Board: Queen’s Indigenous student enrolment increased by 17 per cent in past five years

Principal Deane speaks to partnership with international universities

Principal Patrick Deane explains progress on Queen’s strategic goals.

An open session of the Queen’s Board of Trustees took place on Dec. 9 at Richardson Hall—the last Board meeting to take place in 2022.

Board of Trustees Chair Mary Wilson Trider wished the Board well for the final weeks of the academic term and sent her support to all students during exam season.

Principal’s Report

Principal Patrick Deane went into depth about the progress of the Queen’s strategy goals in a verbal report. He spoke to progress toward achieving strategic goals set out as part of the University’s overall strategic framework.

The strategic framework, approved in March 2021, set long term objectives and is designed to reach maturity in 2028, Deane said.

Research, student learning progress, global engagement process, embeddedness in the community progress, and organizational culture and climate progress were key elements and goals in this report.

This past May, Queen’s gave thought to ways progress is measured against these six goals. The goals and Queen’s strategy was developed in tandem.

“The point would be to track our progress to the midterm objective and then long-term objectives eventually,” Deane said.

For the research goal, Deane said Queen’s needs to get large-scale funding under their belt. He said they have been successful in having approximately 120 million dollars renewed in funding for SNOLAB and Canadian Cancer Trials.

Deane said he hopes to strengthen support for both health and life sciences research through the appointment of Dr. Steven Smith, deputy vice-principal research for health research.

Student learning progress is focusing on integrating the capacity to conduct research in the Queen’s undergraduate curriculum. Deane said the key ingredient is doubling the number of student summer research fellowships available.

For global engagement progress, Deane explained Queen’s is working on building mutually beneficial and meaningful partnerships with institutions abroad outside Europe and North America. So far, connections have been made with two universities in Indonesia and three universities in Vietnam.

Queen’s is interested in increasing global impact through international representation of research and support. According to Deane, a new program called Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) is underway to facilitate training of academic faculty at partner universities in Africa by Queen’s staff.

“We're doing a considerable amount of work on a collaborative online international learning [model]. This is what's called the COIL program and Queen’s has done some very groundbreaking work in that regard,” Deane said.

Regarding embeddedness in the community progress, Deane outlined Dr. Wendy Craig, professor in the department of psychology, being appointed the new community engagement advisor.

For the organizational culture and climate progress report, Deane said an employee wellness unit has been established through human resources.

“We have a rich program of wellness initiatives that have been undertaken,” he said.

Deane announced the Queen’s Employee Experiences Survey and responses will be conducted next Spring.

Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Indigeneity Report

Teri Shearer, provost and vice-principal (academic), went over the 2021-22 Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Indigeneity Annual Report.

Shearer noted the importance of a welcoming and supportive campus for everyone and the difficulty of capturing all the meaningful work underway across campus.

She spoke about the Scarborough Charter being founded on four core principles: Black flourishing, inclusive excellence, mutuality, and accountability—all of which she said Queen’s continues to embed in the University.

Shearer emphasized Queen’s commitment to enhancing equity and access for incoming students. She used the example of the Commitment Scholars Award, which provided 48 thousand dollars in wraparound financial, academic, and career planning support to ten first-year students in the 2021-2022 academic year.

Truth and Reconciliation Task Force Implementation Report

Aaron St Pierre, associate director of the Office of Indigenous Initiatives, outlined the Truth and Reconciliation Task Force (TRTF) Implementation Report. Pierre said the report is getting larger every year, which reflects Queen’s doing more work as the years go on.

“We started this work back in 2017, with the original [TRTF], which offered 25 recommendations to the University on all the different ways it could advance reconciliation at the institution,” Pierre said at Board.

Pierre said the University is in year five of the TRTF work, with progress being made on each of the twenty-five recommendations.

“One of the recommendations was to create jobs, especially as our office helps oversee, and guide and direct that work,” he added.

The Four Directions Indigenous Student Centre has increased the Indigenous student experience on campus, according to Pierre. He said Queen’s has seen a 17 per cent increase in Indigenous students at Queen’s over the past five years.

Pierre said Queen’s has made noteworthy progress, but more resources are needed to retain new and existing Indigenous students.

University Reports

The Audit and Risk committee presented its report and forwarded the motion that Board approve the reappointment of KPMG as external auditors of Queen's for the fiscal year ending April 30, 2023.

The motion was approved, and the Board moved on to the Capital Assets and Finance Committee report, chaired by David Court.

Court said he was comfortable with the progress being made and talked about projections on budget. He said revenue projections are below the set target due to enrollment reasons.

With respect to the committee’s digital strategy, they had an education session with a consultant for doing the next wave of their digital strategy.

“We’re now looking forward and talking about what is happening around universities in North America and [asking] what can we learn,” Court said.

“The risk that we oversee is asking if we are sure we are providing the technology experience we want our students stick to. Part of that is the digital strategy that's being done with it,” Court said.

The Board moved on to the External Relations and Development Committee, chaired by Board member Alison Holt.

“[We] met last week and it was a packed agenda and I’m happy to report lots of really positive things going on that are not because of the committee but because of the great work that's happening at Queen’s,” Holt said.

In other business, Board discussed increasing enrollment for the University’s medical school and nursing school.

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