Senate Meeting Synopsis for October 5, 2020

Posted on Tuesday, October 13th, 2020

The second Senate meeting of the 2020-21 session was held on October 5, 2020 and was chaired by President Charlotte Yates.

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

Leadership Updates

The President, Dr. Charlotte Yates, began by offering oral remarks and welcoming Dr. Lysa Porth as the new Dean of Gordon S. Lang School of Business and Economics.  The President expressed thanks to students, faculty and staff who have been required on campus and for helping support public health guidelines to keep the campus community safe.

President Yates highlighted the new University of Guelph Anti-Racism Plan including the creation of a President’s Advisory Committee on Anti-Racism.

The President announced the creation of a new research centre – Dairy at Guelph Centre for Dairy Research and Innovation, with a mission to enhance the University’s accomplishments and recognition of dairy-related research at Guelph. Congratulations were expressed to everyone involved.

The Provost & Vice-President (Academic), Dr. Gwen Chapman, provided an update on Fall 2020 activities highlighting estimated enrolment levels and the reduction of residence activities. The Provost emphasised student initiatives including the Gryphons Nest virtual community connecting first-year students living off campus, student study space on campus, the launch of a survey to examine student experience both in and out of the classroom, and an update on Winter 2021 planning. The Provost commented on the theme of nurturing a distinctive culture in the Strategic Framework and how important it is for us sustain this during the pandemic.

The Vice-President (Research), Dr. Malcolm Campbell, provided an update on the work of the Office of Research including reference to the University’s Strategic Research Plan and the continued use of the principles to support research, highlighted the continued COVID-19 research, and need to elevate our Tri-Council competitive. Dr. Campbell also highlighted the federal government’s approval of our equity diversity and inclusion action plan that will be a fundamental focus and embedded in the research enterprise.

Assistant Vice-President (Diversity and Human Rights) Indira Naidoo-Harris noted the Office of Diversity and Human Rights continues their efforts to address racist incidents within the University of Guelph community, and overviewed the Anti-Racism Action Plan that will address racism, hatred and discrimination and build strong path forward.

Key Business Items and Approvals

Other key items of business at the meeting included:

  • Endorsement of 2020-21 Senate Strategic Priorities & Agenda Plan
  • Approval of membership slate for Provost & VP (Academic) Selection Committee
  • Approval of major modification to the PhD in Family Relations and Applied Nutrition program
  • Approval of major modification to the MSc in Family Relations and Applied Nutrition program
  • Approval of major modification to the PhD program in Economics
  • Approval of major modification to MA in Management program
  • Items presented for information: President’s Kudos report, results of Senate by-election, undergraduate and graduate academic schedule of dates 2021-22, undergraduate curriculum changes, graduate curriculum changes, Board of Graduate Studies subcommittee memberships, graduate faculty appointments, call for nominations for 2021 University awards.

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 Meeting

The next regular meeting of Senate is scheduled to take place on Monday, November 30, 2020.

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

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