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GSA Policy Registry

POLICY REGISTRY

ENDS

EXECUTIVE LIMITATIONS

EL-1

Global Executive Constraint

EL-2

Respect for Persons, Society, and the Environment

EL-3

Essential Services

EL-4

Fees

EL-5

Financial Planning/Budgeting

EL-6

Financial Condition and Activities

EL-7

Emergency President Succession

EL-8

Asset Protection

EL-9

Compensation and Benefits

EL-10

Communication and Support to the Board

EL-11

Communication and Support to the Council

EL-12

Communication and Support to the Membership

EL-13

Representation

GOVERNANCE PROCESS

GP-1

Board Job Description

GP-2

Directors’ Code of Conduct

GP-3

Governing Style

GP-4

Agenda Planning

GP-5

Chief Governance Officer’s (Chair’s) Role

GP-6

Board Secretary’s Role

GP-7

Board Committee Principles

GP-8

Council

GP-9

Cost of Governance

GP-10

President Term and Recruitment

GP-11

Executive Director Term and Recruitment

BOARD-MANAGEMENT DELEGATION

BM-1

Global Board-Management Delegation

BM-2

Unity of Control

BM-3

Accountability of the President

BM-4

Delegation to the President

BM-5

Monitoring President Performance


POLICY TYPE:

ENDS

POLICY TITLE:

Ends

This temporary list of ends shall prevail until such time as the Council supplies a new list and the Board approves it pursuant to the conditions laid out in GP1 – Board Job Description.

The Graduate Student Association – University of Waterloo exists to ensure that:

  • Every graduate student at the University of Waterloo has an overall positive social and academic experience.
  • Graduate students and their interests are represented and promoted in the university community.
  • Individual graduate students receive assistance with specific problems they face in the university community.
  • Graduate students at the University of Waterloo are in social, intellectual, and political contact.
  • Every graduate student at the University of Waterloo has good physical and mental health.

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POLICY TYPE:

EXECUTIVE LIMITATIONS

POLICY TITLE:

EL-1 GLOBAL EXECUTIVE CONSTRAINT

The President shall not cause or allow any organizational practice, activity, decision, or circumstance that is either unlawful, imprudent, or in violation of commonly accepted business, professional, or academic ethics and practices.


POLICY TYPE:

EXECUTIVE LIMITATIONS

POLICY TITLE:

EL-2 RESPECT FOR PERSONS, SOCIETY, AND THE ENVIRONMENT

With respect to the treatment of members, paid and volunteer staff, directors, councillors, and customers the President shall not cause or allow conditions that are unfair, inequitable, unsafe, undignified, disorganized, unclear, untimely, or unnecessarily intrusive.

With respect to all persons, the President will not:

  1. Elicit information for which there is no clear necessity.
  2. Use methods of collecting, reviewing, transmitting, or storing personal information that fail to ensure appropriate privacy and protect against improper access to the material.
    1. Fail to ensure that the organization complies with the Ontario Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.
  3. Fail to ensure accessibility and human rights.
    1. Fail to ensure that the organization complies with:

i.The Ontario Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act;

ii.The Ontario Human Rights Code.

  1. Fail to acquaint persons with the President’s interpretation of their protections under this policy.
  2. Fail to inform persons of this policy, or to provide effective ways to be heard, and appropriate remedies, for persons who believe they have not been accorded a reasonable interpretation of this policy.
  3. Fail to report to the board any complaints under this policy.

With respect to paid and volunteer staff, the President will not:

  1. Operate without written personnel rules that (a) clarify rules for staff (e.g. code of conduct), (b) provide for effective handling of grievances, (c) protect against wrongful conditions, such as workplace harassment, conflicts of interest, nepotism, and grossly preferential treatment for personal reasons, and (d) provide for progressive discipline.
  2. Fail to ensure safety and worker protections.
    1. Fail to ensure that the organization complies with:

i.The Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act;

ii.The Ontario Employment Standards Act.

  1. Retaliate or allow retaliation against any employee for non-disruptive expression of dissent.
  2. Allow staff to be unprepared to deal with emergency situations.

With respect to members, the President will not:

  1. Fail to familiarize members with the services offered by the organization.
  2. Fail to establish with members a clear understanding of what may be expected and what may not be expected from the service offered.

With respect to the treatment of society and the environment, the President will not:

  1. Cause or allow capital to be invested in any asset without screening for the triple bottom line (social, environmental, and financial).
  2. Cause or allow capital to be invested in tobacco, gambling, defence/weapons, or fossil fuels.
  3. Fail to mitigate production by the organization of wastes that are harmful to society and the environment.
  4. Fail to comply with the University of Waterloo’s Campus Sustainability policies and strategies.

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POLICY TYPE:

EXECUTIVE LIMITATIONS

POLICY TITLE:

EL-3 ESSENTIAL SERVICES

The President shall not cause or allow the organization to fail to provide any of the following services:

  1. A supplementary health benefits plan.
  2. A supplementary dental benefits plan.
  3. A Grand River Transit bus pass.
  4. A social club, titled “The Graduate House”.

