September 24, 2015 Meeting Summary
Board Members present: B. Cunningham, Board Chair; A. Giardini, Chancellor; A. Petter, President; D. Azevedo; J. Earthy;
J. Francis; J. Hinchliffe; C. Lewis; K. McDougall; D. Poole; P. Ruben; P. Sahota
Regrets: J. Kim; E. Luongo; F. Robin
A. Finance and Administration
a. The Board received for information the monthly rental rates for SFU Residences for the academic year 2016/17.
b. The Board received the University’s Statement of Financial Information for the year ended March 31, 2015 and authorized
the Chair of the Board to sign the document.
c. The Board noted for information the Year-to-Date Budget to Actual Variance Report as of June 30, 2015.
d. The Board noted for information SFU’s confirmation to the Ministry of Advanced Education of the University’s first and
second quarter budget forecast and projections for 2015/16 to 2018/19.
B. University Relations
a. The Board approved the following action recommended by Senate:
- The Terms of Reference for the Chair in Avalanche Risk Management.
b. Fundraising Progress Reports: The Board noted year-to-date progress reports as follows:
Fundraising Progress Report
2015/2016 Year to Date
To June 30, 2015
To July 31, 2015
To August 31, 2015
c. The Board approved the Terms of Reference for the:
- Dr. Catherine Black Award for Studies in French;
- Courage to Speak Out Award;
- Adorlee Beauty Inc. Undergraduate Scholarship in Business Entrepreneurship;
- Adorlee Beauty Inc. Undergraduate Scholarship in Environmental Health and Toxicology;
- Caledonia Awards in World Literature;
- Lana Cooke International Mobility Award Endowment Fund;
- Patricia Lambert Undergraduate Bursary in Communication for Mature Students;
- Dr. Michael Lepawsky Graduate Award in Hyperbaric Medicine;
- Scotiabank Student Awards in Social Innovation Endowed Awards;
- Scotiabank Social Innovation Conference and Event Endowment Fund;
- WXN Entrepreneurship Award for Aboriginal Leaders;
- Ken Chan BA’95 LGBT Undergraduate Award;
- Tony Parsad Endowed Memorial Undergraduate Award in Chemistry;
- Tony Parsad Memorial Annual Undergraduate Award in Chemistry
- William H. Mathews Memorial Endowment – Alexis Clague Award in Earth Sciences;
- Andrea Abrams Athletic Award;
- Community Education Impact Endowment Fund;
- Dr. David Eaves Endowed Graduate Scholarship in Statistics;
- RBC Awards in Aboriginal Business and Leadership;
- RBC Undergraduate Entrepreneurship and Innovation Award for Aboriginal Students;
- Scotiabank Social Innovation Student Team Competition Prizes Endowment Fund;
- Angad Soni Undergraduate Bursary for Women in Computing Science; and,
- Cherry Vail Undergraduate Bursary.
d. The Board received for information an updated version of the 50th Anniversary Event Highlights booklet and reviewed
with the Vice-President, External Relations a number of upcoming partner and arts & culture events, as well as other
annual events that will be 50th Anniversary themed in 2015-2016.
e. The Board reviewed the 50th Anniversary events held on September 9, 2015 at SFU Burnaby, the diversity of attendees,
and solid media coverage received. Congratulations were extended to all those who planned and successfully executed
the various activities.
C. Responsible Investment
a. The Board heard a presentation by and engaged in a discussion with Mr. Raaj Chatterjee, President of SFU 350, and his
colleague, Ms. Leena Hasan, about fossil fuel divestment. Their presentation included the history of the divestment
movement, a request for increased transparency in the large pooled funds in which the University is invested and a
commitment to divest from the top 200 fossil fuel companies over 5 years.
b. The Board received for information the results of a study undertaken by the University reviewing the proxy voting
policies of SFU’s investment managers, in particular how the managers consider Environmental, Social and Governance
(ESG) factors in their voting practices. The study included the Principles for Responsible Investment guidelines.
c. The Board engaged in a preliminary discussion about the frequency and timing of Responsible Investment Committee
(RIC) meetings in 2016. The Board will explore the relationship between the RIC and the Investment Advisory
Committee, as well as Committee Terms of Reference, and the various policies governing the University’s investments,
before a schedule is set.
