A breakdown of the BoG April Meeting.
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 April meetings (committees are April 1 & 2, followed by the full Board on April 18):
The April meeting is when the UBC Board approves the annual budget. The proposed budget put forward by the administration recommends “notable investments being in IT systems and infrastructure, Aboriginal learning and relationships, expanded Collegia for first-year students, the Library [to account for] exchange rate equalization, the Independent Investigations Office, UBC brand positioning, and classroom upgrades.” On the revenue side, tuition continues to be the largest single source of revenue for the university, nearly $100 million more than is generated from provincial government grants.
SUSTAINABLE FUTURES POOL ADDITIONS
The administration is proposing a shift of additional funds from UBC’s main endowment pool to the Sustainable Futures Pool. This is done through annual transfers of UBC-generated funds in the endowment, beginning in the coming fiscal year with an amount of $15 million, and an additional $10 million at the start of the two subsequent fiscal years. UBC internal legal counsel remains of the opinion “donor funds can be added to the SFP only where they specifically agree that their gifts will be invested in the best interests of UBC and in a manner that takes non-financial considerations into account.”
INTEGRATED RENEWAL PROGRAM FINANCING
Work continues on the Integrated Renewal Program, an effort to significantly improve UBC’s finance, human resources and student systems. To address concerns with intergenerational inequity that the original, ten year long financing plan created, the administration proposes spreading part of the repayment - $120 million, interest-free - over twenty years instead. The remainder of IRP costs will be covered in the original ten year payback period at the standard internal loan rate of 5.75%.
The Provost is proposing some changes to the Excellence Fund to create more stratification to better address strategic priorities. This would create five funds rather than one big Excellence Fund: a strategic excellence fund (similar to as before), a Revenue Sharing Fund (to help faculties with limited budget capacity), and Academic Capital Fund (to help save towards academic building renewal/replacement), some directed funding to Student Financial Aid programs, and some directed funding to the Integrated Renewal Program as discussed above.
NO INDIGENOUS ENGAGEMENT COMMITTEE THIS CYCLE
The Indigenous Engagement Committee meeting previously scheduled for April 1st has been pushed back to the end of May. The committee should be receiving a revised version of the Indigenous Strategic Plan at that meeting.
POLICY 3: DISCRIMINATION & HARASSMENT
Policy 3 has undergone a review which has received some attention recently, particularly from the Faculty Association. This cycle it is requested that the Board approve the new policy. Changes include: changing the title of the policy to “discrimination”, clarity around the role of the Equity & Inclusion office, and enshrining responsibility for handling reports in the Independent Investigations Office’s (IIO’s) Director of Investigations.
STAY UP TO DATE
The following iteration of open Board of Governors meetings will be June 5 (committees) and June 13 (full Board). Both Committees and Board primarily consist of open sessions that members of the UBC community are welcome to attend .