The President will not

  1. Alter the structure, functions, or cost of any essential service without prior board approval.

POLICY TYPE:

EXECUTIVE LIMITATIONS

POLICY TITLE:

EL-4 FEES

The President will not cause or allow the organization to fail to charge to members any of the following termly fees:

  1. An association membership fee.
  2. A supplementary health benefits plan fee, provided that a member may opt out if they supply adequate proof of equivalent coverage during the change-of-coverage period.
  3. A supplementary dental benefits plan fee, provided that a member may opt out if they so request during the change-of-coverage period.
  4. A Grand River Transit bus pass fee.
  5. A social club fee.

The President will not

  1. Cause or allow graduate students to be subjected to new fees or to increases in fees, whether administered by the organization or by any other party, without prior approval by the Board and consultation with the Council. Proposed fees and fee increases must be explained and justified to the Board and the Council in plain language.

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POLICY TYPE:

EXECUTIVE LIMITATIONS

POLICY TITLE:

EL-5 FINANCIAL PLANNING/BUDGETING

The President shall not cause or allow financial planning for any fiscal year or the remaining part of any fiscal year to deviate materially from the Ends priorities, risk financial jeopardy, or fail to be derived from a multiyear plan.

The President will not allow budgeting to

  1. Risk incurring those situations or conditions described as unacceptable in the board policy “Financial Condition and Activities.”
  2. Omit credible projection of revenues and expenses, separation of capital and operational items, cash flow, and disclosure of planning assumptions.
  3. Provide less for board and council prerogatives during the year than is set forth in the Cost of Governance policy.

POLICY TYPE:

EXECUTIVE LIMITATIONS

POLICY TITLE:

EL-6 FINANCIAL CONDITION AND ACTIVITIES

With respect to the actual, ongoing financial condition and activities, the President shall not cause or allow the development of financial jeopardy or material deviation of actual expenditures from priorities established in Ends policies.

The President will not

  1. Expend more funds than have been received in the fiscal year to date unless the Board’s debt guideline (below) is met.
  2. Incur debt in an amount greater than can be repaid by certain and otherwise unencumbered revenues within sixty days.
  3. Use any long-term reserves, such as the internal health reserve or contingency reserves.
  4. Conduct interfund shifting amounts greater than can be restored to a condition of discrete fund balances by certain and otherwise unencumbered revenues within thirty days.
  5. Fail to settle payroll and debts in a timely manner.
  6. Allow tax payments or other government ordered payments or filings to be overdue or inaccurately filed.
  7. Make a single purchase or commitment of greater than $10,000. Splitting orders to avoid this limit is not acceptable.
  8. Acquire, encumber, or dispose of real estate.
  9. Fail to aggressively pursue receivables after a reasonable grace period.

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POLICY TYPE:

EXECUTIVE LIMITATIONS

POLICY TITLE:

EL-7 EMERGENCY President SUCCESSION

In order to protect the Board and the Council from sudden loss of President services, the President shall not permit there to be fewer than one other senior employee sufficiently familiar with board, council, and President issues and processes to enable them to take over with reasonable proficiency as an interim successor.


POLICY TYPE:

EXECUTIVE LIMITATIONS

POLICY TITLE:

EL-8 ASSET PROTECTION

The President shall not cause or allow corporate assets to be unprotected, inadequately maintained, or unnecessarily risked.

The President will not

  1. Fail to insure adequately against theft and casualty and against liability losses to directors, councillors, staff, and the organization itself.
  2. Allow unbonded personnel access to material amounts of funds.
  3. Subject facilities and equipment to improper wear and tear or insufficient maintenance.
  4. Unnecessarily expose the organization, its board, its council, or staff to claims of liability.
  5. Make any purchase: (a) wherein normally prudent protection has not been given against conflict of interest; (b) of more than $2,500 without having obtained comparative prices and quality from different sources; (c) of more than $5,000 without a stringent method of assuring the balance of long-term quality and cost. Orders shall not be split to avoid these criteria.
  6. Fail to protect intellectual property, information, and files from loss or significant damage.
  7. Receive, process, or disburse funds under controls that are insufficient to meet the board-appointed auditor’s standards.
  8. Compromise the independence of the Board’s audit or other external monitoring or advice, such as by engaging parties already chosen by the Board as consultants or advisers.
  9. Invest or hold operating capital in insecure instruments, including uninsured checking accounts and bonds of less than AA rating at any time, or in non-interest-bearing accounts except where necessary to facilitate ease in operational transactions.
  10. Endanger the organization’s public image, credibility, or its ability to accomplish Ends.
  11. Change the organization’s name or substantially alter its identity in the community.
  12. Create or purchase any subsidiary corporation.

