Senate in brief
In his report to Senate, Principal Daniel Woolf provided updates on several items including:
• Rector referendum: The principal noted that there has been a great deal of debate regarding Rector Nick Day’s actions. He said that while freedom of speech and respectful and productive discussion are what universities are all about, harassment and intimidation on either side of this and any debate are unacceptable. He also informed Senate there is no process in place to remove a rector from his or her position. The results of an AMS referendum recommending Mr. Day no longer hold the position, and an SGPS motion supporting Mr. Day, will be considered by the Executive Committee of University Council.
• Government relations: The principal reported that he attended the federal budget lockup in Ottawa. He said it was a positive budget from a post-secondary education perspective, but is “DOA” given the fall of the government.
• Australia: The Principal gave a summary of his recent trip to Australia for the annual meeting of the Matariki Network of Universities (MNU). He also visited many institutions, with which Queen’s has ongoing research collaborations and exchange partnerships. He said he learned a lot about their approaches to internationalization, as Australia is ahead of Canada in this regard.
• New Provost and V-P Academic: The Principal noted that he is very much looking forward to the arrival of Alan Harrison, Queen’s new Provost and V-P (Academic). He also thanked current Provost Bob Silverman and his staff for their hard work and accomplishments.
Provost's Report to Senate
In his report to Senate, Provost and V-P (Academic) Bob Silverman provided updates on several items including:
• Enrolment planning task force: The task force is currently in the process of producing its final report, which, when presented to the Principal, will offer an enrolment strategy for Queen's. Provost Silverman noted that current financial pressures require Queen’s to be open to growth in order to take advantage of government growth funding.
• Budget: The 2011-12 budget process continues. The Provost said Queen’s needs to remain focused on cost-savings initiatives and be creative in exploring revenue-generating ideas, and cautioned that there is no one magic solution to the deficit problem. The proposed budget will be presented to the Board of Trustees at the Board’s May meeting.
• New Associate V-P and Dean of Student Affairs: Provost Silverman noted that it will be a pleasure to welcome Ann Tierney back to Queen’s in the role of Associate V-P and Dean of Student Affairs. He also thanked John Pierce, who has served the role with distinction for the past year.
Diversity and Equity Task Force update
Adnan Husain, Director of the Diversity and Equity Task Force (DET), provided an update on the Task Force’s progress and its goals moving forward. Professor Husain also announced an open forum that will be held to discuss these topics on Friday, April 1, from noon-1:30 pm in Richardson, room 340.
Honorary Degree Recipients
The following people have accepted invitations to receive honorary degrees at spring and fall convocation ceremonies:
• Alia Hogben, DD
• Izzeldin Abuelaish, LLD
• Robert Beamish, LLD
• Piers McDonald, LLD
• John Crosbie, LLD
• Vicki Keith, LLD
• Beverley McLachlin, LLD
• Janina Fialkowska, LLD
• Robert Fowler, LLD
• Bruce Alexander, LLD
Reports of Committees
Senate unanimously accepted a proposal to introduce combined MD/PhD and MD/MSc programs in the Faculty of Health Sciences and the School of Graduate Studies.
Senate also unanimously accepted a proposal to create a new unit in the faculty of Arts and Science: The Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures.
Members of Senate participated in an informal discussion led by the Senate Academic Planning Task Force. The discussion focused on two topics and questions related to those topics:
• The Balanced Academy: What do you (as an individual/department/school/faculty) understand by the term “balanced academy?” What is the best balance for Queen's, and do we have that balance today? If not, what needs to change?
• Doing Fewer Things Better: What, in your view, could or should Queen's do less of?
The Task Force reminded Senate of two upcoming town hall meetings, one focusing on global citizenship on March 29, the other on disciplinarity and interdisciplinarity on April 11. More details are available on the website.
Senate passed a recommendation to change the name of the Centre for International Relations to the Centre for International and Defence Policy.
Queen’s University Planning Committee (QUPC) Update
Provost Silverman updated Senate on the committee’s progress. At a recent meeting, the committee discussed funding, the Senate Academic Planning Task Force, and enrolment planning. The group’s next meeting will focus on the budget.
Student Life Centre Council
Senate accepted the proposed amendments to the constitution of the John Deutsch University Centre (JDUC) be amended as outlined in the Constitution of the Student Life Centre.
Communications and Reports Submitted to Senate for Information
• Board of Trustees – report to Senate from March 4/5 meeting
• Research report
• Motion passed by Senate Orientation Activities Review Board regarding the Principal’s welcoming ceremony. Senate discussed the recommendation and passed a motion that will see the Principal's welcoming ceremony for fall 2011 take place, while a review of its effectiveness is conducted.
• Exit poll 2010 results
Matters Referred to Standing Committees
• That AODA training be indicated on the student transcript as a milestone
• Review of the 2010-2011 AMS Judicial Affairs Office Operations Report
• SGPS Non-Academic Discipline Report 2010
• Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science Aboriginal Admission Policy
The next Senate meeting will be held April 28 in Robert Sutherland Hall room 202.