Pat Cochrane, chair of the CBE Board of Trustees, appeared on CTV last week to discuss the amount of time they meet in private. Trustee Cochrane stated that either trustees or administration had recently broken confidentiality with documents being given to or handled by the Board. “We’ve had some breaches of confidentiality that have occurred,” she said. Since her remarks were made as an explanation for why “trustees actually have to read the report within the meeting,” and hence the increase in private meeting time, it suggests that the breaches are known and proven amongst the Board. Trustee Cochrane was not clear in communicating which trustee or trustees she believes are responsible for these “breaches of confidentiality.”
When a trustee has violated board procedures, action is necessary and policy exists to deal with such situations. If it occurs more than once, as is implied by the Chair’s use of the plural “breaches”, then a motion of censure against the trustee in question shall be considered at a public Board of Trustees’ meeting. No such public motion has come forward.
When there is clear evidence of such breaches of confidentiality, they should be dealt with according to board policies. Until such action is taken according to Board policies, such comments endanger the credibility and the reputation of the board.