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POLICY TYPE:

EXECUTIVE LIMITATIONS

POLICY TITLE:

EL-9 COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS

With respect to employment, compensation, and benefits to employees, consultants, contract workers, and volunteers, the President shall not cause or allow jeopardy to financial integrity, morale, or livelihoods.

The President will not

  1. Change the President’s own compensation and benefits, except as those benefits are consistent with a package for all other employees.
  2. Promise or imply permanent or guaranteed employment.
  3. Operate without a written pay scale that (a) matches compensation with levels of skill, authority and accountability, and seniority (b) limits income inequality, such that the highest wage is no more than four times the lowest wage, and (c) prevents poverty, such that the lowest wage is at least the current Waterloo living wage.
  4. Create obligations over a longer term than revenues can be safely projected, in no event longer than one year and in all events subject to losses in revenue.
  5. Establish or change retirement benefits so as to cause unpredictable or inequitable situations, including those that:
    1. Incur unfunded liabilities.
    2. Provide less than some basic level of benefits to all full-time employees, though differential benefits to encourage longevity are not prohibited.
    3. Allow any employee to lose benefits already accrued from any foregoing plan.
    4. Treat the President differently from other employees.
  6. Establish a pension plan.

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POLICY TYPE:

EXECUTIVE LIMITATIONS

POLICY TITLE:

EL-10 COMMUNICATION AND SUPPORT TO THE BOARD

The President shall not cause or allow the Board to be uninformed or unsupported in its work.

The President will not

  1. Neglect to submit monitoring data required by the Board in the Board-Management Delegation policy “Monitoring President Performance” in a timely, accurate, and understandable fashion, directly addressing provisions of board policies being monitored, and including President interpretations consistent with the Board-Management Delegation Policy “Delegation to the President”, as well as relevant data.
  2. Allow the Board to be unaware of any actual or anticipated noncompliance with any Ends or Executive Limitations policy of the Board regardless of the Board’s monitoring schedule.
  3. Allow the Board to be without decision information required periodically by the Board or let the Board be unaware of relevant trends.
  4. Let the Board be unaware of any significant incidental information it requires including anticipated media coverage, threatened or pending lawsuits, and material internal and external changes.
  5. Allow the Board to be unaware that, in the President’s opinion, the Board is not in compliance with its own policies on Governance Process and Board-Management Delegation, particularly in the case of Board behaviour that is detrimental to the work relationship between the Board and the President.
  6. Present information in unnecessarily complex or lengthy form or in a form that fails to differentiate among information of three types: monitoring, decision preparation, and other (e.g. things of potential interest).
  7. Allow the Board to be without a workable mechanism for official board, officer, or committee communications, internally and externally.
  8. Deal with the Board in a way that favours or privileges certain directors over others, except when (a) fulfilling individual requests for information or (b) responding to officers or committees duly charged by the Board.
  9. Fail to submit to the Board a consent agenda containing items delegated to the President yet required by law, regulation, or contract to be board-approved, along with applicable monitoring information.

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POLICY TYPE:

EXECUTIVE LIMITATIONS

POLICY TITLE:

EL-11 COMMUNICATION AND SUPPORT TO THE COUNCIL

The President shall not cause or allow the Council to be uninformed or unsupported in its work.

The President will not

  1. Fail to keep the Council apprised of the organization’s current progress towards accomplishing Ends and addressing near-term student needs.
  2. Fail to consult the Council with respect to organizational strategies for accomplishing Ends and addressing near-term student needs.
  3. Fail to keep the Council apprised of the organization’s compliance with Council’s political positions.
  4. Allow the Council to be without decision information required periodically by the Council or let the Council be unaware of relevant trends.
  5. Let the Council be unaware of any significant incidental information it requires.
  6. Present information in unnecessarily complex or lengthy form or in a form that fails to differentiate among information of four types: Ends, near-term student needs, organizational strategies, and representation of political positions.
  7. Allow the Council to be without a workable mechanism for official Council communications, internally and externally.
  8. Deal with the Council in a way that favours or privileges certain councillors over others, except when fulfilling individual requests for information.
  9. Fail to support the Speaker with annual elections and by-elections.
  10. Deal with candidates for councillorship in a way that favours or privileges certain candidates over others, except when fulfilling individual requests for information.

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POLICY TYPE:

EXECUTIVE LIMITATIONS

POLICY TITLE:

EL-12 COMMUNICATION AND SUPPORT TO THE MEMBERSHIP

The President shall not cause or allow the membership to be uninformed or unsupported in making decisions through general meetings or referenda.

The President will not:

  1. Cause or allow the membership to be without decision information – such as analysis of alternatives, costs projections, trade-offs, opportunity costs, risks, and uncertainties – or let the membership be unaware of relevant trends.
  2. Cause or allow the membership to be unaware of any significant incidental information it requires.
  3. Cause or allow information to be presented in unnecessarily complex or lengthy form.
  4. Deal with the membership in a way that favours or privileges certain members over others, except when fulfilling individual requests for information.
  5. Deal with candidates for directorship in a way that favours or privileges certain candidates over others, except when fulfilling individual requests for information.
  6. Fail to use multiple means of communicating information so that all graduate students have ample opportunities to be informed and supported. 

