Board of Governors holds year‑end meeting

- June 26, 2015

On Tuesday, Dalhousie’s Board of Governors hosted its final meeting of the 2014-15 academic year.

At the meeting, the Board approved the university operating budget for the upcoming year, the features of which were communicated to the Dal community through the annual consultation process (and previously covered here on Dal News). Balanced with revenues and expenditures of $398.6 million, the budget includes a 1 per cent increase in the provincial operating grant; a 3 per cent increase in tuition for all programs; a provision for annual salary, benefit and pension contribution adjustments for faculty and staff; $2.7 million for strategic initiatives; nearly $700,000 more for student assistance; base reductions to faculties and service units totaling $6.7 million; and the use of $1.8 million in one-time reserve funds.

The full operating budget is now available on the Financial Services website.

Tuesday’s meeting also included the tabling of the Investment Committee’s report for the 2014-15 academic year. One item of note in the report is an update on progress made towards two commitments from last year’s divestment discussion: annual reporting on all holdings in publicly traded companies, and investigating ways to allow new donors to direct endowments to non-fossil fuel investments.

The report on the university’s holdings in publicly traded companies for 2014-15 is now available on the Financial Services website [PDF]. As well, the Investment Committee has identified an investment product that is fossil fuel free and will be available for investment in the endowment fund as and when requested by donors in the future.

Tuesday’s meeting was the first for Chancellor Anne McLellan, who was installed in the role during May’s Spring Convocation ceremonies. It was also the final meeting for several long-serving members of the Board, including former chair Jim Spatz, former vice-chair Bill Black and honorary treasurer Jay Abbass. Also completing their time on the Board are alumni appointee Barrie Black, Senate appointee John Baxter and departing Senate chair Alan Pinder.

The Board approved three new Order-in-Council appointees Tuesday: Cassandra Dorrington (president of the Canadian Aboriginal and Minority Supplier Council), Jody Forsyth (co-founder of Annapolis Capital Limited), and Michele Williams (managing partner of Grant Thorton’s Nova Scotia practice). The Board approved former Board member Gail Tomblin Murphy (School of Nursing/Department of Community Health and Epidemiology) as a new Senate appointee and Ian Bezanson (incoming executive vice-president of the Dalhousie Alumni Association) as a new alumni appointee.

The meeting also included a progress update on the university’s Strategic Direction from President Florizone (similar to his year-in-review sessions also taking place this week), and a presentation from several teams involved with Dal’s Starting Lean initiative including Spring Loaded Technology. This week it was announced that the company, which began in Starting Lean through the work of students Chris Cowper-Smith and Bob Garrish, was the winner of the 2015 BDC Young Entrepreneur Award, receiving a $100,000 grand prize.


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