MSVU Senate Minutes -- May 2 2003

Thumbnail Image
Senate, Mount Saint Vincent University
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Senate Meeting May 2, 2003 EMF130 1:00 p.m. Present: S. Brown (Chair), I. Blum, S. Bornemann, B. Casey, K. Dewar, W. Doyle, S. Drain, R. Farmer, M. Fitzgerald, F. French, P. Glenister, C. Hill, M. Lyon, R. MacNeil, D. Nevo, D. Norris, S. Seager, L. Steele, L. Theriault, P. Watts, D. Woolcott Regrets: P. Baker, R. Bérard, S. Boyd, S. Bruhm, F. Harrington, J. McLaren, S. Medjuck, P. O'Neill, S. Perrott, A. Whitewood 1. Approval of Agenda Moved by L. Theriault, seconded by S. Drain the approval of the agenda as circulated. CARRIED. 2. President's Announcements S. Brown welcomed the new student senators, S. Bornemann and R. MacNeil. 3. Question Period There were no questions. 4. Unfinished Business There was no unfinished business. 5. Committee Reports (Standing and Ad Hoc) 5.1 Senate Executive 5.1.1. Draft Policy on Naming University Facilities (For Information) S. Brown indicated that, while it is the prerogative of the Board of Governors to name University buildings, there is no existing policy. After investigating policies elsewhere in Canada, a brief, comprehensive policy, which will go to the Board for approval, was drafted. The process will involve a working group to canvass for possible names and come up with a tentative shortâ list. Following feedback from the appropriate Board Committees â typically the Campus Planning Committee, which has both faculty and student representation, and the Board Development Committee, which advises the Director of Advancement â the shortâ list would go to the Joint Board/Senate Committee (two Board members, two Senators elected by the Senate, Chairs of the Board and Senate, and the two Viceâ presidents, ex officio). This Committee would consider all input and make a recommendation to the Board. S. Brown invited advice and commentary from Senators. A Senator asked how entities such as corporations wishing to make substantial donations would be viewed within this policy. S. Brown said Advancement is working on a Donations Policy that would eventually intersect with this policy in order to provide a donor some idea of what may or may not be possible. A Senator asked if the promise of naming a facility after a potential donor would be used to make the donation more attractive. S. Brown said some donors want that kind of recognition and some do not. The Senator asked at what stage it would be decided whether that could happen. S. Brown said there needs to be a parallel Donations Policy that clearly sets out what the level of donation would have to be, and it would have to be approved by the Board in advance of informing the prospective donor. 5.1.2 Notice of Motions â Revisions to Senate Byâ Laws 14.3.1, 14.3.2, and 14.9 Moved by R. MacNeil, seconded by S. Drain adoption of Revisions to Senate Byâ Laws 14.3.1, 14.3.2, and 14.9 to address inconsistences in how student representation on various committees is described. CARRIED. 5.1.3 Notice of Motion â Revision to Senate Byâ Law 14.12 Moved by W. Doyle, seconded by L. Steele adoption of Revisions to Senate Byâ Law 14.12 to address changes to the composition of the University Research Ethics Board. CARRIED. 5.2 Academic Appeals Committee There was no report. 5.3 Academic Policy and Planning 5.3.1 Changes to Strategic Research Plan D. Woolcott advised that, to ensure women candidates have an equal opportunity to be awarded a Chair, the Canada Research Chairs Program asked all universities to provide the CRC with a plan for monitoring gender representation in the CRC process. D. Woolcott read the statement that CAPP approved for submission to the CRC Program. Secondarily, the CRC invited universities to update their Strategic Research Plan and forward any updates by early May for posting on the CRC website. D. Woolcott advised that, in consultation with the Director of Research, CAPP is bringing forward a proposed wording change in the Chairs Distribution Section of the CRC Program Strategic Research Plan. Moved by D. Woolcott, seconded by M. Lyon approval of the proposed wording change in the Chairs Distribution Section of the Canada Research Chairs Program Strategic Research Plan. CARRIED. A Senator asked whether there had been any applicants to date for the Chair in Technology Enhanced Learning. D. Woolcott said there had been one applicant to date. The Senator asked if there has been any discussion about maintaining Technology Enhanced Learning as a strategic area. D. Woolcott said CAPP felt that more consultation is needed within the community before such a substantive change is made to the Strategic Research Plan. She said that CAPP is planning to undertake these discussions before the next round of advertising takes place. 5.4 Graduate Studies There was no report. 5.5 Undergraduate Curriculum There was no report. 5.6 Committee on Appointment, Promotion and Tenure or Permanence for Academic Administrators (CAPTPAA) There was no report. 5.7 Committee on Information Technology and Services I. Blum reported that the committee met and is currently reviewing a document entitled Guidelines for Technology Users on Campus. It also discussed a matter relating to the computer usage agreement that could result in a review of the wording to make it more appropriate in light of recent concerns. 5.8 Library Committee There was no report. 