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Queen's University

Senate in brief

June 12, 2012

Senate in brief

Highlights from the May 22 meeting of Senate.

Prior to the meeting, Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic) Alan Harrison hosted an open discussion for the Queen’s community about the details of balancing the university’s 2012-13 budget.

A moment of silence was observed at the beginning of the meeting in honour of Professor Stephen Gyimah (Department of Sociology), who passed away in May.

Principal’s report

In his oral report to Senate, Principal Woolf recognized University Secretary Georgina Moore, who retired at the end of May. He noted she will be sorely missed by members of the university community.

The principal also provided updates on the following items:

• University Council, noting that the revised Queen’s Charter, which allows council to determine its own size and composition, has led to a discussion of reform at the Annual meeting on May 5. He anticipates a proposal for this reform will be brought to the Board of Trustees and Senate before the end of 2012.

•  The Third Juncture, the principal’s recently released position paper, outlining his thoughts on the university’s past and present, and its future over the next decade. He noted that the challenges facing the university are largely a matter of external circumstance, including economic challenges worldwide and the globalization of education. The university will have to face these challenges while remaining true to its core values, including providing a high-quality student experience, producing a highly qualified and engaged student body, and maintaining our reputation as a research-intensive university.

• A retreat for members of Senate and the Board of Trustees on September 29, to work together on the challenges facing the university. The agenda for the retreat will be developed during the summer.

Provost's report

In his report to Senate, Provost Harrison provided updates on the following items:

• The recently held Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition, in which participants were tasked with distilling complex research into short and clear presentations. The winner of the popular event was Jennifer Campbell, a doctoral candidate in engineering physics.

• The Common Reading Program, in which all incoming students will receive a book over the summer in advance of activities planned for the coming year. The program aims to help students transition upon entering university.

• A recent visit to SNOLAB, where he had the opportunity to witness the breathtaking work that goes on at the underground science laboratory.

• Non-Academic Discipline (NAD), and the review of the NAD system in light of the coroner’s recommendations. The committee has just provided its report to the Provost, who will decide what to do moving forward. If changes to the NAD system are proposed, they will go to the Senate Committee on Non-Academic Discipline (SONAD) for approval.

Question Period

Senate discussed questions submitted by Senator Notash regarding mature students and the reasons for abolishing the on-campus classes option for these students. Senator MacLean, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Science, spoke to the questions and reported the new regulations are more inclusive and equitable than they were before. Mature students will have the option to transfer to on-campus classes once they have successfully completed 24 online credits.

Reports of Committees

Senate approved a proposal from the Senate Committee on Academic Development (SCAD) to introduce a new graduate field in the Art History PhD program: Studies in Art History and Art Conservation.

Senate received from SCAD for information an interim report on procedures for the suspension of admissions to academic programs.

Senate approved a recommendation from the Senate Advisory Research Committee (SARC) to approve formal Institute status of the Queen’s Institute for Energy and Environmental Policy for a period of five years.

Senate unanimously approved the Queen’s University Strategic Research Plan 2012-2017. For more information about the plan see the latest Queen’s News Centre story.

Senate approved a recommendation from the Senate Nominating Committee to elect nominated senators to Senate committees as indicated.

Senate approved recommendations from the Senate Committee on Scholarships and Student Aid regarding revisions to the Renewable Awards Policy and the Policy on Treatment of Permanent Residents.

Senate accepted the Internal Academic Review of the theology programs in Queen’s School of Religion.

Senate also received for information annual reports from the Senate Committee on Creative Arts and Public Lectures and theSenate Educational Equity Committee as well as a report from the Senate Operations Review Committee.


motion that Senate endorse the statements made by the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) and Queen’s University Librarians and Archivists (QULA) regarding Access Copyright was defeated.

A motion that Senate support requests that the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities rescind or revise new guidelines for travel expenses carried.

Three motions regarding allegations of academic misconduct against the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario were discussed at length. All three motions failed.

Communications and reports submitted to Senate

Senate received for information reports from the Board of Trustees’ May 4 meetingUniversity Council’s May 5 meeting, and the Senate Research Report

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