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 cliffnotes of the upcoming November/December meetings (committees are November 19, 22, 25 and 26 followed by the full Board on December 5).
The Board of Governors will consider moving pieces of the endowment – specifically the Trek Endowment – to the Sustainable Futures Pool and out of the main pool. This effectively will divest those funds. The Board has received several presentations surrounding the legal considerations about divesting donor-endowed funds, but the Trek funds, from land revenue, are not bound by the same requirements. There will also be a broader discussion about the approach to responsible investing.
November means it is time for the annual discussion of tuition increases. A draft version was provided in September with a proposal for a two per cent domestic and four per cent international tuition increase. The tuition consultation received 5584 individual responses, (8.4 per cent of the student population), which Governors receive copies of verbatim. This year, the proposal also includes a commitment that “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 2020/21) to student priorities.” It is unclear what student priorities entail.
Indigenous strategic plan
The Board will receive an update on the process of the Indigenous Strategic Plan which is currently in consultation and development. It is anticipated that a finalized version of the plan, including actionables in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action, will be ready in the spring.
Inclusion action plan
As part of the pillars in the Focus on People plan, the Board will receive a presentation from the Associate Vice-President Equity & Inclusion on the newly developed Inclusion Action Plan. This plan contemplates and sets goals in relation to recruitment/retention, systems change, capacity building, learning and research, and accountability mechanisms.
International strategic plan
The Board will receive a presentation from the Vice Provost International on the International Strategic Plan. This is intended to tackle the UBC Strategic Plan’s goals around “foster[ing] global citizenship ... across British Columbia, Canada and the world”.
The Board will receive a request for BOARD 1 approval of the Gateway Building, a proposed academic building combining Nursing, Kinesiology, UBC Health and Integrated Health Services. This is the first of three required Board approvals of the project, which is intended to be situated on the northwest corner of University Blvd and Wesbrook Mall. The Board will also receive a request for BOARD 2 approval for the Arts Student Centre, moving this project along with the new site beside Allard Hall.
Stay up to date
The following iteration of open Board of Governors meetings will be February 6 (committees) and February 14 (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.