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 cliff-notes of the upcoming November meeting — committees are November 26, full Board at December 4.
A number of committees met off-cycle. The committees that meet primarily in closed sessions often meet on a different day to allow time for their discussions and the Indigenous Engagement Committee met off-cycle to allow for members' schedules.
The Indigenous Engagement Committee met on November 8. The committee welcomed our new Indigenous leadership team: Drs. Sheryl Lightfoot (Senior Advisor to the President on Indigenous Affairs), Margaret Moss (Director, First Nations House of Learning) and Mary-Ellen Turpil-Lafond (Director of the Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre). We discussed strategic priorities and directions to take with the Indigenous Strategic Plan.
The Audit, Executive, and Employee Relations committees met on November 20. The majority of these committees discuss their topics in closed session, but a number of policies were discussed in open session.
Policy 73: Accommodation for students with disabilities
The Board will be considering amendments to Policy 73. This policy includes reference to the Centre for Accessibility and highlights our roles in dealing with disability from the perspective of our duty to accommodate, as set forth by the BC Human Rights tribunal. It is worth noting that this will be a joint Board and Senate policy. It will be going to the Vancouver and Okanagan Senates for approval in December. Additional work on the academic concession policy (separate from this policy, but touches on many areas which are colloquially discussed as “accommodation”) is currently underway through a working group of the UBC-V’s Academic Policy Committee.
Each year at the November and December meetings, the Board considers possible increases to tuition. The levels of increase proposed this year vary, from two per cent for continuing domestic undergraduates up to as much as four per cent for new international undergraduates. Certain programs deviate from the standard percentage slightly. The administration cites inflationary pressures and the costs of the Integrated Renewal Program as reasons for the increase. The AMS and SUO have made submissions that opposes the increases.
Student health and wellbeing
The People, Community & International and Finance Committees will be receiving a report on the short, intermediate and long-term plans for health and well-being services. This includes primary health care, counselling, and mental health care. A number of changes to these services including triaging approaches, integrating our health services, and a new directorship to manage these programs, along with the space investments needed.
Student diversity initiative
After the last big round of international tuition increases in 2015, 2.73 per cent was set aside to ensure we were addressing diversity-related needs across campus. This was pooled in the Student Diversity Initiative. The first year was primarily spent on collecting baseline data and developing a strategy which aims to achieve systemic change through a number of embedded staff members in various units such as Enrolment Services and Centre for Teaching and Learning Technology. This is the second year of the initiative, and the People, Community & International and Finance Committees will be receiving a report on progress.
Policy 3: discrimination
The Board will be receiving the draft revisions to Policy 3 from the policy revision committee, and approving to open for public consultation from December to February. These revisions clarify some of the administrative procedures and investigation procedures, and aligned language around the word discrimination rather than harassment.
Stay up to date
The open Board of Governors meetings will be November 26 (committees) and Dec 4 (Board). Both Committees and Board primarily consist of open sessions that members of the UBC community are welcome to attend — you can view agendas here. Or if you can’t attend, you can always follow @UbysseyNews for the play by play.