Appointing Employees to External Boards and Committees

Category: Governance
Number: GOV-022-015
Audience: All University employees
Issued: December 10, 2013
Revised: February 26, 2018
Owner(s): Executive Director (University Governance)
Approved by: Board of Governors
Contact: Executive Director (University Governance) - 306-585-5545

Introduction

This policy outlines the University’s position on and process for appointing a University employee to the board of directors or a committee of an external entity (an “Entity”).

An employee who wishes to accept an appointment to an external committee or board but was not appointed by the University must comply with GOV-022-010 Conflict of Interest and Conflict of Commitment.

Policy

Unless otherwise prescribed by legislation, the President may appoint an employee to a board or committee of a Corporation:

  • by virtue of employee’s position with the University, or
  • as the University’s appointee.

When the President is appointed to an Entity’s board or committee, the Chair of the University’s Board of Governors must approve the appointment.

The President (or Board Chair, as the case may be) will confer External Appointments of employees in writing. Prior to an External Appointment being made, the President will outline the terms of the appointment with the Entity and the employee shall ensure that the Entity has agreed in writing that she or he may disclose confidential information pertaining to the Entity to the University on a confidential basis. A sample Acknowledgment is provided under Related Information. 

Should a conflict arise between the University and the Entity that puts the employee in a conflict as a fiduciary for the Entity and an employee of the University, the employee is required to discuss the matter directly with the President who will determine next steps. The employee shall recuse himself / herself from any decision made by the Entity in which a conflict of interest exists or may exist. 

When an employee assumes an External Appointment from another employee, the related records and files will be transferred to the employee assuming the External Appointment.

The Executive Director (University Governance) will maintain a record of University-directed External Appointments and will provide an annual report to the Board of Governors with respect to such External Appointments.

Consequences for Noncompliance

Employees appointed to an External Appointment are expected to act as a representative of the University while acting in the best interest of the Entity. If an employee is unable to fulfill his/her responsibilities to both the University and the Entity, he/she is required to advise the President so that another individual can be appointed. The President also can terminate any External Appointment and reassign the responsibility.

Processes

Conferring an External Appointment on an Employee

  1. The President or a designate asks the employee to accept an External Appointment to a Entity’s board or committee.
  2. The President writes the Entity to confirm the appointment and outline any conditions. (For example, the President will ask the Entity to give the employee permission to disclose to the University confidential information the employee learns about or from the Entity, on the basis that the University will agree to keep the information confidential. A sample of the Acknowledgment form or board resolution is available under Related Information). 
  3. The Entity agrees in writing to the University’s conditions. The employee appointed to the External Appointment will ensure this is done and this confirmation should be communicated to the Executive Director (University Governance) in writing.
  4. The employee accepts the External Appointment.
  5. The Executive Director (University Governance) records the External Appointment.

Employee's duties during the External Appointment

  1. The employee is expected to carry out his or her duties as a board or committee member of the Entity in accordance with law, and to act honestly and in good faith, and to exercise the care, diligence and skill a reasonably prudent person would exercise in comparable circumstances.
  2. While carrying out his or her duties as a board or committee member pursuant to an External Appointment, the employee will report, in writing, to the President, or designate, any activities of, or developments with, the Entity that relate to or may affect the University.  
  3. The employee shall not disclose confidential University information to the Entity without the consent of the President of the University.
  4. In carrying out his or her role in an External Appointment, the employee shall:
    1. regularly attend meetings of the board of the Entity and relevant committees of such board;
    2. prepare for board meetings and relevant committee meetings by reviewing agenda materials, including reports;
    3. carefully review minutes of meetings of the board and committees of the board;
    4. be sufficiently informed of the nature of the Entity’s operations and on matters coming before the board or committee;
    5. avoid any real, potential or apparent conflict of interest.  If there is a possibility of a conflict, ensure there is immediate disclosure and abide by relevant laws, bylaws and policies. The employee must ensure that the disclosure of a conflict and the steps taken to resolve it are noted in the minutes of the board or committee;
    6. ensure dissenting votes are registered and refrain from voting where appropriate;
    7. maintain a copy of materials, minutes, documents, reports, correspondence, and notes relating to the Entity in either paper or electronic form (the “Entity File”), such that the Entity File may be transferred to the employee who may subsequently be appointed to the External Appointment.

Related Information