(Revised February 2009,edited July 2010, revised January 2013, February 2013, March 2013, April 2013)
The regular monthly meeting of the Senate shall normally be held monthly from September to November and January to April inclusive, unless otherwise ordered by special motion, or by the Principal. The schedule of dates is approved at the September meeting which will include a May meeting on an "as required" basis, the necessity of which is to be determined by the Principal no later than two weeks prior to the scheduled date.Special Meetings
The Chair may at any time summon a special meeting, and shall do so within seven days of receiving a request in writing by at least five members. In the absence of the Chair, the Vice-Chair is authorized to summon a meeting.
The Chair shall be the Principal. The Chair shall name a Vice-Chair from among the membership of the Senate. The Chair of the Senate shall have the right to attend meetings of all Senate Committees and shall receive all agendas and minutes.
The Secretary shall be chosen by the Senate, shall serve at the pleasure of the Senate and shall be eligible for re-appointment. The Secretary shall be responsible for the necessary research, the collecting and co-ordinating of material and its dissemination in proper form, shall assist in the preparation of the agenda for meetings of the Senate, shall record the proceedings of the Senate, shall arrange for the Committees of the Senate to be provided with secretarial and research assistance as required.
The Secretary of Senate shall inform the council, society or other body which has elected an individual to the Senate of the name of any elected Senator who has missed three regular meetings of the Senate in any academic year, and that council, society or body, as the case may be, may declare the seat held by that individual vacant and may elect a replacement to serve the balance of that individual’s term on the Senate.
Non-members who may attend Senate and Senate Committee meetings are defined as follows:
Visitor: a person requesting and receiving permission through the Secretariat or the Committee Chair to attend a specific meeting. The Secretariat may establish whatever policies it deems necessary to accommodate any possible logistic difficulties created by visitor requests. Visitors may neither vote nor speak. (Notation: Procedure to obtain a visitor's pass).
Guest: a person who successfully seeks permission or is invited by the Chair of Senate, or the Chair of a Senate Committee, to attend single or multiple meetings, or on a regular basis. Guests may speak but not vote. Members of the Senate Committees who are not currently Senators may attend, as a Guest, meetings of the Senate at which the business of the Committee is on the agenda.
Observer:a person to be appointed by another body to attend meetings regularly for information and to report back to that body. Observers may not vote but may speak upon invitation from the Chair.
Space is provided for faculty, staff and students who are not members of the Senate, and news media. Admission shall be by non-transferable tickets issued by the Senate Office on a first-come, first-served basis the week of Senate from Monday at 9:00 a.m. to Thursday at 3:00 p.m.
A reasonable number of places will be reserved for accredited members of the Queen's and public media.
Visitors shall maintain the decorum prescribed for Parliamentary galleries. No person in the visitors' gallery shall bring a camera or a recording device into a Senate meeting. In the event of a disturbance, the Chair of the Senate shall retain the right to adjourn the meeting and close the gallery.
Visitors who wish to speak to an item appearing on the agenda of the Senate, shall apply to the Secretary no later than 24 hours before the meeting. Such requests shall be ruled on by the Chair.
One-third of the full membership of the Senate shall constitute a quorum.
At each regular meeting, the business shall be presented in the following order:
At each special meeting, the business shall be confined to the agenda.
At each regular meeting, there shall be a question period which shall not exceed twenty minutes. Questions shall be of such a character as to elicit information about the operations of the University on matters of sufficient importance to claim the attention of the Senate. Notice of questions shall be given in writing in time to be circulated with the agenda for the meeting at which they will be asked.
Unless otherwise specified in these rules of procedure, Bourinot's Rules of Order, in its most recent edition, shall govern. (If points of order are raised which are not covered by Bourinot, reference shall be made to Beauchesne's Rules and Forms of the House of Commons of Canada, in its most recent edition, and in that event Beauchesne shall govern.) No rule governing the procedure of the Senate shall be suspended unless two-thirds of the members present shall consent thereto. Nor shall any rule be repealed or amended without a notice of motion given during the previous meeting.
No meeting of the Senate shall exceed two hours unless two-thirds of the members present agree to continue with the business of the meeting.
Every member of the Senate shall rise, or use a microphone when provided, when addressing the chair.
