An aerial view of the University of Saskatchewan campus.

USask announces new land trust board

The University of Saskatchewan (USask) announced the first board of directors of a new corporation that is being established to oversee the development of USask’s endowment lands pursuant to a land trust.

The land trust, a development vehicle used at many other universities across Canada, will guide the long-term strategy to develop a new source of revenue for USask to support academic, research, and operational excellence.

Identifying the correct structure to guide the development of the endowment land on behalf of the university has been an important aspect of the university’s long-term strategic planning under the thoughtful leadership the USask Board of Governors. Approved at the board’s December meeting, the new land trust board will guide decisions around the university's long-term strategy to develop its endowment land. 

With a mix of internal and external members ranging in expertise, the newly appointed land trust board members include: 

  • Grant Kook, Founder, President and CEO, Westcap Mgt. Ltd., who will serve as chair of the land trust board 
  • Muir Barber, Owner, Pinnacle Development  
  • Phil Elenko, Founder, ICR Commercial  
  • Doug Hodson, Partner, MLT Aikins LLP 
  • Shelley Brown, USask Board of Governors chair
  • Keith Martell, USask board member
  • Peter Stoicheff, USask President and Vice-chancellor

“This is an exciting time for our university, and I am pleased to have such exceptional individuals help guide the newly formed land trust. Their expertise will ensure the success of this important endeavor, and I thank them for their commitment,” said Stoicheff.

USask’s endowment land identified through the University Land Use Planning initiative in 2008 is land that the university will continue to own but is categorized as having the potential for development. These lands do not include current core-campus and agricultural-research lands that are essential to continuing to support the university’s academic mission.  

The initial tasks for the new board will include, negotiating the land trust lease agreement, formally incorporating USask Properties Investment Inc. (UPII) and completing a search for the organization's first CEO. Following that, the UPII will serve as a separate independent legal entity to manage the development of the university’s nearly 1,000 acres of endowment lands.”

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