Senate Meeting Synopsis for October 7, 2019

Posted on Wednesday, October 9th, 2019

The first Senate meeting of the 2019-20 session was held on October 7, 2019 and was chaired by President Franco Vaccarino.

University Secretary Gen Gauthier-Chalifour commenced the meeting with a territorial land acknowledgment and provided a brief orientation for new and returning Senators.

Leadership Updates

The President offered oral remarks, including a welcome to new and returning Senators, recognized recent leadership appointments, and highlighted items from the Kudos Report acknowledging important and notable accomplishments of the University, its faculty, and students. The President also provided an update on institutional priorities focusing on key pillars of the strategic framework, and noted sustainability and internationalization as top priorities for 2019-20.  The President’s Advisory Committee on Sustainability will be engaging the University community in the sustainability conversation in the months ahead.  Work with government and other partners was also highlighted as part of overall efforts to position the University for future continued success.

The Provost provided a presentation with an overview of planning and priorities for the 2019-20 academic year, emphasizing in particular plans for internationalization, strategic financial planning, and renewal of the Strategic Mandate Agreement (SMA3). In reviewing plans for SMA3, the Provost described the potential impact of performance-based funding to the university, and outlined the principles developed for selection and weighting of metrics.

The Vice-President (Research) provided an update on the 2019-20 priorities for the Office of Research, including increasing Tri-Agency funding and industry-sponsored research, as well as finding efficiencies and generating sources of revenue. The Vice-President (Research) also emphasized the type and level of support the Office of Research provides to the University community.

The Associate Vice-President (Academic) confirmed common core questions and the evaluation scales to be used for teaching and course evaluations, further to feedback and discussion at the Senate meeting of June 3, 2019, and subsequent consultation.

Key Business Items and Approvals

Other key items of business at the meeting included:

  • Approval of Senate priorities for 2019-20.
  • Approval of the Presidential Selection Committee membership slate.
  • Approval of changes to the Voluntary Withdrawal Policy.
  • Approval of changes to Graduate Calendar Regulations which introduce a cap on the number of credits in which a full-time graduate student can register each semester.
  • Approval of the deletion of fields from the Master of Arts in French program.
  • Approval of a name change to a field and the addition of three new fields to the MBS, MSc and PhD programs in Biomedical Sciences. Fields will now include: Cellular and Molecular Basis of Health and Disease, Cancer Biology, Cardiovascular Physiology, and Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Biology.
  • Presentation of the quality review report for the Department of Animal Biosciences, Equine Management Major in the Bachelor of Bio-Resource Management program.
  • Presentation of the One-Year Follow-up report for International Development Studies
  • Items presented for information, including: update from the COU Academic Colleague, graduate curriculum changes, 2019-20 Board of Graduate Studies subcommittee membership, graduate faculty appointments, undergraduate curriculum changes, results of fall by-elections, and the University of Guelph and University of Guelph-Humber 2020-2021 Schedule of Dates.

More Information

The complete meeting agenda package is available on the University Secretariat's Governance Portal 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.

2019-20 Senate Meetings

The remaining meeting dates for the 2019-20 Senate Session are as follows:

  • Monday, November 25, 2019
  • Monday, February 10, 2020
  • Monday, March 30, 2020
  • Monday, June 1, 2020

Meetings are open to the public and visitors who wish to attend should contact the University Secretariat at

News Archive