MSVU Senate Minutes -- October 29 2007

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Senate, Mount Saint Vincent University
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1 Senate Meeting October 29, 2007 Rosaria Boardroom 7:30 p.m. Minutes of Meeting Present: K. Laurin (Chair), R. Bérard, I. Blum, D. Bourne-Tyson, B. Casey, P. Crouse, A. Daley, A. Davis, A. Eaton, R. Farmer, R. Gechtman, P. Glenister, J. Gordon, P. Gouthro, C. Hill, M. Lyon, B. MacInnes, R. MacKay, J. MacLeod, K. Manning, A. McCalla, S. Mumm, M. Raven, J. Sawler, S. Seager, J. Sharpe, L. Steele, B. Taylor, S. Walsh, P.Watts, M. Whalen, A.Whitewood, D. Woolcott, R. Zuk. Regrets: M. Forrest Guests: F. Eghan, G. Haliburton, J. MacMillan, G. McCarney, R McIsaac, P. Parsons, L. Scallion-Morine, R. Walkden President Laurin welcomed Prof. Robert Farmer on returning to Senate as well as members of the Strategic Plan Steering Committee in attendance. 1. Approval of Agenda Moved by B. MacInnes, seconded by J. Gordon to approve the agenda as circulated. CARRIED. 2. Approval of Minutes of September 24, 2007 Moved by P. Gouthro, seconded by L. Steele to approve the minutes of September 24, 2007 with the following changes: The addition of â Alternateâ in the Student Judicial Committee and Student Discipline Appeals Committee table in 7.11.1 Nominations for Standing Committees. On page 2, line 17, â Mountsâ should be â Mountâ sâ . On page 5, line 40 should read â to assist students in reachingâ and line 45 should read â an issue here at the Mountâ On page 7, line 6 should read â â ¦ Senate that the committee had negotiated with the Universityâ s auditors to move fromâ . CARRIED 3. Business Arising from the Minutes 3.1 Faculty academic attire at convocations After some investigation Senate Executive has concluded that the situation is currently being handled as efficiently as possible and that there are measures in place to deal with the occasional occurrence of incorrect attire. It was determined by Senate Executive that it was not necessary at this time to create a new policy. A Senator felt that the provision of incorrect robes may not be the best solution to this issue. A Senator suggested that plain black robes be provided to those who did not have their appropriate robe and hood and that perhaps those in the plain robes process at the back of the procession. K. 2 Laurin suggested that these concerns would be noted in the minutes and that the recommendations be brought forward to the Convocation Committee for their consideration. 3.2 Revision to Senate By-law 14.9 Student Affairs Committee (Item 7.13.1, Sept. 24, 2007 meeting served as Notice of motion) Moved by C. Hill seconded by A. Daley to amend the By-law 14.9 Student Affairs Committee to the â Membershipâ section of the Student Affairs Committee Terms of Reference indicating that the faculty representation be comprised of representatives from all three Faculties. CARRIED. A concern was raised that the increase in the number of committee roles might take away from other committees with greater roles as the expanded number of committee seats increases workload on those serving as committee members. A Senator wondered why it is so necessary to ensure that each committee have representation from all Faculties as we are essentially one University, a body as a whole , and that the more we fragment ourselves the more we can create artificial distinctions and differentiations. 3.3 Revision to Senate By-law 14.10 Committee on Teaching and Learning, Writing Initiatives Committee (Notice of Motion given Sept. 24, 2007) Moved by P. Watts seconded by S. Mumm that the By-Law be amended. CARRIED as amended Moved by S. Seager, seconded by J. Gordon that the motion be tabled to the next meeting to reflect the correction of typographical errors. DEFEATED Moved by P. Watts, seconded by S. Mumm that the By-Law be amended to correct â Revised February 12, 2007 and approved by SCOTL April 9, 2007â to read: â Revised February 12, 2007 and approved by SCOTL April 4, 2007â . CARRIED P. Watts explained that the areas under Purpose shown in strikeout are, in fact, the passages to be considered as new, amended changes while the area not currently shown in strikeout should actually be identified as the old passages to be removed. 