November 23, 2017 Meeting Summary
Board Members present: J. Kim, Board Chair; A. Petter, President; A. Giardini, Chancellor; J. Dhesa; J. Earthy; J. Francis; C. Lewis; J. Stewart; O. Zihlmann
Regrets: M. Cordoba; A. Kessler; M. Mroz; F. Robin; P. Sahota
A. Finance and Administration
a. The Committee approved revisions to the Investment Guidelines in the Appendix of the Investment Governance Policy B10.09. Related revisions to two
sections in the Policy itself were also approved by the Board.
b. The Board noted for information SFU’s confirmation to the Ministry of Advanced Education of the University’s first and second quarter budget
forecasts for 2017/18.
c. The Board received for information the Canadian Association of University Business Officers (CAUBO) synopsis of the University Investment Survey on
Endowment Funds as at December 31, 2016.
B. University Relations
a. Fundraising Progress Reports: The Board noted year-to-date progress reports as follows:
|Fundraising Progress Report
2017/2018 Year to Date
To August 31, 2017
To September 30, 2017
b. The Board approved the Terms of Reference for the:
· BDO Canada Graduate Award in Aboriginal Business and Leadership;
· Stephen Makonin Scholarship in Engineering Science;
· BC Notaries Bursary;
· Bruce E. Welch Award for Science and Technology Commercialization;
· den Haan Family Semester in Dialogue Award;
· Alan Boden Memorial Bursary;
· Bob McCormack Student Trainer Award;
· Glenn and Annetta Agnew Memorial Graduate Bursary;
· Helen Pitt Graduate Scholarship in Fine Arts; and,
· Pyke Family Math Catcher Program Support Fund.
c. The Board approved the following action recommended by Senate on October 2, 2017:
· The dissolution of the Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology Master of Science (Course Option) in the Department of Biomedical Physiology and
Kinesiology within the Faculty of Science, effective summer 2018.
C. Governance and Nominating
a. The Board approved revisions to Sections 18.104.22.168 and 22.214.171.124 of the Investment Governance Policy B10.09. Revisions to the Investment Guidelines in
the Appendix were approved by the Finance and Administration Committee.
b. The Board approved that Jacky Shen be re‑appointed as Trustee of the Administrative/Union Pension Plan for the three‑year term commencing
December 1, 2017 and ending November 30, 2020.
c. The Board approved that Juliette De Pieri be re-appointed as Trustee of the Administrative/Union Pension Plan as CUPE representative commencing
December 1, 2017 and ending November 30, 2020.
d. The Board approved that Anna Liu be appointed as Trustee of the Pension Plan for Members of the Academic Staff as University Representative
replacing Harjot Guram effective immediately for an indefinite term.
D. Responsible Investment
a. The Board heard a presentation by two members of the student group SFU350 in which they expressed reservations about how meaningful an impact
SFU can have in reducing the Endowment Fund’s effect on climate change as measured in terms of carbon footprint. The Board also received a written
summary of the next steps the group feels the University should take toward achieving full divestment of the Endowment Fund, and a paper authored
by UBC PhD candidate, Alastair Fraser, titled “Are investment carbon footprints good for investors and the climate?” During and following the
presentation, there was a good exchange between Board members and the presenters. The University does not have any direct fossil fuel holdings in
either the Endowment or Non-Endowment Funds, and continues to believe that active shareholder engagement is a more effective way to influence
change for pooled equity investments. SFU is already a leader among Canadian universities in socially responsible investing, and will maintain a focus
on what it can do in future to continue improving its environmental performance. It was acknowledged that all parties are aligned with respect to the
shared goal of reducing SFU’s carbon footprint. Board members recognized the efforts of students, through organizations like SFU350 and Embark,
which have had a meaningful impact on how SFU’s funds are invested.
E. Human Resources
a. The Board received for information the Mid-Year Update of the 2017-2018 Faculty Renewal Plan.
a. President Petter commented on the October Convocation ceremonies at which honorary degrees were conferred on four outstanding recipients. He
also informed the Board that 150,000 students have now graduated from the University.
b. A. Petter informed the Board that on October 12, 2017 he spoke at a national conference in Winnipeg hosted by Natural Resources Canada (NRCan).
