MSVU Senate Minutes -- October 27 2008

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Senate, Mount Saint Vincent University
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1 Senate Meeting October 27, 2008 Rosaria Boardroom 7:30 p.m. Minutes of Meeting Present: K. Laurin (Chair), R. Bagg, R. Bérard, I. Blum, D. Bourne-Tyson, P. Crouse, A. Davis, K. Dewar, S. Drain, R. Farmer, M. Forrest, R. Gechtman, P. Glenister, P. Gouthro, C. Hill, B. Jessop, N. Kayhani, M. Lyon, A. MacGillivary, B. MacInnes, J. MacLeod, A. McCalla, J. Mills, S. Mumm, N. Peach, J. Sawler, J. Sharpe, L. Steele, S. Walsh, P. Watts, M. Whalen, D. Woolcott Regrets : J. Jackson, J. Neilson, T. Richards Guests: M. Raven 1. Approval of Agenda Moved by R. Farmer, seconded by P. Gouthro that Senate approve the agenda with the addition of Item 7.1.1 Senate Award for Service in University Governance. CARRIED. 2. Approval of Minutes of September 29, 2008 Moved by J. MacLeod, seconded by P. Watts that Senate approve the minutes of September 29, 2008 with the changes noted below. CARRIED. On page 3, line 9 should read â As Academic Planning is an issue of interest to all faculty â ¦â On page 4, line 19, â A. McCallaâ should be L. Steele . On page 8, line 1, â R. Baggâ should be R. Farmer. On page 9, line 13, â perspectiveâ should be â prospectiveâ . 3. Business Arising from the Minutes of September 29, 2008 3.1 Revision to Senate by-law 14.3, CAPP Terms of reference Moved by D. Woolcott, seconded by M. Lyon that By-Law 14.3 be amended. CARRIED. 3.2 Revision to Senate by-law 14.8, Research and Publications Committee Moved by A. Davis, seconded by B. Jessop that By-Law 14.8 be amended. CARRIED. S. Drain questioned the rationale behind the provision of feedback to the University Research Ethics Board. A. Davis clarified that under the existing terms of reference and procedures, the CRP is the committee of appeal for UREB decisions that are contested. The revision to By-law 14.8 will enable UREB to access additional feedback from CRP committee members. 2 3.3 Presentation on Learning 2.0â D. Bourne-Tyson (deferred from 29 September, 2008) The theme of the presentation was the Millennials or the Net Generation and the implications that this generation has for learning and libraries. The Millennials were born between 1982 and 2002 and are the children of the Baby Boomers. Major influencing factors for this generation include : their parents; the self-esteem movement; customer-service movement; gaming and technology, and casual communication. Millennials treat the world like a shopping mall and have expectations as consumers, which includes receiving value for their tuition dollars. They want 24/7 access to everything (at times this includes their teachers) and want everything to come with a toll-free number and web address. Since information on the internet is meant to be shared and free for their use, Millennials have difficulty understanding the concepts of plagiarism and cheating. By the age of 21, this generation has spent an inordinate amount of time watching television, playing video games, chatting on-line and surfing the internet and a relatively small amount of time devoted to reading. In 2005, a study indicated that the literacy level is declining for college graduates. Even though this generation is engaged in more creative writing, only 31 per cent of college graduates tested could read a complex book and extrapolate meaning. Bill Gates has predicted the technological ability within the next five years to provide students with a handheld device which would hold all their textbooks for approximately $400. Most universities are already downsizing their bookstore footprint as the popularity of e-books is increasing. Some people, such as futurist William Crossman, believe that by the year 2020, we will become a primarily oral culture and lose contact with the physical book. In general, Millennials are not impressed with the traditional university infrastructure. They prefer active learning where they can synthesize various types of information and learn collectively through a blended learning model that includes both technology and traditional teaching methods. Even though Millennials are comfortable with the technology that surrounds them, they are not necessarily adept using it. A recent American study of 6,000 college students showed that only 49 per cent could chose a website that was objective, authoritative, timely and reliable; 35 per cent could narrow a search that was too broad. With little or no distinction between amateurs and experts, many are floundering and relying on unreliable information. In terms of information seeking, the Millennials engage in â skimming, bouncing and squirrelingâ as opposed to close or deep reading. In terms of research and information searches, professors and teachers rank higher than librarians. D. Bourne-Tyson emphasized that if libraries do not experiment with 2.0 technology and use this technology, then it is difficult to understand how best to help students and library users. For example, students use library resources even if they are not in the library; they access the library