Five times per year, the UBC Board of Governors (BoG) meets to discuss issues of money, property, policy and people. As your student representatives on the BoG, we are here to keep you in the loop with what is up at Board - but if you ever want to learn more, you can check out the BoG website for full dockets, agendas and documents! Here’s the rundown of the upcoming April meetings (committees are Sept 10 to 12 followed by the full Board on Sept 24 at UBC Okanagan):
The Board has requested more information about the annual tuition increase discussion earlier in the cycle (normally, all tuition increase discussion happens in the November cycle). The Provosts and VP Students have prepared a presentation about the consultation plans, benchmarking against peer institutions and scenario modeling for a range of tuition increase scenarios. A potential tuition proposal has been included to increase tuition at the same rate as last year (2 per cent domestic, 4 per cent international) but if the University’s operating surplus is in excess of $10m (0.5 per cent) the Administration proposes to direct $7.9m (the projected incremental domestic student tuition increase in 2020i21) to student priorities.
The Board will receive a presentation on the interface between academic freedom, equity, diversity and inclusion, and the non-UBC use of campus facilities. This will include discussion of the June 23rd event that resulted in the Vancouver Pride Society revoking UBC’s ability to attend the Pride Parade as an institution. The Board will be provided with presentations relating to the UBC academic freedom statement and its implementation, communications and reputational management approaches, security and risk assessment measures, the current external bookings policy and proposed amendments, and a presentation from faculty member experts on academic freedom. This is intended to be a preliminary discussion; any policy changes will follow the normal review process which includes community consultation.
The People Community and International Committee will receive a presentation on food insecurity on campus and preliminary steps to addressing this complex problem.This report includes an overview of the data gathered to date on food insecurity.
The Board will receive presentations on multiple capital projects including Pacific Residence, the Arts Student Centre, and Brock Commons Phase 2. Pacific Residence is coming for Board 3 approval and will provide 940 new student housing beds scheduled for completion in 2021. Brock Commons Phase 2 is coming for Board 2 approval and will provide an additional 595 student housing beds as well as childcare facilities and other amenities scheduled for completion in 2022. The Arts Student Centre is coming for Board 1 approval after being relocated to a new site.
The Board is receiving an update on the Program for Undergraduate Research Experience (PURE). PURE supports innovative pilot projects that increase access and enhance undergraduate research experiences at UBC. The $1.3 million competition was open to faculty, post-docs, staff, graduate and undergraduate students from both campuses.
This is the first year that PURE will take place and is funding 15 projects at UBC Vancouver and 2 projects at UBC Okanagan. The projects run on either a one or two year timeline and the final impact of the PURE projects will be captured in August 2020 (1 year projects) and October 2021 (2 year projects) in their final project reports.
In the September cycle, the Board meets at the Okanagan campus for the full Board meeting. It’s an opportunity for Governors to see UBC-O and discussions often focus on Okanagan issues. There is a recommendation coming forward for the Board to $4 million flat spend allocation from the TREK endowment to UBC Okanagan to fund initiatives in support of the UBC Okanagan 2040 Outlook.
Stay up to date
The following iteration of open Board of Governors meetings will be November 26th (committees) and December 5 (full Board). Both Committees and Board primarily consist of open sessions that members of the UBC community are welcome to attend . Or if you can’t attend, you can always follow @UbysseyNews for the play by play.