University Governance Conference 2017


Meeting the Challenges of Openness, Accountability, and Democracy


March 3 – 4, 2017
Segal Building, SFU Downtown Campus, 500 Granville Street, Vancouver, BC
Presented by the Confederation of University Faculty Associations of BC 


Keynote Address: UBC President and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Santa J. Ono


University governance is an increasingly complex and contentious issue at Canadian universities. As institutions try to balance multiple priorities in a competitive environment, critical issues such as transparency, accountability, and democracy are putting many existing governance models under intense pressure.

Our sold-out, national conference provided a space for faculty, staff, university administrators, and government policymakers to address policy challenges and discuss best practices that could form the basis of more effective models of collegial governance.

Thank you to all the speakers and attendees for participating in the dynamic conversation!


Click on a speaker’s name to view their biography, and, in many cases, documents from their presentations.

Robert Chernomas is a professor of economics at the University of Manitoba. In 2016 Robert (with co-author Ian Hudson) published Economics in the 21st Century: A Critical Perspective, University of Toronto Press and the The Profit Doctrine: The Economists of the Neoliberal Era, Pluto Press. He has published in both the academic and popular literature with respect to heterodox macroeconomics, the history of economic thought, health care economics and the political economic determinants of health. He has lectured in Canada, the US, China, Africa and Europe and was a visiting professor at Johns Hopkins University and Bucknell University. He is currently a Board Member of the Council of Canadians and the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.  A former member of the CAUT’s Academic and Freedom Committee he has been the chief bargainer for the University of Manitoba Faculty Association seven times and on its bargaining team ten times.  He was president of UMFA and is currently the president of the Manitoba Organization of Faculty Associations.

Slides from Dr. Chernomas’ presentation

Dr. James Compton is President of the Canadian Association of University Teachers, and a former President of the University of Western Ontario Faculty Association. He is Associate Professor in the Faculty of Information & Media Studies at Western. His research interests lie in the areas of media spectacles, journalism, the political economy of communication, and digital labour.

Len Findlay is Distinguished University Professor, Director of the Humanities Research Unit and founding member of the Indigenous Humanities Group at the University of Saskatchewan, and Past President of Academy One (Arts and Humanities) of the Royal Society of Canada. He is also a Senior Fellow at the Centre for Free Expression at Ryerson University and a member of the Board of Directors of the Harry Crowe Foundation. Trained in nineteenth-century European elite and radical cultural theory and production, his more recent Canadianist work engages with the Indigenous/settler interface, historically and currently, the distinctiveness and endangerment of the humanities in Canada, and with connections between academic freedom and Canadian politics. He served for almost a decade on the Academic Freedom and Tenure Committee of the Canadian Association of University Teachers, including two terms as Chair, and he is currently Chair of the University of Saskatchewan Faculty Association.

Slides from Dr. Findlay’s Presentation

Professor Genevieve Fuji Johnson studies and teaches democratic theory, feminist political thought, theories related to sexuality and gender, interpretive approaches to policy analysis, and a range of current public policy issues. Dr. Johnson’s recent book (University of Toronto Press, 2015) Democratic Illusion: Deliberative Democracy in Canadian Public Policy, examines deliberative democratic processes in areas of public policy including social housing in Toronto, energy options in Nova Scotia, official languages in Nunavut, and nuclear waste management in Canada. This book is the winner of the 2016 BCPSA Weller Prize for Best Book by a BC Political Scientist. She is also author of Deliberative Democracy for the Future: The Case of Nuclear Waste Management in Canada (University of Toronto Press, 2008), which has been translated into Japanese (Shinsen Sha, 2011). She is co-editor (with Loralea Michaelis) of Political Responsibility Refocused: Thinking Justice after Iris Marion Young (University of Toronto Press, 2013), co-editor (with Darrin Durant) of Nuclear Waste Management in Canada: Critical Issues, Critical Perspectives (UBC Press, 2009), and co-editor (with Randy Enomoto) of Race, Racialization and Anti-Racism in Canada and Beyond (University of Toronto Press, 2007).

Slides from Dr. Fuji Johnson’s Presentation

Professor Nassif Ghoussoub obtained his Doctorat d’état in 1979 from the Université Pierre et Marie Curie in Paris, France. His present research interests are in non-linear analysis and partial differential equations. He is currently a Professor of Mathematics, a “Distinguished University Scholar”, and an elected member of the Board of Governors of the University of British Columbia for the period 2008-2013. He was the founding Director of PIMS (Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences) for the period 1996-2003, a co-founder of the MITACS Network of Centres of Excellence (Mathematics of Information Technology and Complex Systems) and a member of its Board of Directors for the periods 1998-2003 and 2008-16. He is also the founder of BIRS (Banff International Research Station) and has been its Scientific Director since 2004. In June 2011, he became the Scientific Director of the MPrime network of Centres of Excellence. He was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 1993, and was appointed Officer of the Order of Canada in December 2015.

