SFU Board of Governors appoints new chair and deputy chair

Stewart and Hall aim to prioritize allyship with students in discussions with government

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Photo Courtesy of SFU News

by Karissa Ketter, News Writer

Newly appointed Board of Governors (BOG) chair James Stewart and deputy chair Angie Hall discussed their ideas to improve SFU administration with The Peak

The chair plays a role in representing the university to the outside world and vice versa, acting as a “close advisor to the President,” and offering suggestions for policy and actions in university affairs.

“I plan to be as involved as possible in helping President Joy Johnson put in effective strategies,” said Stewart. He noted his top priorities include “a re-evaluation of Board policies and procedures with a goal to make sure that the Board is functioning at its highest level.” 

Hall aims to focus on supporting the SFU community throughout the pandemic.  

SFU’s adaptation to online learning last spring impressed Hall and she plans to “continue to focus on how [SFU] can optimize the learning environment.” 

“It was sudden and unexpected and there was a lot of effort [from the Learning Centre] to help faculty provide a consistent level of learning.” While there continue to be challenges with online learning, such as academic integrity, Hall views these as an opportunity for SFU to improve. 

“The Board chair can be a real ally in discussions with governments for the benefit of students, for the benefit of researchers, for the benefit of the school as a whole,” said Stewart, noting the growing importance of the term “allyship” to him.

Stewart explained that his son lives with disabilities — he is blind and uses a wheelchair — and this has influenced Stewart’s career and community involvement. “[My son] taught me a long time ago that if you can help, then you should. If you can contribute, then you should.” 

Beyond practicing law for the majority of his career, Stewart has a history of working with various organizations such as the Environmental Sustainability Advisory Committee at the City of Surrey, Make-A-Wish Canada, and the Centre for Child Development. Stewart became involved with the SFU BOG in 2016 after his involvement with the SFU Surrey Community Advisory Committee around 10 years ago.

Stewart applauded the promise he sees SFU in a variety of fields, such as climate change, equity, diversity, and inclusion, and producing new learning technologies.

Hall added, “I’m an incredibly proud member of the SFU community; I think we are the leader in interdisciplinary learning. When I look at just the breadth of programs that we offer and the kind of research that’s being done at the institution, it’s really exciting.” 

 

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