Concordia took an important step forward on governance on Wednesday as the Board of Governors adopted recommendations from its Ad Hoc Governance Review Committee and Special Joint Committee of the Board and Senate on bylaw amendments that will help strengthen governance at the university.
The bylaw amendments stem from the work of the Ad Hoc Governance Review Committee, which has been reviewing governance since the fall of 2009. The ad hoc committee assessed 21 of the 38 recommendations contained in the mid-June 2011 report of the External Governance Review Committee (EGRC), and put forward 18 of those for Board approval immediately.
“The changes approved today will result in a more effective and engaged Board of Governors. I want to thank the members of the Ad Hoc Governance Committee and the Special Joint Committee of the Board and Senate for all of their work,” says Peter Kruyt, Chair of the Board.
“We will require a similar effort for the next phase, which is to consider the Senate’s role in governance and bicameralism, as recommended by the EGRC and approved in principle by both the Board and Senate. I am optimistic that new proposals will be brought to the university community shortly.”
One external member of the Board resigned on June 30, 2011 and the terms of three others ended on Wednesday, September 28. At least 10 members, including the Chair, notified the board of their intention to retire in June 2012 to allow for a smooth transition.
“I wish to thank personally and on behalf of Concordia University, the four external board members whose terms have ended — Judith Kavanagh, Patricia Saputo, Ivan Velan and Lillian Vineberg — each of whom has made significant contribution to Concordia over many years,” says Kruyt. “This represents the beginning of an important board transition that will include the retirement of at least another 10 members next year as the representation of external members is reduced to 15 from 27.”
Vineberg is an artist and was Chair of Concordia’s Board from 1999 to 2003. Kavanagh is a financial services industry consultant, while Velan and Saputo are Montreal business leaders. All four are active in philanthropy and committed to contributing to the wider community.
Further to a call for nominations issued in August, the newly-constituted Governance and Ethics Committee of the Board will review the nominations received for new governors and will bring forward recommendations to the full Board for approval in due course.
“This has already been a sensational fall season for Concordia as we celebrated a successful Homecoming and again welcomed our new and returning students. The progress we have made on goverance and renewing our Board will build on our university’s strong foundations and we can be proud of how our community has come together on these issues,” says Frederick Lowy, President and Vice-Chancellor.
• Governance Review page
• Backgrounder document, September 28, 2011
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