The UVic Board of Governors convened the morning of May 26 for an enthusiastic open session which saw discussion of recent developments including the launch of the UVic Edge branding campaign, and numerous university rankings holding the University at the top of various academic fields.
The meeting began with the passing of motions from the consent agenda. The consent agenda consists of routine items that don’t require discussion; this included the approval of a Master of Arts in Germanic and Slavic Studies with two streams, effective immediately, and the discontinuation of the Studies in Policy and Practice Program.
Moving on to the regular agenda, the board was presented with the 2014-2015 financial statements. Executive Director, Financial Services Murray Griffith remarked that it was a “fairly positive year” for the University financially, with revenue exceeding expenses by $16.4 million ($22 million when including endowment contributions). Tuition revenue was noted as being up by $10 million, with the majority of that being from international students.
The finance committee proposed a motion to approve an increase to the CARSA budget set aside for McKinnon renovations — an additional $1.7 million on top of the overall budget of $77 million. The need for an increase comes from the lowest of two contractor bids being $1.3 million over the original budget allotted, ultimately working out to $1.7 million after “various consideration of additional soft costs, contingency, and taxes.” The motion was passed.
Director of University Communications and Marketing Bruce Kilpatrick led a presentation along with Vice President External Relations Carmen Charette on the recent launch of the University’s new branding campaign, UVic Edge. Kilpatrick remarked that the initial launch has gone very well, and that “we achieved what we set out to do.” Next steps will include discussions with faculties about what Edge means for the University, and how it can be “brought to life” in other areas.
President Jamie Cassels took the end of the meeting to commend the University for ranking highly on a number of lists, including the QS World Rankings by Subject and the Leiden rankings — the latter of which placed UVic in third place in Canada for overall scientific impact, and first in the country in mathematics and computer science. As well, the Princeton Review rated UVic a perfect 99 out of 99 on sustainability initiatives.
The meeting was adjourned. Of note was student representative Kayleigh Erickson’s absence from the meeting, though she was in attendance for the previous day’s closed session and could not make the open session due to class commitments. Fellow student representative Bradley Cranwell did appear.
Editor’s note: A previous edition of this article did not provide a reason for Kayleigh Erickson’s absence from the open portion of the meeting. In fact, she had attended the previous day’s closed session. The article has been edited to reflect this; we regret the error.