May 25, 2017 Meeting Summary
Board Members present: J. Kim, Board Chair; A. Petter, President; A. Giardini, Chancellor; M. Cordoba; J. Earthy; J. Francis; R. Gill; A. Kessler; C. Lewis; F. Robin;
P. Sahota; J. Stewart
Regrets: T. Carlson; J. Hinchliffe
A. Finance and Administration
a. The Board approved the 2017/18 Revised Consolidated Budget, including an allocation of the cumulative carry forward from the year ending March 31,
2017 for expenditures on some strategic and operational initiatives in 2017/18.
B. University Relations
a. Fundraising Progress Reports: The Board noted year-to-date progress reports as follows:
|Fundraising Progress Report
2016/2017 Year to Date
To March 31, 2017
|Fundraising Progress Report
2017/2018 Year to Date
To April 30, 2017
b. The Board approved the Terms of Reference for the:
- Faculty of Science Undergraduate Student Research Award;
- Freedom 55 Financial Awards;
- Brian Dick Engineering Prize for Service Abroad;
- Cody Sawatsky Memorial Award in Gaming; and,
- Fiona Marshall White Award for Leadership in Soccer.
c. The Board approved the following actions recommended by Senate on May 15, 2017:
- The name change from BSc in Management and Systems Science to BSc in Data Science for the major and honours programs within the Faculty of Science, effective Fall 2017;
- The program name change from Development and Sustainability to Sustainable Development within the Faculty of Environment, effective Fall 2017; and,
- The title change from French Cohort Program in Public Administration and Community Services (Administration publique et services communautaires) to French Cohort Program in Public and International Affairs (Affaires publiques et internationales) within the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, effective Fall 2017.
C. Governance and Nominating
a. The Board approved that Mr. Barry Macdonald be re-appointed as a Board member of the Simon Fraser University Foundation for the period May 24,
2017 to May 23, 2020.
D. Audit, Risk and Compliance
a. The Board received for information the Annualized Full-Time Equivalent Enrollment Report for the year ending March 31, 2017.
b. The Board approved the Financial Statements of the University for the year ended March 31, 2017.
E. Responsible Investment
a. The Board was provided with two letters from the student group SFU 350. Both letters referenced the February 2017 commitment by Université Laval
to fully divest their endowment fund from fossil fuels and encouraged SFU to consider becoming the first university in western Canada to follow suit.
b. The Board was informed that on April 11, 2017, the Responsible Investment Committee heard a presentation by Ms. Tessa Ramburn and Ms. Jessie
Russell, representing SFU 350, in which they acknowledged SFU’s significant commitment to measure and reduce the carbon footprint of its investment
portfolio by 30% below the baseline measurement to be reported as of March 31, 2016 and to achieve this reduction by 2030 to match Canada’s national climate commitment. However, they asserted that based on per capita emissions, SFU has already missed the opportunity to honour its 2015 Paris climate
pledge to work towards a 1.5 degree Celsius warming limit. To limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius, which in their view is vital for preventing even more dramatic climate change outcomes, they urged the University to commit to a 15% reduction in each year for the next five years and a 10% reduction in the last year, in order to meet the 30% by 2030 mandate early.
c. The Board received a report, commissioned by SFU from MSCI ESG Research Inc., to measure the carbon footprint of the public equity portion of the
University’s investment portfolio as of fiscal year end March 31, 2016. This measurement will serve as the baseline from which SFU will commit to reduce
the carbon footprint of its portfolio by at least 30% by 2030. SFU’s 2030 target is currently 124.5 per million dollars invested in public equity. SFU’s
baseline measurement as of March 31, 2016 was 177.8 per million dollars invested in public equity. Since the baseline measurement as of March 31, 2016
was taken, the University has made further changes to the investment portfolio that are expected to reduce carbon emissions over the longer term. The
Board was also informed that the $8 million increase to socially responsible investment holdings within the endowment portfolio approved by the Board
in November 2015 was not included in the 2016 baseline measurement, but will be as of the next measurement on March 31, 2017. The actions taken will
reduce SFU’s carbon footprint in a staged way through an active investor approach that encourages companies, both from a reputational and financial
perspective, to reduce their carbon footprints, and encourages fund managers to shift investments away from companies that use carbon inefficiently. The
Board was informed that the University is already seeing a wider range of investment choices as greater numbers of investors ask for carbon neutral or
fossil free funds.
