Faculty Advisory Boards help shape strategic initiatives

Winter 2014

McGill has invested considerable effort in recent years in strengthening the role of its Faculty Advisory Boards (FABs). The objective is to link academic concerns to developments and opportunities in the broader community.

The Faculty of Engineering’s 12-member FAB has been particularly active. Board chair Ram Panda, MEng ’71, MBA ’77, has worked alongside former Dean Christophe Pierre, Interim Dean Andrew Kirk and newly appointed Dean Jim Nicell. With each dean, he said, the FAB has served as an effective sounding board and a catalyst to help advance the Faculty’s mission.

“Our board provided critical support when McGill Engineering launched a major initiative to promote entrepreneurship; it also shared insights about the impact of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and is currently working with Dean Nicell to create a broader culture of ownership within the Faculty.

“It’s all part of our underlying objective to help shape long-term strategic initiatives and raise the funds required to support these initiatives.”

pull quote for fab lrRoyal Govain, who is responsible for developing protocols to enable all McGill faculties to use their advisory boards most effectively, said “FABs help to keep McGill on track, both in terms of fulfilling its mission and in meeting the needs of the broader community that we serve—local, national and global.”

In his role as Managing Director of Volunteer Partnerships, Govain sees first-hand “the extraordinary level of advice and support that volunteers on the FABs provide.”

Dean Nicell agrees. “Our FAB represents the clientele we are here to serve. They bring ideas, expertise and skills to the table; they give us a significant amount of their time and they provide financial support based on their capacity to give. Taken together, it’s a remarkable contribution.”

Engineering FAB Chair Panda said one of his key preoccupations is maintaining a vibrant board that offers depth of experience, varied backgrounds and the capacity to recruit new members who will add value.

“A board like the FAB requires a steady stream of energetic and capable candidates to serve renewable three-year terms. To ensure that happens, we have to attract industry leaders from across the many disciplines represented at McGill Engineering, including our smaller units such as Materials Engineering, Architecture and Urban Planning.

Perhaps most important, Panda said, is the focus FAB members can provide. “Professionals from these disciplines deal with real-world concerns that our Faculty and McGill as a whole want to address.”

With files from Patrick McDonagh

fab lr 2

Pictured at a recent FAB meeting are: (back row) Lorne Trottier, Ronald Chwang, Filip Papich, Nicolas Kauser, John Saabas and (front row) Ram Panda, Naser Partovi and Howard Stotland. (Photo: Owen Egan)


The following are volunteer members of the Faculty of Engineering Advisory Board:

FAB list 6


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