Dr. Ghoussoub shares an expanded version of his talk on his blog here.

Neil Gold is an emeritus professor of law at the University of Windsor. He served as the Provost and Vice-President, Academic for eleven years and as Vice-President, International. Previously he served as Dean of Law, Dean of Student Affairs and Continuing Education and as Assistant to the Vice-President, Academic for Engineering in Windsor. At City University of Hong Kong Neil was the founding Head of Professional Legal Education and served as Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences. He was a founding faculty member of the UVic Faculty of Law in 1975 where he taught for a decade and served as the first director of its Learning and Teaching Centre.

Neil is also the field officer for Alberta and British Columbia on behalf of Faculty Bargaining Services, a project of the Canadian Association of University Business Officers (CAUBO). He works with all of BC’s universities and five universities in Alberta on matters related to labour relations and collective bargaining.

He is a past chair of the Ontario Council of Academic Vice-Presidents and chaired its Quality Assurance and Learning and Teaching Committees. He also chaired the Task Force established by the Council of Ontario Universities that prepared the framework for quality assurance for Ontario’s publicly assisted universities and recommended the establishment of the Ontario Universities Quality Assurance Council.

He has advised governments and other bodies on justice reform and professional education in Australia and New Zealand, England and Wales, South America (Argentina, Ecuador and Peru), Zimbabwe, and Singapore. He helped to establish a new law school in Hong Kong.

Neil is the recipient of the Law Society of Upper Canada Medal (LSM), the profession’s highest honour, for his contributions to the legal profession.

He has delivered papers and led workshops, seminars and professional development programs on many tens of occasions at home and abroad. He leads workshops and seminars on university governance, dispute resolution, conflict management, university leadership and management, and negotiation. Neil is active in the design and delivery of professional development programs for the leadership of universities.

Neil has researched, written and consulted on legal education, professional development and dispute resolution in Asia, the UK, the US, Australasia, South America and Africa. His writing has appeared in Canadian, American, British, Korean and Australasian publications. Reports that he was commissioned to write have influenced legal system and legal education reform in British Columbia, Hong Kong, Zimbabwe, New Zealand, Australia, Argentina, Ecuador, Peru and England and Wales. Over the past few years he has been called to speak on internationalization and has worked on large projects in Australia, New Zealand and Myanmar.

Slides from Prof. Gold’s Presentation

I am a professor of biology at Carleton University, who is cross-appointed in mathematics & statistics and interdisciplinary studies, as well as an instructor in indigenous studies. The core of my research is on the evolutionary theory of the origins of sex and understanding what generates diversity (surprisingly, not sex), but also do a fair amount of natural history, wandering deserts looking at cacti and canoeing in wetter environs. I have long been an advocate for due process and academic freedom, but never thought much about university governance issues until becoming a faculty representative on Carleton’s board of governors in 2013 and our faculty association’s communications officer in 2016.

In 2013 I started blogging about open sessions of the BOG and was instructed to stop doing so. Given that these proceedings were open, I refused. Carleton subsequently developed a Code of Conduct statement that prospective governors had to sign which included a provision forbidding public discussion of any aspect of BOG business and thus undermine my ability to act as a representative of faculty on the Board –  the very basis for my being on the Board.  Such restrictions also infringe on the exercise of my academic freedom in the context of University community service. I refused to sign and was declared ineligible to be a candidate for re-election. CAUT recently took up my case and, at the November 2016 Council meeting, issued notice of censure against Carleton. CAUT legal counsel is also working with CUASA and their legal counsel in preparation for the upcoming arbitration to challenge my exclusion from the Board on these and other grounds.

Slides from Dr. Gorelick’s Presentation

Jacqueline Holler is an Associate Professor in the Department of History, and Coordinator of Women’s and Gender Studies Programs at the University of Northern British Columbia. She is a specialist in the history of the sixteenth-century Spanish world and colonial Mexico, and also has research interests in current gender issues. She served as Vice-President (2007—2009) and President (2009—2015) of the UNBC Faculty Association; she is also a member of the CAUT Executive Committee (2014—2017) and Co-Chair of the CAUT Equity Committee.
Jim Johnson currently holds an appointment as an Associate Professor of Economics at UBC, a position he has held since 2005. Previously he held academic appointments at Wilfrid Laurier University, McMaster University, the University of Saskatchewan, and Okanagan University College. He has extensive experience in bargaining, having served as chief negotiator for the UBC Faculty Association in the 2010, 2012, and 2014 rounds and having served as chief negotiator for the Okanagan University College Faculty Association for five years. Provincially, he has served on the BC Federation of Labour’s legislative and research committee and BC Ministry of Skills Training and Education’s Standing Committee on Evaluation and Accountability and Key Performance Indicators Working Group.

