MSVU Senate Minutes -- March 2 2009

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Senate, Mount Saint Vincent University
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1 Senate Meeting March 2, 2009 Rosaria Boardroom 7:30 p.m. Minutes of Meeting Present: K. Laurin (Chair), R. Bagg, R. Bérard, I. Blum, D. Bourne-Tyson, A. Davis, K. Dewar, S. Drain, R. Gechtman, P. Glenister, E. Hicks, J. Jackson, B. Jessop, N. Kayhani, M. Lyon, A. MacGillivary, B. MacInnes, J. MacLeod, L. Mann, J. Mills, J. Neilson, N. Peach, I. Pottie, J. Sawler, J. Sharpe, L. Steele, B. Taylor, D. Varga,S. Walsh, P. Watts, M. Whalen, D. Woolcott Regrets : R. Farmer, C. Hill, L. Neilsen Guests : K. Darvesh, C. French, E. Knoll, D. Plumb K.Laurin welcomed to Senate one new member, D. Varga, as well as members of CAPP for the Academic Plan discussion, item 7.3.1. 1. Approval of Agenda Moved by M. Lyon, seconded by N. Peach to approve the agenda as distributed. CARRIED. 2. Approval of Minutes of January 26, 2009 Moved by J. Jackson, seconded by D. Bourne-Tyson to approve the minutes of January 26, 2009 with the changes noted below. CARRIED. On Page 1, among those present, S. Walsh should have been included instead among those having sent regrets. On Page 2, Item 4, first paragraph, second last line: â internetâ should read â Intranetâ . On Page 4, Item 7.5, first paragraph: â â ¦ submitted three nominations to SSHRC which will go forward to the national competition and has also submitted five nominations for Canada Graduate Scholarshipsâ should read â â ¦ submitted three nominations to SSHRC for doctoral fellowships which will go forward to the national competition and has also submitted five nominations for the masterâ s level Canada Graduate Scholarships.â On Page 7, Item 8.1, Studentsâ Union, first paragraph, sixth line: â Mardi Gras Charity Ballâ should read: â Mardi Gras, Charity Ballâ . 3. Business Arising from the Minutes 3.1 Revision to Senate by-law 14.13, University Research Ethics Board, Membership (tabled January 26, 2009; deferred from November 24, 2008; notice of motion given October 27, 2008) 2 Moved by A. Davis, seconded by M. Lyon that Senate approve the revision to Senate by-law 14.13, University Research Ethics Board, Membership , to add the Research Ethics Officer as an ex officio, non-voting member of the Board. CARRIED. 4. Presidentâ s Announcements K. Laurin expressed thanks and congratulations to M. Lyon who has agreed to extend her term as Dean of Professional Studies for one year and congratulations to B. Jessop on his appointment as Vice-President (Administration). 5. Question Period There were no questions. 6. Unfinished Business There was no unfinished business. 7. Committee Reports (Standing and Ad hoc) 7.1 Senate Executive There was no report. 7.2 Academic Appeals Committee J. Sawler reported that the committee held a hearing recently and found in favour of the student. 7.3 Academic Policy and Planning 7.3.1 Draft Academic Plan (for discussion) K. Laurin introduced the discussion indicating that the draft Academic Plan had been distributed for further feedback by CAPP. D. Woolcott introduced members of CAPP present and summarized the progress on the draft Academic Plan to date beginning with the appointment of a task group by CAPP, through the preparation of a discussion paper by the task group, responses from the community to the discussion paper, and finally to the distribution of the current draft to which CAPP is seeking further response before submitting a final version for Senateâ s approval at the next meeting. M. Lyon, who chaired the task group, stated that the group recognized the need to address the academic future of the Mount in a timely fashion and that Appendix A of the draft proposes a summary of undergraduate and graduate programs for the future and lists concentrations and minors. D. Plumb commented that the draft recognizes the challenges the Mount faces and seeks to start with existing strengths as opportunities. K. Darvesh noted that CAPP was able to identify patterns in the data examined and in the responses to the discussion paper which suggested how resources might be reallocated. CAPP 3 saw a need in serving students to make academic progress, but not necessarily in programs as they are configured presently, and in trying to avoid reacting to or promoting special pleading. S. Drain asked what Senate can expect next in this process. D. Woolcott replied that CAPP has no motions ready yet to bring to Senate with the Plan. M. Lyon commented that Senate would be asked to approve the Plan in principle. J. Sharpe stated that the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee is currently working through the transition from the 3-year to the 4-year major and that the Plan should be able to inform the direction which course offerings in programs might take. K. Dewar asked what would be the criteria for any discontinuations; a consistent set of procedures would be helpful. The draft Plan does not contain a clear set of steps for action but a defined role for external reviews and departmental responses would be helpful. N. Peach asked what would be the timeline for action following approval of the Plan, especially if changes are, or seen as, abrupt, and the possible impact for Womenâ s Studies offered as a concentration rather than a major as at present. D. Woolcott pointed out that Appendix A indicates a one- or two-year period for certain programs but CAPP will have to identify specific timelines. K. Darvesh suggested that the Womenâ s Studies program may need to be broadened. L. Mann asked how the current state of development of the programs