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POLICY TYPE:

EXECUTIVE LIMITATIONS

POLICY TITLE:

EL-13 REPRESENTATION

The President will not:

  1. Fail to ensure that members are appointed as required to represent the organization to external governing, advocacy, and advisory bodies.
  2. Fail to ensure that representatives are properly oriented, supervised and instructed, supported, and regularly debriefed.
  3. Fail to ensure that representatives who perform improperly or inadequately are corrected or, if necessary, removed and replaced.
  4. Fail to keep the Board and the Council apprised of the organization’s representation.
  5. Cause or allow the organization, or any of its representatives, to act contrary to its policies or political positions, or reduce its operational flexibility.

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POLICY TYPE:

GOVERNANCE PROCESS

POLICY TITLE:

GP-1 BOARD JOB DESCRIPTION

The purpose of the Board, on behalf of the graduate students at the University of Waterloo, is to ensure that the Graduate Student Association – University of Waterloo (a) achieves appropriate results for appropriate persons at appropriate cost (as specified in Ends policies), and (b) avoids unacceptable actions and situations (as prohibited in Executive Limitations policies).

Specific job outputs of the Board, as an informed agent of the membership, are those that ensure appropriate organizational performance.

Accordingly, the Board will provide

  1. Authoritative linkage between the membership and the operational organization.
  2. Written governing policies that realistically address the broadest levels of all organizational decisions and situations.
    1. Ends: Organizational impacts, benefits, outcomes; recipients, beneficiaries, impacted groups; and their relative worth in cost or priority.

i.The Council will recommend Ends and changes to Ends.

ii.The Board will approve Ends and changes to Ends recommended by the Council, provided that they:

  1. Are consistent with the organization’s Articles of Incorporation;
  2. Are clearly written; and,
  3. Do not expose the organization to unreasonable risks.

iii.The Board will reject Ends or changes to Ends that fail to satisfy any of these conditions.

  1. The Board will provide the Council with a decision letter that explains why a proposed End or proposed change to an End was rejected, and, if appropriate, how the proposal can be revised to receive Board approval.
  2. Executive Limitations: Constraints on executive authority that establish the prudence and ethics boundaries within which all executive activity and decisions must take place.
  3. Governance Process: Specification of how the Board conceives, carries out, and monitors its own and other bodies’ tasks, i.e. the council and unit associations.
  4. Board-Management Delegation: How power is delegated and its proper use monitored; the President role, authority, and accountability.

3.Assurance of successful organizational performance on Ends and Executive Limitations.

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POLICY TYPE:

GOVERNANCE PROCESS

POLICY TITLE:

GP-2 DIRECTORS’ CODE OF CONDUCT

The Board commits itself and its directors to ethical, businesslike, and lawful conduct, including proper use of authority and appropriate decorum when acting as directors.

  1. Directors must have loyalty to the membership, unconflicted by loyalties to staff, other organizations, and any personal interest as a consumer.
  2. Directors must avoid conflict of interest with respect to their fiduciary responsibility.
    1. There will be no self-dealing or business by a director with the organization. Directors will annually disclose their involvements with other organizations, with vendors, or any associations that might be or might reasonably be seen as being a conflict.
    2. When the Board is to decide upon an issue about which a director has an unavoidable conflict of interest, that director shall withdraw without comment not only from the vote but also from the deliberation.
    3. Directors will not use their board position to obtain employment in the organization for themselves, relatives, or close associates. A director who applies for employment must first resign from the Board.
  3. Directors may not attempt to exercise individual authority over the organization.
    1. Directors’ interactions with the President or with staff must recognize the lack of authority vested in individuals except when explicitly board-authorized.
    2. Directors’ interactions with the public, press, or other entities must recognize the same limitation and the inability of any director to speak for the Board except to repeat explicitly stated board decisions.
    3. Except for participation in board deliberation about whether the President has achieved any reasonable interpretation of board policy, directors will not express individual judgments of performance of employees or the President.
  4. Directors will respect the confidentiality appropriate to issues of a sensitive nature.
  5. Directors will be properly prepared for board deliberation.
  6. Directors will support the legitimacy and authority of the final determination of the Board on any matter, irrespective of the director’s position on the issue.

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POLICY TYPE:

GOVERNANCE PROCESS

POLICY TITLE:

GP-3 GOVERNING STYLE

The Board will govern lawfully, observing the principles of the Policy Governance model, with an emphasis on (a) outward vision rather than an internal preoccupation, (b) encouragement of diversity in viewpoints, (c) strategic leadership more than administrative detail, (d) clear distinction of board and chief executive roles, (e) collective rather than individual decisions, (f) future rather than past or present, and (g) proactivity rather than reactivity.

