McMaster Educators Share Insights Into Board Governance and Going Back to Class

February 20, 2024 | Hamilton, ON
Contributed by Leah Fleet, Joanna Williams and Sandie Kantor

Khaled Hassanein, Dean of the DeGroote School of Business, and Susan Tighe, Provost and Vice-President (Academic) at McMaster University both recently received their Chartered Director designation from DeGroote’s Directors College.

For over 20 years, The Directors College has been equipping directors of public and private companies, not-for-profit and crown corporations with the practical tools, knowledge and credentials to make a positive and immediate impact in the boardroom.

As educators, they are both committed to lifelong learning. They sat down to discuss issues facing boards today, the importance of developing board governance skills and their personal experiences in the program. Here are a few highlights from that conversation.


What is the single most important issue facing boards in Canada today?

“They have a tough job. I think that policies and regulations have really changed the way that boards operate. I think that there’s a lot more pressure on boards to think about truth and reconciliation, ESG practices, there’s a lot more social aspects and social innovation required, in addition to the financial metrics.” – Susan Tighe

“I think if I distill it to one thing, it would be diversity. And it’s not only racial diversity or gender diversity – it’s diversity of background. You want to have the right people at the table to offer complementary skill sets to each other, but also diversity in terms of having enough women for example, on the board, having enough people of colour on the board, having Indigenous representation on the board, just to name a few.” – Khaled Hassanein


What is the most important skill or understanding you have gained from the Chartered Director Program?

“The importance of asking the right questions and knowing enough about your role to ask the right questions at the right time, so that you can make informed decisions.” – Khaled Hassanein


Why do you feel it’s so important for people in leadership positions to invest time into board governance education?

“You can learn things on your own, but I think by doing a formalized program you learn the right types of skills. It’s one of the important aspects that you can add to your toolbox. When we think about skills and tools and how we can actually be better at what we do, education is a part of that.” – Susan Tighe



In 2023, The Directors College celebrated 20 years as the gold standard in governance education.

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