Senate Meeting Synopsis for June 7, 2021
The sixth Senate meeting of the 2020-21 session was held on June 7, 2021 and was chaired by President Charlotte Yates.
President Yates commenced the meeting with a territorial land acknowledgment and reflection on the recent discovery of the remains of 215 Indigenous children found at the Kamloops Indian Residential School, located on Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation land and called for a re-doubling of our efforts toward reconciliation and decolonization.
The President offered oral remarks including a brief update on COVID-19 planning in relation to the phased-in reopening plan, its link to vaccination rates and what this means for the gradual implementation of people returning to campus in the summer and fall. President Yates indicated that a townhall, including representation from local Public Health, will soon be held for students, their parents, staff, and faculty. President Yates further shared that the University has been developing a communication plan to encourage students to be vaccinated and are arranging to ensure vaccines are available for all students.
President Yates commended those bringing curriculum innovations and new programs forward, acknowledging the message being heard through strategic refresh conversations, that our strengths lie in interdisciplinary collaboration.
The President also provided updates on various items including a concerning decline in first-year student confirmations for the fall, discussions around a relocation opportunity for the University of Guelph-Humber to the City of Brampton, the Strategic Framework Refresh, and the President’s Advisory Committee on Anti-Racism.
The President announced a ten-million-dollar gift for the G360 Groundwater Institute from a long-time friend and supporter of the University, Ted Morwick. In recognition of the gift, which will support the University’s international leadership in groundwater research, the Institute will be renamed the Morwick G360 Groundwater Research Institute.
President Yates offered congratulations to the two University of Guelph professors, D. Rebecca Shapiro and Dr. Jackie Goordial, who have been appointed CIFAR (Canadian Institute for Applied Research) Azrieli Global Scholars among fourteen international researchers. Dr. Yates offered additional congratulations to Dr. Madhur Anand for winning the 2020 Governor General’s Literary Award for non-fiction for This Red Line Goes Straight to your Heart: A Memoir of Halves.
The President announced the approval of the Maplewood Centre for Family Therapy and Child Psychology, a merger of the previously existing Centre for Psychological Services and Centre of Couple and Family Therapy relocating to the former VMI Building.
In closing, President Yates reminded Senators of the upcoming virtual convocation ceremonies.
Key Business Items and Approvals
Other key items of business at the meeting included:
- Approval of the 2021-22 Senate Standing Committee Memberships
- Election of the Member-at-Large to Chair the Senate Priorities and Planning Committee
- Approval of revisions to Undergraduate Degree Regulations and Procedures including removing the requirement for 1000 and 2000 level examinations, revisions to the Credit/No Credit Grading Option and corresponding revisions to the Academic Misconduct policy
- Approval of changes to admission requirements for the DVM program and the BBRM Equine Management program
- Approval of the Duolingo English Test as evidence of English proficiency for applicants to undergraduate programs
- Approval of the B.Sc.(Agr.) addition to the Integrated Admission Pathway
- Approval of five new undergraduate programs: Bachelor of One Health including a Co-op option and minor, BA Honours major and minor in Sexualities, Genders and Social Change, BA Honours major in Creative Writing, BA minor in Linguistics, BA minor in Black Canadian Studies
- Approval of new Co-op Options for the existing B.Sc. in Wildlife Biology and Conservation, and BA in Culture and Technology Studies
- Approval of graduate calendar regulations including, clarification of external examiner appointment process, the addition of a Credit/No Credit Grading Option, and revisions to Other Grading Notations
- Approval of a new programs including, Master of Data Science, Master of Dairy Technology Management, and PhD in Computer Science
- Approval of a new Collaborative Specialization in Sexualities, Genders and Bodies
- Approval of major modifications to the M.Sc. in Computer Science, M.Sc. in Population Medicine, and MPlan programs
- Items presented for information included an update from the COU Academic Colleague, undergraduate and graduate curriculum changes, graduate faculty appointments, a new non-degree Plant-Based Nutrition Certificate, non-degree program reviews and changes, annual report on research integrity breaches 2019-20 update on the revised Quality Assurance Framework, and the announcement of student convocation medal recipients.
Update from the Provost
Provost & Vice-President (Academic), Dr. Gwen Chapman, provided updates on enrolments and applications, as well as fall course delivery, scheduling, and planned safety measures.
Update from the VP Research
The Vice-President (Research), Dr. Malcolm Campbell, provided a brief update on the University’s increase in the allocation of Canada Research Chairs and progress toward the refresh of the Strategic Research Plan, a draft of which will be shared with Senate in the fall. Dr. Campbell described improvements being made to Research Ethics approvals. Due to time constraints, Dr. Campbell’s presentation was circulated to Senators following the meeting.
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, October 4, 2021.
Meetings are open to the public and visitors who wish to attend should contact the University Secretariat at firstname.lastname@example.org