September 28, 2017 Meeting Summary

Board Members present: J. Kim, Board Chair; A. Petter, President; M. Cordoba; J. Dhesa; J. Earthy; A. Kessler; C. Lewis; M. Mroz; P. Sahota; J. Stewart; O. Zihlmann

Regrets:  A. Giardini, Chancellor; J. Francis; F. Robin


A.        Finance and Administration

a.         The Board received for information the monthly rental rates for SFU Residences for the academic year 2018/19.

b.         The Board received the University’s Statement of Financial Information for the year ended March 31, 2017 and authorized the Chair of the Board to sign
            the document.

c.         The Board noted for information the Q1 Budget to Actual Variance Report as of June 30, 2017.

B.         University Relations

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


Fundraising Progress Report

For Information

2017/2018 Year to Date

To June 30, 2017


To July 31, 2017


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

  • Mary Filer Bursary Award;
  • Wolfgang Haider Memorial Graduate Award;
  • Grant Sheffer Memorial Graduate Scholarship in Physics Endowment;
  • Grant Sheffer Undergraduate Student Research Award in Physics Endowment;
  • A.E. Housman & Moses Jackson Unrequited Love Award;
  • Pat Hibbitts Memorial Bursary Endowment;
  • Schiller Family Award in Business;
  • David & Mary Macaree Scottish Studies Mobility Award Endowment; and,
  • Temstl’i7 ta Snichim: Squamish Language Award.

c.         The Board approved the following action recommended by Senate on September 11, 2017:

  • The full program proposal for the Certificate in Biological Anthropology in the Department of Archaeology within the Faculty of Environment, effective spring

C.        Responsible Investment Committee

a.         The Board received for information a summary prepared by the SFU Sustainability Office listing the strategies taken by the University to reduce its carbon
            footprint.  SFU’s 2016 greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) are measured at 14,803 per ton of CO2 emissions while the overall physical space of the
            University has increased by about 10% since the 2007 baseline.  Had SFU not taken action to reduce its GHG emissions since 2007, the 2016 emissions
            would be about 21,700 tons per of CO2 emissions, assuming the same emission rate as in 2007.

b.         In September 2016, SFU commissioned a report from MSCI ESG Research Inc. (MSCI), to measure the carbon footprint of the public equity portion of the
            University’s investment portfolio as of fiscal year end March 31, 2016. That measurement served as the baseline from which SFU committed to reduce
            the carbon footprint of its portfolio by at least 30% by 2030.  The second carbon footprint analysis was conducted by MSCI in the summer of 2017 on the
            public equities held through external managers for SFU investment portfolios as of March 31, 2017.  The baseline of 177.8 as of March 31, 2016 has
            dropped to 88.4 as of March 31, 2017, currently surpassing SFU’s 2030 target of 124.5.  While this is encouraging news, the data must be viewed in light
            of the volatility of the investment market and the fact that fund managers have discretion to enter and exit various sectors that may lead to an increase in
            portfolio carbon emissions. SFU will work with MSCI Research Inc. to report out on an annual basis and continue to actively engage its investment
            managers to implement responsible investing.

c.         The Board received for information a letter dated April 25, 2017 from Dr. Jeremy Milloy of Trent University, who is also an SFU alumnus, in which he
            encouraged the Board to divest SFU’s endowment funds from the top 200 fossil fuel companies.

D.        Human Resources

a.         The Board approved the repeal of Academic Policies A10.05 Hiring of Foreign Faculty Members and A32.02 University Research Professor, effective
            immediately.  The first is out of date and does not reflect current law. A new policy will be developed. The second policy had been suspended since 2010
            due to lack of funds for the program and the program no longer exists. In addition, another 40 policies are superseded by the SFU-SFUFA Collective
            Agreement and will be removed from the Policy Gazette.

