Board Highlights – February 12, 2019

- February 20, 2019

Following each meeting of Dalhousie’s Board of Governors, Dal News highlights some of the presentations and decisions made.

The Board of Governors is responsible for the overall conduct, management, administration and control of the property, revenue, business and affairs of the university. It represents the interests of the university, carrying out its responsibilities through a stewardship role (delegating day-to-day management to the president and senior administration). Its membership currently includes three ex officio members (the president, chancellor and chair of Senate), eleven Order-in-Council members and additional representatives appointed by alumni, students, faculty and the Board itself.

The Board has six standing committees: Academic & Student Affairs; Capital Projects and Facilities; Community Affairs; Finance, Audit, Investment and Risk; Governance and Human Resources; and the Board Executive. While these committees meet regularly through the year, the Board as a whole meets five times a year between September and June.

Investment Committee Report – Fossil Fuel Investment Review

Dalhousie University’s Board of Governors voted Tuesday (Feb. 12) to adopt a Fossil Fuel Investment Review report from the university  Investment Committee, including specific measures to broaden communication of Dal’s Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) investment practices and specific reinforcement of investment risk assessments related to climate change.

These include specific communication on Dalhousie’s ESG integration, more specific follow-up with investment fund managers around climate change risk, and formally signing onto the UN’s Principles for Responsible Investment.

For more on this item, read our accompanying Dal News story on the report.

Dalhousie 200th anniversary report

Catherine Bagnell Styles, assistant vice-president, Communications and Marketing, presented a report on the university’s 200th anniversary celebrations.

“We knew this was a really rare platform,” said Bagnell Styles, speaking to the opportunity Dal 200 represented. “It’s a reason to reach out, to look for ways to support and enhance our mission, and engage key audiences and communities.”

With events organized across the university, Dal’s 200th year included 150 different initiatives, including over 80 events — a wide mix of academic and non-academic activities that spanned all 13 faculties and engaged with students, faculty, staff, alumni and community. There were signature events like the Year of Belonging and the Belong Forums, faculty-based events (from theatre performances to guest lectures) and community-based engagements across the university.  

“We wanted to be inclusive, not exclusive,” said Bagnell Styles. “We wanted this mix of academic and non-academic programing. We wanted to be integrated, innovation, fresh, engaging, thoughtful and fun.”

A few of the highlighted stats from Bagnell Styles’ presentation included:

  • Audience attendance of over 38,000 (32,000 in-person attendees and another 6,400 online)
  • Over 6,000 kms travelled during Dal’s Coast to Coast alumni tour
  • 52 stories of achievement highlighted in the Dal Orginals series
  • 5 new building openings
  • 11 sponsors and in-kind partners
  • The launch of the Viola Desmond Legacy Lecture, which thanks to carry-forward resources will be supported for up to four years.


Board Chair Larry Stordy saluted recent Board member achievements, including Sherry Porter being named to the Order of Canada.

In his first Board report, Interim President Peter MacKinnon shared insights from the  recent meeting of the U15 group of research universities in Ottawa. He also highlighted the just-announced 3M Teaching Fellowship for Earth Sciences faculty member Anne-Marie Ryan.

DSU President Aaron Prosper discussed results from the DSU’s recent engagement survey. The first year for the survey, the goal was “to provide a benchmark on how we’re doing and ensure our planning reflects our members,” as Prosper explained. Some of the key insights in the survey is that respondents consider food insecurity and support for survivors of sexualized violence as key priorities for union services, and that they want the DSU to consider education cost and quality to be its largest advocacy priorities.

Consent agenda

In its consent agenda, the Board approved the Senate Policy for Faculty Reviews of Academic Programs, as approved by Senate at its December 10 meeting.

Approved minutes for Dalhousie Board of Governors meetings are published on DalSpace. Learn more about the Board at its website.


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