Accordingly,

  1. The Board will cultivate a sense of group responsibility. The Board, not the staff, will be responsible for ensuring that the Board governs with excellence. The Board will be the initiator of policy, not merely a reactor to staff initiatives. The Board will not use the expertise of individual directors to substitute for the judgment of the Board, although the expertise of individual directors may be used to enhance the understanding of the Board as a body.
  2. The Board will direct, control, and inspire the organization through the careful establishment of broad written policies reflecting the Board’s values and perspectives. The Board’s major policy focus will be on the intended long-term impacts outside the staff organization, not on the administrative or programmatic means of attaining those effects.
  3. The Board will enforce upon itself whatever discipline is needed to govern with excellence. Discipline will apply to matters such as attendance, preparation for meetings, policy-making principles, respect of roles, and ensuring the continuance of governance capability. Although the Board can change its governance process policies at any time, it will scrupulously observe those currently in force.
  4. Continual board development will include orientation of new directors in the Board’s governance process and periodic board discussion of process improvement.
  5. The Board will allow no officer, individual, or committee of the Board to hinder or be an excuse for not fulfilling group obligations.
  6. The Board will monitor and discuss the Board’s process and performance at each meeting. Self-monitoring will include comparison of board activity and discipline to policies in the Governance Process and Board-Management Delegation categories.
  7. Where these policies are silent, the Board will govern itself according to the latest published edition of Roberts Rules of Order Newly Revised.

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POLICY TYPE:

GOVERNANCE PROCESS

POLICY TITLE:

GP-4 AGENDA PLANNING

To accomplish its job products with a governance style consistent with board policies, the Board will follow an annual agenda.

  1. The cycle will conclude each year on the last day of April so that administrative planning and budgeting can be based on accomplishing a one-year segment of the organization’s most recent statement of long-term Ends.
  2. The cycle will start with the Board’s development of its agenda for the next year.
  3. The Board will review the annual agenda at the start of each term, in order to consider modifications.

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POLICY TYPE:

GOVERNANCE PROCESS

POLICY TITLE:

GP-5 CHIEF GOVERNANCE OFFICER’S (Chair’s) ROLE

The chief governance officer (CGO), or “Chair”, a specially empowered director, assures the integrity of the Board’s process and, secondarily, occasionally represents the Board to outside parties.

  1. The assigned result of the CGO’s job is that the Board behaves consistently with its own rules and those legitimately imposed upon it from outside the organization.
    1. Meeting discussion content will be only those issues which, according to board policy, clearly belong to the Board to decide or to monitor.
    2. Information that is for neither monitoring performance nor board decisions will be avoided or minimized and always noted as such.
    3. Deliberation will be fair, open, and thorough, but also timely, orderly, and kept to the point.
  2. The authority of the CGO consists in making decisions that fall within topics covered by board policies on Governance Process and Board-Management Delegation, with the exception of (a) employment or termination of a President and (b) where the Board specifically delegates portions of this authority to others. The CGO is authorized to use any reasonable interpretation of the provisions in these policies.
    1. The CGO is empowered to chair board meetings with all the commonly accepted power of that position, such as ruling and recognizing.
    2. The CGO has no authority to make decisions about policies created by the Board within Ends and Executive Limitations policy areas. Therefore, the CGO has no authority to supervise or direct the President.
    3. The CGO may represent the Board to outside parties in announcing board-stated positions and in stating CGO decisions and interpretations within the area delegated to that role.
    4. The CGO may delegate this authority, but remains accountable for its use.
  3. In order to protect the Board from sudden loss of CGO services, the Board shall appoint a director to serve as Deputy CGO (“Vice Chair”) who will keep sufficiently familiar with Board issues, processes, and policies to enable them to take over with reasonable proficiency as an interim successor.

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POLICY TYPE:

GOVERNANCE PROCESS

POLICY TITLE:

GP-6 BOARD SECRETARY’S ROLE

The Board Secretary is an officer of the Board whose purpose is to ensure the integrity of the Board’s documents.

  1. The assigned result of the secretary’s job is to see to it that all board documents and filings are accurate and timely.
    1. Policies will be current in their reflection of board decisions.
    2. Decisions upon which no subsequent decisions are to be based, such as consent agenda decisions, motions to adjourn, and staff or director recognitions need not be placed in the Minutes.
    3. Policies will rigorously follow Policy Governance principles.
    4. Bylaws elements necessary for legal compliance and for consistency with the principles of Policy Governance will be known to the Board.
    5. Requirements for format, brevity, and accuracy of board minutes will be known to the Secretary.
  2. The authority of the secretary is access to and control over board documents, and the use of staff time not to exceed 100 hours per year.

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POLICY TYPE:

GOVERNANCE PROCESS

POLICY TITLE:

GP-7 BOARD COMMITTEE PRINCIPLES

Board committees, when used, will be assigned so as to reinforce the wholeness of the Board’s job and so as never to interfere with delegation from board to President.

