At first Trustees meeting, principal pledges to restructure office for accessibility

Patrick Deane introduces “the conversation” at first Board of Trustees meeting of the year

Nick Lorraway speaks to Trustees about divestment after Friday's climate strike.
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The Board of Trustees gathered for its first meeting of the 2019-20 academic year on Sept. 27—marking Principal Patrick Deane’s first official appearance in front of the Board since he assumed his office on July 1.

Principal’s Remarks

In his report to Trustees, Deane said he wants to restructure the Office of the Principal to maximize his accessibility to students.

“It is one of my goals this year to be extremely up there on campus and very accessible,” he said.

Deane added he hopes to streamline what he called the strategic response to University issues into his own office, bringing as much information about operations as possible into the principal’s purview.

“Many of the issues that arise in a place like this have strategic import and weight,” he said. “It’s important for the principal’s office to know about this and act accordingly.”

Pointing to the open forum he plans to host on Oct. 15, Principal Deane said he wants to improve the student experience at Queen’s through open conversation as one of his primary goals for the year.

He added this conversation would extend to all the University’s constituents, from alumni and students to industrial partners.

“Every meeting I attend, every faculty council, every department meeting I attend, every alumni gathering will be an opportunity to advance the conversation,” he said. “I know it will be an extremely fruitful process.”

Deane said “the conversation,” as he calls it, will go beyond a talking exercise to collecting data. He hopes to document whatever is captured from the forums he hosts to find what themes emerge.

Deane will report back to the Board in December on any initial findings the initiative may have produced. After Deane’s initiative concludes in the spring, he said he’ll inform the Board about what he thinks the University’s potential for progress is based on what he observed over the year.

“Then comes the point at which translating insight into action will be a challenge,” he said.

Deane said the University’s strategic framework for the last five years was well-suited to the conditions the University was facing.

“[Former principal] Daniel’s talk about the importance of resilience was absolutely on the money,” he said. “I think that framework was well-suited to cultivating and building resiliency in this institution. Now, I want us to be ambitious.”

Deputy Provost (Academic Operations and Inclusion) update

In her update to the Board, Teri Shearer, deputy provost (Academic Operations and Inclusions),  presented the annual Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion report for the 2018-19 year.

Shearer said the University’s student and employment recruitment efforts were successful in attracting diversity to Queen’s last year.

According to her, the 2018-19 year saw greater proportions of women, visible minorities, and Indigenous persons in the University’s cohort of tenured and tenure-track faculty than both the total faculty complement and the available workforce.

“We did experience this year a very small percentage reduction in our recruitment of persons with a disability, and while I expect that this is attributable to the fact that absolute numbers in that group are quite small, nonetheless I will keep an eye on that fairly closely as this recruitment season unfolds.”

Shearer also said of the University’s new staff hires, greater proportions are women, Indigenous persons, and persons with a disability than the total staff complement and the available workforce.

“Unfortunately, however, we do continue to struggle with recruitment of visible minorities in the staff positions at Queen’s,” she said. “The proportion of staff we hired last year who identified as a visible minority is greater than that of our total staff complement, which means we are slowly gaining ground, but it’s still lower than the available workforce.”

Going forward, Shearer said this year Queen’s will be signing onto the City of Kingston’s Workplace Inclusion Charter.

Motions

On the recommendation of the Audit and Risk Committee, the Board approved the University’s audited consolidated financial statements as at and for the academic year ending on April 30, 2019.

The Board approved a motion to approve the modification of the 2019-20 international tuition fee for the Graduate Diploma in Water and Human Health from $10,400 to $12,360.

The Board also approved the rescinding of the funding model for the Office of Advancement Policy.

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