Board of Governors approves new Sprott building

The Board of Governors (BoG) approved a $48 million building devoted to the Sprott School of Business at an Oct. 5 meeting.

The board announced that the building will be called the Nicol Building and said it will be located where Parking Lot 2 currently is, near the University Centre and the Architecture Building, with development beginning as early as next fall.

According to a press release, the building will be named after Wesley Nicol, a late Carleton alumnus and entrepreneur. The release also states that his family donated $10 million to Carleton in 2014, which kickstarted plans for a building named in Nicol’s honour.

Dale Craig, the chair of the BoG’s building committee, said Carleton needs more “flexible” teaching and learning spaces on campus and that Sprott particularly needs the extra space.

“We could lose competitiveness in enrolment in the Faculty of Business if we are perceived as less attractive and non-competitive,” Craig said.

According to him, the 100,000-square-foot building will improve and create public assembly space, electronic and interactive classrooms, student resource rooms, office space, space for the entrepreneurial program, and a fifth floor for potential to expand the building in the future.

Jerry Tomberlin, Carleton’s interim provost and vice-president (academic), said Sprott will put the building to good use. Tomberlin is also the former dean of the Sprott School of Business.

“[It] provides a gathering space that has been missing in the business school since its inception,” he said.

Fred Afagh, the interim dean of the faculty of engineering, said his faculty should be involved with the building.

“It’s high time we actually use our faculty of our department of architectural and civil and mechanical engineering to do some of the work on campus,” Afagh said. “They would love to do the consulting work. We are ready.”

The Sexual Violence Policy

The BoG also discussed Carleton’s Sexual Violence Policy, which has received student criticism since its release in December 2016.

Efrem Berhe, one of the BoG’s undergraduate student representatives, had his question read out loud during the meeting.

“There has been some criticism on how it [Carleton] is handling sexual violence. We would like to know what Carleton has done to address this issue, if there has been any discussion on the issue and if members of the board think that there is any need to revisit the policy?” the question asked.

Interim Carleton president Alastair Summerlee said the school has taken appropriate action to ensure the safety of sexual violence complainants.

“Absolutely no question this is a very challenging area and one that has both the provincial government, media and community deeply engaged in. We have to work to make sure we have a policy that deals with disclosers and those who submit formal complaints,” Summerlee said. “The real challenge is every case is completely different and the circumstances are different and therefore we need flexibility in trying to respond.”

Natalie Prowse, a graduate student representative on the board, said a “big criticism” of the policy was a lack of consultation with students.

According to Summerlee, BoG members contacted different organizations to discuss Carleton’s Sexual Violence Policy, including the executive of the Graduate Students’ Association prior to the meeting.

“This is not a case of just working with one group,” Summerlee said.

While the government of Ontario requires the board to review Carleton’s policy every three years, the board decided to review their policy in one year. The BoG will return with a report on sexual violence at Carleton and participate in campus-wide surveys within a year.

Photo by Aaron Hemens