This is a great example of how the Board’s difficulties with governance, engagement, and decision-making go well beyond the Gupta Affair and are built into how they conduct themselves on other big issues too. Rather than performing their duties as a governing body in good faith, the Board has outsourced the whole thing to a private corporation, and that corporation has in turn hired consultants.
In a startling turn of events, this morning the Board of Governors managed to hold a meeting outside of their normal meeting cycle whose existence they did not try to deny or to cover up in any manner.
Last December, The Honourable Mr. Justice George Macintosh found that Greg Peet, through a company he controlled called Veracity Capital, participated in a scheme designed to avoid paying over $1M in BC provincial taxes. “This is a simple case of a tax not being paid anywhere which ought to have been paid somewhere,” Macintosh wrote.
In making the decision not to divest, it’s a pretty clear double standard being applied – the old paternalistic chestnut of “do as I say, not as I do”. This decision should hopefully make clear that the Board’s difficulties with governance, engagement, and decision-making go well beyond the Gupta Affair and are built into how they conduct themselves on other big issues too.
Yesterday, the BC Government appointed two new members to the UBC Board of Governors, Michael Korenberg and Beverlee Park. They also follow the appointments of Kevin Ross Smith and Sandra Cawley in December. The Board’s membership is once again at its full capacity of 21 members, including 11 appointed by the provincial government.
On February 12, 2016, Sandra Carroll was appointed to the Board of Governors of the College of New Caledonia, based in Prince George. It looked like a fairly mundane matter except for one thing – Sandra Carroll is the Deputy Minister of Advanced Education, working directly under Minister Wilkinson, in the same ministry that provides funding and oversight to institutions such as the College of New Caledonia.
This is by far the clearest picture anyone has had so far of the crisis leading up to the resignation. If the criticisms in John Montalbano’s letters to Gupta are to be believed, the rumors that Gupta was feared by his Executive team, facing mutiny from the Deans, and experiencing mounting distrust from the Board of Governors all seem to be true, with problems connecting to the Public Affairs department, and a weak staff in the presidential office to make matters worse.
The full report, after having gone through UBC’s severing process, arguably contains even less information than the executive summary which was released on October 15, 2015.
It turns out that the Board Resourcing and Development Office, the arm of the provincial government that makes appointments to provincial boards, is always accepting applications to be a UBC Governor. Anyone can apply! So, without further ado…
What a relief it is that the Board will finally be able to hear the perspective of another white, middle-aged, ultra-rich businessman, a voice that has so tragically been underrepresented at this Board table for far too long.