d. The Board reviewed a 2016 Assessment Report from the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (UN PRI) of which SFU is a signatory.
The Assessment Report provided feedback on SFU’s progress relating to its responsible investment activities. The University scored well against its peer
group with respect to its overall approach to responsible investment, including governance, responsible investment policy, objectives and targets, the
resources allocated to responsible investment and the approach to collaboration on responsible investment and public policy-related issues. The Board
noted that since the 2016 Assessment is based on 2015 information provided to the PRI, the results were dated. The progress made during 2016 relating
to Private Equity holdings and the revision of the Responsible Investment Policy will be reflected in the next Assessment Report.
e. The Board received for information a one-page list of current and upcoming environmental engagements coordinated by the UN PRI.
F. Human Resources
a. The Board approved the new Academic Policy for the Terms of Appointment and Remuneration for Associate Deans of Libraries, effective immediately.
a. President Petter reported that he and Vice-Presidents Joanne Curry, Joy Johnson and Mike den Haan participated in an intensive, two-day mission to
Ottawa. At events taking place on May 15 and 16, 27 meetings were held with key government and other officials, over 100 guests were welcomed to a
reception at which SFU’s record with respect to research, innovation and engagement was celebrated and the University’s appreciation expressed for the
support received from the federal government, and a successful dinner event was held for Ottawa Alumni.
b. The President informed the Board that on April 20, 2017, SFU in partnership with Compute Canada and WestGrid launched “Cedar,” Canada’s most
powerful academic supercomputer, located in the new SFU Data Centre on the Burnaby Campus. Cedar will serve Canadian researchers in diverse
disciplines, and ranks among the world’s 100 supercomputers.
c. President Petter reported that on April 28, SFU Innovates partnered with VentureLabs® and the C2CAN network to organize the 2017 Canada China
Open Innovation Forum. The event, attended by J. Johnson, Vice-President, Research and International, brought to Vancouver a 30-person delegation
from China, local investors, 100 start-ups and small to medium sized enterprises, and leaders within trade and innovation.
d. The President commented on C2UExpo – For the Common Good. On May 1 to 5, SFU hosted the biennial forum for discussing and practicing campus-
community engagement. Hundreds of delegates attended from across Canada and around the world to participate in workshops, events and activities.
Half of the delegates came from community settings, and half from the post-secondary education sector. Among the highlights were moving ceremonies
during which he and Governor C. Lewis were blanketed by elders from local First Nations. President Petter also reported that he hosted a roundtable
with Canadian university presidents and foundation representatives exploring how post-secondary institutions might increase their contributions to
building social infrastructure in Canada. He referred to the report “Maximizing the Capacities of Advanced Education Institutions to Build Social
Infrastructure for Canadian Communities” that was discussed during the roundtable. The report was commissioned by the J.W. McConnell Family
Foundation’s RECODE initiative and Simon Fraser University. E-copies were provided to the Board on May 24.
e. With respect to “Engaging the Vision: What’s Next?” the President informed the Board that he and J. Curry, Vice-President, External Relations, continue
to host forums and meetings to seek input on the progress in realizing SFU’s Vision to be Canada’s “Engaged University,” as well as guidance on future
directions and priorities. This process will continue through June with a report to follow in fall 2017.