3.4 Strategic Plan President Laurin introduced the members of the Steering Committee who were not members of the Senate: R. Walkden, P. Parsons, R. McIsaac, G. Haliburton, J. MacMillan, L. Scallion-Morine (resource). Members of the Steering Committee who are members of Senate are: K. Laurin, D. Woolcott, S. Mumm, P. Watts, B. Taylor, A. Daley, and A. Whitewood. Moved by B. Taylor, seconded by A. Davis to adopt â Destination 2012-The Strategic Plan of Mount Saint Vincent Universityâ . CARRIED, 30 in favor and 3 opposed. I. Blum as Parliamentarian provided the definition of â adoptâ as the correct term for use as per Robertâ s Rules regarding the Strategic Plan. He said that the document needs to be adopted in identical form by both the Senate and the Board of Governors and that there could be no motions to amend the document itself but that the motion was either to approve or not. D. Woolcott introduced the Strategic Plan by stating that it had been a year since work had begun on it ultimately producing a document designed to give focus and direction to the University. The Strategic Plan is not a plan for individuals but for the institution as a whole. The Steering 3 Committee had hundreds if not thousands of suggestions and had a great deal of interaction with the University community and also with those outside the community. Close attention was given to bringing forward the best of those ideas and attempting to incorporate them into the Plan which represents the first step in an ongoing process where more ideas can be added. It is meant to assist the University to succeed in a challenging environment and it was felt that the goals were reasonable, the focus was on quality and that it would celebrate the strengths of the Mount including the advancement of women. It is intended to move the Mount forward into the future with room to be flexible. B.Taylor then spoke in favour of the Strategic Plan, pointing out it is before Senate for approval-- the procedure that has been used in the past to deal with the various Blueprint plans. Regarding the Next Steps on page 13, it is important to have a reference to the Implementation Team and its makeup. Finally there are a series of strategies to be turned into action plans and it is important to ensure that the Senate has an active role in these. To move forward we have to trust in ourselves and in our committees. This document protects and defends the role of Senate and at the same time it is a balanced evaluation of the various materials the Steering Committee has received over the last year. A. Daley was pleased to have had the opportunity to be involved in the development of the Strategic Plan and felt it was a valuable learning experience. As there was a great deal of input from the students she felt it merited support and that she would be excited to see the Strategic Plan move ahead. Both she and the rest of the Studentsâ Union are looking forward to beginning the implementation process. The floor was then opened to the Senate for comments. A Senator raised concern regarding the Environmental Scan on page 21, paragraph 9, specifically â delivery of personalized learning and small class sizeâ and whether or not greater workloads and increased class sizes in recent years has actually eroded the ability of faculty to provide students with the personalized learning. The Plan lacks evidence that would guarantee the ability to deliver personalized learning and small class size, given the apparent increase in committees and expanded committee roles. A Senator speaking in favour of the Plan pointed out that, as the University is small, it is critical to have a united focus based on trust. This trust was tested in the development of this plan but the result should show the strength of the institution and therefore it deserves support. A Senator commented favourably to see academic freedom and academic excellence at the forefront of the document. To the question as to whether the Implementation Committee was already in place, K. Laurin responded by stating that it was not and that attempts were being made to ensure that the Committee would comprise members from different sectors across the University. A Senator queried the constitution of the Steering Committee, the criteria used for membership , and whether the way this was handled for â Destination 2012â was a significant departure from that of the Blueprint process. B. Taylor noted that the Steering Committee as it exists is not unlike that for Blueprint but the present process included a series of focus groups and town halls used for consulting purposes whereas for Blueprint there was a variety of committees. K. Laurin clarified that the discussion has yet to be held as to the constitution of the Implementation Committee. 