Senate Board of Graduate Studies

Committee Bylaws

Approved: May 26, 2015

  1. The Board of Graduate Studies shall consist of:  
  • Assistant Vice-President Graduate Studies & Program Quality Assurance
  • Vice-President (Research) or designate
  • Associate Dean of Graduate Studies
  • Associate Vice-President (Student Affairs) or designate
  • Chief Librarian or designate
  • a member of the graduate faculty from each college
  • four graduate students (one of whom shall be the President of the Graduate Student Association)

2.       The Board of Graduate Studies has the responsibility to:

a) formulate and offer advice to Senate consistent with Senate’s responsibilities for development and oversight of educational policy as it relates to graduate education;

b) assist Senate in overseeing the implementation of educational policy as it concerns graduate education at the University;

c) support the priorities of Senate;

d) make contributions that will enhance the overall academic reputation of the University and reflect the full range of Senate’s responsibility for the educational policy of the University;

e) identify strategic priorities for the coming academic year and submit them annually through the Priorities and Planning Committee to Senate along with a report outlining the current year’s accomplishments of the Board.

3.       The Board of Graduate Studies will:

a) In general, advise and make recommendations to Senate concerning:

  1. statements of academic and educational goals and standards pertaining to graduate education at the University, including the University Learning Objectives, and Graduate Learning Outcomes, and matters pertaining to internationalism and student financial accessibility at the graduate level;
  2. policies pertaining to academic and educational plans, priorities, and pedagogical developments affecting graduate education at the University; 
  3. the implementation of Senate-approved statements, policies and programs affecting graduate education and matters that bear on the formulation or further development of Senate policy;academic standards, admission standards, examinations, and graduation requirements for graduate programs;
  4. policies affecting graduate scholarships, awards and bursaries;
  5. policies affecting the appointment to Graduate Faculty.

b) For graduate degree and diploma programs, consider and make recommendations to Senate concerning: proposals for the addition or elimination of graduate programs, taking into consideration the academic philosophy of the institution, its planned directions, the coherence of proposed programming, and the relevant internal and external criteria for the evaluation of such programs.    

c) For graduate degree and diploma programs and courses, acting on Senate’s authority and subject to subsequent report to Senate, decide upon: proposals for changes to graduate programs and proposals for graduate course changes, additions and deletions, taking into consideration the academic philosophy of the institution, its planned directions, the coherence of proposed programming changes, and the relevant internal and external criteria for the evaluation of such programs.

d) For academic standards, admission standards, examinations, and graduation requirements for graduate programs, advise and make recommendations to Senate concerning relevant policies.

e) For student scholarships, awards and bursaries, advise and make recommendations to Senate concerning policies affecting graduate scholarships, awards and bursaries

f) Advise and make recommendations to Senate concerning policies affecting the appointment to Graduate Faculty.

4. In all cases, policy and program decisions made by the Board of Graduate Studies or recommended by the Board and approved by Senate, shall be reflected in the text of relevant University publications, including program calendars.

5. The Board may elect to delegate routine decisions within its authority to either the Assistant Vice-President Graduate Studies & Program Quality Assurance or the Office of Graduate Studies who shall provide periodic reports to the Board of Graduate Studies about actions taken so that all such matters may be considered and reported by the Board to Senate, as appropriate. All such delegated decision-making shall be consistent with relevant policies established by the Board and/ or Senate.

6. The Board has the authority to establish sub-committees and working groups with such duties and delegated authority as deemed necessary. Such decisions will be taken with due regard to any Senate guidelines concerning the establishment and operation of such sub-committees and working groups.

7.       The Board has the following Sub-Committees:

7.1     Graduate Programs and Policies Committee

The Graduate Programs and Policies Committee (“GPPC”) is a sub-committee of the Board of Graduate Studies. Members who are not ex-officio are appointed annually by the Chair of the Board of Graduate Studies in consultation with the Assistant Vice President Graduate Studies & Program Quality for one year terms (renewable), normally to a maximum of three consecutive terms. Ideally the members of the Committee will broadly represent different programs across the University.

Membership
  • Chair, Board of Graduate Studies or designate (Chair)
  • Assistant Vice-President Graduate Studies & Program Quality Assurance
  • four faculty members
  • one librarian
  • one graduate student
  • one staff member from the Office of Graduate Services, who shall be the recording secretary (non-voting)

At least four of the faculty, librarian, and student members must also be current members of the Board of Graduate Studies.

Mandate
The Programs Committee advises the Board as follows:

  • reviews and makes recommendations to the Board proposals for the addition, deletion or amendment of graduate programs and courses in light of Senate-approved graduate program learning outcomes, graduate program standards, information and recommendations from the Division Committees, and any relevant external academic quality standards, activating refinement of proposals as necessary to better achieve these goals before bringing the matter forward for consideration by the Board of Graduate Studies;
  • periodically reviews policies concerning appointments to Graduate Faculty, advising the Board of Graduate Studies on the need for amendment as appropriate;
  • reviews and decides on nominations for appointment to Graduate Faculty, with subsequent report to the Board for information;
  • reports regularly on its activities to the Board of Graduate Studies.

