore Cameron Dobb Endowment.

c.         The Board approved the following action recommended by Senate on April 4, 2016:

  • Terms of Reference for the Edward and Emily McWhinney Professorship in International Relations.

d.         The Board approved the following actions recommended by Senate on May 16, 2016:

  • The Terms of Reference for the Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation Clinical Care Research Professorship; and,
  • The Full Program Proposal for a Major in Labour Studies in the Labour Studies Program within the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, effective Spring 2017.

C.        Governance and Nominating

a.         The Board approved revisions to and the renaming of Policy AD 1.03 Parking, Mobility and
            Vehicle Traffic effective immediately.

D.        Audit, Risk and Compliance

a.         The Board received for information the Annualized Full-Time Equivalent Enrollment Report
            for the year ending March 31, 2016.

b.         The Board approved the Financial Statements of the University for the year ended March 31,

E.         Responsible Investment

a.         The Board was informed that on April 19, 2016, the Committee heard a presentation by
            Mr. Raaj Chatterjee and Ms. Tessa Ramburn, representatives of SFU350 in which they expressed
            the views of that group with respect to the development of a University Divestment Policy and
            made the case for fossil fuel divestment from a financial and fiduciary perspective.  The
            presenters also described the highlights of the March 30, 2016 SFU 100 event held at the
            Burnaby campus. Their presentation materials were provided to the Board for information.

b.         The Board received detailed information on the current policies and practices of a number of
            Canadian universities with respect to addressing the divestment issue.  The Board reviewed the
            highlights of each of the universities profiled and noted that SFU is well positioned at the
            forefront of its peers in terms of environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations and
            increasing its Socially Responsible Investment component in the Endowment Portfolio. All the
            institutions profiled have decided not to divest their endowments from fossil fuels, but rather to
            focus on Socially Responsible Investment funds and/or a commitment to incorporating ESG
            factors into their investment decisions. The reasons for why this is the case include: 1) from a
            practical perspective, the world economy must move along a continuum toward fossil fuel
            divestment as more clean technology becomes available; 2) pooled funds make it more difficult
            to divest particularly in Canada with a limited selection of Canadian equities; 3) there is a widely
            held view that active shareholder engagement is a more effective way to influence change.

c.         The Board received information on four matters:  1) Environmental, Social and Governance
            (ESG) Criteria; 2) Universities that have Divested from Fossil Fuels; 3) University of Ottawa
            Carbon Disclosure Report; 4) Review UK List of 20 Greenest Universities in the World.  With
            respect to “Universities that have divested from fossil fuels,” the extract from the
            site indicates that of the 505 institutions tracked by, there are only 19 Canadian
            universities in total on the list, none of which has fully divested from fossil fuel holdings.  In the
            investment funds managed by SFU Treasury the University holds no fossil fuel direct
            investments, and SFU’s limited coal holdings in the pooled funds in which it invests are on the
            decline.  The point was made that it is important to differentiate between investments that are
            directed and those that are pooled across a wide spectrum to guard against risk.

F.         Other

a.         President Petter reported that on March 29, 2016 the provincial government announced $14
            million in funding from the BC Knowledge Development Fund (BCKDF) to match funding from
            the Canada Foundation for Innovation for research infrastructure projects.  The University’s
            largest BCKDF grant to date – $11.9 million – will go towards the development of a national data
            centre at SFU Burnaby as part of the SFU-led Advanced Research Computing platform managed
            by Compute Canada.  The Board was informed that work on the project is underway.

b.         The President informed the Board that on April 6, 2016 the federal government announced an
             allocation of $2 billion, with a matching provincial component, to accelerate strategic
             construction, repair and maintenance projects across the post-secondary education sector. 
             SFU submitted two projects on the May 9th deadline:  1) a 100,000 square foot Life Sciences
             Research and Innovation Building at the Burnaby Campus to replace the Biology wing of the
             Shrum Science Centre, requiring $62.5 million funding and $20 million for fit-out costs;  and
             2) a 110,000 square foot Sustainable Energy and Environmental Engineering Building (SE3P)
             at the Surrey Campus, which would complete the first phase of expansion envisaged for the
             campus in Surrey City Centre and provide research laboratories for the School of Mechatronics.
             SE3P would require $75-90 million, with $10 million for the land and $10-25 million for fit-out. 
             He further reported that a third project has been submitted by the University of Victoria on
             behalf of five universities, including SFU, for renovations to the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre
             on Vancouver Island. SFU’s contribution would be $300,000 over two years as no provincial
             match is anticipated.

