University Secretariat and Legal Counsel

University Secretariat and Legal Counsel

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How are vacancies on Senate's Standing Committees filled?

After information about current vacancies on one or more standing committees of Senate is distributed to the Queen's community, and applications have been received by the University Secretariat, the Senate's Governance and Nominating Committee (GNC) begins its adjudication process.

If only one applicant applies for a position on a committee, that individual is awarded the seat by acclamation.

If more than one applicant applies for a position on a committee, a formal evaluation process is in place.  Individually, each member of GNC reads the individual's application and the reference letters that have been submitted by the applicant's referees.  The GNC members then complete a ranking, scoring the applicant from 0 to 4 in three different categories:

  • Experience – Evidence the applicant has the background and skills necessary to contribute to the Senate committee in question;
  • Adequacy of Application Preparation – Evidence that the application was prepared conscientiously and, by extension, that the applicant is likely to perform the tasks of the Senate committee adequately; and
  • References – Evidence that the referee has known the applicant long enough, and in an appropriate capacity, to provide a reference and that the reference being provided is supportive of the application.

The following definitions apply to the scoring:

0 - none

1 - very little

2 - some

3 - quite a bit

4 - extensive

The Secretary of GNC then enters all of the committee members' individual rankings into a master list and an overall ranking for each applicant is generated.

If the rankings are difficult to discern, the members of GNC discuss their individual rationales for particular scores in an effort to come to a decision.  Under most circumstances, a consensus is reached on the candidate of choice.  The Chair has, on occasion, suggested a ballot vote to select the final candidate if consensus is not reached through discussion.

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