Five times per year, the UBC Vancouver 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 — if you ever want to learn more, you can check out the BoG website for full dockets, agendas and documents.
The Committees of the Board convened on November 28 from 8 a.m to 2 p.m. The Board meeting itself will be held December 5, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. If you are interested in attending, check out the Board website for more information.
Here’s what to expect at the December meeting:
UBC’s new strategic plan is well underway — don’t forget to send in your feedback on its current priorities on the strategic plan website.
The Board will discuss the process and see an update on the direction that the plan is taking, although the final approval will not happen until the next meeting in February.
At the April meeting, the Board is expecting an implementation strategy including financial allocations for the strategic priorities.
Stadium Road neighbourhood
The Stadium Road Neighbourhood planning process is well underway — the Board will see an update on which guiding principles have been decided upon through the public consultation period.
Policies, land use and designs will be developed over the next eight months — stay tuned for your opportunity to provide feedback.
Housing Action Plan
This is a big one: UBC’s Housing Action Plan (HAP) is up for review, for both staff and students. Over the last few months, Board has worked with the administration, as well as the AMS and Residence Hall Association, to set the direction of HAP.
We have focused on the current benchmarking strategy for setting housing rates (at or below market value), with an aim to see stronger student affordability commitments moving forward.
This is one of several discussions of HAP at Board and we look forward to seeing how the discussion continues during its five-year review process.
At the December Board meeting, the Board will review tuition and non-instructional fees. Generally this is a proposal for an approximately 2 per cent increase for domestic tuition as a result of increasing costs (often inflation-related, and due to salary increases as a result of various collective agreements with staff and faculty) and a lack of matched support from the provincial government.
International tuition is proposed to be increased 2-3 per cent as dictated by the three-year plan for increases approved in 2015. In addition, this proposal includes some larger increases for continuing studies and unclassified students, bringing their tuition up to par with their regularly-enrolled counterparts.
The student consultation on the proposed increases resulted in nearly 1,800 comments, 92 per cent of which opposed the proposed increases.
Student Diversity Initiative (SDI) update
A portion of funds from the last significant round of international tuition increases was designated to tackle the issue of diversity. The SDI update includes its year one plan, as well as some of the metrics measured last year which identifies groups of students who feel particularly disconnected from the UBC community.
Sustainability at UBC
The annual sustainability report is in — if you’re interested in how UBC is striving to be a green leader, take a read through to see how it is doing.
Target areas for the future include reducing construction waste, continuing to expand waste diversion and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Stay up to date
The next Board of Governors meetings will be held in February. Both committees and Board primarily consist of open sessions that members of the UBC community are welcome to attend — you can view agendas here and attend if interested.
Or if you can’t attend, you can always follow @UbysseyNews for the play by play!
Jeanie Malone and Kevin Doering are the elected student members of the UBC Board of Governors.