c.         President Petter reported on the highly successful trip to Ottawa that took place from May 9
            to 11, 2016, with the goals of strengthening SFU’s profile, showcasing the
SFU Innovates                  
            strategy and exploring opportunities for the University in relation to the federal government’s
            emerging Innovation Agenda.  During the visit, President Petter made a presentation to the
            Liberal Post-Secondary Education and Innovation Caucus.  Meetings, presentations and events
            were held with senior government officials from seven Ministries and with representatives
            from Universities Canada. A number of elected officials attended the SFU reception, which was
            at capacity with over 120 participants.

d.         The President commented on the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment
             and Development (CCICED), for which the current phase of funding will expire in 2017. 
             Meetings with Minister of Environment and Climate Change Catherine McKenna and key
             government officials have been held to brief them on the CCICED and SFU’s longstanding role
             as Canada’s executing agency and the Council Secretariat’s international support office.

e.         President Petter provided a brief update on two recently launched processes: 1) The
            development of a stand-alone Sexual Violence and Misconduct policy, a process that SFU
            initiated prior to the introduction of provincial legislation on April 27, 2016.  The Vice-President,
            Academic will oversee a highly collaborative policy development process that both conforms to
            provincial legislation and considers the University community’s distinct perspective and
            circumstances.  2) Responding to the calls for action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission
           (TRC) and building on SFU’s Aboriginal Strategic Plan, the University has struck a task force to
           recommend a strategic initiative to address the needs of Aboriginal students and communities. 
           Co-chaired by Board member and Squamish Nation Councillor Chris Lewis and Dean of
           Education Kris Magnusson, the task force will undertake consultations and develop
           recommendations for a three-year program that reflects the principles and spirit of the TRC

f.          The President commented on a number of ways in which he has endeavoured to stay connected
            with the University community throughout the year, including "Breakfasts with the President,"
            receptions at the President's residence for faculty and staff from across the University, monthly
            meeting with employee and student groups, the President's Faculty Lecture series, lectures in the
            President's Dream Colloquium, and numberous other conferences and events.

g.         President Petter reported on the success of: 1) the April 5th live web-link conversation with
            Edward Snowden on the topics of Big Data, Security and Human Rights; 2) two Alumni
            Receptions recently held in Edmonton and Toronto; 3) the Distinguished Community Leadership
            Award presented to Samuel and Frances Belzberg on May 3rd; and, 4) the collaboration between
            SFU and the City of Burnaby to mount the Burnaby Festival of Learning from May 1 to 7.

h.         The President informed the Board that the Annual General Meeting of the Alumni Association is
             scheduled to take place on May 26, and the SFU Athletics Scholarship Breakfast emceed by
             Brian Williams, veteran sportscaster and 2011 SFU Honorary Degree recipient, with guest
             speaker John Herdman, Head Coach of the Canadian Senior Women’s National Soccer Team,
             will be held on May 30, 2016.

i.          Board Chair B. Cunningham stated that Edward Snowden’s keynote presentation at the Queen 
            Elizabeth Theatre, presented in partnership with the President’s Dream Colloquium on 
            Engaging Big Data, was a powerful public engagement event.

j.          The Board Chair reported on several events he attended in April:  1) At the Canadian
             University Board Association’s annual conference he was reminded of the productive, respectful
             and collegial relationships that SFU has with its various University stakeholder groups.  2) He
             attended the May 9 to 11 trip to Ottawa that not only raised SFU's profile, but also demonstrated
             the University's growing strength in innovation.

k.         B. Cunningham acknowledged the service of faculty Board member Peter Ruben, undergraduate
             student Board member Deven Azevedo, and graduate student member Katelyn McDougall
             whose terms on the Board end effective May 31, 2016.

l.          The Board Chair welcomed to the open session incoming faculty Board member Anke Kessler,
            Professor of Economics and Undergraduate Chair of the Department of Economics, and graduate
            student Board member, Tyler Carlson, pursuing a Master’s degree in the School of Resource and
            Environmental Management.  A. Kessler has been elected by faculty to a three year term, and
            T. Carlson has been elected by students to a term of one year effective June 1, 2016.

m.        Joy Johnson, Vice-President, Research provided the Board with an update regarding key
             activities in her Office and a report on recent research achievements. 

n.         The Board received a report from Martin Pochurko, Vice-President, Finance and Administration,
             summarizing the major activities and initiatives in the departments within his portfolio as of
             May 2016.

o.         J. Driver, Vice-President, Academic, provided a verbal update on the process he is overseeing
            toward the development of a stand-alone policy on sexual violence and misconduct. The policy
            working group is currently establishing an advisory committee, with cross-university
            representation, to begin an extensive consultation process, including a Town Hall meeting on
            May 31.  The policy will be drafted over the summer and it is expected that it will then go to the
            community for input in fall 2016.  He also distributed copies of two reports:  1)
Healthy Campus
            Community Annual Report 2015
; and, 2) the 2015 Annual Report on Aboriginal Strategic
            Initiatives at Simon Fraser University


A.        Finance and Administration

a.         The Board approved Infrastructure, Thermal Energy Service and three Statutory Right of Way       
            Agreements between SFU and Corix Multi-Utility Services Inc. for provision of a biomass fuelled      
            sustainable neighbourhood district heating system that will be constructed to service SFU 
            Burnaby and the UniverCity precincts.

b.         The Board approved the award of a Construction Management at Risk contract to Magil
            Construction Pacific Inc. for the Education Building Renewal project.

c.         The Board received for information a Capital Projects and Planning Program Status Report.

d.         The draft minutes of and excerpts from the report to the Investment Advisory Committee         
             meeting of April 8, 3026 were received by the Board for information.