website, so the MSVU library tries to treat all students as if they are distance education students. The MSVU library has been innovative in its approaches to serve this generation and all library users. First, the MSVU library was the first library in North America to have an interactive nonmoderated blog. Second, subject guides are more varied and easily accessible. Third, the MSVU library has linked library resources to Google Scholar, so the first information that a search provides is a list of available books at MSVU in Novanet. Fourth, the library has a Facebook group and designed a widget that a user can copy to their own Facebook page in order to search all of MSVUâ s library resources. Fifth, the library has a widget in Moodle . Sixth, the library created a virtual MSVU library in the online game, Second Life. In summary, the library has changed from print-centered to web-centered, from organization-focused to customer-focused and 3 from outdated approaches to approaches more in-keeping with the technology of the Millennial generation. K. Laurin thanked D. Bourne-Tyson for her enthusiastic response to the invitation to provide a presentation for Senate. The Libraryâ s initiatives keep the MSVU library on the leading cusp of innovative university libraries. 4. Presidentâ s Announcements The implementatio n team for Destination 2012 had a productive meeting on October 27th and continues to work on methodology for addressing the fifteen remaining strategies. K. Laurin thanked all who have responded to the teamâ s request for input. The United Way Campaign is now entering Week 2. The goal is to increase MSVU contributions by 10 per cent in the post-secondary sector and the participation rate from last yearâ s 21 per cent to 25 per cent. The needs of those served by United Way agencies are often more pronounced in tough economic times. 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 7.1.1 Senate Award for Service in University Governance This award was approved by Senate in May 2008. K. Laurin thanked R. Bérard for his efforts in bringing the document to Senate. The award is timely because the recognition of contributions to the University reflects the values of â engagementâ in goal 3 of Destination 2012. 7.2 Academic Appeals Committee J. Sawler reported that the committee had met to discuss an alleged incident of plagiarism of the previous semester and found that plagiarism had occurred. The Committee is presently considering another alleged incident of plagiarism involving the use of various websites. 7.3 Academic Policy and Planning 7.3.1 Memorandum of Agreement and Student Exchange Agreement between MSVU and Thames Valley University Moved by D. Woolcott, seconded by M. Lyon that Senate approve the MOA and Student Exchange Agreement between MSVU and Thames Valley University. CARRIED. 4 7.3.2 Memorandum of Understanding between MSVU and North Island College Moved by D. Woolcott, seconded by A. MacGillivary that Senate approve the MOU between MSVU and North Island College. CARRIED. 7.3.3 Memorandum of Understanding and Student Exchange Agreement between MSVU and St. Petersburg State University, Faculty of Journalism Moved by D. Woolcott, seconded by R. Bérard that Senate approve the MOU and Student Exchange Agreement between MSVU and St. Petersburg State University, Faculty of Journalism. CARRIED. 7.3.4 BA-General Studies & BSc-General Studies Degree Requirements Moved by D. Woolcott, seconded by S. Mumm that Senate approve the BA-General Studies & BSc-General Studies Degree Requirements. CARRIED as amended. S. Drain asked for clarification of the B.A. requirement: â Psychology may be counted as meeting requirement A or B, but not bothâ and whether or not there was a distinction made between science psychology courses and social science psychology courses. M. Lyon clarified that a psychology course can only be counted as satisfying one of the requirements and there was no distinction between types of psychology courses. S. Mumm and B. MacInnes reiterated that, currently, psychology counts wherever it fits into a studentâ s program and a student designates the psychology course to count for requirement A or B. Under the B.Sc. proposals, S. Drain asked why Applied Human Nutrition is treated differently than other professional programs. M. Lyon clarified that there are specific course requirements because Applied Human Nutrition has a minor that can also count as a Science Minor. Moved by A. McCalla, seconded by M. Forrest that Senate amend the BA-General Studies & BSc-General Studies Degree proposed requirements as follows: CARRIED. Bachelor of Arts â General Studies Column B â Suggested Changes, Item 2. At least three [replacing â twoâ ] units must be completed at the 3000 level or above. A. McCalla differentiated between a general degree and a superficial degree and emphasized that upper-level courses are meant to be an integral part of a studentâ s degree. The requirement of two units of 3000-level courses out of a total of fifteen units is an inadequate and insufficient standard for a university education. P. Gouthro stated that a minimum requirement of three 3000-level courses