And so ends my first year in business helping universities and other organizations improve their governance.

The purpose of this blog is to thank you, my colleagues and clients, for your trust and support.  I am grateful for the privilege of working with all of you and for the opportunity to learn more about your universities and organizations as I support the work that you do.

When I wrote An Introduction to University Governance two years ago, I thought it was needed by the sector and as such, would also be helpful to the sector.  I did not anticipate the book would be embraced by so many and so quickly.  Just yesterday, I received a kind note from a board member saying “[j]ust finished your book – excellent reference for those of us new to the Board. Thank you for writing this important book”.

These kind comments make my day.  I continue to be grateful for the thoughtful feedback on the book and insightful comments received in the various forums in which I’ve participated.

As someone who is driven to and rewarded by having a positive impact, it is gratifying to know that the book has helped.  As at the end of this year, it has sold well over 1000 copies.

A Year of Discovery

When I wrote the book, I had vague notions of it supporting a future role in governance consulting. Again, I did not foresee how quickly those opportunities would materialize or how interesting and rewarding the work would be.  In the past year, I’ve had the good fortune to address hundreds of folks working in university governance through webinars and speaking engagements.

A highlight was being invited to speak to the Senate of Canada. I’ve also supported close to 20 universities, as well as municipal and health care organizations, and colleges.  These opportunities have been varied and interesting including work on sector governance standards, board and senate education and retreat sessions, governance reviews (full and part), labour relations and governance, committee structures, policy and policy framework, individual coaching, and even working with boards experiencing dysfunction.

Another client wrote to say “I wanted to write to let you know how different the last meeting of the [board] was from the one before … [board members are] making a deliberate effort to ask more strategic questions and to act as a team … It was very rewarding to see the change in their approach”. Another gratifying moment!

2023: Opportunities for Growth

In the New Year, I have many interesting projects on the go. In addition, I am very much looking forward to the launch of a micro credential on university governance which is in the final stages of approval at University of Manitoba’s Senate and, if approved, is scheduled to commence on February 24th as a twelve-week virtual offering.  I designed the course and will be leading it but I’m lining up senior colleagues from across the country to participate and to share their governance knowledge and wisdom in a bid to also promote mentorship and networking among university governance professionals across the country.

It’s an exciting time to be working in governance.  I look forward to continuing to contribute to a culture of strong and effective governance in universities and other non-profit organizations.

Have a safe, healthy, and happy holiday season!