4 A Senator speaking in favour of the Strategic Plan noted that, although the process may have been different for Blueprint, it involved as much, if not more, input from a wide constituency and represented a community of thought. With respect to decision making responsibility, all academic decisions that will be made by the Implementation Committee will ultimately come before Senate for approval through the various Senate Committees. A Senator voiced appreciation of the amount of work put into producing â Destination 2012â and the improvements that have come from the several versions of the plan but noted concern over the amount of resources that are used in developing a plan designed for a five-year timeline. Although this version improved on earlier drafts, the current Mission and Values more clearly express the intent of the Mount. The current mission â Dedicated to the education of womenâ was felt to be stronger than the change to the â best university experienceâ and further that the education of women has become vague. Appearing to treat education as a consumer product is a negative approach. A Senator raised a concern about the allocation of resources. While the Plan has positive aspects, there is uncertainty around the provision of resources to the various groups charged with the responsibility of making the changes described in the plan. Of particular concern is the reference to the Institute for the Study of Women which, over the years, has gone from a fully functioning Institute with a director and which received grants to become an area that houses the Managing Editor of Atlantis and the Womenâ s Studies Department. S. Mumm felt that the document is worthy of support precisely because it struck the balance between the direction that students were headed with regard to technology and increased expectations while adhering to the traditional values of academic excellence and the pursuit of knowledge. A Senator felt concern over having to vote on a document that is essentially a roadmap that would be continually evolving and wanted some clarification on the checks and balances in the plan that would ensure that any changes made to it in the future would come back to Senate for approval. There was also an element of concern about the possibility of an increased workload on Faculty, Deans and the Vice-Presidents. In response to these concerns a Senator pointed out that Senate is the governing body of the University and nothing can be changed academically without Senate approval. D. Woolcott reminded Senate that Senateâ s committees exist as committees of the larger body and that all recommendations for academic change must go through the Senate. A Senator inquired how the Plan defines the allocation of resources and who will decide on what resources are applied to which strategies; it is this lack of information that makes many faculty members uncomfortable with this Strategic Plan. A Senator felt that this is a supportable plan because it respects, reflects and represents the core values of the university and also because it is a framework that allows for an enormous amount of opportunity for engagement. It would be impossible to specify exact amounts of allocation but this provides a way to take possession. P. Watts saw the opportunities for engagement represented as strong and inclusive and that the academic support units felt supportive of the document and were ready and willing to do their 5 part. She found it aspirational as well as inspirational in that it is a reminder that we are here for the education of students. K. Laurin thanked the Senate and praised the fulsome discussion. She then opened the floor to members of the Steering Committee to comment before voting on the motion. P. Parsons addressed Senate by asking members to focus on the document itself rather than the process that came before the document. She reminded Senate that the Plan is not an Implementation document but rather a roadmap similar to a professional code of ethics that provides guidelines and direction. The implementation phase will come later and address the concerns about detail. As for the five-year timeline, it is critical to review periodically what the university is doing, where it is going, and where it stands in relation to competition. This does not mean that every aspect has to be reviewed every five years. Some may feel that the document is diluted due to the large amount of input that was taken into consideration. This dilution can be considered by some as balance and the balance can be the strength of the document. The concentration can come back to the document by focusing on the areas where people see themselves and engaging in those areas. She felt the document merits support and that those who are fundamentally against it should vote that way but, if some items are viewed as still open for discussion, then support the document and engage in discussion in the next phases. Another guest, G. McCarney, asked, if the Strategic Plan were to come into conflict with the Charter or any collective agreement, which document would be paramount. I. Blum responded that the Charter defines the Board of Governors and Senate and that the powers of Senate come from the Charter; therefore anything decided upon by Senate within its powers conferred by the Charter is final and binding. 4. Presidentâ s Announcements K. Laurin reminded Senators that the United Way Campaign began this week and she was pleased that Donna Bourne-Tyson and Frank Symonds had agreed to co-chair. She asked members to give the campaign their participation and support. The Memorandum of Understanding discussions continue and there has been no mandate agreed upon with the Government. We are engaged in pre-negotiation talks at this time and will update the Senate when there is something to report. 