Senate in brief
In his report to Senate, Principal Woolf provided updates on the following topics:
Board of Trustees (BOT) and University Council (UC)
• There is a clear directive from the BOT that Queen’s must present a balanced budget for 2012-13.
• The recent UC meeting included discussions on revenue generation and how to use councillors more effectively in fundraising.
• Chancellor David Dodge was unanimously re-elected to a second three-year term.
• The university will participate in all major university rankings this year, including Times Higher Education, which has changed its methodology due to multiple objections from different universities, including Queen’s. The university recognizes the international profile and recruitment benefits that these rankings provide. The Principal expects the rankings will continue to reflect our unique position in Canadian higher education.
• The BOT approved the new brand idea. The marketing department will be working with units and departments across campus over the next several months, work-shopping the idea to determine how it will be applied when marketing Queen’s to all of its audiences. The brand process has been a priority for the university and has his full support. The brand idea will provide the foundation for Queen’s to build consistent communications and engaging stories about the university that differentiate it from other institutions. It will be critical in building the theme and profile for the public launch of our upcoming fundraising campaign.
• The Principal has been in touch with all successful and unsuccessful candidates in our riding after the recent federal election and cabinet shuffle.
• Queen’s is welcoming both federal and provincial representatives to a government recognition event this week for the new School of Medicine building, which was funded jointly by the federal and provincial governments as well as private donors.
• The building is on schedule, on budget and will welcome medical students starting in the fall.
Health and Wellness
• Student Affairs is doing important work on student health and wellness, and expanded mental health services and education programs will be offered starting in September.
• The Coroner will make recommendations shortly resulting from his investigation into two student deaths last fall.
In his report to Senate, Provost Silverman provided updates on the following topics:
• The Board of Trustees passed the 2011-12 operating budget of just over $400-million, which reflects a deficit of $3-million. The Board also required the university administration to present, by March 2012, a plan for eliminating future budget deficits.
• The Enrolment Planning Task Force has submitted recommendations to the principal suggesting growth for Queen’s share of the 41,000 new university spaces recently announced by the provincial government. Enrolment planning will continue to be an important part of Queen’s planning processes, and we must make smart decisions to sustain our position within the Ontario system.
School of Religion
• Negotiations for integrating the School of Religion within Queen’s are completed. The principal, on the provost’s recommendation, will ask the BOT to officially support the merger at its fall meeting. The integration will strengthen the School and provide Queen’s with another strong academic unit.
• On May 25, international visitors representing 20 institutions from 13 countries visited Queen’s before heading to the Association of International Educators Conference in Vancouver. Several existing agreements have been renewed and Queen’s continues to expand its international partnerships with foreign universities.
• A tentative settlement between Queen’s and the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC), the union that represents graduate teaching assistants and teaching fellows, has been ratified by both sides.
• In March, the provost issued a message to all students about the need to make safe choices given the increased incidents of students found on building rooftops and the malicious use of fire alarms and blue light emergency phones. The message was distributed by email to all students and in a full-page advertisement in the Queen’s Journal. He reported that recently, six students were found on a building rooftop, and that he has issued a notice of prohibition to all of them which forbids them from being on campus except for their summer jobs. The provost has recommended to the University Senate Appeal Board (USAB) that the students be required to withdraw for a term. The USAB hearing is expected to take place this summer. There will be further reminders in September when students return to campus -- this dangerous behaviour must stop.
• The audit committee of the Board of Trustees recently approved the new copyright policy for Queen’s. Queen’s Access Copyright license is due to expire August 31. A new copyright specialist will be hired imminently as a resource and support to faculty members.
Queen’s University Quality Assurance Processes (QUQAPS)
• The Council of Ontario Universities (COU) Quality Council recently ratified QUQAPS. The new QUQAPS will be implemented on September 1. At its September 27 meeting, Senate will receive from the Provost’s Office a document showing the minor revisions that the COU Quality Council made to the Senate-approved QUQAPS.
• May 1 marked the one-year anniversary of the provost model at Queen’s. It’s been a year of great challenges on several fronts, and the new model allowed Queen’s to be better coordinated. The provost set six broad goals a year ago, and all six have been met to some extent. The provost model is working well. The provost thanked all of the individuals and units that helped make the new model a successful and efficient one.
Reports of Committees
• Senate approved the proposal that the Department of Religious Studies be known and constituted as the School of Religion in the Faculty of Arts and Science conditional on, and following, a ratification of an agreement between Queen’s School of Religion and Queen’s University.
• Action on the proposed changes to the Policy on Transcript Terminology for Students Withdrawing from Queen’s University was postponed until the fall. The Senate Committee on Academic Procedures will examine the policy as it relates to students who are required to withdraw due to issues of a personal nature.
• Recommendation to accept internal academic review reports from the Department of Art, Department of Biology, Department of Philosophy and Department of Psychology - passed.
• Recommendation from the Senate Nominating Committee appointing Professor Deborah Leighton from the School of Policy Studies as vice-chair of the Harassment/Discrimination Complaint Board for the period of May 25, 2011 to December 31, 2011 - passed.
• Recommendation by the Senate Operations Review Committee to establish the Senate Cyclical Program Review Committee effective May 1, 2012 - passed.
• Motion to approve changes to the composition of the Aboriginal Council of Queen’s University - passed.