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Here’s what you missed at the November BoG meeting

By Sarah Tomlinson and Heidi Lee

Ryerson has received over 10,000 responses on its renaming consultation survey, Ryerson president Mohamed Lachemi told the Board of Governors (BoG) at a meeting on Monday. 

The survey was launched on Nov. 16 as part of the university’s three-week community input period for the renaming of Ryerson and will be open until Dec. 7.

“The feedback shared during this engagement period will guide the process of developing a short list of potential names for the university,” said Lachemi. 

 Here are the other updates you missed at November’s BoG meeting: 

Campus Updates

Lachemi said the university is moving forward with a much “broader” reopening of campus in January, with the majority of classes being offered in person and “a number of policies and procedures in place to keep our community safe.”

“We are excited to have a more active campus and very happy to be welcoming our community back,” he said. 

The university had its virtual fall convocation for 2,456 graduating students, which was the largest number of graduates at a fall convocation according to Lachemi. 

Revision to Sexual Violence Policy 

Ryerson’s Sexual Violence Policy was revisited by the offices of the vice-president academic, the vice-president administration and operations, and the vice-president equity and community inclusion, according to Denise O’Neil Green, vice-president, equity and community inclusion.

Following a Sept. 16 announcement by the Ontario Ministry of Colleges and Universities, post-secondary institutions across the province are required to review their sexual violence policies and amend them by March 1, 2022. 

The first proposed amendment requires that any individual who reports or makes a complaint about sexual violence in “good faith” will not be subject to sanctions for violations of Ryerson’s policies relating to drug or alcohol use that may have occurred at the time of the alleged sexual violence.

For the second proposed amendment, Green said it asks survivors to not be questioned about their past history of sexual behaviour when reporting on an incident. 

“This is a procedure we already follow, but we are formalizing it within the policy,” said Green. 

Green said the goal is to have the policy review finalized by early 2022. 

Denise Green named inspirational diversity and inclusion leader for 2021 

At the meeting, ​Lachemi announced that Green was named one of the 100 inspirational diversity and inclusion leaders for 2021 by Diversity and Inclusion Leaders.

“Denise was appointed by Ryerson as the first VP for inclusion and diversity in the country for any given university,” he said. 

Lachemi said the Daphne Cockwell Health Sciences Complex was also awarded the Rick Hansen Accessibility Challenge Award from the Building Owners and Managers Association of Canada. 

“The award is a result of the 88 per cent rating that the Daphne Cockwell Science Complex received as the results of the Rick Hansen foundation audit and certification program for accessibility,” he said, adding that the Access Ryerson Built Environment Working Group also facilitated the audit and certification process.

Policy amendment  

A motion to convert the executive committee into the governance committee was passed. 

The executive committee’s role is to oversee board policies and ensure good governance practices while the governance committee is responsible for measuring the quality of the board’s performance. 

According to secretary Julia Shin Doi, the motion involves removing the power of the executive committee to make decisions on behalf of all of the board members. The motion was moved in light of the Not-for-Profit Corporations Act update, which came into effect last month. 

Further amendments should be expected, according to Doi. 

Ryerson Retirement Pension Plan amendment 

A motion to amend the Ryerson Retirement Pension Plan was passed. 

According to chair of the Employee Relations and Pensions Committee Andrew McKee, the amendment, which had to do with the equal monetary contributions of employers and members to the members’ pension plan, is necessary due to the amendments made to regulations under the Ontario Pension Benefits Act

Financial statements approved 

A motion to approve the audited financial statements for the second quarter of the year, which ended on Oct. 31, was passed. David Porter, chair of the finance committee, said the university is on track to meet the 2021-2022 budget, which was approved by the BoG in April 2021. 

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