Senate Notes 

The first Senate meeting of the academic year on Sept. 18 was efficient and brief.

This was the first time Senators used the consent agenda, a change introduced last year as part of a review on the operations of Senate. As Provost David Graham explained, this agenda is intended to reduce time spent on routine administrative matters by combining items expected to be unremarkable, to be approved en masse. In this case, that amounted to several uncontested nominations to various Senate committees, adoption of standing committee reports (only one had actually met since the last meeting of Senate in May), and the approval of the minutes of that meeting. It was also underscored that any item can be removed from the consent agenda if two Senators feel it merits discussion in the larger forum.

The rest of the meeting included presentation of the annual report of the Academic Hearing Panel. It was noted the ongoing campaign against plagiarism began in earnest two years ago seems to have paradoxically led to more, not fewer, charges of academic misconduct being launched. Vice-President External Relations and Secretary General Bram Freedman suggested that an increased awareness of what constitutes academic misconduct was likely the reason for more charges being laid.

Since President Judith Woodsworth had not yet returned from her trip to China when Senate met, her written report was more extensive than usual, covering notable university achievements of the last several months in a number of academic and administrative areas.

The bulk of the meeting revolved around a ballot system to elect representatives to the Senate steering committee. While ballots were tallied, several questions were raised. Among them, the university’s strategy for addressing the H1N1 virus (memos to deans, managers and students were being prepared).

The next meeting will be held on Oct. 16.


Concordia University