Senate in brief
Highlights from the September 25 meeting of Senate.
At the beginning of the meeting, Principal Daniel Woolf introduced and welcomed the new university secretary, Lon Knox, who joined Queen’s in August. Senate formally appointed Mr. Knox as Secretary of Senate.
A moment of silence was observed in honour of former Chancellor Peter Lougheed and former University Secretary John Bannister, who both passed away last month, and for student Emma Purdie and recent graduate Walter Gerow, who both passed away over the summer.
In his oral report to Senate, Principal Woolf commented on the new academic year and the inspiration students provide as they begin their studies. He also thanked students for their responsible behaviour during outside gatherings, and he thanked community partners, including Kingston police and local hospitals, for their ongoing support in creating a safe environment.
The principal also provided updates on the following items:
• The Ontario government’s recent discussion paper on the future of post-secondary education, and the government’s call for proposed mandate statements.
• University Council, and the proposal for reform. The principal reported that an ambitious timetable, approved by senators, has been laid out to deliver potential changes to the council.
• A retreat for members of Senate and the Board of Trustees on September 29 will consider ways in which to improve communication between the two governing bodies and will wrestle with challenges facing the university.
• Improvements to the Student Non-academic Discipline System, which included a comprehensive review undertaken by the university, the Alma Mater Society (AMS), and other stakeholders. He noted the review will help the partners work more collaboratively and with greater efficiency, and it outlines areas where further dialogue is needed.
In his report to Senate, Provost Alan Harrison provided updates on the following items:
• GPA. The provost has received a report with an overview and recommendations from a working group led by Bo Wandschneider, Chief Information Officer and Associate Vice-Principal (Information Technology Services). The provost intends to submit the document to Senate in October, while providing an update on action taken as a result of the recommendations and, where appropriate, refer items to the Senate Committee on Academic Procedures (SCAP) for their consideration.
• Increases in the budgets to the Principal and Vice-Principals’ 2012-2013 budgets. The $3.6 million increase is largely due to reinvestment in Human Resources, PeopleSoft sustainment, Physical Plant Services (to maintain new buildings) and Audit Services, off-setting a deficit in the University Archives, and hiring a director for the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts.
• The new budget model. The committee has been busy developing the new model and information will be sent shortly to the faculties to allow them to begin preparing their 2013-2014 budget submissions and associated three-year projection. A new webpage on the Provost’s Office website is dedicated to the new budget model.
• Preliminary enrolment headcount report. Undergraduate enrolment appears to be on target with the Senate-approved Enrolment Plan, meeting or exceeding overall targets in most programs. Registrations at the Bader International Study Centre reached their highest level since 2008, with 133 full-time students enrolled in first-year studies. A full report will be completed in November.
• Proposed mandate statement. The statement will initiate a dialogue with the government, highlighting the university’s key strengths and priorities, and set in motion the opportunity to attract more government funding.
Queen’s Initiative Campaign Launch
Tom Harris, Vice-Principal (Advancement), gave a brief presentation on the Queen’s Initiative Campaign, which launched successfully on September 29 with several festivities around campus.
Senate discussed questions submitted by Senator Terry Bridges regarding the process for students to initiate academic integrity investigations. Provost Harrison agreed that more clarity could be provided on the subject. He informed Senate that he has asked Jim Lee, former Academic Integrity Advisor to the Vice-Principal (Academic), to speak to SCAP about the matter.
Senate discussed questions submitted by Senator Mark Jones regarding Justice Iacobucci’s advice to Senate about the authority of Senate and the Board of Trustees, strategic mandate agreements, and commercial advertisements on campus. Principal Woolf reported that he expects Justice Iacobucci’s opinion to be delivered later this fall and will share the opinion with Senate at the October or November meeting.
Provost Harrison reported that the responsibility for commercial advertisements in certain spaces on campus lies with the Alma Mater Society (AMS). Doug Johnson, President, AMS, reported that the AMS is aware of the pros and cons of advertising and it works with student committees to approve the ads, which help the AMS run its programs and certain student buildings.
Senate discussed questions submitted by Senator Jordan Morelli regarding the status of the provost’s investigations into allegations of research misconduct by the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO) and Queen’s. Provost Harrison provided details and reported that because a waiver of moral rights had been signed, and HEQCO retained the right to determine when the report was final, HEQCO also had the right to insist on changes to the work.
Reports of Committees
Senate received the 2011-2012 Omnibus Report from the Senate Committee on Academic Development (SCAD), detailing items submitted to SCAD for consideration/approval and items submitted to SCAD for information.
Senate received the Annual Committee Report to Senate and the Report to Senate on the number and type of academic integrity cases reviewed during the 2011/12 academic session from SCAP.
Senate received a Report Update with one addition and one change to the annual report submitted to Senate at the May meeting from the Senate Committee on Creative Arts and Public Lectures.
Senate received the Annual Report for the 2011-2012 academic year from the Senate Educational Equity Committee (SEEC).
Communications and reports submitted to Senate
Senate received information reports from the Queen’s Biological Communication Centre and the Conservation Genetics Group. It also received the Senate Research Report, and a report on the 2012 Exit Poll.
Matters Referred to Standing Committees
The Athletics and Recreation Non-Academic Discipline Annual Report 2011-2012 was referred to the Senate Committee on Non-Academic Discipline (SONAD). The Postgraduate Medical Education Assessment, Promotion and Appeals Policy 2012 was referred to SCAP and the Non-Academic Discipline System was referred to SONAD.