Message from the President: New channels for communication

April 06, 2023

This message is sent on behalf of Joy Johnson, president and vice-chancellor. It has been sent to all faculty and staff. 

I hope the end of the spring term is treating all of you well.

The Board of Governors and SFU’s executive team received feedback last year through several mechanisms, including SFU: What’s Next? discussions, that there is a need for more communication from SFU’s leadership about how and why decisions get made. 

The executive team and the Board agree that there is room for improvement when it comes to communication. We are taking steps to ensure that everyone who works at SFU has regular access to information about what is on the minds of leadership.  

SFU operates under a bicameral governance system with two major governing bodies: the Senate, which is responsible for academic governance of the university, and the Board of Governors, which is responsible for the “business” of the institution, such as SFU’s property and finances.

Starting now, we will provide regular reports on topics of discussion at Senate and the Board of Governors. 

After each Board meeting, I will share a summary of the items discussed at Board, and Board Chair Angie Lamarsh will also share updates from the Board. Provost and Vice-President Academic pro tem Wade Parkhouse will share a summary of items discussed at Senate. In addition, Open Board Reports from each of the Vice-President portfolios will be made available on the Board of Governors website. 

Items discussed at these two meetings represent matters of importance at the highest level of the institution, and these reports will help provide context and clarity around the progression of major projects and decisions.

Here are our respective reports following the March 30 Board meeting:

Along with these updates, we have recently hosted a number of town halls and faculty meetings in order to hear from and connect with the community, and will continue to do so as we work to increase transparency and communication at SFU.

Joy Johnson
President & Vice-Chancellor
Simon Fraser University