Senate Meeting Synopsis for June 1, 2020

Posted on Tuesday, June 9th, 2020

The fifth regular Senate meeting of the 2019-20 session was held on June 1, 2020 and was chaired by President Franco Vaccarino.

Gen Gauthier-Chalifour, University Secretary, commenced the meeting with a territorial land acknowledgment.

Leadership Updates

The President opened the meeting expressing deep concern regarding the death of George Floyd and the related outbreaks of violence and hatred in the United States and other countries around the world, including Canada. The President strongly reiterated the University’s commitment to fostering a culture of respect, equity and belonging for all members of our campus communities, and that expressions of hatred will not be tolerated.

Dr. Vaccarino welcomed the new Graduate Student Association President, Nicole Berardi, and offered thanks to several members of the leadership team who would be changing their posts over the summer. Acknowledged were Sara Mann, who will conclude her term as interim dean of the Lang School of Business and Economics; Dean Mary Wells, who will join the University of Waterloo as dean of engineering; and John Walsh, who will step down as vice-provost for the University of Guelph-Humber on June 30. The interim leadership appointments of George Bragues and Brenda Whiteside at the University of Guelph-Humber were also noted.

Dr. Vaccarino noted that planning for Fall 2020 would continue to be guided by a set of established principles, with a key focus on the health and wellness of the University community, sustaining the quality of academic programs, and ensuring students are able to progress toward their degrees.  The ability to pivot in response to new information and the advice of public health as well as the University’s own global public health experts and epidemiologists was also noted, as was the importance of managing risk while providing quality education and experience to students.

The Provost reiterated the guiding principles for Fall 2020 planning. Dr. Yates also provided a budget update, including an overview of the Canadian higher education environment, risks, assumptions, a series of scenarios with associated impacts and strategic investments in the budget. The Provost announced the COVID-19 steering committee to be chaired by University Librarian Rebecca Graham, which will be coordinating the return to campus. The Provost also announced the appointment of Gwen Chapman as Interim Provost, , and the appointment of Martha Harley as Interim Vice-President (Finance and Operations).

The Vice-President (Research) provided an update on the impact of COVID-19 on the research enterprise outlining the various responses to the risks and challenges at this time.

Key Business Items and Approvals

Other key items of business at the meeting included:

  • Approval of a new major in Justice and Legal Studies.

  • Approval of a new major in Culture and Technology Studies.

  • Approval of a co-op option in the Bachelor of Arts Environmental Governance program.

  • Approval of a new minor in Accounting.

  • Approval of a name change to the Bachelor of Commerce Management and Economics and Finance major from “Management” to “Managerial Economics”.

  • Approval of a name change to the Bachelor of Commerce major, including Co-op from “Public Management” to “Government, Economics and Management.”

  • Approval of changes to the admission requirements for the ECE Pathway to the BASC Child Studies, Family Studies and Human Development.

  • Approval of the expansion of the Integrated Admission Pathway.

  • Approval of changes to academic regulations and guidelines, including: criteria, curricular and co-curricular definitions related to experiential learning; credit/no credit grading option; and minimum requirements for feedback in the Grading Procedures.

  • Approval of a combined degree program of Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and Master of Public Health.

  • Approval of changes to the Master of Arts in European Studies to include an optional year abroad at Vrije Universiteit (VUB).

  • Approval of changes to the Master of Science in Chemistry, Thesis Option.

  • Approval of the deletion of Graduate Diploma (Type 3) in Modelling Applications in Water Resource Engineering and Graduate Diploma (Type 3) in Engineering Design of Sustainable Water Resource Systems due to low enrolment.

  • Presentation of the quality review report for the Department of Chemistry, Bachelor of Science programs.

  • Presentation of the non-degree program reviews for Maintaining Golf Course Certificate, Certificate in Knowledge Mobilization and Certificate in Supply Management for Public Procurement.

  • Items presented for information, including: update from the COU Academic Colleague, , Bachelor of Arts online program, graduate curriculum changes, graduate faculty appointments, and undergraduate curriculum changes.

The Provost concluded the meeting with thanks and best wishes to Dr. Vaccarino at his last meeting as Chair of Senate, along with a farewell video.

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 is the meeting minutes, which will be available following their approval at the next regularly scheduled Senate meeting.

Upcoming Senate Meetings

The Senate schedule may be modified over the summer months in response to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic. The next regular meeting of Senate is scheduled to take place on Monday, October 5, 2020.

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

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