Highlights from the May 19, 2022 Board of Governors meeting

Dear members of the McGill community,

It is once again our pleasure to provide you with an update on the recent activities of McGill’s Board of Governors. You can learn more about the Board’s mandate and membership on its website.

McGill’s Board held its fifth and final regular meeting of the 2021-2022 governance year on May 19, 2022. The meeting was held in person, with some members participating remotely.

The full minutes of the meeting’s open session, as well as a summary of the closed session minutes, will be available following approval at the Board’s next meeting, on October 6, 2022. In the meantime, we would like to share with you the meeting’s important discussions, decisions and developments.

Thank you for your interest in the work of the Board of Governors. If you have any questions, ideas or comments, please write suzanne.fortier [at] mcgill.ca.

 

Sincerely,

Suzanne Fortier, Principal and Vice-Chancellor

Ram Panda, Chair, McGill Board of Governors

 

Key Updates

Closed Session

As per the Regulations Relating to the Employment of Tenure Track and Tenured Academic Staff, the Board approved:

  • The granting of tenure to 50 members of the academic staff
  • The promotion of 2 academic staff to the rank of Full Professor and one academic staff to the rank of Full Professor (Clinical)

The McGill Reporter will publish the names of the new appointments and promotions once they have been notified.

The Board, on the recommendation of the Nominating, Governance and Ethics Committee, approved the appointment of Ms. Diletta Prando and Mr. Gregory David as members-at-large of McGill’s Board of Governors, for terms commencing July 1, 2022.

Ms. Prando has served as Managing Director, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of the Société Générale for the past 20 years. Ms. Prando is an experienced lawyer and executive, responsible for managing the legal and regulatory affairs and compliance function of Société Générale in Canada. Her areas of expertise include banking, securities, derivatives, corporate and commercial, and employment law. She also has significant litigation management experience and is a graduate of McGill University.

Mr. David, a McGill graduate, has played a leading role in a variety of philanthropic efforts at McGill, both University-wide and at the Faculties of Medicine, Law, and Management. His most significant leadership contribution to McGill has been the establishment of The Rossy Cancer Network, a partnership involving the McGill Faculty of Medicine and its teaching hospitals to improve the quality of clinical care delivered to patients through the integration of the cancer programs at the hospitals and the release of a public scorecard of performance indicators. Mr. Gregory David is the Chief Executive Officer of GRI Capital Inc., a private investment management firm, and has been with the company and its affiliates since 2003. Mr. David provided financial and strategic advisory services to private and public companies from 2000 to 2003. He is also a director of Roots Corporation since October 2017 and sits on its governance, compensation and nominating committee.

The Board, on the recommendation of the Nominating, Governance and Ethics Committee, approved the appointment of Mr. Pierre Matuszewski as Vice-Chair of the Board of Governors of McGill University for a term commencing July 1, 2022.

Mr. Matuszewski, has a long record of service in professional, industry and community organizations. He is a senior executive with over 40 years’ experience in the Canadian financial services industry. Mr. Matuszewski was appointed as a member-at-large in July 2017. He has also been a member of the Board’s Finance Committee since October 2015 and its Chair since July 2017, and he is a member of the Executive Committee since 2017. Mr. Matuszewski is a graduate of McGill University.

We extend our congratulations to Ms. Diletta Prando, Mr. Gregory David and Mr. Pierre Matuszewski on their appointments.

The Board of Governors, on the recommendation of the Building and Property Committee, approved the first phase of the relocation project of the Centre for Research on Brain, Language and Music (CRBLM) located on the 6th floor of 2001 McGill College.

The Report of the Building and Property Committee included, for the information of the Board, details on the design phase for the renovation of the Leacock Tower.

 

Open Session

In his remarks, Mr. Ram Panda, who was attending his last Board meeting as Chair, offered a heartfelt tribute to Principal Suzanne Fortier who will be stepping down on August 31, 2022, and who was attending her last Board meeting as Principal and Vice-Chancellor. Mr. Panda expressed the Board’s immense gratitude for her service and outstanding contribution to the McGill community. He outlined the many challenges that had to be overcome during her tenure, particularly being at the helm of McGill during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Chair also highlighted several notable achievements under her leadership, especially the approval and funding of the transformative New Vic Project and the success of the Made by McGill Campaign.