  1. Board committees are to help the Board do its job, not to help or advise the staff. Committees ordinarily will assist the Board by preparing policy alternatives and implications for board deliberation. In keeping with the Board’s broader focus, board committees will normally not have direct dealings with current staff operations.
  2. Board committees may not speak or act for the Board except when formally given such authority for specific and time-limited purposes. Expectations and authority will be carefully stated in order not to conflict with authority delegated to the President.
  3. Board committees cannot exercise authority over staff. The President works for the full board, and will therefore not be required to obtain approval of a board committee before an executive action.
  4. Board committees are to avoid over-identification with organizational parts rather than the whole. Therefore, a board committee that has helped the Board create policy on some topic will not be used to monitor organizational performance on that same subject.
  5. Committees will be used sparingly and ordinarily in an ad hoc capacity.
  6. This policy applies to any group that is formed by board action, whether or not it is called a committee and regardless of whether the group includes directors. It does not apply to committees formed under the authority of the President.

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POLICY TYPE:

GOVERNANCE PROCESS

POLICY TITLE:

GP-8 COUNCIL

The purpose of the Council, on behalf of the graduate students at the University of Waterloo, is to (a) elaborate on the corporate objects of the Graduate Student Association – University of Waterloo by recommending to the Board a relevant list of Ends, (b) bring to the President’s attention near-term student needs, (c) advise the President on organizational strategies to accomplish Ends and address near-term student needs, (d) serve as a forum for the political views of graduate students, and (e) declare political positions on behalf of graduate students.

  1. The Council will consist of one graduate student elected by and from each department, and one graduate student elected by and from each program not housed in a department. The Speaker will facilitate elections and by-elections.
    1. The Speaker will not deal with candidates for councillorship in a way that favours or privileges certain candidates over others, except when fulfilling individual requests for information.
    2. The process for elections and by-elections will be determined jointly by the Board and the Council, and will be appended to this policy.
  1. The Council will be chaired by a member elected annually by the Council and titled “Speaker”. The Speaker is empowered to preside over the Council meetings with all the commonly accepted power of that position, such as ruling and recognizing.
  1. The Speaker assures the integrity of the Council process.
    1. Meeting discussion content will be only those issues that clearly pertain to the Council’s purpose.
    2. Information that is outside the Council’s purpose will be avoided or minimized and always noted as such.
    3. Deliberation will be fair, open, and thorough, but also timely, orderly, and kept to the point.
  1. The Council will appoint a Secretary to ensure the integrity of the Council’s documents.
  1. In order to protect the Council from sudden loss of Speaker services, the Council shall appoint a councillor to serve as Deputy Speaker who will keep sufficiently familiar with Council issues, processes, and policy to enable them to take over with reasonable proficiency as an interim successor.
  1. Councillors will have the following rights at Council:
  1. To receive notice of all regular and special Council meetings;
  2. To attend all regular and special Council meetings, in open and closed session;
  3. To speak during debate;
  4. To move and second motions; and,
  5. To vote.
  1. Councillors will have the following rights at the Board:
    1. To receive notice of all regular and special Board meetings;
    2. To attend all regular and special Board meetings, in open session.
  1. The Speaker will have the following rights at the Board:
  1. To receive notice of all regular and special Board meetings;
  2. To attend all regular and special Council meetings, in open session;
  3. To speak during debate; and,
  4. To move and second motions.
  1. Directors will have the following rights at Council:
  1. To receive notice of all regular and special Council meetings;
  2. To attend all regular and special Council meetings, in open session;
  3. To speak during debate; and,

i.Directors normally shall confine their speech to matters pertaining to their fiduciaries duties. Directors normally shall refer all other matters through their councillor.

  1. To move and second motions.
  1. Council may submit to the Board for consideration any matter of concern, to which the Board shall respond within a reasonable timeframe. Concerns that pertain to apparent breaches of Bylaws or Policies shall receive a response within thirty days.
  1. The Speaker will keep the Board apprised of any and all of the Council’s matters of concern.
  1. As long as the Council uses any reasonable interpretation of this policy, the Council is authorized to establish all further policies, make all decisions, take all actions, establish all practices, and develop all activities that fall within its mandate.
  1. The Speaker will keep the Board apprised of the Council’s policies, decisions, actions, practices, and activities.
  2. The Council has no authority to supervise or direct the President.
  1. Where this or the Council’s policies are silent, the Council will govern itself according to the latest published edition of Roberts Rules of Order Newly Revised.

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POLICY TYPE:

GOVERNANCE PROCESS

POLICY TITLE:

GP-9 COST OF GOVERNANCE

Because poor governance costs more than learning to govern well, the Board will invest in the organization’s governance capacity.

