Senate Meeting Synopsis for April 5, 2021

Posted on Thursday, April 15th, 2021

The fifth Senate meeting of the 2020-21 session was held on April 5, 2021 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 including a high level COVID-19 update related to the month-long provincial shut-down that began over the weekend. President Yates highlighted the University’s positive partnership with Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph and Guelph Family Health Team linked to the on-campus vaccination clinic and offered thanks to its 500 volunteers.

The President delivered news about recent provincial funding announcements, informed Senators that the University continues to engage with external partners and donors, and advocate for International students regarding visas and vaccinations.

President Yates commented on the recent release of the University’s Indigenous Strategy, indicating there many recommendations we need to make progress on. The President also shared that the President’s Advisory Committee on Anti-Racism (PACAR), recently held its second meeting which focused discussion on data collection, our Anti-Racism Action Plan and the development of an anti-racism policy.

President Yates announced the establishment of the Strategic Framework Advisory Committee directing Senators to the President’s website for details. The President expressed that as consultations roll-out, the Committee will be looking at ways of engaging the PACAR in the strategic framework refresh and shared that initial consultations will be with students to capture their input prior to summer.

The President spoke about the recent virtual townhall which focused on return-to-campus planning and noted a commitment to holding regular townhalls as we continue to plan for the fall semester. The President emphasized the importance of planning now, to help ensure that that people can take needed time off over the summer months.

The President highlighted recent events including a successful Black History Month, the He-for-She virtual event featuring Adrienne Clarkson, and the Choose to Challenge Panel for International Women’s Day featuring Kathleen Wynne, Jean Augustine, and Ava Hill.

Update from the Provost
Provost & Vice-President (Academic), Dr. Gwen Chapman, provided updates on academic planning for Fall 2021, the Provost Task Force on Pedagogical Innovation, and enrolment and application trends. Dr. Chapman also delivered a high-level overview on the budget and signaled that the Provost Dialogue on Budget (April 7, 2021) would provide a more detailed report of the budget plan.

Update from the VP Research
The Vice-President (Research), Dr. Malcolm Campbell, provided an update on progress toward Office of Research priorities based on the principles outlined in the Strategic Research Plan. Dr. Campbell reported that the University has received a report from the federal government indicating that our Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion plan is what it should be, and we are making progress in this area. Dr. Campbell described how the Office of Research is monitoring progress using key performance indicators and dashboards, and informed Senators that the Office of Research is working toward being able to share updates to dashboards with the University community on a regular basis.

Update on Indigenous Initiatives
Dr. Cara Wehkamp, Special Advisor to the President on Indigenous Initiatives, presented the release of the Indigenous Initiatives Strategy and the summary report Bi-Naagwad: It Comes into View, released March 4, 2021. Dr. Wehkamp provided an overview of the strategy which outlines the commitments the University of Guelph has made in working toward decolonization and reconciliation with First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples, communities, and lands.

Key Business Items and Approvals

Other key items of business at the meeting included:

  • Approval of the Presidential Selection Committee membership slate
  • Approval of additions of examination and grading procedures to the Graduate Calendar regulations
  • Approval of a new Collaborative Specialization in Regenerative Medicine
  • Approval of the addition of the Bachelor of Bio-Resource Management and Bachelor of Science in Environmental Sciences to the Integrated Admission Pathway
  • Approval of a name change to the University of Guelph-Humber’s major in Family and Community Social Services – Social Service Worker Diploma to Community Social Services - Social Service Worker Diploma
  • Items presented for information included an update from the COU Academic Colleague, graduate curriculum changes and faculty appointments, cyclical quality reviews and one year follow-up reports, non-degree program reviews and changes, annual research-related committee reports, 2021-22 Senate election results, call for Honorary Degree nominations and student award nominations.

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, June 7, 2021.

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

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