D. Human Resources
a. The Board reviewed for information upcoming changes to the Pension Benefits Standards Act along with the new Pension
Benefits Standards Regulation, which implements the new Act, that will impact the University’s two pension plans:
The Pension Plan for Administrative Staff (a defined benefit plan), and the Pension Plan for Academic Staff (a defined
contribution plan with a defined benefit component for a closed group of retired members). It is expected that the three
documents for each Plan will come to the Board for approval in November. These changes will not affect pension benefits.
a. The President noted that the fall semester began successfully and he also commented on the success of the various 50th
Anniversary events on September 9 at SFU Burnaby that brought students, faculty, staff, alumni, supporters and donors
together in celebration.
b. The President reported that at the Annual General Meeting of the Simon Fraser Student Society (SFSS) on September 22,
2015, students voted 86% in favour of the debenture required for the construction of the proposed Student Union
Building, and 81% in favour of the debenture for the proposed Stadium. Student voters also approved a resolution for
the creation of a special bylaw in that regard. These approvals ensure that the loans for both projects can proceed. He
commended the SFSS Executive, Tim Rahilly, Associate Vice-President, Students, and Larry Waddell, Chief Facilities
Officer, for their work to date on BUILD SFU.
c. President Petter informed the Board that on September 15, 2015, the Executive and Compensation Committee approved
the appointment of Mr. Martin Pochurko as Vice-President, Finance and Administration, effective October 15, 2015
d. The President informed the Board of the resignation of Philip Steenkamp, Vice-President, External Relations, effective
on November 30, 2015. Dr. Steenkamp has accepted a position at the University of British Columbia.
e. President Petter gave a report on Simon Fraser University’s status relative to other Canadian universities in the
2015-2016 QS World University Rankings. SFU rose to 11th in Canada, up from 12th last year, and is one of just 13
Canadian institutions in the world’s top 300, placing 225th overall. He indicated that a key contributor to SFU’s success
was the outstanding performance of the University’s researchers, ranking second in Canada in research citations per
f. B. Cunningham, Board Chair, thanked Stephen Dooley, Executive Director, SFU Surrey, for hosting the Board at the
g. B. Cunningham acknowledged incoming Vice-President, Finance and Administration, Martin Pochurko, seated in the
h. B. Cunningham welcomed Li-Jeen Broshko, General Counsel, to her first Board meeting since returning from parental
i. B. Cunningham, Board Chair, acknowledged the engagement in and support of Board members in the 50th Anniversary
events of September 9, 2015.
j. Joy Johnson, Vice-President, Research provided the Board with an update on key activities in her Office and a report on
recent research achievements. The Board’s attention was drawn in particular to the launch of the Strategic Research
Plan consultation process for 2016 to 2020 that will align with SFU’s vision, and a $6.5 million grant from the Canadian
Institute for Health Research’s inaugural Foundation Grants program awarded to Health Sciences researcher Robert
Hogg to continue identifying ongoing health inequities among vulnerable HIV-positive populations in British Columbia
and the rest of Canada. Board members were invited to attend the October 1, 2015 launch of SFU Innovates that will also
serve as the official opening of SFU’s Zones of Innovation and Incubation (ZI2) Incubator at Harbour Centre.
k. The Board reviewed the report of the Vice-President, Finance and Administration on the major activities and initiatives
in the departments within the portfolio. The Board noted the recent hiring of the Chief Information Officer, Mark
Roman, and the Client Services Director, Sandeep Sidhu. The Board Chair thanked Alison Blair, Associate Vice-President,
Finance, and Finance staff for ensuring the smooth operation of the department following the sudden passing of Pat
Hibbitts, Vice-President, Finance and Administration, in June 2015.
l. The Board reviewed the report of Jon Driver, Vice-President, Academic, on various academic-related matters. It
included an update on Louis Riel House, information on SFU’s Teaching and Learning Development Grants Program,
data on tuition fees and scholarships, and SFU’s performance compared to the University of British Columbia and the
University of Victoria with respect to the 2014/15 Institutional Accountability Plan and Report. Paper copies of the
2014 Annual Report on Aboriginal Initiatives prepared by the Office for Aboriginal Peoples were distributed.
A. Finance and Administration
a. The draft minutes of and excerpts from the report to the Investment Advisory Committee meeting of June 26, 2015 were
received by the Board for information.
b. The Board received for information a Capital Projects and Planning Program Status Report as of September 2015.
c. The Board received for information the CAUBO synopsis of the University Investment Survey on Endowment and Pension
Funds as at December 31, 2014.
d. The Board engaged in a preliminary discussion about the University’s budget for fiscal year 2016/17. In addition to the
annual consultations that are traditionally held with the community and with the undergraduate and graduate student
societies, the process will be expanded this year to include a consultation specifically for students.
B. University Relations
a. The Board received fundraising progress reports for June, July and August 2015.
b. The Board received for information the 2014/15 Fundraising Summary prepared by University Advancement.
c. The Board reviewed the report from Philip Steenkamp, Vice-President, External Relations on key issues in Government
Relations and Communications & Marketing.
C. Responsible Investment
a. The Board received a document from Eckler Consultants and Actuaries with information about various approaches that
could be adopted to increase SFU’s sustainable investment holdings in the endowment portfolio. A preliminary
discussion was held and additional information and due diligence will be undertaken by the University and the matter
brought back to the Board for further review.
b. Other matters were discussed.
