Senate in brief
Highlights from the March 27 meeting of Senate.
In his oral report to Senate, Principal Woolf provided updates on several items including:
• International issues and his travels in the past month, including trips to Germany and the UK. He noted that there is immense competition to attract the best students and best faculty, and it will be important to promote Queen’s around the world and raise the university’s international profile. He noted this is a crucial element of Queen’s long-term sustainability.
• Government relations and advocacy issues, including the provincial budget, which was delivered the day of the Senate meeting. He reported that he and the provost recently met with Glen Murray, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, who will be coming to Kingston in May for the Town and Gown Association of Ontario’s 2012 conference. The principal noted that it will be important to remain true to our central values, including a strong sense of community, a commitment to excellence, a drive for innovation, and putting student experience at the core of what the university does.
• The Principal also reported that the Board of Trustees approved his request to move forward on obtaining independent legal advice about the authority and responsibility of Senate. The Honourable Mr. Justice Frank Iacobucci has agreed to provide advice to the University on this question.
In his report to Senate, Provost Harrison provided updates on the following items:
• March is Queen's Disability Awareness Month, and the provost noted the upcoming town hall meeting to update the community on the accessibility framework. The meeting was held on March 28. For more information read the Queen’s News Centre story.
• A public engagement process is under way as the university develops its Climate Action Plan (CAP). The Queen’s community will continue to be informed about town hall meetings and engagement opportunities. For more information read the most recent Queen’s News Centre story about the CAP process.
• The Provost recently spent time at the Bader International Study Centre (BISC) in the UK, where he serves as chair of the Board of Trustees; he had the pleasure of meeting with a class while he was there.
• A policy statement has been approved regarding accommodation for graduate students with disabilities. Details can be found on the School of Graduate Studies website.
• A meeting was held with representatives from the relevant faculties and schools to discuss transitional issues relating to the cumulative GPA. The provost will consult with other universities who use a cumulative GPA system and report back at the next Senate meeting.
• The provost noted that in terms of the 2011-12 budget, the university is in a better position than projected, and he is reasonably confident that the deficit will be smaller than initially forecasted. The provost indicated planning is progressing to present a balanced 2012-13 budget in May as requested by the Board of Trustees. He presented a brief overview of the proposed new budget model, and announced that a longer session will be held prior to the next Senate meeting on April 17 for those interested in asking questions and discussing the model.
Reports of Committees
Senate passed a motion from the Senate Educational Equity Committee (SEEC) to have individuals with positions on the University Student Appeal Board (USAB) undergo training on educational equity and human rights matters to a level to be determined by the Equity Office.
Senate also passed a motion from the Senate Committee on Academic Development (SCAD) to approve a Master of Science in Healthcare Quality, Risk and Safety in the School of Nursing and the Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences and the School of Graduate Studies. For details read the Queen’s News Centre story.
Communications and Reports Submitted to Senate
Senate accepted for information a report from the March 2-3 meeting of the Board of Trustees, the Research Report, the Safe Disclosure Reporting and Investigation annual report, and two online petitions, one to lift the suspension of admissions to the Bachelor of Fine Art program, and another concerning admissions freezes and closures.