would be more appropriate, especially in light of D. Bourne-Tysonâ s presentation on learning and the declining literacy of university graduates. S. Mumm responded that a minimum requirement of two 3000-level courses for a three-year degree program is comparable to other three-year degree programs at regional institutions. The criteria uppermost in the minds of the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee were that the degree must be reputable and credible and requirements must be flexible. R. Gechtman stated that a concentration of two 3000-level course was insufficient and a concentration of units would be more appropriate, especially since many MSVU students also take an additional two years in an Education program. To make the degree requirements comparable to other regional institutions negates a potential to raise the quality of the MSVU degree, especially in light of current discussions regarding academic planning. In addition, a GPA of 2.0 required in order to graduate is inadequate and the lack of a language requirement is 5 questionable. S. Mumm responded that the GPA of 2.0 is not a change but a current requirement and other regional institutions require a GPA of 1.7 in order to graduate and that the suggested revisions are comparable to other similar programs at regional institutions. M. Forrest commented that it is not necessarily in the best interests of MSVU to make degree requirements similar to regional institutions because it detracts from the distinctiveness of MSVU. Students from MSVU who enter the B. Ed. program are currently well prepared; however, other students are generally not as prepared and often need to take extra courses, which places additional stress on them and faculty. M. Forrest suggested that this matter might perhaps be better left to the current process of Academic Planning. 7.3.5 Terms of reference for Endowed Chair in Learning Disabilities Moved by D. Woolcott, seconded by J. Sharpe that Senate approve the terms of reference for the Endowed Chair in Learning Disabilities: CARRIED as amended. It was agreed that item 3.2.1 should read â To nominate candidates for the Chair to the Selection Committee for the Chair in Learning Disabilities established under the terms of the Collective agreement between MSVU and MSVUFAâ removing the phrase â of the Joint Committee for Administrationâ after the word â termsâ . M. Forrest requested clarification regarding the process of approval. J. Sharpe clarified that the proposal began approximately two years ago to allow time for sufficient funds to be raised. S. Drain requested clarification as to the process for review and the term for the Chair. J. Sharpe replied that the process for review and term are part of the appointments procedure, which would be negotiated. D. Woolcott noted that some elements would follow the collective agreement and that the proposal before Senate is the framework for the Endowed Chair. A. MacGillivary asked whether or not the funds for the Endowed Chair position were in the original Capital Campaign budget or if the funds were an addition to current budget projections. President Laurin indicated that the funds were a part of the original fund-raising goal. Based on a positive response from the Faculty of Education, the opportunity for a proposed Chair was pursued. P. Gouthro asked if there was an expectation that the proposed Chair would bring funds similar to the Canada Research Chair. D. Woolcott stated that the capacity of a candidate to provide funding would be important. S. Drain sought confirmation that the Chair of the Capital Campaign was in agreement with the proposal. J. Sharpe confirmed that he had met with J. Mitchell, University Advancement, and was confident that the Capital Campaign Chair is in agreement and the focus is learning disabilities. 7.4 Graduate Studies Program and Policy Committee There was no report. 7.5 Graduate Studies Scholarships, Assistantships and Awards Committee M. Lyon reported that the Committee has allocated graduate-student assistantship funds and held two open-meetings for assistance with CHERC, NSERC and Canada Graduate Scholarships and post-graduate scholarships. 6 7.6 Undergraduate Curriculum 7.6.1 Changes to existing programs (for approval) Business and Tourism Moved by S. Mumm, seconded by R. Farmer that Senate approve changes to the Marketing Minor required courses, BBA with Concentration addition of Marketing courses and BBA with a Major addition of Marketing courses within the Business and Tourism program. CARRIED. Child and Youth Study Moved by S. Mumm, seconded by M. Lyon that Senate approve the addition of CHYS 3339, Selected Topics in Child and Youth Study, and the deletion of CCHYS 4439, Special Topics in Child and Youth Study. CARRIED. Library Moved by S. Mumm, seconded by R. Gechtman that Senate approve the addition of LIBR 2100, Introduction to Research in the Information Age. CARRIED. S. Drain queried the prerequisite that students complete one semester of study and if students must be successful in completing one semester of study. S. Mumm indicated that the prerequisite was to encourage students to have encountered