This has been a very difficult year for Western. The issue of the President’s compensation and the move for votes of non-confidence at the university’s Senate in the spring deeply affected the community, including the members of the Board of Governors. As is so often the case when organizations face significant challenges, there is an opportunity to review governance policies and procedures and make them better. Over the course of this review, in addition to hearing criticisms and concerns, the Task Force heard a common refrain that we all need to work to make the university stronger. The Board is made up of dedicated individuals who believe in Western and share that interest. The members are committed to working with the Western community to address the concerns that have been raised about how governance is carried out at this institution and to develop practices and processes that will allow the Board and the many stakeholder groups that make up the university, to communicate with and understand each other better.
This report is only a first step. It outlines the concerns that were presented to the Task Force by members of the community and by members of the Board, and provides recommendations for moving forward. Some of those recommendations can be implemented relatively quickly; others will take time and effort. However, it is critical to persevere and to keep the conversation going.
The Task Force also recognizes that Senate is conducting its own review of governance. The Board looks forward to receiving their report and finding opportunities to work with Senate to improve governance at Western.