To enable the Programs Committee to fulfil its responsibilities, two types of sub-committees have been established:

Graduate Program Committees (GPC)

The Graduate Program Committees (individually, “GPC”) report to and are sub-committees of the Graduate Programs and Policies Committee.

Membership
Each academic unit (department, school or interdepartmental/ inter-collegiate group) which offers graduate education shall establish, in a manner appropriate to its operations, a GPC consisting of members of the Faculty of Graduate Studies and including graduate student representatives.  Any student representative(s) shall be elected by the graduate students or named after consultation with the graduate students in that academic unit. Normally, the chair of each GPC shall be the Graduate Coordinator of the relevant graduate program. Graduate student representatives shall be recused for discussions on the progress of students in their individual programs.
 
Mandate
The role of the GPCs is to oversee the graduate program(s) of the academic unit, in particular the curriculum and students’ progress in their individual programs.

In keeping with this mandate, the GPC shall:

  • keep the affiliated program curriculum under ongoing review;
  • assess the degree of achievement of its learning outcomes as required by University and external quality assessment processes;
  • initiate or respond to proposals for curricular change, and initiate action, as necessary, according to University academic governance processes;
  • oversee the progress of students in the relevant graduate program(s) under its purview, consistent with the relevant policies established by the Board and/ or Senate.

Division Committees

Division Committees are sub-committees of the Programs Committee. The number and composition of Division Committees is based on the interdisciplinary review framework and program groupings in place for the purposes of provincial graduate program quality control processes and the University’s own array of graduate programs. Currently, there is a Division Committee for each of the following discipline areas:  the humanities, the social sciences, the human and animal sciences, the plant sciences, and the physical sciences.  The current Division Committee structure may be amended by Senate from time to time based on recommendations from the Assistant Vice-President Graduate Studies & Program Quality Assurance.  

Membership
The membership of each Division Committee shall consist of the Graduate Coordinator or designate from each of the programs identified under that Division.
 
Mandate
The Division Committees provide an opportunity for interdisciplinary input and recommendations regarding the addition, deletion or amendment of graduate programs and courses. Normally new program proposals or significant program or course revisions will be reviewed first by the relevant Division Committee(s) for comment prior to consideration by the Programs Committee.
 

7.2     Committee on Admissions and Progress (A&P)

The Committee on Admissions and Progress is a sub-committee of the Board of Graduate Studies. Members are appointed annually for one year terms (renewable), normally to a maximum of three consecutive terms, by the Chair of the Board of Graduate Studies in consultation with the Associate Dean Graduate Studies. Ideally the members of A&P will broadly represent different programs across the University.

Membership
  • Associate Dean of Graduate Studies (normally Chair)
  • three faculty members
  • three graduate students (one of whom shall be the President of the Graduate Student Association)
  • one representative from Office of Student Affairs
  • two staff from the Office of Graduate Studies, one of whom shall be the  recording secretary (non-voting)

Half of the voting members of A&P shall be members of the Board of Graduate Studies. A Vice-Chair is to be elected annually by the Committee.

Mandate
The actions of the Admissions and Progress Sub-Committee are informed by Senate policies regarding admission of applicants and progress of graduate students. 
 

Guided by Senate-approved policies, A&P shall: 

  • Review and decide upon the admission of applicants under alternate admissions criteria;
  • Review and decide upon requests for re-admission;
  • Review and decide upon student status pertaining to maximum registration limits;
  • Take action on behalf of the Board with respect to unsatisfactory progress; 
  • Review and decide upon requests for Leave of Absence based on medical, psychological, or compassionate grounds;
  • Review and decide upon requests for academic consideration based on medical, psychological, or compassionate grounds;
  • Review and decide upon requests for academic consideration regarding course grades and course results based on medical, psychological, or compassionate grounds;
  • Make decisions in regard to student appeals of dispute resolution issues related to evaluation of progress, and qualifying or oral examinations, including procedural irregularities.

Decisions of the A&P are subject to appeal to the Senate Standing Committee on Student Petitions.

7.3     Joint Editorial Awards Committee (JEAC)

JEAC is a joint sub-committee of the Board of Undergraduate Studies (BUGS) and the Board (together, the “Boards”).

Membership
Four members shall be appointed annually by the joint Boards for a three year term (renewable), and shall include one member from a College Awards Committee, the Associate Registrar Student Financial Services (or designate), a representative from the Office of Graduate Studies, and a representative of the Department of Alumni Affairs and Development. The Manager, Student Business Services shall be the recording secretary (non-voting).
 
Mandate
JEAC reviews and approves the terms and conditions of undergraduate and graduate student awards (new and revised) based on Senate-approved policies and regulations, subject to an annual report to the Joint Boards. Undergraduate, associate diploma, or graduate student awards whose terms and conditions contain exceptions to established policies and regulations, or which have unusual features, or are of significant value must be forwarded to the Board of Undergraduate Studies or Board of Graduate Studies, as appropriate, for final approval. In reviewing the terms and conditions of an award, JEAC shall take into consideration the wishes of the donor or donors, but may refer any proposed terms and conditions to the donor or donors and the college in which the award is to be established (if a college award) for review or consideration. The Committee may recommend to the Boards that an award not be approved if, in the opinion of the committee, the proposed terms and conditions are not consistent with University policies.