Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 45.51
Liaison Mat Thijssen
Submission Date Nov. 6, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Waterloo
PA-3: Participatory Governance

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.25 / 3.00 Mat Thijssen
Sustainability Manager
Sustainability Office
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Do the institution’s students have a representative body through which they can participate in governance (e.g. a student council)? :
Yes

Do the institution’s students have an elected representative on the institution’s highest governing body?:
Yes

A brief description of the bodies and mechanisms through which students are engaged in governance, including information to support each affirmative response above:

Waterloo has two student governance bodies – the Federation of Students (FEDS), which represents undergraduate students, and the Graduate Student Association (GSA) which represents graduate students. Elections are held for both governance bodies to populate their executives and form councils. The University of Waterloo has two overall governance bodies – Senate and the Board of Governors. There are 8 undergraduate student representatives on Senate, in addition to the President of FEDS, as well as 4 graduate student representatives, in addition to the President of the GSA. There are 3 undergraduate student representatives on the Board of Governors, and 2 graduate student representatives.
Student members of Senate are elected by the general student body as part of either the annual undergraduate student elections or a vote among all eligible graduate students. Faculty representatives are elected from a vote among all faculty with a regular appointment within their relevant constituency. Of the students and faculty elected to senate, a smaller number are appointed to the Board to ensure crossover between both governing bodies.


Do the institution’s staff members have a representative body through which they can participate in governance (e.g. a staff council)?:
Yes

Do the institution’s non-supervisory staff members have an elected representative on the institution’s highest governing body?:
Yes

A brief description of the bodies and mechanisms through which staff are engaged in governance, including information to support each affirmative response above:

Staff members at the University of Waterloo may opt to join the Staff Association, which provides staff with a voice on university committees to influence decisions pertaining to working conditions, and to agreements such as benefits and compensations. The Staff Association’s Board of Directors are elected. There are two staff at large representatives on the University’s Board of Governors, which are elected by all eligible staff.


Do the institution’s teaching and research faculty have a representative body through which they can participate in governance (e.g. a faculty senate)?:
Yes

Do the institution’s teaching and research faculty have an elected representative on the institution’s highest governing body? :
Yes

A brief description of the bodies and mechanisms through which teaching and research faculty are engaged in governance, including information to support each affirmative response above:

Faculty members at the University of Waterloo are represented by the Faculty Association of the University of Waterloo (FAUW) to represent the interests of faculty members in a wide range of areas that affect them at the University. FAUW is governed by an elected Board of Directors. The President of FAUW also serves on the University’s Senate, along with 18 faculty representatives from Waterloo’s 6 faculties, and 23 faculty at large representatives. In addition, there are 7 faculty representatives on the University of Waterloo’s Board of Governors.


Does the institution have written policies and procedures to identify and engage external stakeholders (i.e. local residents) in land use planning, capital investment projects, and other institutional decisions that affect the community?:
No

A copy of the written policies and procedures:
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The policies and procedures:
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Does the institution have formal participatory or shared governance bodies through which community members representing the interests of the following stakeholder groups can regularly participate in institutional governance?:
Yes or No
Local government and/or educational organizations Yes
Private sector organizations Yes
Civil society (e.g. NGOs, NPOs) Yes

A brief description of the bodies and mechanisms through which external stakeholders are engaged in institutional governance (including information about each stakeholder group selected above):

The University of Waterloo’s Board of Governors has three ex-officio seats for the heads of local government. Specifically, there are seats for the Mayor of the City of Kitchener, the Mayor of the City of Waterloo, and the Regional Chair of the Region of Waterloo, wherein the University conducts the majority of its operations. In addition, there are eight community-at large positions on the Board of Directors, which currently include representatives from the private sector and civil society.
Further, the University of Waterloo Act requires that the Board contain “Seven members to be appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council (i.e., the Province of Ontario) and “Ten members from the community-at-large, at least three of whom shall be alumni, to be elected by the Board of Governors in such manner and in accordance with such procedures as shall be determined and established by the said Board of Governors, provided that such members shall represent a broad spectrum of the community, and provided further that such members shall not be members of faculty, or members of the staff or student body of the University or of any federated or affiliated college, or members of the faculty, staff, student body or governing body of any other Ontario university.” Even though they are not described as such, private sector organization or civil society members will be “Community at Large” members, or “Lieutenant Governor in Council” positions.


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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The URL above lists the current Board composition (despite the URL’s description), and the following link provides information on Board members: https://uwaterloo.ca/secretariat/governor-biographies

Although the University does not have written policies and procedures to engage external stakeholders in land use planning, capital investment projects, etc., the University’s Board of Governors provides for 17 external members who often are local residents and always are external stakeholders. These members comprise the majority of the Board’s Building and Properties Committee which is tasked with responsibility for land use, capital investment and other development projects. See the Building and Properties Terms of Reference here: https://uwaterloo.ca/secretariat/committees-and-councils/building-properties-committee-resolution

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