  1. Board skills, methods, and supports will be sufficient to ensure governing with excellence.
    1. Training and retraining will be used liberally to orient new directors and candidates for directorship, as well as to maintain and increase existing directors’ skills and understandings.
    2. Outside monitoring assistance will be arranged so that the Board can exercise confident control over organizational performance. This includes, but is not limited to, financial audit.
    3. Outreach mechanisms, such as the Council, will be used to ensure the Board’s ability to listen to membership viewpoints and values.
  2. Council skills, methods, and supports will be sufficient to ensure governing with excellence.
    1. Training and retraining will be used liberally to orient new councillors and candidates for councillorship, as well as to maintain and increase existing councillors’ skills and understandings.
    2. Councillors will be trained in, and will be encouraged to use, various outreach methods to ensure that they are able to inform themselves of and represent their constituents’ viewpoints and values.
  3. Costs will be prudently incurred, though not at the expense of endangering the development and maintenance of superior capability. Funds will be set aside for:
    1. Board training, including attendance at conferences and workshops.
    2. Council training.
    3. Audit and other third-party monitoring and organizational performance.
    4. Surveys, focus groups, opinion analyses, and meeting costs.
  4. The Board will establish its cost of governance budget for the next fiscal year during the month of May.

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POLICY TYPE:

GOVERNANCE PROCESS

POLICY TITLE:

GP-10 President TERM AND RECRUITMENT

The President will be a highly qualified and enthusiastic graduate student at the University of Waterloo.

  1. The President will serve a one-year term, renewable once for satisfactory performance.
  2. No fewer than three months before the end of the incumbent President’s first term, the Board and the Council will determine whether the President should be offered a second term. If the incumbent President declines the offer of a second term, or is not offered a second term, then the Board and the Council will begin the process of recruiting a successor.
    1. The process for recruiting a President will be determined jointly by the Board and the Council, and will be appended to this policy.
  3. If the President’s position suddenly becomes vacant, then the Board and the Council will appoint an interim President, who will serve out the remainder of the term if less than six months remain. If more than six months remain, then the Board and the Council will recruit a successor to serve out the remainder of the term.
  4. The Board may remove the President from office for cause at any time, or without cause with two months of paid notice.

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POLICY TYPE:

GOVERNANCE PROCESS

POLICY TITLE:

GP-11 EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR TERM AND RECRUITMENT

The Executive Director will be an exceptionally qualified and enthusiastic individual with demonstrated competencies and achievements related to the organization’s Ends and operations.

  1. The Executive Director will be a full-time, permanent appointment, subject to a one-year probationary period.
  2. No less than one year before the retirement of the incumbent Executive Director, the Board, in consultation with the Council, will begin the process of recruiting a successor.
  3. If the Executive Director’s position suddenly becomes vacant, then the Board, in consultation with the Council, will appoint an interim Executive Director until a permanent successor is found.

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POLICY TYPE:

BOARD-MANAGEMENT DELEGATION

POLICY TITLE:

BM-1 GLOBAL BOARD-MANAGEMENT DELEGATION

The Board’s sole official connections to the operational organization, its achievements and conduct will be through a chief executive officer, titled “President”, and an Executive Director.

The Board will employ a full-time, regular position, titled “Executive Director”, who will be responsible for (i) facilitating transitions between Presidents, (ii) advising the President with respect to operational decisions and interpretations of Board policy, and (iii) executing the operational directives of the President in conformity with Board policy.

The Executive Director is the President’s only link to operational achievement and conduct, so that all authority and accountability of staff, as far as the President is concerned, is considered the authority and accountability of the Executive Director.

The Board will appraise the performance of the Executive Director on an annual basis.

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POLICY TYPE:

BOARD-MANAGEMENT DELEGATION

POLICY TITLE:

BM-2 UNITY OF CONTROL

Only officially passed motions of the Board are binding on the President.

  1. Decisions or instructions of individual directors, officers, or committees are not binding on the President except in rare instances when the Board has specifically authorized such exercise of authority.
  2. In the case of directors, councillors, or committees requesting information or assistance without board authorization, the President can refuse such requests that require, in the President’s opinion, a material amount of staff time or funds, or are disruptive. Any requests refused by the President may be brought to the attention of the Board, for consideration, by the party that made the request.

POLICY TYPE:

BOARD-MANAGEMENT DELEGATION

POLICY TITLE:

BM-3 ACCOUNTABILITY OF THE PRESIDENT

The President is the Board’s only link to operational achievement and conduct, so that all authority and accountability of staff, as far as the Board is concerned, is considered the authority and accountability of the President.

  1. The Board will never give instructions to persons who report directly or indirectly to the President.
  2. The Board will not evaluate, either formally or informally, any staff other than the President, except the Executive Director.
  3. The Board will view President performance as identical to organizational performance, so that organizational accomplishment of board-stated Ends and avoidance of board-proscribed means will be viewed as successful President performance.

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POLICY TYPE:

BOARD-MANAGEMENT DELEGATION

POLICY TITLE:

BM-4 DELEGATION TO THE President

The Board will instruct the President through written policies that prescribe the organizational Ends to be achieved, and proscribe organizational situations and actions to be avoided, allowing the President to use any reasonable interpretation of these policies.

