Elevating Processes To Enhance Board Success

Friday, April 23, 2021 - Agenda
11:00 – 11:15 am

Greetings from the University of Saskatchewan

President and Vice Chancellor, Peter Stoicheff


Joy Crawford, Vice-Chair CUBA-ACCAU and Vice-Chair, USask Board of Governors; Chelsea Willness, University Secretary and Chief Governance Officer, USask

11:15 am – 12:00 pm

Strengthening the Board-President Relationship

A Board’s relationship with their president is perhaps one of the most important ones a board can have and it makes sense for a board, and the staff who support them, to spend a significant portion of their time ensuring that relationship is successful. Recent studies have found that Canadian university presidents are not as successful as they once were. In many cases, university presidents have pointed to a troubled or weak relationship with their board as factor in their ability to be successful in their roles.

This presentation will touch upon the typical board-president relationships in Canada, outline recent trends in presidential success and failure, and offer some insights into how boards can better strengthen this important relationship.

Julian Demkiw, Senior Strategist, President’s Office, USask

12:00 – 12:15 pm Break
12:15 – 1:15 pm

Elevating your Orientation Through a Flipped Orientation Model

During this session, you’ll learn how to take the best principles and practices from flipped teaching and apply them to your board’s orientation and onboarding practices. Why do this? Orientations aren’t effective when we lecture to board members for hours on end. Like all learners, board members need time to process and contextualize information. By using a module method you can save that precious meeting time for more strategic discussions. This session will include break-out discussion about onboard practices and idea sharing.

Amanda Goth, University Secretary, Carleton University

1:15 – 1:20 pm Break
1:20 – 2:25 pm

University Governance Professionals Should 'Get Their Due' - But How?

Good governance is the foundation of institutional autonomy. University governance professionals should play a crucial role in good university governance, and many do. However, governance professionals often lead from behind and the result of this may be the undervaluation of the role and lack of recognition for its importance. This session will invite those working in governance within universities to reflect on their roles and to consider how to ensure the function and profession are respected such that they can appropriately influence increasingly effective governance, and position themselves to secure appropriate resources. In advance of this session, participants will be surveyed on an anonymous basis and the survey results will be revealed and discussed during the session.

Cheryl Foy, University Secretary and General Counsel, University of Ontario Institute of Technology

2:25 – 2:30 pm Wrap-up [Chelsea Willness]