E.         Other

a.         President Petter noted that the fall semester got off to a busy start with the usual round of orientation events for new undergraduate students, graduate
            students and faculty members.

b.         The President commented on several events that took place in July:  1) the Annual Employee Appreciation BBQ that attracted the largest turnout ever;
             and, 2) SFU’s sponsorship of the India Summer Festival, which has in six years become an important part of Vancouver’s cultural scene.

c.         A. Petter reported that SFU has been very active on the government relations front, particularly following the change in provincial government.  In late
            August, he and Board Chair Julia Kim welcomed Advanced Education Minister and SFU Alumna Melanie Mark to SFU Burnaby, and she was provided with
            an overview of the University that highlighted SFU’s priorities followed by a short campus tour.  The Minister’s visit ended with an informal reception with
            students and other University representatives.  Over the summer, meetings were held with Surrey and Burnaby MLAs, and briefings held with key
            government officials concerning SFU’s priorities.

d.         The President informed the Board that in early September, he and other University representatives held a productive liaison meeting with Mayor Corrigan
             and Burnaby Council at which they were updated on a number of recent developments, including:

  • The new SFU Data Centre and the Cedar super computer;
  • Plans for new student residences;
  • The Corix Burnaby Mountain District Energy Utility Project;
  • Progress on the new Student Union Building and plans for the new Stadium;
  • Developments in UniverCity.

e.         President Petter reported that he and other University representatives, including new Dean of Health Sciences Tania Bubela, recently met with key
            officials from Fraser Health to discuss plans for health innovation programming as part of the next phase of SFU Surrey’s expansion, and to discuss a
            range of other areas of possible collaboration.

f.          A. Petter informed the Board that four extraordinary recipients were honoured at the Outstanding Alumni Awards reception held at the Four Seasons
            Hotel on September 13, 2017.

g.         The President commented on his recently completed trip to Australia during which he and Vice-President, External Relations Joanne Curry attended a
            Global Conference on University Engagement hosted by the University of Melbourne.  While there, they visited a number of other institutions, including
            Griffiths University and the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia National University in Canberra, and RMIT and Deakin University
            in Melbourne.  The Canadian High Commissioner to Australia also hosted a dinner that included a number of influential guests with interests in SFU and

h.         A. Petter reported on the September 6, 2017 unveiling of the Musqueam house post at the main entrance to Harbour Centre, SFU Vancouver.  The post,
            carved by Brent Sparrow, serves both as a welcome figure and as a symbol of the University’s commitment to reconciliation.

i.          Board Chair J. Kim briefly commented on the August meeting with Minister Mark at SFU Burnaby, noting that the occasion represented an opportunity for
            SFU to strengthen its relationship with government.

j.          The Board Chair also reported that she attended the Outstanding Alumni Awards event.  She noted that the evening showcased the strength of SFU’s
            international alumni community.  The President added that the number of SFU alumni will reach 150,000 at the October Convocation Ceremonies.

k.         Joy Johnson, Vice-President, Research and International provided the Board with a report on recent research achievements. In particular, she highlighted:

  • SFU has registered six applications with the Canada 150 Research Chairs Program as part of the opportunity to recruit outstanding international researchers and Canadian expatriates to Canada. This demonstrates that there are high calibre international scholars who are interested in coming to SFU.  Should these applications be unsuccessful, other ways will be sought in which to engage the candidates with the University.
  • With the hiring of a full time staff position in the Major Awards Office, work in this regard is reaping rewards.  Two faculty members will be inducted as Royal Society of Canada (RSC) Fellows in November another has been elected as a member of the 2017 cohort of the RCS’s College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists.
  • In light of SFU’s recent designation as an Ashoka U Changemaker Campus, work has begun to consider how this initiative will be rolled out on campus and how to move forward.
  • With respect to Big Data, “The Data Visionaries” Series will launch on October 11, 2017 with a presentation by alumnus Chris Neumann, Venture Partner at 500 Startups.

l.          The Board reviewed the report of the Vice-President, Finance and Administration on the major activities and developments within his portfolio as of
            September 2017.  M. Pochurko highlighted the following matters:

  • SFU has assumed responsibility for the SFU Burnaby Pub and is in the process of finding a third-party operator. The Pub will continue to function as a licensed facility that is expected to be a gathering space for the whole University.
  • In partnership with the Heart and Stroke Foundation and Iridia Medical on September 19, 2017, SFU held training sessions on the use of the Automatic External Defibrilator (AED) equipment that has been installed across all three campuses.  The CPR/AED session was very successful and the Heart and Stroke Foundation has received SFU’s permission to use the “Helping Hearts” slogan in its province-wide campaign.
  • SFU and the investor for Phase 1 of the Residence and Housing Master Plan have signed a binding Offer to Lease.
  • The University has received approval from the BC Utilities Commission for the Corix Burnaby Mountain District Energy Utility Project and work may now begin.

