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Governors Networking Session at 2018 CICan Conference

The following message is from Carol Dolbel, Special Assistant, Governance and Planning, Planning and Statistics, at Colleges & Institutes Canada (CICan):

The team at CICan is gearing up for the Annual Conference in Victoria and they would like to invite you to save the date and begin your preparations to attend!

CICan is planning another interactive Governors Networking Session that will allow participants to engage deeply on governance issues while networking with other directors and sharing tools, strategies and good practices.

Join us in setting the agenda for 2018 by sending your topic suggestions to cdolbel@collegesinstitutes.ca by January 16, 2018.

Save the date and share the opportunity with your Governors and Directors:  Sunday, April 29, 12:00 p.m. – 3: 00 p.m.  This year’s conference theme is NA’TSA’MATH – Working Together as One. The event will be held from April 29 to May 1, 2018.

We do hope you will join us in Victoria! 


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A warm GPOP welcome to…

Cindy Merifield, Administrative Assistant, Office of the President, Mohawk College (Ontario), and

Marika Morissette, Executive Assistant, Board and President, Capilano University (British Columbia)

You can find the complete GPOP membership list on our website. If you have a colleague who is eligible to join but not yet a member, feel free to talk to them about GPOP. The key criterion for membership is that the individual provide support to the Board of Governors and/or President of a Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) member institution. And now, becoming a member is easier than ever with our new online membership application form!

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Board Orientation Best Practices

Ever wonder what other institutions do for Board orientation? GPOP President Jenny Forestell did, so she sent an inquiry to her colleagues through the GPOP listserve. You’ll find the compiled responses under the password-protected Resources tab on the GPOP website, along with additional resources, like consultant recommendations, job descriptions for admins working in Board and Presidents’ offices, protocols for events and ceremonies….and more! Check back often as new resources are always being added.

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New Academic Year…New Members!

It’s September and the start of another busy academic year! We hope each and every one of you created some wonderful memories this summer and that the new semester is off to an excellent start for you.

Our network of individuals contributing to CICan member institutions as Board and/or President’s Office professionals continues to gain momentum. A communication to Presidents in the spring to raise awareness, assisted by CICan’s President Denise Amyot, helped to boost our numbers. Here’s a warm welcome to our newest members:

Lisa, Executive Assistant President & CEO, Northern Lakes College

Kerry, Executive Assistant to the President and CEO, Lethbridge College

Kathy, Executive Assistant to the Board, Medicine Hat College

Amanda, Executive Assistant, Executive Office, Medicine Hat College

Holly, Administrative Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff, Durham College

Kailen, Executive Assistant to the Board of Governors, Southern Alberta Institute of Technology

Rachel, Executive Assistant to the Board of Governors, North Island College

Here’s to a great year ahead for all our members!

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How to Address Those Dignitaries

What to say in person, and in correspondence

GPOP has a new page under its Resources section.

If you’re looking for information on protocols for addressing dignitaries, an event checklist or protocols for flying your flags, you’ll want to follow the drop-down list from Resources and select Protocol – Events and Ceremonies.

If you have other resources that are publicly available, let us know so that we may include them on GPOP’s Protocols page.

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GPOP has a new Mission Statement!

At the April 30, 2017 GPOP Annual General Meeting, members approved a brand new Mission Statement for our professional group. The Mission Statement speaks to the expertise of governance and president’s office professionals, and the value of membership for both members and their institutions. It will also provide focus and direction for our organization as we grow and move forward. The Mission Statement reads: GPOP is dedicated to elevating the level of expertise held by governance and president’s office professionals in Canadian post-secondary education institutions. It provides networking, mentoring and other professional development opportunities that benefit individual members and their institutions.

The Mission Statement can be found at gpop.ca under the “About” tab.


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“Tell me the facts and I’ll learn. Tell me the truth and I’ll believe. But tell me a story and it will live in my heart forever.” Native American Proverb

Heather Allaby, Community and Government Relations Advisor at New Brunswick Community College, was the keynote speaker at the GPOP annual conference in Ottawa last month. As part of her presentation on “Connections that Count: Positioning Board and Presidents’ Offices for Strong Media, Government, and Community Relations,” Heather shared her expertise in using the art of storytelling to connect with audiences. You can access the complete presentation and storytelling tool here.