Purpose and Functions of Senate

(approved by Senate April 28, 2011, amended January 31, 2017)

Central Function:

  1. Under the jurisdiction of the Royal Charter of 1841, Senate determines all matters of an academic character that affect the University as a whole, and is concerned with all matters that affect the general welfare of the University and its constituents. Senate shall serve as a forum for discussion and exchange of ideas among the members of the University community.

Academic Planning and Educational Environment Functions:

Senate will

  1. participate in strategic planning for the University, including but not limited to the budgetary process and campus planning and development.

  2. assume a shared responsibility, along with the Board of Trustees and the Administration of Queen's, for a living and learning environment that promotes the well-being of students.

  3. commit through policies and programs to an environment at the University that recognizes equity and diversity as being vital to, and in harmony with, its educational purposes and standards of excellence as an institution.

Legislative Functions:

Senate has the authority to

  1. approve the establishment or closure of any academic unit, centre or institute, subject to ratification by the Board of Trustees.

  2. approve the establishment or closure of named and funded chairs and professorships, subject to ratification by the Board of Trustees.

  3. approve the establishment or closure, on the recommendation of Faculty Boards and Schools, of all programs of study leading to a degree, diploma, or certificate, and review all such programs cyclically.

  4. approve university-level policies relating to the academic mission and academic services including but not limited to policies related to admissions, calendars, examinations, student financial aid, and annual enrolment planning.

  5. grant all honorary degrees and grant on the recommendation of Faculty Boards and Schools all earned degrees, diplomas, and certificates awarded by the University.

  6. approve policies and procedures regarding student academic matters, and to discipline students with respect to departures from academic integrity, including the power to require a student to withdraw from the university. Senate maintains a concern for matters of student non-academic misconduct and participates in the Board of Trustee’s governance of non-academic misconduct discipline structures.

  7. approve the Academic Plan and the Strategic Research Plan.

Appointment/Selection Functions:

Senate will

  1. share with the Board of Trustees the responsibility for the selection of the Principal through a committee composed equally of members of the Senate and the Board.

  2. establish the procedures to be followed in the appointments of Deans and academic Vice-Principals.

  3. appoint, establish terms of reference, and have responsibility for committees that fulfill the functions of Senate.