This is an update from yesterday’s Board of Governors meeting.
Board approves the Nicol Building and 2017 Audited Financial Statements
On Oct. 5, the Board of Governors took the decision to approve moving to tender on the Nicol Building that will be the new home for the Sprott School of Business and provide additional teaching and learning and student study space for the campus. “This is a very exciting development for the campus,” said President Alastair Summerlee. “The exciting design will be a signature building for the campus.”
The Board also approved the Audited Financial Statements for the year ended April 30, 2017. It was highlighted that owing to the strong investment returns, the overall balance of the university had improved considerably over expectations. In year, the Board allocated an additional $12 million to the pension reserve; $10 million to match student aid; $10 million to match endowed chair donations and allocated just over $20 million to a reserve to protect the university against fluctuations in investment income.
The due diligence process to review the Dominion Chalmers Church proposal continues. A final report will be presented for consideration at the Dec. 5, 2017 Board meeting. A joint meeting of the Finance and Building Program Committee is being scheduled for November to consider the report from administration and make a recommendation to the Board.
Sexual Violence Policy
In response to a question about the sexual violence policy, the president provided an update on the policy’s implementation. He noted that every case under the policy is unique and that the policy has to be flexible to adapt to each circumstance. The policy must be focused on survivor support but must also ensure that the accused is provided with procedural fairness.
To date, the policy has provided the flexibility required to respond to situations. The university has set up eight different processes to support overall implementation of the policy. The university has worked to ensure that a survivor is not placed in a situation of encountering an alleged respondent where appropriate. The president acknowledged that survivors require different types of support and the university is responding by ensuring there is one channel for action and one source for coordinating support. Survivors are also aware of the actions taken by the administration for their safety when an allegation is substantiated by an investigation. Work on the policy’s implementation is continuous and will include the development of reports and participation in an upcoming provincially-mandated campus climate survey.
The Board chair provided an update on the presidential search process which is focused on a broad engagement and listening exercise across the campus.
The Presidential Search Committee is being supported by the international executive search firm Perrett Laver, which supported the recent presidential searches completed at the University of British Columbia, the University of Alberta and the University of Saskatchewan.
A series of town halls are planned across the campus. A new website has been created to receive input from community members about the skill sets required of the next president and the challenges ahead. Once input has been received and reviewed a position profile will be distributed widely. To date, there has been significant interest by potential candidates. It was noted that Carleton’s strong finances and enrolment are driving interest in the competition by prospective candidates.
Additional Information Items
Other items that were approved or provided for information included: the interim president’s goals and objectives (which are posted on the president’s website); the Talk Exchange Thursday Oct. 5, 2017 (when members of the community were invited to provide feedback to members of the Board on the events and activities that make Carleton unique); and the Rumour Mill co-hosted by the president and Jerry Tomberlin, interim provost and vice-president (Academic) on Oct. 18, 2017.
The next Board of Governors meeting is scheduled for Dec. 5, 2017.
Dr. Chris Carruthers
Chair, Carleton University Board of Governors