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 meeting of the 2020-2021 governance year on May 20, 2021. The full minutes of the meeting’s open session will be available following approval at the Board’s next meeting, on October 7, 2021. 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.
Suzanne Fortier, Principal and Vice-Chancellor
Ram Panda, Chair, McGill Board of Governors
During the meeting’s 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 48 academic staff and librarians;
- The promotion of 11 academic staff to the rank of Full Professor;
- Two new academic appointments.
The McGill Reporter will publish the names of the new appointments and promotions once they have been notified.
As per the recommendation of the Principal and Vice-Chancellor, and pursuant to the advice of an ad hoc committee established under the Policy Relating to the Naming of University Assets, the Board approved the honorific naming of three university assets. The naming of the assets will be announced publicly in due course.
In the meeting’s open session, the Board of Governors, on the recommendation of Senate, approved the revised Policy on Harassment and Discrimination. The Policy was reviewed to meet the needs of the McGill community and the University’s commitments to equity, diversity and inclusion.
The Board of Governors, on the recommendation of the Nominating, Governance, and Ethics Committee, also approved the appointment of the Honourable Michael A. Meighen to the rank of Chancellor Emeritus, effective, July 1, 2021. In his career as a lawyer, politician, philanthropist, and most recently as Chancellor, the Honourable Michael Meighen has consistently demonstrated principled leadership and achievement. As the 19th Chancellor of McGill University, this honour is bestowed upon him in consideration of his dedication and service to the McGill community.
Principal Suzanne Fortier provided key updates on a variety of topics from across the University.
The reopening plans shared by the Quebec government on May 18th included more news of an effective vaccination rollout and the objective that 75% of people in Quebec aged 12 or older will have received two doses of COVID-19 vaccine by the end of August, enabling normal activities to resume. More information about the impacts on universities is forthcoming from the Ministry of Higher Education.
McGill’s Emergency Operations Committee (EOC) continues to plan for several scenarios that are being evaluated by McGill’s experts in epidemiology and global health. Detailed procedures and directives for the in-person Fall semester will be put in place by mid-summer. The aim is to resume in-person activities as much as possible, including lectures of up to 150 students and labs.
Bill 96, which outlines the reforms to the French-language Charter, was tabled at the National Assembly this month. The Bill will have a direct impact on English-language Cégeps, but not on universities, although the implications for English universities are still being assessed. More news is forthcoming as the University continues to analyse the proposed reforms.
The Principal met with Danielle McCann, the Minister of Higher Education, earlier in May. The Minister confirmed that the Dossier d'opportunité for the New Vic project will be presented to Cabinet later this month. At the same meeting, the inauguration of the Campus Outaouais facilities were also discussed.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada has committed to ensuring that study permit applications received by May 15th would be processed in time for the fall semester. McGill’s newly admitted international students had to show they applied for the Quebec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ) before May 15th in preparation for the fall.
From June 10-11th, McGill will host ten virtual convocation ceremonies. This will also be the last convocation over which the Honourable Michael A. Meighen will preside as Chancellor of McGill; the University thanks him for his outstanding service.
The Principal concluded her remarks by highlighting a few notable recognitions earned by McGill and members of its community:
- McGill was awarded a Silver Certification by La Gouvernance au féminin, an organization founded to support women in leadership development, career advancement, and access to seats on Boards.
- McGill alumna Dr. Joanne Liu, Canadian pediatric emergency room physician and former International President of Médecins Sans Frontières, joined McGill’s School of Population and Global Health (SPGH) as a professor focusing on pandemic and health emergencies.
- Prof. Jennifer Welsh (Department of Political Science and the Max Bell School of Public Policy) has been elected as a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.
- Prof. Sarah Woolley (Department of Biology) and her collaborators have earned a prestigious 2021 Program Grant by the Human Frontier Science Program, totaling $1M USD over three years, for a project to study bird flight.
- Dr. Nada Jabado and Dr. Claudia Kleinman were named recipients of the Canadian Cancer Society’s 2020 Award for Excellence for their research in childhood brain tumours.
- McGill students Anne Bouthillier, Logan Stack, Sophia Roy, and Vassil Kroumov received a Lieutenant Governor of Quebec Youth Medal for distinguishing themselves in their academic studies and extracurricular activities.
- Dr. Sheila Wang, a resident in Dermatology, received the Governor General’s Innovation Award for her leadership in the creation of an AI-driven technology that improves care for patients with wounds.
- Mayumi Sato, a 2017 Geography honours graduate, was awarded a prestigious Gates Scholarship. She will begin her PhD in Sociology at Cambridge this fall.
- Several members of the McGill community are among the 43 new appointments to the National Order of Quebec, the province’s highest civilian honour. Dr. Morag Park, Director of the Goodman Cancer Research Centre, was appointed a Knight of the Order.
- McGill’s University Advancement team won eight Prix d'Excellence awarded by the Canadian Council for the Advancement of Education (CCAE).
The Board received reports from the following committees:
- Report of the Building and Property Committee
- Report of the Information Technology Committee
- Senate Report
- Report of the Nominating, Governance, and Ethics Committee
- Report of the Audit and Risk Committee
The Board also received the following annual reports:
- Annual Report on the Policy on Safe Disclosure (“Whistle Blowing”)
- Annual Report of the Committee on Staff Grievances and Disciplinary Procedures (2019-20)
Professor Christopher Manfredi, Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic) and Dicki Chhoyang, Interim Director, Indigenous Initiatives, gave a presentation on the Status of the Action Plan for Indigenous Initiatives at McGill University.
Lastly, the Governors were presented with a photo collage of the 2020-2021 Board of Governors in commemoration of McGill’s bicentennial celebrations, as well as in recognition of their work and dedication over the course of the year.