f. President Petter provided a brief update on three notable events and activities: 1) On April 12, SFU presented its 2017 Distinguished Community
Leadership Award to philanthropists and long-time SFU supporters Bruce and Lis Welch; 2) On April 24, SFU Public Square partnered with the Institute
for Canadian Citizenship and Vancity to present “Six Degrees Vancouver.” Hosted by former Governor General Adrienne Clarkson and John Ralston Saul,
the community conversation explored the theme “Are you Home?” from the perspectives of refugees, immigrants, indigenous peoples and settlers; and 3)
He and M. den Haan, Vice-President, Advancement and Alumni Engagement hosted receptions for SFU Alumni and Friends in Calgary on April 6 and in
Toronto on April 27.
g. The President informed the Board that SFU is one of only four Canadian and 55 world universities identified by Times Higher Education (THE) as
“technology challengers” – universities that “have innovation at the core of their strategy, strong industry links and research that excels in technological
areas like engineering.” “Technology challengers” have shown themselves to be “fleet-footed and innovative [in striving] for [alternative] sources of
income.” This, says THE, has placed them at the centre of “innovative areas of research associated with the technological and digital revolution.”
h. Board Chair J. Kim reported that she recently participated in three University events: 1) The Mainstage Dance show at the Fei and Milton Wong
Experimental Theatre in the Goldcorp Centre for Arts, SFU Vancouver; 2) The Opening Reception for C2UExpo on May 1 and the May 3rd Community &
Cultural Mashup interactive event at the Goldcorp Centre for the Arts; and 3) Advancement and Alumni Engagement’s Donor Appreciation event on May
i. J. Kim encouraged the participation of Board members in the Convocation Ceremonies taking place from June 6 to 9 at SFU Burnaby and at the
Chancellor’s Dinner on the evening of June 8 at the Diamond Alumni Centre.
j. J. Kim acknowledged the service of staff Board member Jo Hinchliffe, undergraduate student Board member Ranjodh Gill, and graduate student member
Tyler Carlson whose terms on the Board end effective May 31, 2017.
k. The Board Chair welcomed to the open session incoming staff Board member Martin Mroz, SFU’s Director of Health and Counselling Services. M. Mroz
has been elected by staff to a three year term effective June 1, 2017.
1. Joy Johnson, Vice-President, Research and International provided the Board with a report on key activities in her office as well as recent research
achievements. She expressed support for, and welcomed the ongoing dialogue taking place around the recommendations made in the federal
government’s independent review of federal funding for fundamental science. She further noted that SFU will be positioning itself to maximize
opportunities for funding from the $950 million program to support innovation superclusters, announced by Federal Minister of Science and Economic
Development Navdeep Bains on May 24, 2017. J. Johnson also commented on the quality of the University’s research endeavours as evidenced by
Professor Majid Bahrami, Mechatronic Systems Engineering, who was the winner of the inaugural Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Water
Award from the UAE Water Foundation, and Assistant Professor Kanna Hayashi, Faculty of Health Sciences, who was named the inaugural St. Paul’s
Hospital Chair in Substance Use Research. She also noted the increasing diversity of SFU’s Canada Research Chairs. Associate Professor Lesley Shannon,
Engineering Science and NSERC Chair for Women in Science for B.C. and the Yukon, received the 2017 Wendy McDonald Award in the Diversity
Champion category. Finally, J. Johnson reported that SFU has passed phase 2 of the process to achieve an Ashoka Changemaker Campus designation.
m. The Board reviewed the report of the Vice-President, Finance and Administration on the major activities and developments within his portfolio as of
May 2017. M. Pochurko confirmed the successful transition of the Burnaby Campus food service operation from Chartwell to Sodexo Canada on May 1,
2017. As noted in his report, Chartwell will continue to operate the Tim Hortons’ restaurant in the West Mall Complex for one year because of franchise
n. The Board reviewed a written report from Peter Keller, Vice-President, Academic and Provost on the recent news and developments in his portfolio. He
briefly commented on the recently concluded search for the new Dean of Health Sciences. This appointment will soon be ready to announce and he
noted the excellent academic qualifications and research record of the candidate. He also informed the Board that SFU hosted the 2017 Canadian
Association of University Continuing Education (CAUCE) Conference from May 24 to 26. The conference theme was “Currents of Change: Learners
Communities, Programs, Educators” and emphasized the increasingly fast pace of the knowledge continuum and looked at how individuals and
institutions will need to adapt to access information, apply it and separate fact from fiction.