The style of address at Senate, during debate or in the minutes and reports that are the permanent written record of the Senate, shall be consistent with principles of inclusion and equity as follows:
In the written minutes and reports, members of Senate shall be identified by their first initial and last name only.
During discussions on the floor of Senate, the Chair shall normally address speakers as "Senator [last name]" except in the case of Visitors, Guests and Observers.
As a guideline, when appropriate and particularly to ensure clarity, the title and affiliation of a Visitor, Guest or Observer who is invited to speak or who requests speaking privileges, may also be used.
The above applies to the Senate, Senate Standing Committees, Subcommittees, Ad Hoc Committees and Task Forces.
All motions and resolutions shall be preceded by a notice of motion which is to be given in writing at a previous meeting of the Senate, or is to be submitted to the Secretary in time to be included in the agenda circulated before the next meeting. Otherwise motions and resolutions shall not be proceeded with, except with the consent of two-thirds of the members of the Senate present.
Motions of substance shall be in writing and shall be referred to a committee for study and report.
The above does not preclude the two undernoted exceptions:
the Agenda Committee shall have the responsibility for recommending that matters coming forward from Faculty Boards and Schools to the Senate be considered initially by the Senate itself, subject to referral by the Senate, at its discretion, to Committee.
reports of Committees appointed by the Senate for special purposes will be presented directly to the Senate. The Senate may, at its discretion, refer such reports to Committee.
The original motion, as referred, will normally be placed on the same agenda where the committee report is presented, under Motions.
Notwithstanding the above, the rule of reference to a Committee may be waived with the consent of two-thirds of the members of the Senate present.
The Chair shall propose all motions and amendments under discussion in reverse order to that in which they are moved.
When a motion is under debate, no motion shall be received unless
to refer to committee or to waive the rule of reference,
Ordinarily no member shall speak more than once to the same question (and then not longer than ten minutes unless permitted by the chair), but the mover shall have the right of replying after all the members who choose to speak have spoken. A member may, at any time, with the permission of the chair, explain a material part of his/her speech which may have been misunderstood.
At meetings of the Senate only Senators may move and second motions, propose amendments and vote on amendments and motions.
When a vote is taken in the Senate, any member may require that the numbers, or that the member's own vote, be recorded in the minutes.
All Senators, including Ex Officio members, have full voting rights. Voting rights are limited to those Senators present at the time of the vote. Proxy votes are not permissible. In the case of a tie, the Chair has a casting vote.
When a vote is taken in the Senate, any Senator may require that the numbers, or that the Senator's own vote, be reported in the Minutes. A vote on a Motion will be taken by a show of hands at the meeting.
In exceptional circumstances where time is of the essence and there is no reasonable possibility of convening a meeting, electronic voting is permissible. The use of electronic voting is to be determined by the Senate Agenda Committee or when this is not possible by the Chair of the Senate.
In circumstances where electronic voting is necessary, the wording of the Motion and any background material shall be circulated to the Senate prior to the date scheduled for the vote. Normally, a period of no less than two working days will be provided for Senators to electronically post comments and/or questions about the Motion, with this electronic discussion accessible to all Senators.
Immediately following this period, Senators will be asked to vote on the Motion and their votes must be recorded with the Secretary of the Senate on or before a specific date. Voting will be on the Motion as presented. The result of the electronic vote shall be transmitted to the Senate and the number of votes shall be reported in the Minutes. Senators may request that their own vote be reported in the Minutes.
The Senate cannot properly consider any motion which does not fall within the Functions of the Senate as enacted by the Board of Trustees pursuant to the latter's statutory power to prescribe the functions of Senate.
Of the 15 specified functions of the Senate, numbers 2-15 deal with quite specific aspects of the University's operations and will not give a basis upon which the Senate could consider a resolution dealing generally with a social, moral or political issue. If a claim were to be made that the Senate had jurisdiction to consider a motion of that type it would be directed at Function Number 1 which reads:
To determine all matters of an academic character which affect the University as a whole, and to be concerned with all matters which affect the welfare of the University.
The latter portion of that function is that most general statement of the Senate's functions; however, it ought to be interpreted as giving the Senate jurisdiction only over matters which affect the welfare of the University qua university. Consequently, any resolutions on social, moral or political issues which do not directly affect the operation of the University would not properly be before the Senate.
