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The majority of the open portion of the Oct. 16 Senate meeting was spent discussing a report submitted by the Senate Committee on Academic Planning and Priorities (SCAPP).
Provost David Graham introduced the SCAPP recommendations for Senate Committees, their memberships and mandates. This represents the third report on Senate procedures SCAPP was mandated to produce.
It was agreed to discuss the report generally and send the comments back to SCAPP for review. The composition of the standing committees remained a sticking point for many Senators. The report suggested the President, Provost and Vice-President Research and Graduate Studies be considered ex-officio voting members of all standing committees. Some Senators expressed concern this could weight certain committees heavily towards administrative representation. Among the related concerns raised were that student representation was not similarly increased and that there were no reserved spaces for part-time faculty representation. SCAPP will review the concerns raised and address them in a subsequent version of their report.
Earlier in the meeting, Senators asked that two items on the consent agenda concerning curriculum changes be brought into the main meeting.
William Lynch of Engineering asked for clarifications regarding discrepancies in documents pertaining to ESL requirements for certain students. Existing ESL courses 207, 208 and 209, which focus on reading and writing, are being replaced by more comprehensive courses. The documents were approved, subject to an amendment to indicate that courses ESL 208 and 209 will be deleted only in the 2012–13 calendar year.
The JMSB curriculum changes provoked questions on whether a standard number of credits is required to designate major or minor program status, since the proposed amendments referred to 12-credit programs. Acting JMSB Dean George Kanaan explained these changes referred to programs that offer 12 credits on top of a standard 42-credit set of basic courses.
President Judith Woodsworth reviewed the Homecoming events, some of which, like Family Fair Day, were very successful despite uncooperative weather. She also acknowledged the recent opening of the JMSB building and the announcement of funding for three new campus constructions through the Knowledge Infrastructure Program. Finally, she encouraged participation at the Nov. 4 edition of the President’s Conference Series and the Nov. 13 convocation ceremony.
The search for a new Dean of Graduate Studies is underway and a long list of potential candidates is anticipated for late November.
The next meeting of Senate is on Nov. 6.