o. The Board received for information the semesterly update on upcoming events in 2017.
p. The Board received from Gordon Harris, President and CEO of UniverCity, an annual written update on UniverCity, SFU’s sustainable community on
A. Finance and Administration
a. The Board approved the award of a Construction Management Services contract to Scott Construction Ltd. for the SFU Residence Redevelopment Project
Phase I at SFU Burnaby.
b. The Board approved the award of a General Contracting Services contract to Kinetic Construction Ltd. for the Maggie Benston Centre Envelope
Remediation project at SFU Burnaby.
c. The Board approved a Statutory Right of Way to BC Hydro and four Covenants required by the City of Surrey for the Sustainable Energy and
Environmental Engineering Building Project at SFU Surrey, declaring that the disposal of the land will not affect the future delivery of educational
d. The Board received for information a Capital Projects and Planning Program Status Report.
e. The draft minutes of and excerpts from the report to the Investment Advisory Committee meeting of March 31, 2017 were received by the Board for
B. University Relations
a. The Board received the fundraising progress reports for March and April 2017. Mike den Haan, Vice-President, Advancement and Alumni Engagement
informed the Board that as part of the ongoing review of the Advancement and Alumni Engagement Portfolio, Advancement continues to explore how
the monthly fundraising reports could be modified to present the data in different ways.
b. The Board reviewed M. den Haan’s report on the recent activities, developments and achievements in each of the areas within his portfolio.
c. The Board reviewed the report from Joanne Curry, Vice-President, External Relations on key matters in Government Relations and Communications &
Marketing. She commented that:
- The repatriation of the ancestors and artifacts by the Department of Archaeology to the Pender Canal site was successfully concluded following negotiations with 14 First Nations. The reburial took place on May 16 and is considered an important part of the Reconciliation process.
- The May 15-16 trip to Ottawa was successful in raising SFU’s profile and identifying areas of opportunity for partnerships, grants and student employment.
- Public Policy graduate student, Hope Caldi, won the fourth annual “Blueprint 2020 National Student Paper Competition on the Future of Public Service” award for her paper that focussed on recommendations for reforming Canada’s Immigration Loan Program.
- Steve Dooley, SFU Surrey’s Executive Director, and Michelle Nilson, Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Education, were commended for the excellent work they did co-chairing the May C2UExpo. Shauna Sylvester and Nav Chima also played major roles in the successful two-day pre-conference “Community Jam” held in Surrey. The blanketing of three youths during the pre-conference Community Jam was one of the memorable highlights.
C. Audit, Risk and Compliance
a. The Board received for information the Report from the Auditor for 2016/17.
b. The Board received for information the Internal Audit Annual Report 2016/17. The report included information about a special audit to review the
University’s processes related to the management, handling and control of ceiling tiles containing asbestos present in Strand Hall on the Burnaby
campus. The audit was the result of an April 2016 asbestos incident in Strand Hall, Burnaby, when routine maintenance work, that involved moving
ceiling tiles, was done without using an asbestos exposure control protocol. The Board was informed that SFU takes the matter very seriously and was
advised of Management’s response and the actions already completed, in progress or planned. They include closing the gaps in existing processes for
managing asbestos, improved coordination for the handling and control of materials containing asbestos, and the planned communication with
employees who work in Strand Hall as well as the general University community, to be done during the week of May 29. WorkSafeBC’s 2016 compliance
order was met and the Board was satisfied that SFU is being both transparent and is taking the appropriate action regarding this matter.