Under the Senate Rules of Procedure the preparation of the agenda is the responsibility of the Agenda Committee. It is the responsibility of that Committee to ensure that no motion or resolution is placed on the agenda which falls outside the jurisdiction of the Senate as defined in the Functions of the Senate. If the Agenda Committee rejects a resolution as not being within the jurisdiction of Senate, it should give notice of such rejection to the person who proposed such a resolution and report such action to the Senate. If a Senator believes the Agenda Committee's ruling is in error and wishes to challenge the ruling excluding such a resolution, he or she may do so in the Senate meeting when the Senate considers the adoption of the agenda as recommended by the Agenda Committee. Under the present Rules of Procedure, a vote of a majority of Senators present would be sufficient to have such a resolution included in the agenda.
Under the present Rules of Procedure an attempt might be made to introduce a resolution outside the jurisdiction of the Senate using the procedure whereby the usual requirement for written notice of motion can be waived by a two-thirds vote of members present. In addition, it is possible that a proposed amendment to a motion properly before Senate might raise an issue beyond the jurisdiction of the Senate. In such instances the Chair of Senate has an obligation to rule such proposed resolutions or amendments out of order. If a Senator believes that such ruling of the Chair is in error, he or she may challenge the ruling and have it put to a vote. Under the present Rules of Procedure a simple majority of members present would be sufficient to challenge successfully the ruling of the Chair.
The Senate may at any time form itself into a committee of the whole body. The purpose of this procedure is to allow less formal discussion of a complex or controversial issue which, nevertheless, requires some action to be taken.
A committee of the whole, under a chair other than the regular chair, is ordinarily appointed by a motion "that the motion (designated by the substantive issue or the names of the movers) be considered in the committee of the whole with (name of person) in the chair". The person who takes the chair may move motions, take part in discussions and vote (as in other committees).
For the committee of the whole the Secretary or the Associate Secretary acts as secretary for the committee and will keep a temporary memorandum of the proceedings until it reports. The committee's proceedings are not entered into the Minutes of the Senate.
A motion made in committee of the whole need not be seconded, and the rule limiting the number of times a member may speak shall be withheld except that no member may speak more than once to any question until every other member choosing to speak shall have spoken. The only motions that can be moved are to adopt, to amend, and to rise and report. Motions taken by the committee are not considered final decisions of Senate, but have the status of recommendations.
After the matter referred to the committee of the whole has been considered to the satisfaction of Senate the committee of the whole is terminated by passing a motion "that the committee of the whole now rise and report". The regular chair of Senate returns to the chair. The regular chair of Senate then asks the person who acted as chair of the committee of the whole to reports to Senate, usually in the form of a motion "that Senate concur with the recommendations made in the committee of the whole, namely: (list all details of motions approved in the committee of the whole)". This motion is not debatable, may not be amended, and cannot be divided into separate parts because the matter has already been fully discussed in the committee of the whole. The recommendations will be voted on en bloc.
The Senate may at any time move into informal session. The purpose of this is to enable a free discussion on a complex issue when no specific action is required.
Informal session is usually entered by a motion "that the matter (designated by the substantive issue or the names of the movers) be considered in an informal session (with a stated person in the chair)".
No motions may be made or votes taken with the exception of a straw vote to gauge the preferences of the meeting. At the discretion of the Chair, members may speak on more than one occasion and issues can be dealt with and replied to as they arise in the course of the discussion.
Informal session is terminated by passing a motion "that the informal session now rise". This is the only motion that is proper in informal session and it is voted on without debate or amendment.
All Senate submissions should be sent via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The agenda for each meeting shall be prepared by the Agenda Committee consisting of the Chair of the Senate, the Vice-Chair, an elected faculty Senator, an elected student Senator and an elected staff Senator. The Committee shall draw up the agenda from items submitted to the Secretary and shall arrange that all business goes forward to the Senate in properly prepared form.
Notice of regular meetings, together with a request for items for the agenda, shall be in the hands of members of the Senate at least two weeks before each meeting.