some coursework. D. Bourne-Tyson concurred and also noted that successful completion was not a necessary condition, rather that the prerequisite was a recommended period of study. R. Farmer asked if this was the first course to have one designation as either an Arts/Science elective or a Professional Studies elective. S. Mumm clarified that the new course would count as an elective in either Arts/Science or Professional Studies. Mathematics - deletion of courses Moved by S. Mumm, seconded by I. Blum that Senate approve the deletion of the following courses from the Mathematics program: CMPS 2280, Computer Applications in Operations Research; CMPS 2289, Applied Numerical Analysis; CMPS 3355, Programming Languages, and CMPS 3370, Data Structures II. CARRIED. Philosophy/Religious Studies Moved by S. Mumm, seconded by A. McCalla that Senate approve the addition of: RELS 3340, The Bible and Historical Thought; RELS 3306, Religion and Popular Culture; RELS 2203, Love, and that Senate approve the deletion of: RELS 2202, Good; RELS 3305, Founders; and RELS 3320, Science and Religion. CARRIED. 7.6.2 Changes to existing programs (for information) Business and Tourism prerequisite and description BUSI2230, Principles of Marketing (0.5 unit) Child and Youth Study prerequisites CHYS2251, Practicum I: Preschool (0.5 unit) CHYS4429, Special Topics in Child and Youth Study (0.5 unit) English description 7 WRIT1120, Writing Theory and Practice (0.5 unit) Mathematics description CMPS2253, Advanced Business Programming (0. 5 unit) Sociology/Anthropology prerequisites and descriptions SOAN3332, Sociology of Crime (0.5 unit) SOAN3333, Criminal Justice in Canada (0.5 unit) SOAN3371, Women, Resistance and Empowerment (0.5 unit) 7.7 Committee on Appointment, Promotion and Tenure or Permanence for Academic Administrators (CAPTPAA) There was no report. 7.8 Committee on Information Technology and Services There was no report. 7.9 Library There was no report. 7.10 Nominations 7.10.1 Election of faculty member of Senate to Dean, Professional Studies, Search Committee Moved by P. Crouse, seconded by I. Blum that Senate approve the election of N. Kayhani to Dean, Professional Studies, Search Committee. CARRIED. 7.10.2 Election of faculty member of Senate to Associate Vice-President, Student Experience, Search Committee Moved by P. Crouse, seconded by I. Blum that Senate approve the election of J. MacLeod to Associate Vice-President, Student Experience, Search Committee. CARRIED. 7.10.3 Election of faculty member of Senate to Associate Vice-President, Academic and Research, Search Committee Moved by P. Crouse, seconded by R. Gechtman that Senate approve the election of R. Bérard to Associate Vice-President, Academic and Research, Search Committee. CARRIED. 7.10.4 Election of faculty member of Senate to Vice-President (Administration) Search Committee Moved by P. Crouse, seconded by I. Blum that Senate approve the election of K. Darvesh to Vice-President (Administration) Search Committee. CARRIED. 7.10.5 Senate-elected committees Moved by P. Crouse, seconded by I. Blum that Senate elect the following individuals to fill vacancies on the identifies committees. CARRIED. 8 Committee Nominee Term Begins Term Ends Research & Publications Dr. Cherif Matta When elected June 30, 2011 Teaching & Learning Dr. Kathy Darvesh When elected June 30, 2011 7.11 Research and Publications A. Davis reported that the committee will have its first meeting in early November to consider the October 15th applications for internal research funding. 7.12 Student Affairs C. Hill reported that the Committee had its first meeting and is using findings from NSSE, the University Report Card Survey and the Survey of Graduating Students to set the agenda for the coming year. 7.13 Committee on Teaching and Learning P. Watts reported that the Committee has not met since September. She reminded everyone of the call for nominations for the Teaching Innovation Award and the Instructional Leadership Award, which are both posted on the Teaching and Learning Centreâ s website. 7.14 Writing Initiatives S. Drain reported that the Committee organized a session on September 30th to discuss collaborative writing with colleagues and students. A subsequent session on November 20th will focus on collaborative-writing assignments for students. There will be a questionnaire for faculty about how they use collaborative writing in the next edition of Insight. 7.15 Undergraduate Admissions and Scholarships There was no report. 7.16 University Research Ethics Board M. Forrest reported that the Board met and discussed the creation of protocols for participatory action and research. The committee discussed how much field-work constitutes research and whether or not certain work may require informed consent and whether or not work should be vetted through either a departmental ethics committee or the UREB. The Board is waiting for new guidelines from the Tri-Council. 