Memorial’s Board of Regents today released a report on its governance culture and practices containing 10 findings and 32 recommendations for continuous improvement.
The report concludes that the university is well governed and the relationship between the board and administration is appropriate and reflects best practices among Canadian universities.
The report was commissioned by a steering committee of the board struck after the resignation of a student regent in November 2016.
Based on the student’s comments and the board’s commitment to continuous improvement, an external review was commissioned to ensure that the practices, policies and supports needed to ensure that all board members, including students, have the most inclusive and effective experience possible. The review was completed by former York University Counsel Harriet Lewis and accepted by the board at its full meeting yesterday, July 6.
“The Board of Regents has received the Lewis Report and has tasked the steering committee to lead an implementation plan,” said Denis Mahoney, steering committee chair.
“Since not all of the recommendations are within the sole jurisdiction of the board to act upon, the steering committee’s plan will include engaging with other stakeholders regarding those recommendations. We will report back to the board and the wider community on the progress of the implementation plan at appropriate intervals.”
The report provides recommendations for a more robust and focused board orientation program with specific supports for student regents; recommendations to increase access to and information about the business of the board; and recommendations concerning the role of regents, including addressing the “conflict of commitment” that some members may experience when concurrently serving on other boards or organizations.
“All of our volunteer regents are dedicated, committed individuals with a shared goal of overseeing the continued success of the province’s only university for the benefit of all Newfoundlanders and Labradorians,” said Iris Petten, board chair.
“We are all committed to continuous improvement in both the board’s governance and culture, and we are pleased to have the specific recommendations of the Lewis Report to guide our continuing work in these areas.”
The full report and associated materials are available here.