Senators, members of faculty, students or staff wishing to have items placed on the agenda of a regular meeting of Senate must give written notice to the Secretary of the Senate at least ten (business) days before the meeting in question. Members of faculty, students or staff who are not Senators, may also request leave to appear before Senate to speak to the item and to remain on the floor for discussion. Such requests shall be considered by the Chair, who will make a recommendation to the Senate.
The Secretary shall distribute the agenda for the forthcoming meeting in time to reach each member of the Senate and chairs of standing committees at least 48 hours before the meeting. The agenda for each meeting of the Senate shall be made public at the same time as it is circulated to Senators and members of the Senate Committees.
The first item of business in a regular meeting of the Senate shall be the consideration of the agenda recommended by the Agenda Committee. At the same time as the agenda is approved, the Senate shall decide which, if any, part of the meeting shall be closed to persons who are not Senators, declaring at the same time why the meeting is to be closed. In addition, at other times a meeting may be closed by a simple majority vote as a result of a motion acceptable to the Chair.
Notice of special meetings of the Senate, together with the agenda, shall normally be in the hands of members of the Senate at least 48 hours before the meeting, but in cases of emergency, the Chair of Senate may call a special meeting at any time.
Full minutes of the meetings including summaries of comments or statements where detailed points are raised to ensure proper context for the historical record, and with attribution for such comments or statements but without creating a verbatim account of the meeting of the Senate shall be prepared and kept by the Secretary.
Audio recordings of Senate meetings may be made by the Secretariat. Such recordings shall be used only to aid in the preparation of minutes and shall be maintained until a motion approving the minutes is passed by Senate at which time the recording will be erased.
Minutes of the most recent meeting(s) shall be circulated to members of Senate along with the agenda papers for the forthcoming meeting. Draft minutes of the most recent meeting(s), if available, should be circulated to members as early as possible prior to production of the agenda for the next meeting of Senate, to provide Senators with an opportunity to review draft minutes. This is intended to allow Senators an opportunity to inform the Secretary of any significant changes in factual content.
The minutes, except for confidential material, are also to be published, generally at the same time as the agenda for the forthcoming meeting in such a fashion that they are available to all faculty members, students and members of the support staff.
The proceedings of Senate, i.e. full minutes and agenda papers, are to be indexed and bound for reference purposes.
Another bound and signed set of the proceedings shall be deposited in the Archives for permanent retention.
All personal reports on students and other confidential matter contained in minutes, reports, or the agenda are to be clearly marked CONFIDENTIAL, and are to be treated as confidential documents until otherwise decided by the Senate.
When a mandatory report to Senate other than from a Senate committee is received by the Secretariat it shall be directed at once to the appropriate standing committee. If no appropriate committee exists, then the report shall be submitted to the Senate.
At the next Senate meeting the receipt and referral of the report to a standing committee shall be communicated to Senate under Matters Referred to Standing Committees. At the same time Senators should be informed where they can obtain access to a copy of the report.
At the next Senate meeting following the one at which receipt of the report was communicated to Senate, the chair of the responsible standing committee shall indicate to Senate the disposition of the report as: approved by the committee; referred to Senate; or still under consideration, in which case the date at which the final disposition of the report will be made known to Senate should be indicated.
Reports from Senate committees shall be delivered to the Secretariat in time to be provided to each member of the Senate at least 48 hours before the Senate meeting at which the report is to be considered. If copies are not in the hands of members by this time, the report shall not be proceeded with, except with the consent of two-thirds of the members of the Senate present.
All other reports and communications shall normally be provided in writing to Senate in order that they are included with the Agenda.
A committee is bound by its terms of reference. If a committee finds it desirable to extend or reduce an inquiry beyond the terms of reference which it has been assigned, it shall obtain from the Senate express authority to do so. A motion to concur in a recommendation for extension or reduction of a committee's terms of reference requires notice.
The Chair of the Senate shall appoint the chair of each committee, and shall do so from the membership of the committee unless otherwise directed by the regulations or by motion of establishment. The chair shall serve for one year and shall be eligible for reappointment.
The Secretary of the Senate shall select the secretary of each committee, either from its own membership or, where appropriate in the judgement of the Secretary of the Senate, from other parts of the University.
