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Board of Governors report – June 2019

Earlier this year, the Langara Board of Governors asked faculty, staff, and students about the work we do as Governors. The common theme among most of the respondents was that they didn’t really know what the Board did. Some identified the video screen outside the Board room and the breakfasts with Board members as good starts in understanding our role, but they wanted to know more.

Coming from your feedback, one of the Board goals this year is to reconsider a communications plan that was prepared a few years ago. We would like to develop some strategies to communicate more effectively with the Langara community.

One action we want to start right away is a report out after every Board meeting. Since the meetings, which are generally every two months, are the primary manner in which we do the business of the Board, that seems a logical place to start. So here is the first report of our Board meeting on Tuesday, June 18, 2019. A small caution: the official outcomes will be contained in the Minutes of the Board which will be considered and approved by the Board at its next meeting on September 26th.

Strategic Planning for 2021–2025: Presentation to the Board by City of Vancouver Planning Staff
A strategic plan is really more than a plan, it is a compass – a practical and adaptable tool to set our direction and focus our efforts towards our common goal of continuing to be Canada’s pathways college.

Although a strategic planning process is a collective effort involving everyone at the College, the successful completion of a plan is one of the most fundamental roles the Langara College Board has to complete. We have to ensure that a vision and mission inspires and focuses the College as it develops strategic goals and a five-year plan that will get us to the place we have all envisioned.

Although our current five year strategic plan (2016–2020) still has 18 months to go, a process for a new plan will need to start now.

One of the first places to start is for the Board and senior leadership to understand what has changed over this last five years both internally and externally and begin to consider the opportunities and challenges that will face us over the next five years and beyond. We will do this in a number of ways.

The Board will hear from the Langara community, external experts and consultants who will give us their thoughts on the strategic influences they believe we should consider over these next five years.

A good place to start is understanding what is happening in our neighbourhood, so we invited the City of Vancouver Planning staff to present both the Cambie Corridor (Oak to Ontario, King Edward to the Fraser River) and Punjabi market (49th and Main) plans. Over the next 30 years, the new Corridor plan will add:

  • More than double the population with over 30,000 new homes
  • Space for 9,200+ new jobs
  • 20+ acres of new parks
  • More than 5,000 secured rental units and 2,800 social housing units
  • A new Oakridge Municipal Town Centre
  • Four storey residential and commercial development on 49th avenue

This makes the Cambie Corridor the biggest growth area outside of Downtown.

2018/19 Financial Audit: Presentation by KPMG
Another important function of the Board is to ensure that the funds provided by students, government and various other funding and contract sources and the expenditure of those funds have been presented to the Board and government fairly and accurately.

The Board contracts with an independent third party audit firm (KPMG) to perform this function.

The Board received the audit findings this meeting and we were very pleased to see that this was a “clean” audit report with no concerns whatsoever. The Finance department deserves congratulations given that they are managing a $173M budget and are the lead in implementing the Finance Stream of the new Workday Enterprise Resource Planning System.

President’s Objectives – Year 6: Presentation by President Lane Trotter
You may be surprised to know that President Lane Trotter is the Board of Governor’s only employee. The Board hired him five years ago and every year we both ask him for the yearly objectives moving forward and we evaluate him based on the previous year’s objectives that we approved. Every three years we have a full 360-degree evaluation where we ask our many stakeholders to provide feedback on the President’s performance.

This year the Board approved the President’s Objectives for the coming year including;

  • Implementing the 2016/20 strategic plan and launch the development of the 2021/25 plan
  • Continue the rollout of Workday@Langara
  • Manage financial risk by ensuring diversification of International Education students, new revenue sources, and new collective agreements
  • Successful approval of new Campus master plan and progress on Building A replacement
  • Support Indigenisation of College in response to TRC and UNDRIP, with a review of the MMIWG report
  • Personal development in consultation with Board

People and Culture Employee and Student Annual Report to the Board: Presentation by Jane Mason, Vice-President, People and Culture
The Board received and discussed the themes, analysis and future needs identified in the report.

Specifically, grievances were observed to be minimal with no apparent trend. Relationships are positive and collaborative with the unions.

Human Rights complaints are small and in keeping with institutions of comparable size. Recent legislative changes will require a policy review and revision in 2019.

Respectful workplace concerns complaints seem to focus in the areas of incivility, lack of respect, and an inability to be flexible. The policy is being reviewed and rewritten with revamped training, a professional development series, Respect in the Workplace workshops and departmental reviews as required.

Ian Mass,
Board Chair, Langara College Board of Governors

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