Governance Review

Governance Review Update

March 15, 2022

The governance review set out in our new strategic plan is continuing to proceed. The plan called for “an independent external review of our governance and administrative structures, … commissioned early in the plan period to engage in broad-based consultation to provide clear recommendations for any adjustments or realignments required to facilitate the success of our strategic plan”. Board Chair Bob Hanf is overseeing the process with assistance from an advisory group composed of two other Board members, the President and the interim Senate Chair.

The desired outcomes of the review are clarity of roles and responsibilities and the right governance processes, procedures and practices in place to achieve the objectives set out in the strategic plan, consistent with Dalhousie’s legislation, bicameralism and best governance practices.

Two independent external consultants were engaged to conduct the review: Julia Eastman (as lead consultant) and Cheryl Foy. Julia is an author and advisor on university governance and Adjunct Professor at the Gustavson School of Business at the University of Victoria. She was University Secretary at UVic from 2005 to 2018 and worked previously here at Dalhousie. Cheryl Foy is the author of An Introduction to University Governance (Irwin Law, 2021). She most recently served as General Counsel and University Secretary for Ontario Tech University and is now President of Strategic Governance Consulting Services Ltd. Both Julia and Cheryl are delighted to have the opportunity to assist us to review roles, processes and practices within Dal’s bicameral governance system.

We last reported that Julia and Cheryl were collecting information through interviews, surveys of Board and Senate members, documentary review and other means, including receipt of written submissions by email. They are very grateful to all who so generously provided time and input. The consultation phase of the process is complete, and they have commenced research, analysis and a deep documentary review. This part of the review is more extensive than anticipated and will require additional time prior to formulating their findings and recommendations.

Their report will be presented to the Board Chair in the first instance. Once the Chair accepts the report (i.e., confirms it is complete and consistent with the agreed scope and deliverables), the consultants’ major findings and recommendations will subsequently be shared with the Board of Governors and the Senate.  

A further update is not anticipated until the Board Chair confirms receipt of the final report, now targeted for May 2022.