Board of Governors Chair’s Report 2019/2020

As I close out my term as Chair of the Board of Governors, Carleton moves from strength to strength. Carleton has displayed its resilience towards one of the toughest challenges to face our sector and country in recent memory.

I have led an exceptional board that has been focused on ensuring Carleton continues to deliver a world-class transformative experience for our students, and that we remain a welcoming, open and safe place for everyone.

The past two years have been about renewal at Carleton.

Renewal of Leadership

Together, our renewed leadership team at Carleton represents a formidable positive force for good.

  • I had the honour of helping to recruit and install Carleton’s 15th President, Benoit-Antoine Bacon, who is doing an exceptional job at leading our school and laying the foundation for an even stronger future.
  • We recruited, and I had the honour of installing, Yaprak Baltacioğlu, one of Canada’s most distinguished public servants as our 12th Chancellor.
  • Our next Chair of the Board of Governors, Dan Fortin, the former President of IBM
    Canada Ltd will be an exceptional leader of the Board of Governors.

Renewal of Oversight and Representation

Over the past two years the Board has improved its operations to help deliver critical oversight:

  • Our board composition is more diverse and well-balanced than it ever has been, and this diversity has brought new strength to our deliberations.
  • The Board committee structure has been recalibrated and streamlined and new risk assessment protocols have been developed to focus board deliberations.
  • As part of a process of bringing a diversity of voices and views to the table we invited distinguished guests to address the board, ranging from National Chief of the AFN,
    Perry Bellegarde to talk about reconciliation through to Morneau Shepell to speak on
    mental health issues.

Advancing Important Issues

Supporting our core academic mission – The board has consistently served the
community by providing input to the Executive Team led by President Bacon and by
exercising oversight over the finances of the University. Our prudent oversight allowed Carleton to build a new Health Sciences Building, a new home for the Business School and additional space for Engineering students. Our financial stewardship also makes Carleton well-positioned to weather the COVID-19 storm.

Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples – In my very first meeting as Chair with President Bacon, I raised the issue of reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples. Over the course of the past two years a consultation process has engaged and inspired our community. I am very proud to receive the report of the Carleton University Strategic Indigenous Initiatives Committee.

Renewed Sexual Violence Policy – The board supported and approved a new Sexual
Violence Policy in order to ensure that the school remains a positive learning, working and living place. As part of that process, I participated, along with other members of the
Carleton community, in a Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Training workshop.

Over the course of the last few years, I have also had the privilege of establishing
scholarships and raising funds for the G. Stuart Adams Graduate Scholarship for the School of Journalism, the Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy Scholarship at the
Norman Patterson School of International Affairs, and the Indigenous Enriched Support Program School Mentoring Fund.

Volunteering alongside your Board of Governors and working with President Bacon has been a great experience. To Benoit, his team, and all members of the board, thank-you for your continued dedication to Carleton, especially throughout the current pandemic. It is clearer now more than ever that Carleton is in good hands, and is ready to face whatever challenges the future may bring.

It has been an honour to serve as your Board Chair over the last two years, and I am
looking forward to continue to serve on the Carleton Board of Governors in my new role as Past Chair.

Sincerely,

Nik Nanos
Chair, Board of Governors