The provincial government has appointed two new members to the UBC Board of Governors (BoG), filling the gaps after the shake up in membership in December 2017 and former BoG Chair Stuart Belkin’s departure in February.
Approved by the Lieutenant Governor on June 28, the two new appointees are Alison Patricia Brewin and Balwinder William Sundhu. Their terms will take effect on July 31, 2018 and they are expected to serve until July 31, 2019. Following this period, they could be re-appointed by the provincial government to a two-year term and then a final three-year term on the UBC BoG.
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“We want to ensure that our post-secondary system works for people by taking every opportunity to ensure we have the right leadership in place in our universities, including UBC,” reads an emailed statement from Advanced Education, Skills and Training Minister Melanie Mark.
“The new board appointments at UBC represent the diversity of our province and are merit based. The expertise, experience and knowledge that Alison Brewin and Bill Sundhu bring to the Board of Governors at UBC will support the work of the board and the university.”
A University of Victoria law graduate, Brewin has had extensive experience working in non-profit management and consulting, in which much of her work focusing on gender justice.
In particular, she served over a decade as the legal director and then executive director of West Coast LEAF, a legal organization that aims to promote “women’s equality through the law.” Currently, she’s the executive director of Vantage Point, a non-profit organization that works to help other non-profit organizations build up their operating capacity.
Brewin was also a long-time store owner of the now-closed “It's All Fun & Games Ltd” toy store from 1994 to 2011.
Sundhu, a UBC alumnus, is a human rights lawyer and former judge with over 30 years experience in law. He was appointed to the International Criminal Court’s List of Counsel in 2013.
He ran unsuccessfully for the federal NDP in the riding of Kamloops–Thompson–Cariboo in 2015, losing to Conservative MP Kathy McLeod. He has been a vocal advocate for diversification in the Canadian judicial system and has been open about his previous problem with alcohol misuse, which precipitated his resignation as a provincial judge in 2007.
Until their appointments, the BoG has been short one provincial appointee due to Belkin’s departure as both the chair and a member of the Board in February.
Previously, the termination of Alan Shuster’s — former BC Liberal Premier Christy Clark’s campaign manager in UBC’s riding — term by the NDP government in December 2017 also left a gap. But this vacancy was temporarily filled by former BoG member Beverlee Park, who stayed on the Board until June 2018 despite her term expiring in December.
This extension could be explained by the University Act’s section 20(1.1), which says that appointees can serve “for a term of up to 3 years and after that until a successor is appointed.”
“UBC welcomes the provincial government appointments of Alison Brewin and Balwinder Sundhu to the Board of Governors,” said VP External Relations Philip Steenkamp in an emailed statement to The Ubyssey.
“Their extensive legal and non-profit expertise will complement the knowledge and experience of their fellow Board of Governors and will serve UBC well.”