Board Meeting Synopsis for June 16, 2020
The fourth and final regular meeting of the Board of Governors for the 2019-20 year was held June 16, 2020, via web conference and was chaired by Board Chair Shauneen Bruder.
The meeting began with a welcome to Governors offered by the Board Chair, and a welcome to guests, including several future Governors who will be beginning their terms on September 1, 2020.
The President offered brief oral remarks, noting the unprecedented nature of the year, and offering thanks to the entire University community for working together over a difficult period. In addition to remarks with respect to the University’s response to COVID-19, he also noted the global outpouring of support for the Black Lives Matter movement, highlighting that the University strives to be an inclusive community, but there remains work to be done.
The University’s annual budget plan was presented for approval and was introduced by the Finance Committee Chair, Nancy Brown Andison. It was noted that this was a dynamic year with a greater level of uncertainty due to the global pandemic environment, and that budget was predicated on evidence-based assumptions made about the environment over the next fiscal year. In addition to the University of Guelph operating budget, the Board of Governors also reviewed and approved budgets for the University of Guelph-Humber and the University Centre. The Board of Governors approved the continuation of projects within the Ontario Veterinary College, with the approval of OVC Project 3a. The Board also approved amendments to several capital projects currently in progress.
Audit & Risk Committee Chair, Neil Parkinson, spoke to the University of Guelph-Humber Audited Statements, which were approved by the Board, as well as amendments to the University Risk Management Policy. Pensions Committee Chair, Carol Poulsen offered thanks to Don O’Leary, on the occasion of his retirement, for his drive and dedication towards the University of Guelph as a founding partner in the University Pension Plan, Ontario. A regular update was provided on the status of the transition to the University Pension Plan, Ontario.
The Board also received written reports for information, including reports from standing committee chairs on recent committee activity as well as the University's annual report on responsible investing, a report on the implementation of the recommendations of the working group on board governance review, and an annual report on the Signing Authority Register.
A farewell virtual toast was held immediately following the Board meeting, in honour of outgoing president Dr. Franco Vaccarino, during which it was announced the University’s student wellness centre will be renamed as the Vaccarino Centre for Student Wellness, and that a newly established Franco J. Vaccarino President’s Scholarship will be awarded each year to a top international student.
The complete open session meeting package is available on the University Secretariat’s Governance Portal. The official record of the meeting is the meeting minutes, which will be available following their approval at the next regularly scheduled Board Meeting, to be held on October 21, 2020.