STLHE Board Meeting – February 19, 2016

Executive Summary

Approved: March 18, 2016

The STLHE Board meet for its biannual face-to-face meeting at the St. Clair Center for the Arts in Windsor, Ontario following the EDC conference. (The Board has two face-to-face meetings each year at the Annual Conference in June and the EDC conference in February.) The agenda for the full day meeting included: Reports from the Educational Developers Caucus and 3M Council of National Teaching Fellows, meeting compliance requirements with Industry Canada, discussions on the structure and operational relationship between the STLHE Board and Executive Committee, the STLHE 2016 Budget, 3M awards, the resignation of the Awards Chair, policies, and the update and revitalization of the STLHE website.

After a brief opening exercise the first items on the agenda were Educational Developers Caucus and the 3M Council Reports. Deb Dawson, Chair EDC, informed the Board that the EDC conference prior to our meeting had been a tremendous success with over 150 participants. The EDC Institute at York University last April was also well attended and included online professional development webinars. The Educational Developers Portfolio was published this year and the caucus is starting work on a made-in-Canada program accreditation process. The EDC living plan is working well and has begun to evolve to include new themes surrounding indigenous issues in post-secondary education. Deb also took a moment to reflect on her past four years and how fulfilling and enjoyable it has been. Esther Enns, Chair 3M Council, presented the 3M Council Report and provided an update on the Council’s focus on Educational Leadership and the role that 3M Fellows have. The first SoLE grant was awarded and the grant program has received continued funding for the next three years. The Council continues to manage the 3M Awards and over the past year has worked on the new nomination call that includes applicants from all post-secondary institutions. In preparation for the 30th anniversary of the award the Council has published the profiles of all 3M Fellows on its web site and created a Speakers list of Fellows.

STLHE as a non-profit corporation faces a number of challenges concerning its good standing with Industry Canada. This, in part, arises from compliance requirements of the new Canada Not-for-profit Act and unfiled documentation going back a number of years. The Board authorized engaging a lawyer familiar with the legislation to bring the Society into full compliance with Act and Industry Canada.

For the last year and a half the Executive Committee and Board have been meeting each month; the Executive meeting the week before the Board. This is very different from when the Executive and Board met in alternating months and the Board consists of 18 directors. With a smaller Board, only 16 members, and more frequent meetings questions were raised on how decisions and information should flow between the two groups. The old model where the Executive discussed and often made decisions that the Board only ratified left Board members feeling alienated. Highlights of the discussion was a proposal where a Board carries out study and discussion and the Executive Committee enables the action required from the discussion. Another is where the Board directs the action of the Executive and only meets to be updated on the decisions been made by the Executive. These are two extremes and the Board will continue its discussions. A potential problem with the current structure is that our by-laws state that Constituency Chairs are ex officio members of the Executive Committee. If we create new constituencies the Executive grows with representation of subsets of the STLHE membership. The current executive includes 6 of the 12 Board members and the high proportion in the overlap between the two was questioned. It was agreed that Constituency Chairs should be removed from the Executive and be only members of the Board.

Bob Sproule, Treasurer, presented, and the Board approved, the 2016 Budget for the Society. This is a landmark for the Society because, for the first time a full budget, including Awards, has been prepared at the start of a new fiscal year and well in advance of the Annual General Meeting. The surplus from the annual conference is split equally between the hosts and the Society. Simon Fraser and UBC have designated their share of the surplus (half of $27,000) for student bursaries to attend the annual STLHE Conference. The STLHE Board agreed to do the same and a restricted fund, The Student Bursary and Support Fund, will be created. An advisory group will be assembled to provide guide lines for its use.

After a year of work the Robert Lapp, President, announced to the members inclusion of all college sector instructors in the 3M National Teaching Fellowship. The 3MNTF coordinator has completed consultations on the modification of the call for nominations to include the entire sector. With work complete, the Board unanimously passed a motion to include the college sector in the 3M National Teaching Fellowship and end the College Sector Educator Award. Work is continuing to increase the inclusivity of the 3M National Student Fellowship by altering the current requirement that nominees have been more than one year into their program and not in the last – this eliminates students in two year programs.

After two years Andrea Han, Awards Chair, has stepped aside because of increasing responsibilities at UBC. In her resignation the Chair raised questions for the Board to consider including is there is a need for an Awards Chair, especially with overlapping responsibilities of different Board members. In its discussions the Board feels that the position is essential, but there needs to be clarification of roles and responsibilities. A new Awards Chairs will be appointed to fill the remaining two years of the term and the Board asked the Executive Committee to suggest potential replacements. The outgoing Chair also suggested that the Society consider an Educational Developers Award and Denise Stockley, Vice-president, and Deb provided background on EDC’s work on the creation of this type of award.

The Board continued its work on creating Policies to accompany the new by-laws approved by the membership at the Annual General Meeting in Vancouver. Policy 4 – Executive Committee, Policy 5 – Board of Directors were approved. Policy 6 – Affiliated groups includes the possibility for a Special Interest Group to become a Constituency (3a) and the requirements for this remain undefined. The Board approved the policy pending approval of the the requirements for the transition from SIG to constituency.

A year ago, at the Face-to-face meeting in Winnipeg, the Board proposed the College Sector SIG become a new constituency. As part of this proposed change The Chair of the SIG was appointed to the last year of the term for the Standing Committee for College Advocacy. The Board formalized this by changing its policy for the Standing Committee by making the Standing Committee Chair an ex officio position filled by the Chairperson of the College Sector Educators Community Special interest group. The Board received a request from SoTL Canada to return its Board representation which had been removed with the 2012 reorganization. By-laws allow the Board to create new Standing Committees and it created the Standing Committee for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Canada. The chair of the new Standing Committee is an ex officio appointment of the Chair of the SoTL Canada SIG. These changes will require approval of the membership at the Annual General meeting at the Conference in June.

At its June 15 Face-to-face in Kingston the Board approved funds for the revitalization of the website. There was concern expressed about the urgency of updating the site and meeting the requirements of the Society. The Board has requested a proposal by its next meeting.