8. Other Reports 8.1 Studentsâ Union N. Peach reported the Student Union held recent successful events: Breast Cancer Awareness Week, a debate for Halifax-West candidates in the federal election, and the annual Rosaria Haunted House night on October 26th with approximately 300 people in attendance. The Union had one SRC meeting and their annual general meeting will be November 17th in the auditorium. On November 4th, from 7:00 pm â 9:00 pm in Auditorium A, the Union will host an event for civil rights: Restoring Dignity and The Martin Luther King Project. 9 The Union is involved with the World University Service of Canada (WUSC), the main focus of which is the Student Refugee Program; MSVUâ s sponsored student has adjusted very well and has given interviews to local media. On November 6th, WUSC will host a feast-or-famine event. A proposed environmental policy will receive final reading at the Unionâ s annual general meeting and the results of the CFS referendum will be released to the public in mid-November. S. Walsh commended the Union on the impressive work they did for the all-candidates forum. N. Peach acknowledged the hard work of K. Rogers, Union Executive Vice-President for the event. 8.2 Destination 2012 R. Farmer reported that two question-and-answer sessions were held; information was acquired and provided to the implementation team. Many faculty have attended academic -planning sessions. The committee is discussing how to move forward with targets and deadlines in order to complete goals. There are fifteen strategies that are outstanding. 9. New Business 9.1 Senateâ s role in decisions to suspend enrolments in programs Moved by K. Dewar, seconded by S. Drain that members of Senate view with concern the use of administrative prerogatives to make academic decisions, such as the suspension of enrolments in Information Technology programs and the undergraduate program in Family Studies and Gerontology, without Senate approval. CARRIED. K. Dewar stated that approximately 12-15 years ago, during the last period of economic constraint, there were policies developed at Senate to facilitate joint decision-making regarding the reorganization and restructuring of programs. He asked for clarification regarding the protocol for the suspension of programs and Senateâ s role in making decisions regarding suspensions in programs and what relation Senateâ s role has to management rights. K. Laurin provided the context for the decision to suspend enrolments in the Information Technology and Family Studies and Gerontology programs. Low enrolments have serious implications. Although the senior administrative team appreciates and shares Senateâ s concern for the academic aspect, there are also financial and operational concerns. Even though the Board of Governors is ultimately responsible for the overall operational well-being of the University, the President and senior administrative team are accountable to the Board of Governors for the dayto- day academic and operational well-being of the University. When students enroll in a program, they enter into a legally binding contract with the University which is obligated to provide the required resources necessary for that student to complete their program. The temporary suspension of the programs meant that significant resources would not be directed in these areas which provided time for proper evaluation as part of the current academic planning process. There is no question that the disbandment of any academic program needs to come to Senate but, in the interim, some serious financial issues must be addressed and the senior administrative team is obliged to take appropriate action. D. Woolcott noted the distinction between temporary suspension of enrolments and discontinuation of programs. The Senate Academic Policy and Planning Committee has authority over program proposals, new programs and the discontinuation of programs. However, the terms of reference and Senate by-laws do not provide for temporary suspensions of programs. 10 S. Drain requested clarification as to the temporary nature of the suspension of these two programs and if the University is recruiting new students for these programs. D. Woolcott indicated that there is no current recruitment taking place; the academic planning taskforce will address possible options for the future. K. Dewar stated that temporary suspensions should come under the purview of Senate and even though a suspension may be temporary, it is often difficult to re-start a program if a temporary suspension is lifted. K. Laurin emphasized the decision was not an attempt to undermine Senateâ s role. Senate will face challenging academic situations and be required to make difficult decisions in the coming year as the academic planning process continues and the necessary dialogue needs to occur. The decision regarding these two programs might appear to have been pre-emptive; however, the intent was to provide time to begin the academic planning process and involve all programs. R. Farmer asked for clarification as to the timeline for the academic plan. D. Woolcott stated that email responses were due on or before December 5th, 2008 and CAPP hopes to bring recommendations to the Senate meeting scheduled for March 2nd, 2009. R. Gechtman expressed appreciation for Senior Administrationâ s responsibility beyond academic issues but noted that