His presentation addressed the value of citizen participation in the policy-making process, referencing a major national exercise in deliberative
dialogue undertaken on behalf of NRCan by SFU’s Centre for Dialogue.
c. The President reported that the SFU Aboriginal Reconciliation Council presented its final report, “Walk This Path With Us,” to the University at a
traditional, and very moving, witnessing ceremony in Convocation Mall on October 16. The ceremony was attended by First Nations peoples, students,
faculty, staff and the broader community. The University has committed to act upon the report’s 33 calls to action. An Aboriginal Steering Committee
meeting was held on November 17 to discuss the way forward.
d. President Petter noted that he hosted the University’s 10th annual Diwali Gala on October 17, 2017. The event drew the largest number of attendees
to-date, including government representatives, SFU supporters, alumni, community partners, faculty, staff and students.
e. On October 24 and 25, 2017, the President attended the bi-annual Universities Canada membership and board meetings in Ottawa, and took part in
Advocacy Day at which he and others met with senior government officials to urge the federal government to implement the recommendations of
Canada’s Fundamental Science Review. While there, he also co-led a discussion on the role of universities in building social infrastructure.
f. A. Petter informed the Board that SFU has become a member of Scholars at Risk, a network of 450 institutions worldwide that places scholars who face
persecution for their academic work. An academic advisory committee and process have been established to select, receive and support scholars.
g. The President reported that the first Madhu and Hari Varshney Visiting Scholar, Dr. Kanika Bhal, will deliver a public lecture at the Segal Graduate
School of Business on November 27, 2017. The title of the lecture is “Belief Systems and Business: Indian Cultural Values and Their Interpretation in
the Contemporary Business Context.” Dr. Bhal is a professor at IIT Delhi and is currently working with the Jack Austin Centre for Asia Pacific Business
Studies at the Beedie School of Business.
h. President Petter informed the Board for the 9th time in the past 10 years, SFU topped Maclean’s Magazine’s University rankings in the Comprehensive
Universities category, and climbed from 10th to 9th spot amongst all universities in the magazine’s reputational survey. He also noted that for the
eleventh consecutive year, SFU has been selected as a 2018 winner in the Canada’s Top 100 Employers competition.
i. The President reported that he and Vice-President, Research and International Joy Johnson, and Vice-President Advancement and Alumni Engagement
Mike den Haan co-led a mission to Hong Kong, Singapore, Beijing and Shanghai from October 27 to November 11, 2017:
· A key purpose of the mission was to build upon and strengthen SFU’s ties with partner universities in all of these cities by renewing relationships,
signing student exchange agreements, pursuing joint academic programs and exploring research collaborations.
· The mission also enabled SFU to advance a range of other initiatives, such as a collaboration between the Faculty of Education and Hong Kong’s Fairchild
Canadian Academy to support research and training in relation to early childhood development.
· In Singapore, SFU presented a bid to the board of the Asia-Pacific Association for International Education (APAIE) to host APAIE 2020 in Vancouver,
which would be the first time that the conference and exhibition are potentially held outside of Asia.
· In Beijing a key meeting took place with the Vice Minister of Environmental Protection and Secretary General of the China Council for International
Cooperation on Environment and Development (CCICED) to discuss SFU’s continuing role as Canadian Executing Agency for the CCICED Project and as
the CCICED’s Secretariat International Support Office.
· Meetings were held in all cities with senior Canadian consular officials to share information about SFU’s growing connections in Asia, and to gain local
knowledge and strategic advice.
· Another objective of the mission was to engage with alumni who turned out in large numbers at receptions during which special alumni awards were
· The mission also provided opportunities to pursue a number of advancement opportunities, and to connect with co-op and exchange students.
j. Board Chair J. Kim reported that she attended the Chancellor’s Dinner on October 5, 2017 and the fall Convocation ceremony on October 6 at which
David Gillanders, founding chair of the SFU Community Corporation and leader in the development of UniverCity, received a Doctor of Laws, Honoris
k. Board member J. Dhesa reported that he participated in SFU’s fall Budget Consultations with students and with the elected members of the Simon
Fraser Student Society and Graduate Student Society, during which a number of good questions were raised and feedback from students provided to
l. Joy Johnson, Vice-President, Research and International provided the Board with a report on recent research achievements. She drew the Board’s
attention to the links provided in her report and highlighted:
· There is a mandate from the Canada Research Chair (CRC) Program for institutions to develop an internal Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Plan by
December 15, 2017. J. Johnson drew the Board’s attention to the SFU web site through which the University’s Statement of Commitment, strategy for
raising awareness, governance, and the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Plan can be accessed.
