Senate and Board of Governors notes: May and June 2020
May 2020: Concordia President Graham Carr updates Senate on important recent news
The university held its final Senate meeting for the 2019-20 academic year on May 22, via Zoom video conferencing.
Concordia President Graham Carr brought Senate up to date on university news from the previous month.
- Concordia alumna Karen Hogan (BComm 93, GrDip 95) was nominated as Canada’s new auditor general.
- Concordia appointed Andrea Clarke (BSc 09, MSc 12, MBA 16) as senior director of community engagement and social impact.
- The COVID-19 Emergency Student Relief Fund has surpassed $1 million, with 500-plus donations.
- The 5,900 students projected to graduate is comparable to spring 2019’s total.
- There will not be an in-person convocation ceremony in June.
- Registrations for the summer term, which is being delivered completely remotely, are substantially ahead of previous years, although the drop period is yet to come.
- Concordia’s fall term will be delivered mostly online.
- The university will offer limited lab and studio activities, support and training to faculty on how to deliver online courses, and online advising and counselling services.
- Fall registrations are currently going well.
- The university is making a strong recruitment push.
- Construction has resumed on campus.
- As of May 25, 11 labs gradually re-opened.
- A working group is looking into the logistics for a full gradual reintegration to campus.
Carr reported that the university budget would be greatly affected by the COVID-19 situation:
- The Board of Governors approved a six-month authorization of expenditure to cover basic operating costs and a contingency for unanticipated COVID-19-related costs.
- To date, the university has allocated $12 million in one-time expenditures to provide additional student support, increased IT capability and enhanced health and safety measures, and to cover lost revenues.
- Before the closure, Concordia was on track to record a balanced budget for 2019-20.
- Concordia will honour all collective agreements, including salary increases.
- Members of the university’s executive team chose to donate any salary increases as of June 1 toward student support.
June 2020: Board of Governors approves updated sexual violence policy and celebrates Norman Hébert Jr.
The Concordia Board of Governors held its final meeting for the 2019-20 academic year in a closed session via Zoom video conferencing on June 18.
The Board approved the appointment of two new external members, Pat Di Lillo (BComm 83) and Odile Joanette.
Di Lillo is a finance consultant and chartered professional accountant and was vice-president and chief financial officer of Birks Group Inc. in Montreal from 2015 to 2020.
Joanette is executive director of Montreal-based Wapikoni Mobile, a travelling audiovisual and musical creation studio dedicated to Indigenous youth.
Di Lillo and Joanette’s three-year terms began July 1. They replace outgoing members Michael Novak and chair Norman Hébert Jr. (BComm 77).
The Board also approved the appointment or reappointment of four internal members for terms beginning July 1:
- Selvadurai Dayanandan, representing full-time faculty members from the Faculty of Arts and Science, appointed for a three-year term
- Frédérica Martin (MA 11), representing administrative and support staff, reappointed for a three-year term
- Isaiah Joyner, representing undergraduate students, appointed for a one-year term
- Chelsea Okankwu, alternate undergraduate student representative, appointed for a one-year term
Policy on Sexual Misconduct and Sexual Violence
Lisa Ostiguy, special advisor to the provost on Campus Life and chair of Concordia’s Standing Committee on Sexual Misconduct and Sexual Violence, presented the university’s updated sexual violence policy to the Board for approval.
In 2018, the Board approved the updates to the policy to reflect the requirements of Bill 151 and with the understanding that it would be reviewed after a year.
The updates address feedback received from university stakeholders through a series of conversations and information sessions. The changes mainly include providing more information and support for survivors, greater clarity and details on the complaint and reporting processes, and a further commitment to clear communication of privacy and confidentiality.
The Board approved the updated policy.
Farewell to honour Norman Hébert Jr.
At the meeting’s end, the Board held a virtual celebration to honour Norman Hébert Jr., who chaired his last meeting after leading the governance body since 2012.
Helen Antoniou was set to begin her tenure as chair of the Board on July 1.
Policy on University Policies
At a prior meeting, on March 11, the Board approved a new Policy on University Policies. Its purpose is to establish a coordinated and consistent approach for revising, developing and approving official university policies and relevant policy-related documents.