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Policy Consultation – Proposed Amendment of Policy #93 (Closed Meetings of the Board of Governors)

The UBC community is invited to comment on proposed amendments to Policy #93 (Closed Meetings of the Board of Governors).

Policy #93 was initially approved by the Board of Governors (the “Board”) in November of 2008 and has not been updated since. The Board’s Governance Committee requested a comprehensive review of Policy #93 and the development of proposed amendments. The Office of the University Counsel convened a Policy Review Committee which has prepared a draft proposal that has taken into consideration input from various stakeholders, including comments received from the UBC community from September 23, 2016 to October 31, 2016, as well as input from governance consultants, WATSON Advisors.

In addition to amendments to Policy #93, two additional key documents have been developed: (1) Board Meeting Rules and Practices; and (2) Committee Meeting Rules and Practices. These additional documents provide comprehensive meeting rules, which were not previously set out in a Board or UBC policy. The new Policy #93 proposal and these two additional documents provide a comprehensive, clear set of criteria and guidelines to assist the Board and its committees in governing meetings in accordance with principles of transparency and accountability, while balancing the need to treat sensitive matters with appropriate levels of respect and confidentiality.

The new Policy #93 proposal articulates the Board’s commitment to generally conducting its business in open session and sets out guiding principles, criteria and a transparent process for determining open, closed and in-camera matters for Board and Board committee meetings.

The Policy #93 proposal also introduces process and accountability mechanisms, including the following:
• responsibility of the Chair of a meeting to determine items for open/closed/in-camera sessions;
• criteria and categories for open/closed/in-camera matters and requirements for corresponding references on meeting agendas; and
• process for Board Governors to raise and discuss the designation of items for open/closed/in-camera sessions.

The proposed amendments to Policy #93 are now being published and all members of the UBC community are encouraged to provide their comments. Please submit feedback to the Office of the University Counsel at university.counsel@ubc.ca by November 5, 2018.

For further information about this Policy proposal, please see the information package that was provided to the Board at https://bog3.sites.olt.ubc.ca/files/2018/09/4_2018.09_Policy-93-Open-Closed-and-In-Camera-Meetings-of-the-BoG.pdf.

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