administrative and financial decisions have varying degrees of academic consequences. Although Senate may be involved in the decision-making process, it appears that important academic decision-making has occurred unilaterally by administration. Senate should be involved in the process when it involves something as important as a temporary suspension of a program or hiring for departments. K. Laurin noted that, as MSVU does not have the continued resources that it once did, a temporary suspension while conducting necessary academic planning, was a risk worth taking and was in the best interests of MSVU. Currently, the University Charter and Senate by-laws are silent as to program suspensions and the role of various bodies; Senate should engage in thoughtful, reflective, honest discussions for the long-term best interests of the University. J. Mills reported that, of the students who wanted to transfer to the MSVU Information Technology program, six students who already held degrees went elsewhere in Nova Scotia , and three students who had completed at least two years at MSVU, transferred out. While understanding the financial implications for accepting students in the first year of a program, she felt it lacked economic sense for MSVU not to accept transfer students who could take third-year and fourth-year courses. K. Laurin responded that decisions have pros and cons and unfortunately the loss of some students was one of the negative consequences of the decision. R. Farmer stated that, as the academic plan moves forward, there is a general negative impact, both in morale and enrolments. As the result of feedback from students, some students are not registering for IT courses because they believe IT is not worthwhile in the light of the suspension. B. Jessop noted that there is a responsibility to strengthen programs, particularly those not attracting students for various reasons. It is important that MSVU protect its strengths while moving forward with the changing trends of universities. M. Forrest felt the situation is not a question of having different goals but of process. She emphasized that teamwork is the preferred environment. Even though the University Charter and Senate by-laws are silent regarding temporary suspensions of programs, it does not necessarily mean that Senate should not be consulted. The absence of policy regarding temporary suspensions is precisely a good reason to engage in a consultation process involving Senate. P. Gouthro shared insights reflective of her research, which is the increasing influence of the marketplace on academic life. The structures of modern-day universities require presidents to be 11 directly accountable to Boards of Governors. When examining the checks and balances within a system, the Senate should be recognized as containing faculty committed to the success of the university. Faculty sometimes has more understanding of academic activities and responsibilities in a way that those in administrative positions do not, even if they have an academic history. The Senate can become a place of opportunity for deliberative forms of democracy that are not present in the marketplace or corporations. A. Davis stated that it is important that there not be an environment which detracts from teamwork and creates divisiveness between administration and academic members of the university community. The future will involve difficult decisions regarding programs and the financial future of the University while maintaining the academic integrity and substance of MSVU. Senateâ s constructive and creative engagement in the process is critical. K. Dewar noted that disagreement does not mean absence of creativity. Even though a body may not approve a proposed action, does not mean the body has failed to think it through or think creatively. R. Bérard expressed support for the motion as well as support for the result of the temporary suspension of the programs. He expressed concern with unilateral decisions by management and that temporary suspensions should be the purview of Senate. Senate should have been consulted in the decision; in the absence of consultation, the decision should have been announced to the Senate. J. Sawler noted that if an issue has significant academic implications, then that issue should be addressed by Senate. Collegial, unbiased discussions result in actions that are in the best interests of the University. K. Laurin noted that the University Charter does not give Senate the authority to approve or not approve the discontinuation of programs. K. Dewar indicated that the University Charter assigns to Senate and the Board of Governors the authority to discontinue programs. The purpose of the motion is for Senate to express concern when academic decisions are made without the approval of Senate. The purpose of the motion is not at odds with the University Charter but to express concern in the hopes that administration would take that into account in future actions. 10. Items for Communication No items for communication were noted. 11. Adjournment The meeting adjourned at 9:45 p.m. Respectfully submitted, Lorna Cottenden Recording Secretary