Slides from Dr. Johnson’s Presentation

Glen A. Jones is the Ontario Research Chair in Postsecondary Education Policy and Measurement, Professor of Higher Education and Dean of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto.

Glen’s research focuses on higher education policy, governance, academic work, and administration. He is a prolific contributor to the Canadian and international literature on higher education and a frequent public speaker and commentator on higher education issues. He was Chair of the Department of Theory and Policy Studies in Education at OISE from 1998-2001 and Associate Dean of OISE from 2003-2011. He received the Research Award from the Canadian Society for the Study of Higher Education in 2001, and their Distinguished Member Award in 2011.

Slides from Dr. Jones’ Presentation

Immanuel Lanzaderas is a new addition to CAUT’s staff complement as the Legal Officer.  He is originally from Toronto, and a graduate of Queen’s Law. He has years of litigation experience in labour, human rights, and criminal areas of law. He started at a boutique, union-side labour firm in Toronto, then moved to be criminal duty counsel for Legal Aid Ontario. He practices in English and French.  Immanuel is a founding member of the Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers, and sits on the board of the Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival, and the Canadian Training Institute.

Professor Santa Ono became the 15th President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of British Columbia on August 15, 2016. As a professor of medicine and biology, Professor Ono’s research encompasses the immune system, eye inflammation and age-related macular degeneration – a leading cause of blindness.

Before coming to UBC, Professor Ono was the president of the University of Cincinnati, becoming its first Asian-American president. Previously, he served as the University’s Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, and also held appointments at Emory University as the Senior Vice Provost and Deputy to the Provost. He was recently recognized by the American Council on Education with an award that honours individuals who have demonstrated leadership and commitment on a national level to the advancement of racial and ethnic minorities in higher education. Inside Higher Education also named him America’s most notable university president in 2015. Professor Ono works tirelessly to enhance the student experience, and is a strong advocate of student health and well-being.

Notes from Prof. Ono’s keynote address are available on his blog here.

Julie Schmid serves as the executive director of the American Association of University Professors, a position she has held since 2013. Before joining the AAUP staff, Schmid was chief of staff of AFT-Wisconsin, which represents higher education faculty as well as K–12 teachers and public employees throughout the state. She has worked for faculty unions around the country, including as coordinator for the Portland State University AAUP chapter and as an activist with COGS-UE Local 896, a union for graduate student employees at the University of Iowa, where Schmid earned her PhD. She served as a senior program officer in the AAUP’s Department of Organizing and Services from 2002 to 2008. Schmid is author of numerous publications on higher education and labor, and co-editor, along with Deborah Herman, of Cogs in the Classroom Factory: The Changing Identity of Academic Labor. Schmid’s presentation will focus on the current state of shared governance in universities around the U.S., as well as some thoughts on how shared governance, and higher education in general, will fare under a Trump administration.

Theresa Shanahan is a lawyer called to the Bar of Ontario in 1990 where she practiced law for several years before obtaining a PhD in education and entering the university. She is an associate professor and former associate dean in the Faculty of Education at York University and is a member of the Graduate Program in Public Policy, Administration and Law. Her research is broadly focused on education law and education policy (K-12 and postsecondary), legal education, professionalism and university governance and decision-making. She is co-editor of: The Handbook of Canadian Higher Education Law; The Development of Post-secondary Education Systems in Canada: A Comparison between British Columbia, Ontario and Québec; and Making Policy in Turbulent Times: Challenges and Prospects for Higher Education. Current research projects include: fiduciary duties of governing boards in Canadian publicly funded universities; teacher professionalism and professional self-governance; and risk management, student discipline and school safety in Canadian education. Among the university courses she has taught are: Foundations of Education, Human Rights and Education, Theory into Practice in Education, Inquiries into Schooling, Changing Currents in Postsecondary Education, Policy Issues in Postsecondary Education and the Sociology of Professional Education. She has also organized, co-chaired and presented at numerous education law conferences for professional organizations (for school boards, principals organizations, and lawyers).