5. Question Period A Senator questioned the transparency in the staffing process through which CAPP makes its decisions. Chairs submit hiring proposals which go to the Deans and then on to CAPP; at one time those proposals went out to department Chairs for input to CAPP and it seems that a change in this policy has led to some anxiety. K. Laurin suggested that this be investigated and revisited in the future. D. Woolcott suggested that perhaps the Deans could have discussion with the department Chairs at the Chairs meeting and that those discussions could address some of the issues of transparency and anxiety. 6. Unfinished Business There was no unfinished business. 6 7. Committee Reports (Standing and Ad hoc) 7.1 Senate Executive 7.1.1 Notice of motion: Proposed revisions to Senate by-law 14.2, Academic Appeals Committee 7.2 Academic Appeals Committee There was no report. 7.3 Academic Policy and Planning 7.3.1 Academic Appeals Policy revision Moved by D. Woolcott, seconded by S. Mumm to approve the revised policy and procedures for dealing with Academic Appeals. A Senator questioned the timeline in Stage 1 â final grade queries must be initiated with two weeks of the last day of the examination periodâ stating that many students would receive their grades at different times and as a result some students could have a longer time period than others to appeal. Under Stage 2, when is the completion of Stage One: when the grade analysis is completed or when the student receives the result of the grade analysis? These may leave the document ambiguous or unfair at the moment. S. Mumm replied that the timelines were inserted to ensure that students could get through the process before the next semester begins. A Senator suggested that the date be two weeks from the point the grade analysis is posted to WebAdvisor. A Senator questioned the re-read procedure in Stage 2: â Re-read- A re-read shall involve a reconsideration of the studentâ s coursework, including the final examination, if anyâ . The inclusion of â if anyâ seems confusing and this language should be clarified. Two Senators expressed concern about the $25.00 fee charged to students for the process. It was clarified that the fee went to the Registrarâ s office to cover the cost of retrieving documents and that the fee had been in place previously but was now being clearly stated in the interest of transparency. A Senator asked that CAPP discuss the application of the fee. Moved by I Blum, seconded by A. Daley to table the motion to approve the revised policy and procedures for dealing with Academic Appeals until a later date. CARRIED 7.3.2 Memorandum of Understanding between Mount Saint Vincent University and the University of Education, Lahore, Pakistan Moved by D. Woolcott, seconded by J. Sharpe that the Senate approve the Memorandum of Understanding between Mount Saint Vincent University and The University of Education, Lahore, Pakistan. CARRIED 7 A Senator requested clarification on Point 4 as to who spoke on behalf of each institution. J. Sharpe answered that the discussions were between the Vice-Chancellors and the Deans of Education. Regarding Point 5, paragraph 2, a Senator questioned the process for communication between the two universities. J. Sharpe indicated that communication between the Vice-Chancellors and the Deans of Education was disseminated to the Faculty through the Faculty meeting process. 7.4 Graduate Studies Program and Policy There was no report. 7.5 Graduate Scholarships, Assistantships and Awards M. Lyon reported that the allocation of the Graduate Assistantships had been completed. October 29 was the NSERC deadline for Postgraduate Awards and Graduate Scholarships. To date there have been ten applicants, an increase over the previous years 2006 â three, 2005- two, and 2004 â four. The Mount can now make nine applications to NSERC. 7.6 Undergraduate Curriculum 7.6.1 Undergraduate curriculum proposals (for approval) Business and Tourism changes to existing program Moved by S. Mumm, seconded by M. Lyon that Senate approve changes to the Certificate in Accounting, to the Certificate in Marketing, to the Certificate in Business Administration, to the Concentration in Economics, to the Concentration in Finance, and to the Concentration in Tourism and Hospitality Management within the BBA of the Business and Tourism program. CARRIED Chemistry/Physics changes to existing programâ Joint Honours Chemistry degree Moved by S. Mumm, seconded by A. McCalla that Senate approve the proposal add a writing course requirement to the Chemistry and Physics program. CARRIED Child and Youth Study changes to existing program Moved