Standing Committees are formed to consider continuing questions. A Standing Committee is established, and its membership and terms of reference determined, by resolution of the Senate. Once established, a Standing Committee serves continuously with progressive changes in membership. Terms of service on standing committees shall normally be 2 years unless specified otherwise in the terms of reference. Each Standing Committee shall report to the Senate at least once a year.
Special Committees are formed to consider specific questions. A special committee is established, and its membership and terms of reference determined, by resolution of the Senate. A special committee serves until it is discharged by the Senate.
Standing Committees and Special Committees may establish subcommittees for special purposes or issues that may be ongoing. Subcommittees shall be accountable to, report to, and be discharged by, the parent committee. Membership and terms of reference shall be determined by the parent committee. Observers to Standing Committees and Special Committees may attend meetings of Subcommittees unless they are expressly excluded by the terms of reference for the subcommittee or special committee.
The Nominating Committee shall present to Senate a slate of nominations to all Committees prior to the date scheduled for the vote. Nominations, in addition to those presented by the Nominating Committee, may be received from the floor of the Senate on the day of the vote and must be accompanied by written evidence that the nominee is willing to serve along with the name of 3 members of Senate.
If there are additional nominations from the floor, the Secretary of the Senate shall transmit to all Senators, within 14 days of the meeting, a ballot containing the biographical information or other comments (up to a limit of 75 words) of the nominees to be elected. In order to be valid, ballots shall be returned to the Secretary of the Senate on or before a specified date. The result of the vote shall be transmitted to the Senate.
If additional nominations are not received, the Senate will elect the slate presented by the Nominating Committee at the same meeting. Those elected according to above procedures will take office on a date determined by the Senate Nominating Committee.
In circumstances where electronic voting is necessary, the Nominating Committee shall present a slate of nominees to the Senate prior to the date scheduled for the vote. Nominations, in addition to those presented by the Nominating Committee, may be received electronically, or in writing, by a date specified by the Secretary of the Senate, and must be accompanied by written evidence that the nominee is willing to serve along with the name of 3 members of Senate. If there are additional nominations, the Secretary of the Senate shall transmit to all Senators electronically a ballot containing the biographical information or other comments (up to a limit of 75 words) of the nominee(s). In order to be valid, ballots shall be returned to the Secretary of the Senate on or before a specified date. The result of the vote shall be transmitted to the Senate.
One-half of the membership of a committee shall constitute a quorum.
Attendance at Senate Committee meetings: see Section I. Meetings, 5. Attendance, of these Rules of Procedure.
All Senate Committees may receive written submissions from members of faculty and students. Any Senate Committee may, from time to time, hold open hearings at which members of faculty and students may present their views and discuss them with the Committee.
When a Senate Committee meets in closed session, the Committee shall decide the extent to which its members may discuss, outside the Committee, information placed before the Committee and the views expressed within it.
The date and agenda of committee meetings shall be circulated to the members at least 24 hours before the meeting of the Committee.
Committees are encouraged to give progress reports and working papers to the Senate.
Faculty and student Senators shall be elected by Faculties and Schools and student societies. Members of staff shall be elected to the Senate through direct and open elections administered by the Secretary of the Senate. The names of Senators elected shall be reported to the Secretary of the Senate in time for presentation at the regular March meeting of the Senate.
Membership terms are normally three years for faculty and staff. Terms for students are two years except for two 1-year positions in Arts & Science, two in Business and one in Education.
A Senator who expects to be absent from the University for more than 6 consecutive months, normally shall resign from the Senate. The Senator shall inform the electing body in writing with a copy to the Secretary of the Senate. The electing body shall be responsible for naming a replacement, according to its own election procedures. The electing body shall decide whether it is appropriate to name a replacement to finish the term of the resigning Senator, or to undertake the full term of the position vacated.
Senators who are taking family, medical or some other leave of absence, who expect to be away for more than 6 consecutive months, and who wish to remain on Senate or a Senate Committee, should contact the Secretary of the Senate as early as possible to discuss accommodation needs.
The Senate Rules of Procedure may be amended on motion after due notice.
The Secretary shall prepare copies of the Rules of Procedure in the latest revised form and shall distribute them to members of the Senate as required from time to time. They are also to be made available to the University Community.