Institutional & Academic Governance

One important distinction setting UBC apart from many other organizations is the division of governance roles and responsibilities in a university.

The Board of Governors operates within a governance framework of:

  1.  the provincial legislative context;
  2.  the University as an integrated institution including the Senates (Okanagan, Vancouver and the Council of Senates); and,
  3.  the University Administration.

The University Act provides for Board interaction with UBC’s Senates in a number of areas; the traditional bicameral system of both a board and senate is refined in modern universities under legislated roles which separate business activities from the academic integrity of the institution.

The role of the Board of Governors and the Senates is to:

  • provide strategic oversight (to be informed about, but not supervise or direct the day-to-day activities, risks and successes of the organization);
  • set overall vision and strategic direction; and,
  • periodically assess operational status relative to that direction.

The Board of Governors is responsible for the business of the University – its administration, finances, operations, assets and place in the community – and the integrity of such.

The Senates have a more focused responsibility for the academic integrity of the University, subject to the Board’s involvement where academic matters interface with matters of business and the larger community.

University Administration

The third component of the governance framework is the the University Administration:  Executive officers and management, including the President, senior administrative officers and associated systems.

The Board of Governors supervises the management of the University by delegating to the Administration certain of its authorities, including spending authorizations, and by reserving certain powers to itself.

The Administration is responsible for the general supervision and direction of the business and academic work of the University, in accordance with, and to effectively implement, the strategic framework and oversight directions of the Board of Governors and the Senates.

The execution of UBC policies (as approved by the Board of Governors) is monitored by the Board through a variety of formal and informal reports from the Administration on the affairs of the institution.