Susan Srigley is Professor of Religions and Cultures at Nipissing University, North Bay, Ontario. Her area of research is religious ethics and literature and her publications have focused on the American novelist Flannery O’Connor. She teaches a variety of courses in religious studies and has emerging research and teaching interests in spiritual practice and end of life/palliative care. She is a palliative care volunteer and educational advocate for community hospice services. She is the President of the Nipissing University Faculty Association (NUFA) at Nipissing University and she’s been involved in grievance work with the Association since 2008.

Dr. Annette Trimbee assumed the role of President and Vice-Chancellor at The University of Winnipeg (UWinnipeg) on August 1, 2014.

UWinnipeg is located in downtown Winnipeg, on Treaty One land in the heart of the Métis Nation. UWinnipeg is a medium-sized university with approximately 10,000 full and part-time students. A key pillar of the university is a commitment to providing access to traditionally underrepresented groups, with one third of students identifying as Indigenous or immigrant/refugee status.

Key accomplishments include completing a university-wide strategic directions plan; developing an integrated academic and research plan; the introduction of a three-year budget strategy; and development and approval of the Indigenous Course Requirement for all undergraduate students, among the first in Canada.

In May 2016, Dr. Trimbee was appointed to the board of Manitoba Hydro where she will use her knowledge and expertise in water management and energy policy.

Previous to this role, she was a Deputy Minister of several departments in the Alberta government, including Finance and Treasury Board and Advanced Education and Technology.  Key accomplishments include Alberta Budget 2012 and 2013, the redesign of Alberta’s innovation system and creation of the Alberta Innovates Corporations, bringing Alberta post-secondary institutions together to plan and collaborate through Campus Alberta, and development of Alberta’s Health Policy Framework and Integrated Resource Management Policy Framework.
She holds a BSc from The University of Winnipeg, a MSc from the University of Manitoba and a PhD from McMaster University in Ecology and a Post-Doc in aquatic ecology from the University of Alberta.

Margot Young is Professor in the Allard School of Law at the University of British Columbia. After studying at the University of British Columbia, the University of Toronto, and the University of California, Berkeley, Professor Young began her teaching career at the Faculty of Law at the University of Victoria.  In 1992, she moved to the University of British Columbia.

Professor Young teaches in the areas of constitutional and social justice law. Professor Young’s research interests focus on equality law and theory, women’s economic equality, urban theory, and local housing politics and rights.  She is also working on the intersections between environmental justice, social justice, feminism, and human rights.  Professor Young was co-editor of the collection Poverty: Rights, Social Citizenship and Legal Activism and was recently co-Principal Investigator of the Housing Justice Project (HousingJustice.ca).  She is widely published in a variety of journals and edited books.

Professor Young is Director of the Social Justice Speciality at the law school and Chair of the Equity Committee.  Professor Young is on the UBC Senior Appointments Committee. Is Chair of the Ombuds Advisory Committee and is a member of both the Steering Committee on Sexual Assault and the Vice-Presidential Strategic Implementation Committee for Equity and Diversity.  Professor Young is in her third term as Chair of the university-wide Faculty Association Status of Women Committee.  She is a research associate with Green College, the Peter Wall Institute of Advanced Studies, and the Centre for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice at UBC.

Professor Young is Co-editor of the Law and Society Review and a member of the editorial or advisory boards of the Canadian Journal of Women and Law, the Review of Constitutional Studies,Studies in Housing Law and the Windsor Yearbook of Access to Justice.

Professor Young is active in a variety of professional and community organizations.  She sits on the boards for Justice for Girls, and the David Suzuki Foundation and is an advisor to the Binners’ Project.She is Research Associate with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives-BC Office and works with the BC CEDAW Group and the Feminist Alliance for International Action.

Professor Young is a frequent commentator in the media on a variety of issues to do with social justice and socio-economic rights issues.  Interviews include local, national, and international print, television, and radio coverage of key constitutional, equality, and civil liberties issues.

Younging is a member of Opsakwayak Cree Nation in Nothern Manitoba. He holds a Masters of Arts Degree from the Institute of Canadian Studies at Carleton University, a Masters of Publishing Degree from the Canadian Centre for Studies in Writing & Publishing at Simon Fraser University, and a Ph.D. from the Department of Educational Studies at University of British Columbia. He has worked for The Assembly Of First Nations, and The Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples. From 1990-2004 was the Managing Editor of Theytus Books. He is a former Member of the Canada Council Aboriginal Peoples Committee on the Arts (June 1997-June 2001) and the British Columbia Arts Council (July 1999-July 2001). He is the former Assistant Director of Research for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. He is currently Publisher at Theytus Books and on faculty at En’owkin Centre.


Conference Agenda



Download the full conference agenda


Conference presented by


with the generous support of our conference sponsors:

logo cafa media release-u14031         ocufa_10        CAUT-Logo       Black Gropper