D. Human Resources
a. Faculty Appointments
The following academic appointments were approved and have been accepted:
- Dr. Milena Droumeva, Assistant Professor, Communication, Art and Technology, 1 Sep 15 – 31 Aug 19
- Dr. Miriam Lavergne, Assistant Professor, Health Sciences, 1 Jul 16 – 31 Aug 20
- Dr. Amy Parent, Assistant Professor, Education, 1 Sep 15 – 31 Aug 19
- Dr. Kathleen Akins, retroactively re-appointed Burnaby Mountain University Professor, Philosophy, 1 Jan 15 – 31 Dec 24
- Dr. Nicolas Fillion, Assistant Professor, Philosophy, 1 Sep 15 – 31 Aug 19
- Dr. Diego Silva, Assistant Professor, Health Sciences, 1 Sep 15 – 31 Aug 19
- Dr. Pascal Haegeli, Assistant Professor, Resource and Environmental Management, 1 Sep 15 – 31 Aug 19
- Dr. Gabriela Aceves Sepulveda, Assistant Professor, Interactive Arts and Technology, 15 Aug 15 – 31 Aug 19
- Dr. Leonid Chindelevitch, Assistant Professor, Computing Science, 1 Sep 15 – 31 Aug 19
- Dr. Jonathan Moore, reappointed Liber Ero Chair in Coastal Science and Management, Biological Sciences, 1 Jan 16 – 31 Dec 20
- Dr. Stuart Peacock. Professor with Tenure, Beedie School of Business, 1 Jul 15 and Leslie Diamond Chair in Cancer Survivorship, Health Sciences, 1 Jul 15 – 30 Jun 20
- Dr. Ying Duan, Assistant Professor, Beedie School of Business, 1 Sep 15 – 31 Aug 19
- Dr. Hui Xie, Professor with Tenure, Health Sciences, 1 Sep 15 and Milan and Maureen Illich/Merck Frosst Chair in Biostatistics for Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Diseases, 1 Sep 15 – 31 Aug 20
- Dr. Jiannan Wang, Assistant Professor, Computing Science, 1 Sep 15 – 31 Aug 19
- Dr. Ho Henny Yeung, Assistant Professor, Linguistics, 1 Jan 16 – 31 Aug 19
- Dr. Robert L. Williamson, Assistant Professor, Education, 1 Sep 15 – 31 Aug 19
b. Administrative Appointments
The Board approved:
- Dr. Jane Pulkingham, Dean, Arts and Social Sciences, 1 Jan 16 – 31 Aug 21
- Dr. Ali Dastmalchian, Dean, Beedie School of Business, 1 Jan 16 – 31 Dec 20
- Mr. Martin Pochurko, Vice-President, Finance and Administration, 15 Oct 15
- Dr. Neil Watson, reappointed Chair, Psychology, 1 Sep 15 – 31 Aug 17
- Dr. Claire Cupples, reappointed Dean, Faculty of Science, 1 Sep 15 – 31 Aug 20
The Board approved:
- A transfer from Sociology and Anthropology to the School of International Studies, effective 1 Sep 15
- A 50% modified appointment in the Beedie School of Business, 1 Sep 15 – 31Aug 16
- A 20% modified appointment in the School of Resource and Environmental Management, 2 Nov 15 – 31 Dec 15
- A 60% modified appointment in Mathematics, 1 Sep 15 – 31 Dec 15
- A 60% modified appointment in Education, extension from 1 Jan 16 – 31 Dec 16
- A transfer of a joint appointment in the Explorations Program and the World Literature Program to a full-time appointment in English, effective 1 Sep 15
- Professor Emeritus designation for Dr. Mark McPherran, effective 1 Sep 15
d. Other matters were discussed.
a. The Board received the President’s Activities Report for June, July and August 2015.
b. 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. C. Daminato reported that the
winning entry in the 50th Anniversary Legacy Song Contest will be performed at the October Convocation ceremonies.
Maureen Broadfoot, Managing Director, Marketing & Annual Giving, presented a short video prepared for the Leadership
c. The Vice-President, Academic gave a brief report on how the University is handling the withholding of grades by the
Teaching Support Staff Union.
d. Joy Johnson, Vice-President, Research, gave a presentation to the Board about the University’s Innovation Strategy, titled
“SFU Innovates: Think. Engage. Change.
e. Other matters were discussed.
a. The Board received for information the Board Chair’s letter of August 13, 2015 in response to a letter from the Teaching
Support Staff Union dated June 25, 2015.
b. The Board approved the President’s Goals, Objectives and Competencies for 2015/16, which will be forwarded to
Senate for information.
c. 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.
d. Other matters were discussed.
The next Board of Governors Meeting will be held at 8:00 a.m. on Thursday, November 26, 2015 in the Halpern Centre, Room126, SFU Burnaby.