  1. The Board will develop policies instructing the President to achieve specified results, for specified recipients, at a specified cost. These policies will be developed systematically from the broadest, most general level to more defined levels, and will be called Ends policies. All issues that are not ends issues as defined here are means issues.
  2. The Board will develop policies that limit the latitude the President may exercise in choosing the organizational means. These limiting policies will describe those practices, activities, decisions, and circumstances that would be unacceptable to the Board even if they were to be effective. Policies will be developed systematically from the broadest, most general level to more defined levels, and they will be called Executive Limitations policies. The Board will never prescribe organizational means delegated to the President.
  3. Below the global level, a single limitation at any given level does not limit the scope of any foregoing level, e.g. nothing in EL2 limits the scope of EL1.
  4. As long as the President uses any reasonable interpretation of the Ends and Executive Limitations policies, the President is authorized to establish all further policies, make all decisions, take all actions, establish all practices, and develop all activities. Such decisions of the President shall have full force and authority if decided by the Board.
  5. The Board may change its Ends and Executive Limitations policies, thereby shifting the boundary between board and President domains. By doing so, the Board changes the latitude of choice given to the President. But as long as any particular delegation is in place, the Board will respect and support the President’s choices.

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POLICY TYPE:

BOARD-MANAGEMENT DELEGATION

POLICY TITLE:

BM-5 MONITORING President PERFORMANCE

Systematic and rigorous monitoring of President job performance will be solely against these two expected President job outputs: organizational accomplishment of board policies on Ends and organizational operation within the boundaries established in board policies on Executive Limitations.

  1. Monitoring is simply to determine the degree to which board policies are being met. Information that does not do this will not be considered to be monitoring information.
  2. The Board will acquire monitoring information by one or more of three methods:
    1. By internal report, in which the President discloses interpretations and compliance information to the Board.
    2. By external report, in which an external, disinterested third party selected by the Board assesses compliance with board policies.
    3. By direct board inspection, in which a designated director or directors assess compliance with the appropriate policy criteria.
  3. In every case, the Board will judge (a) the reasonableness of the President’s interpretation and (b) whether data demonstrate accomplishment of the interpretation.
  4. The standard for compliance shall be any reasonable President interpretation of the board policy being monitored. The Board is final arbiter of reasonableness, but will always judge with a “reasonable person” test rather than with interpretations favoured by directors or the Board as a whole.
  5. All policies that instruct the President will be monitored at a frequency and by a method chosen by the Board. The Board can monitor any policy at any time by any method, but will ordinarily depend on a routine schedule.

Policy

Method

Frequency

Month

Global Executive Constraint

Internal

Annually

May

Emergency President Succession

Internal

Annually

May

Representation

Termly

Annually

May, September, January

Essential Services

Internal

Annually

June

Asset Protection

Internal

Annually

July

Compensation and Benefits

Internal

Annually

July

Fees

Termly

Annually

July, November, March

Financial Planning/Budgeting

Internal

Annually

August

Communication and Support to the Board

Internal

Annually

September

Communication and Support to the Council

Internal

Annually

September

Communication and Support to the Membership

Internal

Annually

September

Respect for Persons, Society, and the Environment

Internal

Annually

October

Financial Condition and Activities

External

Annually

February

Ends

Internal

Annually

March

Appendix 1: Monitoring Report Template

To the Board from the President: Annual Monitoring Report on the “Compensation and Benefits” policy, [Date of Report].

This is my monitoring report on your policy [Policy Type: Policy Title] presented in accordance with your monitoring schedule. I certify that the information contained in this report is true.

______________________________ (signed)
President

This report will monitor each provision of the above-referenced policy starting at its more detailed provisions and ending with the global provision.

WORDING OF PROVISION: …[copy the exact wording from the policy for reference.]

President’S INTERPRETATION: …[explain, and if necessary defend, how you have interpreted and operationalized this provision. Your interpretation must be reasonable and measurable.]

DATA: …[present data that demonstrate fulfilment of your interpretation of the Board’s policy. Conclude with the statement “I report COMPLIANCE” or “I report NON-COMPLIANCE”. Justify any non-compliance.]

Appendix 2: President Performance Report

Date: ____________________________________

President: _____________________________________

Policy: ___________________________________

This policy has been (Circle one)

Met Satisfactorily        Met with Recommendations            Not Met

Comments:

Directors

Name:                                          Signature:

Name:                                          Signature:

Name:                                          Signature:

President

Name:                                          Signature:

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Territorial Acknowledgement

We, the Graduate Student Association - University of Waterloo, acknowledge that we live and work on the traditional territory of ‎ the Attawandaron (Neutral), Anishinaabeg and Haudenosaunee peoples. The University of Waterloo is situated on the Haldimand Tract, the land promised to the Six Nations that includes ten kilometers on each side of the Grand River. 


Final Report on Student Mental Health

Final Report on Student Mental Health.