by S. Mumm, seconded by M. Lyon that Senate approve changes to the History requirements for BAA (CYS) and to the Minor in Child and Youth Study of the Child and Youth Study program. CARRIED Public Policy Studies changes to existing program Moved By S. Mumm, seconded by J. MacLeod that Senate approve changes to the Minor of the Public Policy Studies program. CARRIED 7.6.2 Undergraduate curriculum proposalsâ changes to existing courses (for information) Biology BIOL 2213â Environmental Science: new description Business and Tourism BUSI 3326â Intermediate Accounting: Equities and Special Topics: new prerequisites BUSI 4400â Business Policy: new prerequisites THMT 4409â Strategic Management for Tourism and Hospitality: new prerequisites BUSI 2263â Canadian Securities Course: new description 8 Mathematics: new descriptions MATH 2208â Introduction to Probability and Statistics I MATH 2209â Introduction to Probability and Statistics II 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 At the last meeting there was a question as to whether the Faculty Guide had been updated yet. Although the guide has been updated by IT&S it has not yet gone to the Committee. IT&S has received approval to purchase a storage area network. Currently each user has approximately 30 megabytes of space, with this purchase each user could increase to gigabytes of space. IT&S is in the process of improving the hardware and cabling in the main buildings to improve the network speed between buildings. A second project is to improve the internet traffic speed and it is hoped that improvements will be seen by December. A communications strategy has been posted on the internet pertaining to service interruptions. There are now guidelines in place for planned service interruptions to notify the whole university in advance of the interruptions as well as follow up for any emergency outages. The upgrade to Groupwise has been completed and has gone well with the major change being the Web access version to Groupwse. The Business Continuity Plan that IT&S has been working on has been completed to Phase One which highlights disaster recovery for all servers on campus. The committee will be asked to assist with the development of Phase Two. The Committee is also looking at an email policy that was drafted for its review. 7.9 Library There was no report. 7.10 Nominations There are still a few vacancies that exist that are being dealt with. The Undergraduate Curriculum Committee has one vacancy from the Faculty of Education, Writing Initiatives Committee has one Arts and Sciences vacancy, University Research Ethics Board has one vacancy and the URC has had the fourth call so that with two current nominations and one person acclaimed there remains one position to be filled. 7.11 Research and Publications The next round of proposals will start the first week of November for this yearâ s cycle. 7.12 Student Affairs There was no report. 7.13 Committee on Teaching and Learning One meeting was held where Mary Jane Harkins was elected Chair of the Committee. The Committee has issued a call for nominations for the two teaching awards: Teaching Innovation and Instructional Leadership. 7.14 Writing Initiatives One meeting was held on October 17th. There is an upcoming Brown Bag Event to be held on November 14th called â Writing in Plain Sightâ . This is an informational session about the event 9 organized by Dr. Sunny Marche at Dalhousie University last year. The Committee is considering participating in a similar event to be held at Dalhousie this year. 7.15 Undergraduate Admissions and Scholarships There was no report. 7.16 University Research Ethics Board There was no report. 8. Other Reports 8.1 Studentsâ Union A. Daley reported that the Studentsâ Union has completed media training with Public Affairs. A. Eaton led a successful Breast Cancer Awareness Week. The Studentsâ Union is working on a Communications Plan with a goal of finalizing it by the end of the semester. The Crosswalk Safety petition now has 800 signatures. Maggie Daley has been hired as the speaker for the SRC. The Studentsâ Union is assisting Athletics with home opener games in Basketball and Volleyball as well as with the Soccer Nationals which the Mount we will be hosting. There is an upcoming Audit and Annual General Meeting and we will be working on a Haunted House to raise funds for Christmas Daddies. There are four vacant appointments to be filled this month as well as the filling of the Recording Secretary position. A memo was distributed to Senators regarding the use of the on campus food bank as requested at the last meeting. 9. New Business There were no new business items. 10. Items for Communication The adoption of the Strategic Plan. Curriculum changes for the Calendar. MoU with the University of Education, Lahore, Pakistan. 11. Adjournment Moved by A. Davis to adjourn at 9:50 PM. CARRIED