BU welcomes new members to Board of Governors

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On behalf of the entire Brandon University (BU) community, President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Gervan Fearon extended a warm welcome to incoming members of the Board of Governors.

“I am extremely pleased to welcome these four outstanding individuals to our Board of Governors,” said Dr. Fearon. “Their experience and insight will be invaluable to our institution and its role in advancing post-secondary education in the province.”

The Board, chaired by Derrick Stewart, plays an important role in the University’s bicameral governance framework, along with the BU Senate. Engaged University governance supports community engagement, financial and administrative oversight as well as a student-centred curriculum, enhanced teaching and learning, leading-edge research and creative activities. This engaged governance has supported strong and ongoing enrolment across the BU Faculties of Arts, Science, Education and Health Studies as well as the School of Music.

Joining the BU Board of Governors to support the University’s growth and development are Dr. Trudy Corbett and Katie Kerkowich, as well as student members Caroline Stitt and Ethan Strain.

“All of us at Brandon University look forward to working with the entire Board of Governors, including these new members, as we continue to drive growth and innovation in Brandon and throughout Manitoba,” said Dr. Fearon. “It is an honour to work with all members of our Board of Governors, and all members of our University community, and I thank all who have and who continue to serve on the Board for giving of their time and contributions during this exciting time of growth and development at Brandon University. For instance, our Campus Master Plan and our transformative downtown initiative represent the significant role BU is playing in and across the region.”

The appointments were announced today by the Government of Manitoba. The province’s news release provided brief biographies of the new members:

Corbett is a Brandon periodontist, part-time instructor at the University of Manitoba faculty of dentistry and co-chair of the Brandon Riverbank Inc. capital campaign. She previously served as board chair of the United Way of Brandon and District, as well as a board member of the Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba. Corbett was the recipient of the 2006 Manitoba Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Award for Excellence in Service and recognized by the Brandon Chamber of Commerce for Excellence in Business.

Kerkowich is a Brandon University bachelor of arts (honours) graduate and a middle-years teacher at Earl Oxford School in Brandon. She is an integral part of the Earl Oxford School community organizing activities and events for students as well as serving as the Grade 7-8 boys’ volleyball team coach for the last three years.

Stitt is a graduate of Vincent Massey School and is currently attending Brandon University. She is a provincially recognized all-star volleyball athlete and Canadian Music Competition Manitoba silver medalist for piano with a total of eight successful Royal Conservatory of Canada piano exam completions.

Strain is a second-year bachelor of science student at Brandon University, pursuing a career in veterinary medicine. He is a graduate of Virden Collegiate Institute, advocate member of the Manitoba Percheron Belgian Club and an organizing committee member of the 2022 World Percheron Congress, which will be hosted in Brandon. In addition to draft horses, Strain’s interests extend to baseball, for which he was honoured as the most improved player and a team leader for his contributions to the school team.

Under the Brandon University Act, the Board of Governors has an institutional governance and engagement role at BU. The members of the Board of Governors, as trustees, hold the University in trust for the people of the Province of Manitoba. Responsibilities for maintaining this trust include: selection of a president, monitoring his/her performance, providing guidance to the University via its policies, and often delegating authority to the administration.

Of the 17 members of BU’s Board of Governors, 10 are appointed periodically by the Lieutenant-Governor in Council, to terms of up to three years. Of those 10, two must be students of Brandon University, who are appointed for terms of up to one year. Board members are eligible for re-appointment for a second term.

The Board of Governors is a collective representing the entire community (both internal and external of the University). As a collective, the Board of Governors is responsible for ensuring the financial stability of the institution and for seeing that the overall plans of the University are consistent with the institution’s philosophy, goals, and financial resources.


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