designated by colour in Appendix A of the Plan might be addressing student needs, what criteria would apply in decisionmaking, and what effect the name assigned to a program might have on its success. She also inquired about the status of the MA in Family Studies and Gerontology as the program was not included in the list of programs in Appendix A. M. Lyon replied that programs designated in the draft by black, such as the Education Ph.D., the BPR/BA (Communication Studies), the B.Sc. (Science Communication), and the smaller, new graduate programs, are still under consideration in various stages; programs designated by colour have been identified as worth pursuing but no planning has yet been initiated. D. Woolcott commented that the MPHEC process for program approval will continue to be used for new program proposals. L. Mann asked what resources are available at the Mount to assist in program development. D. Woolcott replied that the Plan recommends that course relief be available when appropriate. J. Sawler felt that, for him to support the Plan, it should contain more detail in the form of data analysis and rationale and that successful, smaller departments with major programs should be able to continue or adopt course-sharing with other universities, possibly offering joint majors. N. Kayhani, referring to page 2 of the draft, questioned what CAPP calls "relatively minor shifts" where the proposal asks for the discontinuation of 10 majors and lists another 10 majors or programs as a future potential for discontinuation. In addition, she asked if there are real savings in discontinuing major programs. J. Sharpe replied that changes to past practices are required in dealing with the resource demands of small programs; it is necessary to focus on new possibilities, creating synergies, in order to take new directions. B. Taylor commented that last yearâ s change by Senate in requirements for majors held implications for smaller programs and the Plan sees potential for program cooperation and course integration through double majors and expanded concentrations and minors, of which the Public Policy program is an existing example. I. Pottie asked how departments could proceed to reconfigure themselves to counter possible discontinuation. B. Taylor replied that forced cooperation would not occur. D. Woolcott stated 4 that CAPP would further reflect on this question for the final Plan version. R. Bérard commented that departments are not totally autonomous and are, in fact, creatures of a larger entity, the university. N. Kayhani asked for an example of the costs associated with departments which, to offer their programs, have arranged for students to take courses at other institutions; CAPP should confer with chairs whose departments are in this situation. J. Sharpe pointed out that the draft Plan is an academic exercise not a business plan and that the Mount, to strengthen its academic reputation, should be fully able to deliver what it proposes to offer, internal approaches being preferable to external arrangements. D. Varga commented that for newer programs there should be evidence of enrolment success in order to be seen as more attractive than those replaced. M. Lyon replied that the task group and CAPP acknowledged limited resources and consequent reduced potential for some current programs with low enrolment. K. Dewar asked if or how a department or program without a major could participate in a double major program. B. Taylor replied that for some programs without an eight-unit major this would be possible. M. Lyon pointed out that there can be a distinction made between a double major and a joint major. S. Drain asked if, in considering discontinuations, there could be a distinction made between credentials and programs to permit the retention of a credential, and how the Plan might assist in defining or redefining the Mountâ s arts/science/professional mix in its academic identity to attract students to the Mount rather than elsewhere. K. Darvesh commented that the spirit of the Mountâ s origins was ahead of its time in seeking to meet studentsâ aims while providing a solid academic core and CAPPâ s approach is to plan with due diligence in the present context. K. Laurin thanked the members of CAPP and the task group for their attendance and extensive efforts in producing the Academic Plan. 7.3.2 Report on the Philosophy/Religious Studies Program Review Moved by D. Woolcott, seconded by B. MacInnes that the Major in Philosophy and the Major in Philosophy and Religion be discontinued with no new students permitted to declare these as Majors effective fall 2009. CARRIED with 28 in support, 1 opposed, and 1 abstention. D. Woolcott indicated that CAPP had recognized strengths within the programs and considered development options for them but agreed with the external review recommendation that the best course was to discontinue two of the present majors and that the future of the third major (Religious Studies) be determined through the academic planning process. K. Dewar commented that the procedures followed in reaching this recommendation were appropriate however regretful the outcome. J. Sawler expressed concern over the practice to discontinue these programs without knowing what will replace them. L. Mann commented that the programâ s internal communication issues have contributed to its dysfunction and the end of this major would be a loss for students. 