Students or staff who throw their hat in the ring for the college’s Board of Governors election this month don’t have a hefty pay cheque to look forward to, but that doesn’t mean there are no benefits.
The board has three open positions under the internal governor category for student, administrative and support staff representatives. Nominations close on April 5 and the election will be held electronically from April 19-20.
Governors are responsible for overseeing the entire college and make decisions that determine its direction. They approve budgets, add new programs, hire or fire presidents and ensure the college is in overall good shape.
With a job like that, it’s no surprise they get a lot out of it – even with no salary.
“You would gain a greater appreciation… for the governance of a large organization,” said Duane McNair, the chair of the board’s electoral committee, in an interview on March 31.
McNair said there are boundless opportunities for growth, professional development and networking with the governors who are already on the board, many of whom are well-established in their fields.
What kind of person should take on the task of representing their constituents on the board? McNair said the best candidate would be someone interested in governance, decision-making and a passion for Algonquin College.
“I would say really just believing in our college education system,” he said.
The job requires attendance of five board meetings per year, which typically run two or three hours each. Governors also sit on committees, which typically meet three times per year. There are also two full day annual retreats.
In addition to the meetings, governors also need to set aside a few hours to prepare by reading agenda materials.
“Come prepared to participate in the topic of the day,” he said.
Nominations for internal governors typically total three to five for students and two or three for staff, McNair said.
The BoG has two categories of governors, internal and external. Internal governors are elected by their constituent group, such as students or specific groups of staff members.
External governors, which constitute most of the board, can be either appointed directly or by the lieutenant-governor of Ontario, on the board’s recommendations.
When her term as 2015-16 Students’ Association president was up, it seems natural that Sara Loyst, formerly known as Grainger, would become the student representative on the BoG.
“I encourage anyone who is interested to run in the election!” she wrote in an email to the Times. “It really is a fantastic way to represent students, network, and learn more about how the college operates.”
Loyst, who’s completing her Bachelor’s degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management, said her favourite part of being student representative is sitting on the academic and student affairs committee.
“Your job is still to represent students while topics like enrolment and new programs are discussed,” she wrote.
Nomination forms and election rules are available at algonquincollege.com/bog_elections.
Candidates should return their nomination form to McNair’s office in room C548 by 4 p.m. on April 5.