The Chair acknowledged the work of five outgoing Board members and thanked them for their service, leadership and wise counsel. This was the final Board meeting for Governors Peter Coughlin, Samuel Minzberg, Michael Boychuk, Cynthia Price Verreault and Alan Desnoyers. The Board is grateful to these dedicated individuals for their important contributions to the governance of the University.

The Board of Governors, on the recommendation of the Nominating, Governance and Ethics Committee, enthusiastically approved the appointment of Mr. Ram Panda to the rank of Chair Emeritus commencing July 1, 2022. This honour is bestowed upon him in recognition of his exemplary record of service and commitment to the McGill community. In his career as an engineer, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and most recently as Chair of McGill’s Board of Governors, Mr. Panda has consistently demonstrated principled leadership and achievement. Governor Maryse Bertrand has been selected to succeed him as Chair of the Board of Governors.

In recognition of her outstanding contributions as academic head and executive leader, the Board of Governors, on the recommendation of the Nominating, Governance and Ethics Committee, approved the appointment of Professor Suzanne Fortier to the rank of Principal Emerita and Governor Emerita commencing September 1, 2022.

The Board received the Report of the Executive Committee that summarized approvals made by the Committee in the name of the Board of Governors. By means of an electronic vote, the Executive Committee, on the recommendation of the Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic), and pursuant to the Regulations Relating to the Employment of Tenure Track and Tenured Academic Staff, approved the appointment of Professor Celeste Pedri-Spade as Associate Professor, with tenure. Professor Pedri-Spade will also become McGill’s first Associate Provost (Indigenous Initiatives), on September 1, 2022.

An Ojibwe scholar and artist, Pedri-Spade is from the Lac des Mille Lacs First Nation in northwestern Ontario. She is currently Associate Professor of Indigenous Studies in the School of Global Development Studies at Queen’s University, where she also holds the title of Queen’s National Scholar in Indigenous Studies. Pedri-Spade completed her PhD in visual anthropology at the University of Victoria and her MA in Culture and Communication at Royal Roads University. Her research interests include Indigenous art and decolonization; settler colonialism and Indigeneity; Indigenous visual/material culture; Anishinabemowin regeneration; and creative Indigenous research methodologies.

As Associate Provost (Indigenous Initiatives), Professor Pedri-Spade will oversee McGill’s ongoing response to the 52 Calls to Action articulated by the Provost’s Task Force on Indigenous Studies and Indigenous Education.

On the recommendation of Senate, the Board approved the proposed Policy on Assessment of Student Learning and the proposed Policy on the Study and Care of Animals, as well as several appointments to Committees arising from University regulations.

The Vice-Principal (Administration and Finance), Mr. Yves Beauchamp, provided the Board with an update on the Fiat Lux Library Project. The project is currently in the Dossier d’affaires stage, which includes the functional programming and design stage. Fifteen per cent of the project design has been achieved and by the end of this calendar year, and subject to approval by the Board, the Dossier d’affaires will be ready for submission to the government in early 2023.

In addition, the Board approved recommendations of the Nominating, Governance and Ethics Committee to Board Standing Committees, Advisory Committees, Internal/External Non-Board Bodies as well as Health Care Bodies.

The Board was also informed by the Nominating, Governance and Ethics Committee that further to the approval by the Board of Governors at its meeting of February 10, 2022 of the proposed Amendments to the University Statutes and their submission to the Governor General for consideration, the Governor General did not exercise her power of disallowance and the revised Statutes were now in effect. The amended version of the McGill University Statutes is available here.

The Board, on the recommendation of the Nominating, Governance and Ethics Committee approved the proposed revisions to the Terms of Reference of the Nominating, Governance and Ethics (NGE) Committee and the Building and Property Committee.

 

Principal's Remarks

Principal Fortier provided key updates on a variety of topics from across the University.