5 J. MacLeod wondered if the departments concerned still in fact exist. D. Woolcott replied that the review relates to programs, not departments. R. Gechtman regarded the proposed recommendation to be extremely regrettable for the humanities component of the Mountâ s curriculum. S. Drain asked about the possibility of joint or double majors in Philosophy and Philosophy and Religion. D. Woolcott replied that enrolment in the Philosophy and Religion introductory level courses appears adequate to permit those options. M. Lyon indicated that while there have been few majors recently there would still continue to be Philosophy and Religion minors. B. Taylor expected that Religious Studies would likely be a double major candidate. 7.4 Graduate Studies Program and Policy Committee There was no report. 7.5 Graduate Studies Scholarships, Assistantships and Awards Committee There was no report. 7.6 Undergraduate Curriculum 7.6.1 Changes to existing programs Chemistry Moved by J. Sharpe, seconded by I. Blum that Senate approve the addition of a four-unit concentration in Chemistry. CARRIED. Family Studies & Gerontology Moved by J. Sharpe, seconded by D. Varga that Senate approve the deletion of FSGN 4431, Non- Formal Education. CARRIED. Modern Languages Moved by J. Sharpe, seconded by L. Steele that Senate approve the addition of a four-unit concentration in French. CARRIED. 7.6.2 Changes to existing programs (for information) NUTR 4414, Nutrition Education in the Community, change in laboratory/practicum FSGN 4410, Conflict Management and Mediation, change in prerequisite HIST 4480/4481, History Seminar, change in prerequisite PSYC 2267, Human Sexuality, change in prerequisite PSYC 3365, Psychology of Women, change in prerequisite PSYC 3315, Personality, change in name, prerequisite and description 7.7 Committee on Appointment, Promotion and Tenure or Permanence for Academic Administrators (CAPTPAA) There was no report. 6 7.8 Committee on Information Technology and Services R. Gechtman reported that the Committee met recently with R. MacIsaac of Public Affairs on the Mountâ s webpage redesign and revamping plans for consistency improvements by next September. The Committee also discussed a policy for faculty and staff e-mail and if its implications for academic matters might require Senate approval. The committee was also updated on plans for major computing replacements. 7.9 Library R. Bagg reported that the committee held a regular meeting in February. 7.10 Nominations I. Blum reported that the regular round of election to Senate and committees for 2009/10 is underway. Membership is also needed for the Chair in Learning Disabilities Search Committee and the Review Committee for the University Librarian. 7.11 Research and Publications A. Davis reported that the Committee has completed its deliberation on applications, the results of which are being communicated. Nominations for the Research Award will be considered shortly. 7.12 Student Affairs There was no report. 7.13 Committee on Teaching and Learning P. Watts reported that the Committee met in February to discuss the creation of rubrics to be used in judging the Instructional Leadership and Teaching Innovation awards and will meet in March to adjudicate this yearâ s nominations for those awards. In conjunction with the Working Group for Goal 3, 1B of Destination 2012, the Committee held a session on a peer-to-peer teaching/learning project via MSN presented by K. Darvesh. 7.14 Writing Initiatives S. Drain reported that the student/faculty Collaborative Writing event cancelled in January has been rescheduled for March 18. 7.15 Undergraduate Admissions and Scholarships B. MacInnes reported that the committee has met to nominate in-course and entrance recipients of the Datatel Scholarship and is planning publicity for applications for Millenium scholarships. The Committee has begun to review admissions polic ies and is working on the selection of entrance scholarship winners. 7.16 University Research Ethics Board A. Davis reported the Board meets regularly and has been sponsoring outreach through seminar information presentations. 7 8. Other Reports 8.1 Board of Governors R. Bérard reported that at its February meeting the Board was attended by five new members and heard reports on enrolment by D. Woolcott, on campus renewal by B. Jessop, and on research activities by A. Davis, and a presentation on the Building Tomorrow Together capital campaign by J. Mitchell and B. Edgett. 8.2 Studentsâ Union J. Jackson reported that the Studentsâ Union election period has begun; the Union has been promoting Black History month; there is a tenantsâ rights information session scheduled with D. Whalen, M.L.A., and with a member of the Residential Tenancies Board; an open meeting on the Academic Plan was held; a new Studentsâ Union CFO has been hired; Studentsâ Union restructuring discussions are continuing; Studentsâ Union awards night is on March 26; and an International Womenâ s Day event is scheduled for March 5. 8.2 Destination 2012 K. Laurin reported that the Implementation Team continues to work through the 21 strategies. 8.3 Joint Board-Senate Liaison Committee There was no report. 9. New Business R. Bérard reported that, when the Nova Scotia Teachers College closed, its remaining scholarship funds were used to establish a Foundation to provide teacher education scholarships in Nova Scotia. Six scholarships a year have been awarded since, and Mount students normally have received one or two of them. This year, however, Mount students have received five of the six awards. L. Mann reminded members of Senate of the learning activities offered during March, Nutrition Month. 10. Items for Communication No items for communication were noted. 11. Adjournment Moved by R. Bagg to adjourn the meeting at 9:10 p.m. CARRIED. Respectfully submitted, Peter Glenister