Senate in Brief
In his report to Senate, Principal Daniel Woolf noted the recent visit from MPP John Gerretsen and Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities John Milloy, and the provincial government’s desire to improve the opportunities for credit transfer between institutions. Principal Woolf indicated that Queen’s will have to carefully consider what it can do in this regard given our high retention rate and the consequent difficulty in accommodating transfer students in many programs. During his discussion with the Ministers he made a strong pitch for the proposed new teaching complex at Queen’s.
On a recent trip to Ottawa the principal met with officials from India, Saudi Arabia and Australia to discuss increasing Queen’s presence and opportunities in those countries. He also promoted the Military and Veteran Health Research Initiative with federal government officials.
The principal will travel to Australia next month for a meeting of the Matariki Network of Universities. He will also meet with alumni and visit a number of universities in Western Australia and the eastern states, reinforcing Queen’s existing partnerships and discussing matters of higher education.
He also provided an update on the Academic Plan. He thanked the members of the Academic Plan Task Force for their commitment to this important initiative.
Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic) Bob Silverman noted that the Enrolment Planning Task Force’s recommended growth of 100 first-year students will put the university at capacity. Residences are full and additional appropriate teaching space is limited. The task force is currently looking at potential ways to change that.
The recently formed Provost's Budget Advisory Committee will help guide planning for the university’s budget. Queen's and the broader public sector face ongoing financial challenges and continue to struggle to find solutions.
The Provost also announced that Adnan Husain, Director of Educational Equity and Diversity Projects, will update Senate on the work of the Diversity and Equity Task Force (DET) at an upcoming Senate meeting.
Academic Plan Task Force Update
Task Force Chair Peter Taylor reported that the Senate Academic Plan Task Force (SAPTF) has had two meetings in its weekly meeting schedule and plans to consult with members of the Queen's community for input. He noted that a number of parallel processes, including the Strategic Research Plan and the university’s branding exercise, will allow information and ideas to be shared. The SAPTF will have an interactive website that will create a dialogue with the Queen’s community and provide updates on the SAPTF’s progress. Town Hall meetings and focus groups will also be held to discuss the plan.
Senate passed a recommendation to name the following people to its committees:
Academic Procedures – Haley Everson, Staff, Arts and Science; Agenda – Logan Crowell, Undergraduate, JD ’12; Campus Planning & Development – Nancy Petri, Staff, Library; Creative Arts & Public Lectures – J. Mackenzie, Undergraduate, JD ’12; John Deutsch University Centre Council – Karicia Quiroz, Undergraduate, BAH ’12, Logan Crowell, Undergraduate, JD ’12; Non-Academic Discipline – Elamin Abdelmahmoud, Undergraduate, BAH ’11; Orientation Activities Review Board – Christopher Coupland, Staff, Office of the University Registrar, R. Garcia, Undergraduate, BAH ’13, I. Reeve, Graduate, PhD ’13, David Pugh, Faculty, German.
Senate passed a motion to change the schedule of regular Senate meetings to the third Tuesday of every month at 3:30 pm. The change will take effect in September. Senate also passed a motion to publish email addresses of Senators on the Senate membership webpage. Discussion topics included the format of the list and ensuring that the list is secure in order to avoid spam emails.
Review of Senate
An informal session was held to discuss questions to Senate from the Senate Operations Review Committee (SORC) that will help define the functions of Senate. Much of the discussion focused on whether the proposed wording changes would diminish Senate’s scope and authority. Several senators asked why the wording is being changed in the first place. They also recommended that SORC provide a clear rationale for each proposed change and seek legal advice to minimize unintended consequences of altered wording.
Queen’s Strategic Research Plan
Senate passed a motion to approve the revision process for the Queen’s Strategic Research Plan. (SRP).The process coincides with the work of the Senate Academic Plan Task Force (SAPTF). The revised SRP will be informed by the Academic Plan, and each process will be informed by the other to ensure a convergence of research aspirations for the university, and the consistency of the SRP with the overall values of the academic community including both teaching and research.
Reports presented to Senate for information:
• Coordinator of Dispute Resolution Mechanisms – Annual Report 2009-2010
• Associate Vice-Principal and Dean of Student Affairs – Annual Report 2009-2010
• Response to the Human Rights and Equity Report 2006-2009
• Annual Report to Senate on Orientation 2010
• University Council on Athletics and Recreation Annual Report September 1, 2009 – August 31, 2010
• Notes from the Board of Trustees meeting held December 3 and 4, 2010
• Queen’s University International Centre (QUIC) annual report, 2009-2010
• Queen’s University annual report, 2009-2010
• Report on the annual budget, 2010-2011
• Research report
Peter Taylor accepts Flynn Award
Principal Woolf presented Peter Taylor with the T. Geoffrey Flynn Advancement Champion Award. The award is given annually to a member of the Queen’s community who has made a significant contribution to linking Queen’s advancement activities with research and teaching excellence at the university.
The complete January 20 agenda is available online.
The next meeting of Senate is scheduled for February 17, 3:30 pm, at Robert Sutherland Hall, Room 202.