 

Campus update

McGill is continuing the resumption of its activities and the situation keeps improving. The Quebec government lifted its mask mandate on May 14, but their wearing continued to be mandatory on our campuses until May 24.

Our Recovery and Operations Resumption Committee (ROR) has been demobilized.

The Spring Convocation ceremonies began on May 26, and will be followed by special celebrations for the cohorts who did not get a chance to cross the stage during the pandemic.

Over 7,900 students are graduating this spring. Our youngest students to graduate are 20 years old, the oldest graduate is 71 years of age.

Fourteen outstanding individuals received honorary degrees at this year’s ceremonies, including three at the Chancellor’s Installation on May 25.

More information can be found about each of the Honorary Doctorate recipients in the McGill Reporter.

 

Government Relations

Moderna announcement

The McGill community had the pleasure to welcome Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Quebec Premier François Legault along with four provincial and federal ministers, and Moderna’s CEO and general manager, to our downtown campus on April 29 to announce that Moderna will build a vaccine manufacturing facility in the greater Montreal area.

McGill’s involvement in the announcement provided a platform to showcase our strength in Biomedicine and Engineering, in R&D and our pipeline of great students.

The announcement also included a tour of Dr. Nahum Sonenberg’s laboratory where both the Prime Minister and the Premier where able to meet students and professors.

Outaouais campus

McGill hosted the official inauguration of the Outaouais campus of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Quebec’s Minister of Higher Education, Danielle McCann, and the MNA for Chapleau, Mathieu Lévesque, were among the dignitaries attending the ceremony held on May 16.

The campus offers a full range of medical education and training programs, in French, including the four-year Doctor of Medicine program, residency programs and the preparatory year in medicine.

New Vic reception in Ottawa

Also on May 16, the Principal, the Vice Principal (Administration and Finance) and the Vice Principal (Communication and External Relations) led a McGill delegation to Ottawa. The purpose was to celebrate the beginning of McGill’s third century and introduce the New Vic Project to federal Members of Parliament and Senators, senior administrators from the federal research funding agencies and many bureaucrats and senior staffers.

 

Community Relations

Many successful in-person events were held recently as part of the ongoing Bicentennial celebrations:

  • Space Week, which featured several events on topics including greener air and space travel, astrophysics, outer space, and space exploration, with an emphasis on the upcoming missions to Mars. A well-attended panel took place on May 3, 2022, featuring four McGill astronauts, Julie Payette, David Saint-Jacques, Robert Thirsk and Dave Williams. Astronaut Marc Garneau also joined them for this memorable evening.
  • Global Health Week, again with many outstanding and well-attended events celebrating change-makers and outstanding leadership in global and population health.

 

Selected Kudos

The Principal concluded her remarks by congratulating members of our community who recently earned well-deserved recognitions or reached significant scientific milestones:

  • Professor Elena Bennett from the Bieler School of Environment / Department of Natural Resource Sciences at the Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences. She is the fourth McGillian to be elected to the prestigious Academy.
  • Law student Niamh Leonard has been named one of the winners of the inaugural Justice Rosalie Silberman Abella Prize, awarded by the Royal Society of Canada.
  • Dr. Srividya Iyer (Department of Psychiatry / Douglas Mental Health University Institute) and second-year McGill medical student Saman Arfaie, have been selected as finalists for the Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Awards.
  • Two McGill undergraduate students, Olivia Ronca and Loriana Cocca, won the ISU World Synchronized Skating Championships in April.
  • The first image of the supermassive black hole at the centre of our own Milky Way galaxy (Sagittarius A*) has recently been unveiled. Professor Daryl Haggard and PhD Candidate Hope Boyce are part of this global effort. In addition, a few days before the picture was released, McGillians Win Butler and Régine Chassagne had released the new Arcade Fire album titled “WE”, which includes a song called End of the Empire IV (Sagittarius A*). They were invited to perform the song at the European Southern Observatory Press Conference when the historical image was released.

 

Reports

The Board received the following reports:

The Board received the following annual report:

 

 

 

 

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