Senate Meeting Synopsis for November 30, 2020

Posted on Friday, December 11th, 2020

The third Senate meeting of the 2020-21 session was held on November 30, 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 began by offering oral remarks and welcoming Sean Mitchell, who was recently elected as CSA VP Academic. The President expressed thanks to students, faculty and staff who have been required on campus and, a special thanks to those who have been working hard to support students through programs like House Calls and Gryphon’s Nest. 

President Yates then discussed planning for an eventual return to campus as well as the expansion of on-campus COIVD-19 testing to faculty and staff. The President also noted the approval of the University’s safe arrival plan for international students and the success of two major virtual events, the honorary degree ceremony for Dick Pound and the Arrell Food Summit. 

President Yates then announced that the University had recently achieved a gold rating for campus sustainability from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. The President concluded by providing updates on the Anti-Racism Action Plan and the ongoing sexual violence reviews. 

Interim Provost & Vice-President (Academic), Dr. Gwen Chapman, provided an update on Fall 2020 enrolment, noting that enrolment remains stable and slightly better than projections. Dr. Chapman also provided an update on financial sustainability measures, including an update on the operating budget, and Strategic Mandate Agreement 3 (SMA3). 
The Vice-President (Research), Dr. Malcolm Campbell, began by providing an update on the planned Strategic Research Plan renewal. Dr. Campbell then highlighted recent guidance from the government of Canada relative to the need to protect research from malicious actors. In keeping with this guidance, the University will be taking immediate steps to make sure that researchers are aware of both the need to protect their research and the tools available to them. 

Strategic Priority Discussion: Program Innovation and Student Success

At its last meeting, Senate approved its Strategic Priorities for 2020-21. The strategic priorities and focus areas are derived from institutional priorities and reflect areas of particular importance to Senate in its role providing oversight of educational policy and supporting the University’s academic mission.

The Provost led a discussion on program innovation and student success, with a
particular focus on teaching and learning innovation, and wellbeing. Senators provided a broad range of feedback that will be used to inform the University’s approach to this strategic priority. In particular, Senators provided feedback relative to student and faculty wellbeing and the impact of the pandemic on teaching and learning.  

Key Business Items and Approvals

Other key items of business at the meeting included:

  • Approval of amendments to Senate Bylaws
  • Approval of a major modification to the PhD in Management
  • Approval of a major modification to the Master of Cybersecurity and Threat Intelligence
  • Approval of a new Bachelor of Indigenous Environmental Science and Practice Program
  • Approval of a new Certificate in Accounting
  • Approval of the addition of Co-operative Education options to the following programs:
    • Bachelor of Arts – History
    • Bachelor of Bio-Resource Management – Environmental Management
    • Bachelor of Bio-Resource Management – Equine Management
    • Associate Diploma Program – Turfgrass Management
    • Bachelor of Science – Plant Science
  • Approval of the deletion of the Areas of Emphasis in the Plant Science major
  • Approval of a major modification to the Crop, Horticulture and Turfgrass Sciences major
  • Approval of the reinstatement of the Area of Emphasis in Gender and Inclusive Development in the International Development Studies major
  • Approval of a major modification to the Media Studies program at the University of Guelph-Humber
  • Approval of admission changes to the Veterinary Technology program
  • Approval of temporary admission changes to the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program
  • Items presented for information included an update from the COU Academic Colleague, Committee on Student Petitions annual report for 2019-20, graduate curriculum changes and faculty appointments, undergraduate curriculum changes, Board of Undergraduate Studies sub-committee memberships, and Non-degree Studies reviews of programs and program changes.

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, February 1, 2020.

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

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