m.        The Board reviewed a written report from Peter Keller, Vice-President, Academic and Provost on the recent news and developments in his portfolio. He

  • The importance of working with faculties and departments to create a culture that recognizes faculty achievement through awards.
  • Fall enrollments numbers are strong.  Domestic undergraduate targets have exceeded the Province’s funded target, and international student numbers are up from a wider range of countries.
  • A number of new faculty orientation events were held.
  • Dr. Wade Parkhouse, Vice-Provost and Associate Vice-President, Academic, and Dr. Tania Bubela, Dean of Health Sciences, officially undertook their duties on September 1, 2017.
  • Searches that will take place in 2017-18 include:

-          Associate Vice-President, Teaching and Learning

-          Dean and Associate Provost, Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies

-          Dean, Faculty of Science

-          Dean, Lifelong Learning.

  • The search for the Director of the Sexual Violence Support and Prevention Office has concluded and the process of hiring staff and finding office space is underway.
  • With respect to the draft Non-Academic Student Conduct Policy, initial consultation has taken place with stakeholders directly involved in the disciplinary process before going to broad consultation.
  • A formal review of online and flexible course delivery is underway.
  • A consultant was engaged and work has now begun on how to better align academic hiring strategies with the academic hiring cycle.


A.        Finance and Administration

a.         The Board engaged in a preliminary discussion about the University’s budget for fiscal year 2018/19, and reviewed the information to be shared with the
             campus community in a series of budget consultations.

b.         The Board approved an adjustment to the Construction Contract with Kinetic Construction for the Facilities Services Building Expansion and Upgrade
            Project at SFU Burnaby.

c.         The Board authorized SFU to approve an adjustment to the Construction Contract with Ledcor Construction for Phase 1 of the Plaza Renewal Project at
            SFU Burnaby.

d.         The Board approved amendments to the contract with DIALOG Architecture for Architect/Engineering/Prime Consultant Services for implementation of
             the Residence and Housing Master Plan at SFU Burnaby.

e.         The Board received for information a Capital Projects and Planning Program Status Report as of September 2017.

f.          The draft minutes of and excerpts from the report to the Investment Advisory Committee meeting of June 23, 2017, were received by the Board for

g.         The Board approved the investor for Phase 1 of the Master Residence Plan at SFU Burnaby and the key terms of the Offer to Lease. [Approved at the
            concurrent meetings of the Finance and Administration and Executive and Compensation Committees on July 12, 2017.]

h.         Other matters were discussed.

B.         University Relations

a.         The Board received fundraising progress reports for June and July 2017.

b.         The Board reviewed the report from M. den Haan, Vice-President, Advancement and Alumni Engagement on the recent activities, developments and
            achievements in each of the areas within his portfolio. The Board was informed that the results of the review of the Advancement and Alumni
            Engagement portfolio are being analyzed with a view to building on the data and developing a new five‑year plan.

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

C.        Responsible Investment

a.         The Board received for information and engaged in a preliminary discussion about a Policy Brief setting out the case for SFU to divest from its investments in the tobacco industry. SFU does not currently hold any direct investments in tobacco in either the Non-Endowment or Endowment Funds.

D.        Human Resources

a.         Faculty Appointments

The following academic appointments were approved and have been accepted:

  • Dr. Keval Vora, Assistant Professor, Computing Science, 18 Sep 17 – 31 Aug 21
  • Dr. Sarah Anne-Sophie Ganter, Assistant Professor, Communication, 8 Aug 17 – 31 Aug 21
  • Dr. Svitlana Matviyenko, Assistant Professor, Communication, 1 Aug 17 – 31 Aug
  • Dr. Mo Chen, Assistant Professor, Computing Science, 1 Aug 18 – 31 Aug 22

E.         Other

a.         The Board received the President’s Activities Report for July and August 2017.

b.         Other matters were discussed.


a.         The Board received for information the annual performance review recommendations for the senior executive group, noting that under government’s current executive compensation freeze, merit awards will be implemented only at such time that government policy permits, and following a further review and confirmation by the Board.

b.         The Board approved the President’s Goals and Objectives for 2017/18.

c.         Other matters were discussed.

The next Board of Governors Meeting will be held at 8:00 a.m. on Thursday, November 23, 2017 in Room 126 of the Halpern Centre at SFU Burnaby.