B.         University Relations

a.         The Board received the fundraising progress reports for March and April 2016.

b.         Following consultation with the Senate Committee on University Priorities on April 20, 2016
             and with Senate on May 16, 2016 as required under Policy GP 35 Named Recognition of
            Buildings, Academic Endowments and Academic Units, the Board approved: 1) the official
            naming of 308 West Hastings Street, Vancouver the Charles Chang Innovation Centre; 2) the
            official naming of the Certificate in Innovation and Entrepreneurship program at the Beedie
            School of Business the Charles Chang Certificate in Innovation and Entrepreneurship; and, 3) the
            official naming of the Charles Chang Institute for Entrepreneurship at the Beedie School of
            Business.  The Beedie School of Business will receive a $10 million gift from SFU alumnus and
            entrepreneur Charles Chang.

c.         The Board reviewed the report of Cathy Daminato, Vice-President, Advancement and Alumni 
            Engagement on the recent activities, developments and achievements in each of the areas within 
            her portfolio.

d.         The Board reviewed the report from Joanne Curry, Vice-President, External Relations on key
            issues in Government Relations and Communications & Marketing.

C.        Audit, Risk and Compliance

a.         The Board received for information the Report from the Auditor for 2015/16.

b.         The Board received for information the Internal Audit Annual Report 2015/16.

D.        Responsible Investment

a.         The Board received for information a suggested amendment to Policy B10.16 Responsible
             Investment to add a new section 5.5 on “Divestment.”  The draft revised policy will be widely
             circulated to the University community for comments and input during summer 2016 before it
             comes back to the Board.

b.         The Board engaged in an initial discussion regarding donors who in future may wish to direct
             their gifts to fossil fuel free investments within the endowment portfolio.  After reviewing the
             implications, the Board requested more information be tracked to help inform future
             discussions about this matter.

c.         As part of SFU’s commitment to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investing
            (UN PRI), the Board approved the University’s annual survey submission for 2016 to the UN PRI.

E.         Human Resources

a.         Faculty Appointments

The following academic appointments were approved and have been accepted:

  • Dr. Jeremie Cornut, Assistant Professor, Political Science, 1 Sep 16 – 31 Aug 20
  • Ms. Pooja Dharamshi, Instructor, Faculty of Education, 1 Sep 16 – 31 Aug 20
  • Dr. Timothy Audas, Assistant Professor, Department of Molecular Biology & Biochemistry, 1 Sep 16 – 31 Aug 20
  • Dr. Hannah McGregor, Assistant Professor, Publishing Program, 1 Aug 16 – 31 Aug 20
  • Dr. Pascal Haegeli, University Chair in Avalanche Risk Management, Resource and Environmental Management, retroactive from 1 Sep 15 – 31 Aug 20

b.         Other

            The Board approved:

  • A 65% modified appointment, English, 1 Sep 16 – 31 Aug 17
  • An appointment reduced to 50%, Archaeology, 1 Sep 16
  • Extension of a 50% modified appointment, Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology, 1 Sep 16 – 1 Aug 17
  • A 60% modified appointment, English, 1 Sep 16 – 31 Aug 19
  • An Enhanced Early Retirement, Beedie School of Business, effective 1 Apr 17
  • A 25% transfer from Archaeology to a 100% appointment in First Nations Studies, 1 Sep 16
  • A revised end date for a modified appointment, Economics, from 30 Apr 17 to 31 Dec 16

F.         Other

a.         The Board received the President’s Activities Report for March and April 2016.

b.         Other matters were discussed.


a.         The Board approved the appointment of Sandi de Domenico as Associate Vice-President, Human
            Resources effective May 30, 2016.

b.         The Board discussed and signed the Government’s 2016/17 Mandate Letter for Public
             Post-Secondary Institutions.  The Letter was subsequently submitted to the Ministry of
             Advanced Education and posted as a PDF on the Board’s web site at:

c.         Other matters were discussed.

The next Board of Governors Meeting will be held at 8:00 a.m. on Thursday, June 23, 2016 in Room 126 of the Halpern Centre, SFU Burnaby.