Queen's University

Principal Woolf invites further discussion of rankings at Senate

 
2010-10-22

Principal Daniel Woolf is proposing to have a dialogue on rankings at next month’s Senate meeting. He told Senators that he wants more campus-wide discussion as the university develops its own metrics in all areas of planning, including academic, capital and enrolment.

Queen’s did not place in the Times Higher Education World rankings this year because the university didn’t participate due to concerns over methodology, which are shared by other Canadian university presidents. “It was the right decision not to have participated this year, but it’s a matter for discussion regarding next year,” Principal Woolf said. “Rankings are a mixed bag. They are out there and prospective students and faculty look at them when they consider where to go, where to study, where to work…We want to be in them, but we don’t want to chase them.”

Principal Woolf noted the results of the Research Infosource rankings that were released that day, and said Queen’s placement reflects the high calibre of researchers, the quality of their work and their productivity. The Globe and Mail Canadian University Report comes out next week and Maclean’s annual rankings next month.

Also in his report, Principal Woolf encouraged everyone to vote in the October 25 municipal election. He thanked the Alma Mater Society for organizing a mayoral debate, noting that one candidate said it was one of the best he experienced. “I’ve spoken to all mayoral candidates. We will reach out to the new mayor and council with the aim of continuing our positive relationships with both the local politicians and city staff,” Principal Woolf said.

Principal Woolf said he has been visiting academic departments, engaging with federal, provincial and municipal government officials, and preparing for a trip to India next month as part of a delegation of Canadian university presidents.

Academic Planning Process Update

Deputy Provost Susan Cole provided an update on the academic planning process, which has been referred to the Senate Committee on Academic Development (SCAD). At the SCAD meeting on September 29, a small informal working group was struck. The working group will report back to SCAD next week. SCAD will inform Senate of its response to the referral at the November 25 meeting.

Provost Report

Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic) Bob Silverman gave an operational update:
• The enrollment planning task force continues to meet twice a week and the final recommendation will be presented in early 2011;
• Budget meetings are well underway with academic and support units;
• The latest financial update was posted October 20;
• The Queen’s University Planning Committee meets for the first time on October 22;
• There are two active searches: director of the Bader International Study Centre and dean of Student Affairs. The renewal process for the dean of Arts and Science is in its early stages;
• New student exchange agreements are in negotiation;
• The Diversity and Equity Task Force recently released its 2010-11 action plan.

Quality Assurance Processes

Deputy Provost Cole gave a detailed overview of the proposed Queen’s University Quality Assurance Processes Proposal (QUQAP). In response to a Senator’s question, Deputy Provost Cole clarified that under QUQAP, Senate will approve new programs but the university cannot receive funding from the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities for that program unless it is approved by the Council of Ontario Universities (COU) Quality Council. Senator Jordan Morelli expressed his concern that QUQAP will remove the responsibility for quality assurance from Senate.

The draft policy has been referred to the Internal Academic Review Committee and the Senate Committee on Academic Development (SCAD). Senate will vote on the policy at the November 25 meeting.

No graduation while under investigation

Senate policy was amended so that no student may graduate while an academic integrity investigation is ongoing. When the investigation is initiated during the student’s final year of study, or involves a course required to graduate, the faculty or school will make reasonable attempts to expedite the investigation process before the expected convocation.

Other business
• The research report detailed recent awards and honours, as well as research funding announcements.
• The 2009-10 annual reports for Academic Procedures, Non-Academic Discipline and Residence were presented.
• The Senate Policy on Academic Integrity Procedures was amended to provide clear direction for the handling of cross-faculty matters.

Meeting minutes will be posted to University Secretariat website.

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