D. Responsible Investment
a. The Board reviewed the differences between SFU and Université Laval, in light of Laval’s February15, 2017 aspirational commitment to switch its
endowment fund investments in fossil energy to other types of investments, such as renewable energy. These differences include endowment fund size,
reliance on investment income, the endowment spend rate, endowment spending dollars to support various activities and programs that benefit
students, Canadian equity weightings, and numbers of endowment fund managers. The Board remained of the view that an active investor approach,
rather than divestment, is the most responsible way forward for the University.
b. 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 2017 to the UN PRI.
E. Human Resources
a. Faculty Appointments
The following academic appointments were approved and have been accepted:
- Dr. KangKang Yin, Associate Professor with tenure, Computing Science, 1 Jul 17
- Dr. Steven Holdcroft, Chemistry, appointed Tier I Canada Research Chair in Electrochemical Materials, effective 1 Oct 16
- Dr. Angela Kaida, Health Sciences, re-appointed Tier II Canada Research Chair in Global Perspectives on HIV and Sexual and Reproductive Health, effective 1 Jan 17
- Dr. Erik Kjeang, Mechatronic Systems Engineering, appointed Tier II Canada Research Chair in Fuel Cell Science and Technology Development, effective 1 Oct 16
- Dr. Carlo Menon, Mechatronic Systems Engineering and Engineering Science, appointed Tier I Canada Research Chair in Biomedical Technologies, effective 1 Oct 16, and 75% transfer of appointment to Mechatronic Systems Engineering from Engineering Science, effective 1 Oct 16
- Dr. Michael Richards, Archaeology, appointed Tier I Canada Research Chair in Archaeological Science, effective 1 Oct 16
- Dr. Tania Bubela, Health Sciences, Professor with tenure, 1 Jul 17
- Dr. Rodney Vaughan, Engineering Science, reappointed Sierra Wireless Professorship in Mobile Communications, 1 Apr 14 – 31 Mar 19
b. Administrative Appointments
The following administrative appointments were approved and have been accepted:
- Dr. Tania Bubela, appointed Dean, Faculty of Health Sciences, 1 Sep 17 – 31 Aug 22
- Dr. Dugan O’Neil, appointed Associate Vice-President, Research, 1 Sep 17 – 31 Aug 22
- Dr. Paul Budra, reappointed Chair, English, 1 Sep 17 – 31 Aug 19
a. The Board received the President’s Activities Report for March and April 2017.
b. The Board was informed of the death on May 24, 2017 of Grace McCarthy, former B.C. Cabinet Minister, 1997 SFU Honorary Degree Recipient, and long-
time supporter of the University.
c. The Board heard a presentation from and provided input to Vice-President Mike den Haan concerning the review of the Advancement and Alumni
Engagement portfolio that is currently underway.
a. The Board approved the appointment of Ms. Sobhana Jaya Madhavan as Associate Vice-President, External Relations, without term, effective August 1,
2017. [Approved by the Executive and Compensation Committee in an email ballot meeting of April 27 to May 1, 2017.]
b. The Board approved the appointment of Dr. Wade Parkhouse as Vice-Provost and Associate Vice-President, Academic for a five-year term beginning on
September 1, 2017.
c. The Board was informed by Peter Keller, Vice-President, Academic and Provost that the length of term of Dr. Nancy Johnston’s appointment as Acting
Vice-Provost and Associate Vice-President, Students and International will extend an additional four months, from June 5, 2018 to August 31, 2018.
There were no other material changes to Dr. Johnston’s Acting Appointment, which the Board approved at its meeting on January 26, 2017.
d. The Board approved that Ms. Anne Giardini, O.C., Q.C., be reappointed as Chancellor of Simon Fraser University for a three-year term, effective June 13,
e. Other matters were discussed.
The next Board of Governors Meeting will be held at 8:00 a.m. on Thursday, June 29, 2017 in Room 126 of the Halpern Centre, SFU Burnaby.