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    Senate in brief

    Highlights from the November 27 meeting of Senate

    Principal's report

    Principal Daniel Woolf offered his best wishes to the university community for the holiday season and to students preparing for and writing exams. He also spoke of the November Convocation ceremonies giving particular thanks to those who had carried out the preparations for these events.

    He also provided an update on the strategic mandate statements submitted to the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities this fall and the impact of changing leadership at the provincial level. The evaluation of the statements is a two-pronged process involving the ministry and the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO). The Council of Ontario Universities (COU) is keeping an eye on the process.

    In his written report to Senate, Principal Woolf provided the following updates:

    • Community engagement. Principal Woolf is continuing his efforts to enhance communication between the Board, the Senate, and the administration, and has begun inviting trustees to events on campus to further engage them in the life of the university. He highlighted the recent Queen's Community Breakfast, where several Queen's students shared their initiatives with community and business leaders.
    • International engagement and the Matariki Network of Universities. Representatives of the seven partner institutions of the Matariki Network met in November at Queen's. Principal Woolf commented on the visit of a delegation of senior administrators from Tsinghua University. The reciprocal visit provided an opportunity to broaden and further consolidate linkages with Tsinghua for student mobility and joint research.
    • Convocation. Principal Woolf noted he was privileged to officiate with Chancellor David Dodge at fall convocation ceremonies and, in particular, at the awarding of honorary degrees to President Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter.
    • Mental health initiatives at Queen's. Queen's continues its focus on building awareness of student mental health issues and providing enhanced support for mental health issues on campus.  This month, the principal signed an agreement with Eric Windeler that will bring The Jack Project to Queen's. Principal Woolf also anticipated receiving the final report of the Principal's Commission on Mental Health by the end of November. It was released November 28.
    • Advancement activities. Since the launch of the Initiative Campaign in September, the principal has met with a number of key alumni and benefactors to discuss how their philanthropic support could advance Queen's academic priorities. More than 60 per cent of the $500 million goal is now secured.

    Provost's report

    In his written report, Provost Alan Harrison provided the following updates:

    Question period

    Senate discussed a question from Senator Petra Fachinger regarding the inappropriate use of emergency phones on campus. The provost responded, noting that the university takes the student safety matter very seriously and is taking  steps to discourage inappropriate emergency phones use. Senator Doug Johnson reported the Alma Mater Society is working with engineering societies in particular to address the problem.

    Reports of Committees

    Senate approved:

    Senate received:

    Reports of Faculties

    Senate received orientation reports from the Faculty of Education, the School of Graduate Studies, and the School of Medicine.


    • A proposal to recommend designation of a Queen's National Scholar as a position in Indigenous Studies submitted by Senator Petra Fachinger was defeated.
    • A motion to endorse the establishment of a Queen's University 175th Anniversary Working Group was approved.

    Communications and reports submitted to Senate

    Senate discussed a report on Senate's role in Queen's University governance. Several senators expressed their appreciation of the sentiments expressed in the report on collegial governance  but noted that unresolved issues remain.

    David Hanes of the Provost's Advisory Committee on Budget (PACB) made a presentation on the new budget model.

    Diane Kelly, University Council provided an update on the Fair Dealing Policy.

    Senate received the Research Report, the 2011-2012 Annual Report from Student Affairs, a report from the Campus Planning and Development Committee, and the Annual Report from the University Council on Athletics and Recreation.

    Matters referred to standing committees

    A five-year review of the RMC Fuel Cell Research Centre was referred to the Senate Advisory Research Committee (SARC).

    A grade point average review was referred to the Senate Committee on Academic Procedures (SCAP).

    A review of course variants was referred to the SCAP.

    A University Student Appeal Board decision was referred to the Senate Educational Equity Committee (SEEC).