Senate Meeting Synopsis for February 4, 2019

Posted on Tuesday, February 19th, 2019

University of Guelph Senate – Meeting Synopsis

February 4, 2019

The third Senate meeting of the 2018-19 session was held on February 4, 2019 and was chaired by President Franco Vaccarino.

Statia Elliot, Chair of the Senate Honours and Awards Committee and Mark Lipton, Chair of the Senate Committee on Non-Degree Studies, commenced the meeting with a territorial land acknowledgment. 

The President offered oral remarks including the announcement of the new Centre for Advancing Responsible and Ethical Artificial Intelligence (CARE-AI); gift from the late John F. Wood which renames CBaSE as the John F. Wood Centre for Business and Student Enterprise; announcement of the new name for the OMAFRA – University of Guelph Partnership as the Ontario Agri-Food Alliance “Ontario Solutions, Global Impact”; launch of the Guelph Institute for Environmental Research (located in the College of Biological Sciences); creation of the Marketing and Analytics Centre (located in the College of Business and Economics); recent visits from federal government ministers; offered congratulations on the celebration of 50 year anniversaries in the College of Arts and McLaughlin Library; increase in student applications for the Fall, above the provincial average; provided an update on The Board of Governor’s decision to reduce the carbon footprint of the endowment portfolio in the long and short term, noting Fossil Free Guelph’s role in initiating the conversation; provided updates on the smoke free campus policy and cannabis policy; and provided an update on the ongoing reviews for the Provost and Vice-President (Academic) and Vice-President (Research).  The President also expressed sadness with regard to the recent passing of former University president Dr. William Winegard, and noted that information about a celebration of life for Dr. Winegard would be forthcoming.

The President also offered an update on provincial announcements, including the reduction in tuition funding by 10% which will be frozen through 2020-21; anticipated new framework pertaining to mandatory student fees; a series of significant changes to the OSAP program; and, also reiterated the University’s commitment to both student access and success during this period of change.

Dr. Cate Dewey, Associate Vice-President (Academic) offered an update on the new Centre for Teaching and Learning, to be led by an interim Director, Professor Martin Williams, which will include staff from Educational Development. Dr. Dewey also announced that Michelle Fach is now Executive Director of Open Learning and Educational Support and that this department will expand its focus on online offerings.

Other items of business at the meeting included:

  • A report from Student Senate Caucus co-chairs Keely Kavcic and Lindsay Fletcher. 
  • Approval of the Senate meeting dates for 2021-22.
  • Approval to changes to the International Development Studies program, including name change, changes to the areas of emphasis and introduction of a Co-Operative Education Option.
  • Approval of a new graduate Collaborative Specialization in Artificial Intelligence.
  • Approval of a new graduate program in Cybersecurity and Threat Intelligence.
  • Approval of changes to the credit requirements for the Master of Engineering (MEng) program.
  • Presentation of the results of the Institutional Quality Assurance Process Audit report.
  • Presentation of quality review reports for the Department of Marketing and Consumer Studies.
  • Presentation of one year follow up report for the Department of Biomedical Sciences.
  • Presentation of Annual Research Reports for 2017-18.
  • Approval of the deletion of the Winter convocation ceremony, effective February 2020.
  • Items presented for information, including: undergraduate curriculum changes including changes to the credit weight for Co-Operative Education Work terms, graduate curriculum changes, graduate faculty appointments, changes to the Walter Vaughan Medal Guidelines, Annual Call for Honorary Degree nominations and update from the COU Academic Colleague. 

The complete meeting agenda package is available on the University Secretariat website and includes detailed information on the items listed above.  The official record of the meeting are the meeting minutes, which will be available following their approval the next regularly scheduled Senate meeting.

The next Senate meeting will be held on April 1, 2019, in the OVC Lifetime Learning Centre Room 1714.  Meetings are open to the public and visitors who wish to attend should contact the University Secretariat at

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