· The University’s recent successes through five SFU-led research projects sharing $21.7 million in funding from the Canada Foundation for Innovation
· SFU professors Faranak Farzan, Sylvain Moreno and Diane Gromala were presented with the judges’ grand prize at Stanford University’s Brainstorm
Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality Innovation Lab, for their work in studying how Virtual Reality can help people recover from addiction.
m. 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 November 2017. He drew the Board’s attention to:
· SFU’s rankings in the Canadian Association of University Business Officers’ Investment Survey on Endowment Funds. The University outperformed the
BC and Canadian universities’ average and median returns for all annualized periods, and is one of the top five performing universities over the ten year
period ending December 31, 2016.
· In anticipation that the Federal Government will pass Bill C45, the Cannabis Act in 2018, SFU has formed a working group to examine potential impacts
of the new legislation on the University and to develop mitigation measures.
n. The Board reviewed the report from Peter Keller, Vice-President, Academic and Provost on a number of activities and developments in the areas within
his portfolio. He highlighted:
· Progress with respect to Equity, Diversity and Inclusivity initiatives;
· The first draft of the Academic Plan 2018-2023 is now out for consultation;
· Ongoing work on the Student Experience Project;
· Ongoing searches for two decanal appointments and the Vice-Provost and Associate Vice-President, Teaching and Learning, as well as the recent
engagement of Dr. Ron Johnston as the Director pro tem, Office for Aboriginal Peoples;
· The ongoing review of online and flexible course delivery.
A. Finance and Administration
a. The draft minutes of and excerpts from the report to the Investment Advisory Committee meeting of October 13, 2017 were received by the Board for
b. Other matters were discussed.
B. University Relations
a. The Board received fundraising progress reports for the months ending August and September 2017.
b. The Board received for information the annual 2016/17 Fundraising Summary prepared by University Advancement.
c. The Board reviewed the report of Mike den Haan, Vice-President, Advancement and Alumni Engagement on the recent activities, developments and
achievements in each of the areas within his portfolio.
d. The Board reviewed the report from Joanne Curry, Vice-President, External Relations on key issues in Government Relations and Communications &
C. Responsible Investment
a. The Board approved a motion to affirm that the University does not currently and will not in future hold direct investments in tobacco in both the
Non-Endowment and Endowment Funds.
E. Audit, Risk and Compliance
a. The Board received for information the external Audit Plan for 2017/18.
b. The Board received for information an Update on the Treatment of Key Risks in the University’s Enterprise Risk Management Plan.
c. The Board heard a report about other matters dealt with by the Committee at its meeting of November 14, 2017. This included a summary of the
University’s planning for preparation of SFU’s consolidated financial statements for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2018, the Internal Audit Progress
Report for the period April 1, 2017 to October 31, 2017, and five other financial reports on associated entities.
F. Human Resources
a. Faculty Appointments
The following academic appointments were approved and have been accepted:
· Dr. Timothy Audas, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, appointed Tier II Canada Research Chair in Functional RNA and Cellular Stress, for a
five year term effective April 1, 2017
· Dr. Mark Collard, Archaeology, appointed Tier I Canada Research Chair in Human Evolutionary Studies, for a seven year term effective July 1, 2017
· Dr. Bernard Crespi, Biological Sciences, appointed Tier I Canada Research Chair in Evolutionary Genetics and Psychology, for a seven year term effective
April 1, 2017
· Dr. Mila Lazarova, Beedie School of Business, reappointed Tier II Canada Research Chair in Global Workforce Management, for a further five year term
effective September 1, 2017
b. Administrative Appointments
The following administrative appointment was approved and has been accepted:
· Dr. Jeff Derksen, appointed Dean and Associate Provost, Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (Pro Tem), 1 Sep 17 – 30 Apr 18
a. The Board received the President’s Activities Report for September and October 2017.
b. The Board discussed the implications of and next steps concerning the recommendations of the Aboriginal Reconciliation Council as stated in the
Council’s report “Walk This Path With Us.”
c. Other matters were discussed.
a. Other matters were discussed.
The next Board of Governors meeting will be held at 8:00 a.m. on Thursday, January 25, 2018 in Rooms 1400-1410 (Joseph and Rosalie Segal Centre), Harbour Centre, SFU Vancouver, 515 West Hastings Street, Vancouver.