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Senate in brief

Highlights from the Sept. 17 meeting of Senate

At the beginning of the meeting, Principal Daniel Woolf welcomed this year’s new senators and also offered a warm welcome to Susan Mumm, new Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Science.

Principal’s report

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

  • Delegation to Israel and the West Bank. The principal had the opportunity to travel to Israel and the West Bank over the summer with several other Canadian university executive heads. While there, he signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on behalf of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada to strengthen academic ties between Israel and Canada. He also participated in the formal announcement of a new partnership between Queen’s Faculty of Law and the Buchmann Faculty of Law at Tel Aviv University, made possible by the generous support of Jeremy Freedman (LLB’82), and he visited Birzeit University in the West Bank to look at ways to build on an MOU signed in 2010.
  • Honours and awards. The principal recognized a number of outstanding awardees: Kerry Rowe, who was elected as a fellow to the Royal Society in the United Kingdom this year and was recognized by the International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering, which named the R. Kerry Rowe Lecture in his honour; several Queen’s professors (a record number) who were elected to the Royal Society of Canada, including Gauvin Bailey (Art History), Nicholas Bala (Law), Praveen Jain (Electrical and Computer Engineering), Philip Jessop (Chemistry), David Lillicrap (Pathology and Molecular Medicine), F.P. Lock (English), and Carlos Prado (Philosophy); Art McDonald, who won the biennial Giuseppe and Vanna Cocconi Prize from the European Physical Society for his work on solar neutrinos carried out at SNOLAB; John Smol, who was made an Officer of the Order of Canada this summer and was also awarded the Weston Family Prize for Lifetime Achievement in Northern Research; and David Lyon, who was recently inducted as an academician into the Academy of Social Sciences in the UK.
  • Board/Senate Retreat. The principal is looking forward to the second annual Board/Senate Retreat, being held on October 5, the focus of which will be Strategic Enrolment. The Strategic Enrolment Management Group recently released a white paper that encourages feedback from the Queen’s community.

Provost’s report

Alan Harrison, Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic) provided a written report. The provost was unable to attend this month’s Senate meeting, and therefore had no further oral updates.

Ann Tierney, Vice-Provost and Dean of Student Affairs, provided an oral report on enrolment. She noted that all numbers are preliminary as enrolment numbers will still fluctuate. Dean Tierney reported the following:

  • A strong first-year applicant pool of 28,956 applications, an increase of 2 per cent.
  • First-year registrants totalled 4,109, including 177 returning first-year students.
  • The incoming class average: 88.9 per cent
  • Incoming students are from all provinces and two territories with a gender split of 58 per cent female/42 per cent male (last year: 62 per cent female/38 per cent male)
  • Total full-time undergraduate enrolment: 16,464
  • Aboriginal students: 63 first-year undergraduates, a 91 per cent increase over last year
  • International students represent 5.2 per cent of undergraduates.

A full report will be completed in November.

Committee motions and reports

Senate approved:

  • The election of persons to Senate committees, from the Senate Nominating Committee.
  • The Terms of Reference for the Queen’s Research Centres and Institutes Task Force, from the Senate Advisory Research Committee (SARC).
  • Formal institute status for the Canadian Institute for Military and Veteran Health Research for a five-year period, effective Sept. 10, 2013, subject to ratification of the Board of Trustees, from SARC.
  • The motion that the report of the 2012-13 Academic Planning Task Force respecting Virtualization and On-line Learning, as received by Senate on April 30, 2013, be referred to the Provost’s Task Force on the Student Learning Experience, and that the Provost’s Task Force be asked to take into account, as part of its work, the recommendations contained in the Academic Planning Task Force’s Report.

Senate received SARC annual reports for 2010-11, 2011-12 and 2012-13.

Question period

The provost provided a written response to a question regarding deferred maintenance.


Senate received the University Council Report to Senate, the Board of Trustees/Senate Retreat Update, and the Research Report.

Matters referred to standing committees

The 2012-13 Athletics and Recreation Non-Academic Discipline Report, from the Senate Committee on Non-Academic Discipline (SONAD).

The Primary Health Care Nurse Practitioner Diploma, from the Senate Committee on Academic Development (SCAD).

The Graduate Programs in Biomedical and Molecular Sciences, from SCAD.