Queen's University

Senate in brief

 
2013-04-09

At the beginning of the meeting, a moment of silence was observed for Queen’s student Kevin Cournoyer and Professor Emeritus Ronald Delisle, who passed away in February and March, respectively.

Senator Patrick Oosthuizen offered his congratulations to Principal Daniel Woolf on his reappointment. Principal Woolf will lead Queen’s until June 2019.

Committee of the Whole

Alan Harrison, Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic), provided presentations and led discussions on:

  • New budget model and the budget process for 2013-14.
  • Enrolment. The Strategic Enrolment Management Group (SEMG) prepared a draft of its multi-year enrolment plan for consultation with the Senate Committee on Academic Development (SCAD), Senate and the wider Queen’s community. The provost responded to a question regarding the effect of increased enrolment on such things as support services, class sizes and athletics, noting that there will be modest increases in the coming years and modest impact on services.

Principal’s report

Principal Woolf provided a written report to Senate.

In his additional oral report, Principal Woolf provided the following updates:

  • Reappointment. Principal Woolf said he was pleased by the opportunity to lead Queen’s through a second term. He is looking forward to promoting Queen’s at home and internationally, telling the university’s story, and carving a path forward for a sustainable future.
  • Awards. The principal offered congratulations to former Queen’s vice-principal Suzanne Fortier, who was recently named president and vice-chancellor of McGill University; Professor Don Stuart, who was awarded the 2012 G. Arthur Martin Criminal Justice Medal by the Criminal Lawyers’ Association for his outstanding contributions to criminal justice in Canada; and Professor Christopher Simpson, who was nominated the Canadian Medical Association’s (CMA) president-elect and will officially become head of the largest association of doctors in Canada in August 2014.
  • Government relations. An austerity budget is expected from the federal government. While the government has indicated that universities’ messages have been heard, there is no indication of significant increases in revenue.
  • University Council reform. The principal strongly encouraged senators to participate in the vote on the council reform plan this spring. Questions about council reform may be directed to Celia Russell in the University Secretariat.
  • End of term. The principal wished success to all Queen’s students as they approach the end of term and exams.

Provost’s report

The provost reported on:

  • Policy on policies. The provost reported on the progress of the Policy Advisory Sub-Committee, informing Senate that a draft “policy on policies” has been completed for administrative policies and that consultation on the policy will begin in the near future.
  • Undergraduate Teaching Assistant (TA) policy. As a result of the unionization of the graduate student TAs, the Senate Policy on Teaching Assistants is out of date. The provost’s office is conducting outreach to undergraduate TAs with the goal of establishing clearer policies that are more applicable to the university’s relationship with them. A survey will be sent to undergraduate TAs seeking input on a variety of topics.
  • Time-to-completion policy. The Graduate Studies Executive Council (GSEC) approved revisions to its policies regarding time-to-completion and extensions for graduate students.
  • Mental Health. Deputy Provost Laeeque Daneshmend is coordinating the implementation of the recommendations of the Final Report of the Principal’s Commission on Mental Health. An advisory committee, chaired by the deputy provost, has been established and will be responsible for coordinating, reviewing and reporting on the progress of mental health initiatives across the university. Membership of the committee will be announced shortly.
  • Director, Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts (IBCPA). The university welcomes Jerry Doiron to the IBCPA on June 17.
  • Accessibility cafés. An Accessibility Café will be held on April 10 at 11:30 am in Speaker’s Corner in Stauffer Library. These events are a great opportunity for senators to learn more about the accessibility framework. The provost encourages all senators to attend.

Committee motions and reports

Senate approved:

Senate received:

In Committee of the Whole, Senate discussed the SORC report on Senate reform scenarios. Some Senators expressed concern regarding any potential decrease to the number of Senate members, as some groups, such as graduate students, are currently underrepresented. The suggestion was made to decrease the number of ex-officio members. It was noted that, if the overall size decreases, then the number of ex-officio representatives should decrease as well. Senator and SORC Chair Lynda Colgan said a report from SORC on composition will be forthcoming.

Senate deferred until its April meeting the motion to approve the recommended procedures concerning the temporary suspension of admissions to academic programs to SCAD for review.

Reports of faculties and schools

Senate referred the name change of the Department of Community Health and Epidemiology to the Department of Public Health Sciences (DPHS) to SCAD for review.

Motions

Senate approved:

b) “That the University Senate request that SONAD give consideration to amend the Student Code of Conduct to prohibit any and all on-campus forms of participation, including recruitment, by students in fraternities and sororities, and report back to Senate on its progress in fall 2013.”

Senate defeated two motions to amend the start time of Senate.

Question period

The provost provided a written response to a question on the Arts and Science decanal search.

The provost provided a written response to a question regarding the growth of administrative positions in relation to faculty positions for the recent past and near future.

Communications

The provost gave a presentation on the Strategic Framework. Some senators expressed concern about whether the university is providing a transformative student learning experience, considering that the faculty-student engagement scores are below par.

The provost also presented on the International Plan. The provost also announced a new initiative with the Limestone District School Board to work together to attract and retain international students. The provost addressed a question on the current, limited international graduate student enrolment.

Senate received:

Matters referred to standing committees

Senate referred the following to SCAD:

 

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