5.9 Nominations Committee I. Blum reported that the list of nominees for committees and boards has not yet been finalized. The committee has not been able to meet and suggest what Senate should do in order to function past June 30th without the new membership in place. The Committee is planning to meet May 5th and hopes to prepare a slate to send to Senate Executive for approval or modification before June 30th. This would establish memberships on the committees over the summer months. Under this proposal, the election that would normally have taken place at the present meeting will be held in September, at which time the Byâ Law provisions allow Senators to nominate others than those the Nominations Committee have proposed. The slate would either be ratified with the existing names as presented, having been preratified by Senate Executive, or with new names if such should come forward. S. Brown stressed the need for the slate to come to Senate Executive before June 30th, after which it will not have a quorum of members since everyone except herself and D. Woolcott will have finished their terms. 5.10 Research and Publications Committee There was no report. 5.11 Student Affairs There was no report. 5.12 Committee on Teaching and Learning Moved by K. Dewar, seconded by D. Nevo adoption of the recommendations of the Subâ Committee on the Student Ratings of Instruction. CARRIED. K. Dewar advised this is not a part of the fullâ time collective agreement but has some bearing on it in that both the full and partâ time collective agreements specify that one element of the assessment of teaching performance is the Senateâ approved Student Ratings of Instruction. The instrument is approved by Senate, but how it is used is a matter for collective bargaining. A new instrument for the Student Ratings of Instruction is being proposed. K. Dewar provided the history of this issue. Student Ratings of Instruction were put in place in the 1970s as a method of gauging student opinions. It goes on the official record so that in the determination of reappointment, promotion, and tenure the committees and parties responsible would not be operating on the basis of rumour and innuendo, but on the basis of some record that everyone is aware of. Their purpose is not to make a judgement on teaching effectiveness but rather to gauge student opinion about the course and the instructor. It becomes a part of the assessment process by department review committees, the Dean, and the URC, and, together with other materials, helps to judge teaching effectiveness. In the past the Mount had a "formative instrument" which was purchased and sent away for processing. At some point this was deemed to be too expensive, and it was substituted by a lengthy questionnaire that became very cumbersome to administer. In 1990â 91 the question was examined again at CAPP and the current instrument was adopted as the result of that process. Since the adoption of that instrument some adhoc changes have been made over time. The immediate origin of the Subâ Committee's formation and investigation was a request from the URC and arose from the difficulty in making judgements about student opinions, particularly for distance courses, due to a very low response rate from distance learners. In 1998 the URC asked that this be investigated, and it has been on and off the agenda for five years. During the past year SCOTL struck a subâ committee in response to the URC's request, and then expanded the committee by two more people to accommodate the requirement in the collective agreement for partâ time union representation. The Subâ committee discovered over time that it could not solve the problem of response rates in distance courses without addressing the instrument and decided on a simpler, broader questionnaire that would be used in all courses. The proposed instrument is more objective and reduces the "personality variables" in the existing instrument. The Subâ committee is recommending the new questionnaire be prefaced by a letter from the Vicepresident (Academic). Where there are onâ campus courses the questionnaire would continue to be administered in class. For distance courses or onâ line courses it would be administered onâ line. A gap may occur if students of televised courses do not have access to the Mount's website, but the subcommittee feels the new instrument is still an improvement. Both the Subâ committee and SCOTL unanimously recommend the adoption of the subâ committee's recommendations. A Senator expressed concern over the lack of consultation with faculty, particularly by Department Chairs who spend a lot of time with the instrument and should have had a chance to respond. Another Senator foresaw difficulty in use of the new instrument by Chairs for the summative evaluation of parttime faculty, or by department review committees for the summative evaluation of fullâ time faculty, in order to demonstrate competence or provide evidence of satisfactory teaching performance. While this is only one of four forms of evidence for the assessment of undergraduate and graduate teaching performance, it is the one that is the clearest. Although the old instrument had many drawbacks, the rating numbers had words attached to them, so a score that was 3 or above was satisfactory. A new instrument should fit with the existing collective agreement, rather than the collective agreement being renegotiated to provide for the instrument. A Senator said that Chairs would have great difficulty using the new instrument when they are asked to judge whether student evaluations were satisfactory or not. The Senator thought that the form involving the assessment of teaching should include a report of what the student evaluations are, and a statement by the assessor (the Chair) to say that teaching is or is not satisfactory because of too many complaints, or that student evaluations may have been very positive but the course did not meet some other criteria. A Senator questioned references to those who teach courses throughout both the instrument and the letter from the Viceâ president (Academic) which are referred to as "faculty members", "professors", "course instructor", "faculty", and "instructor", and wondered if these are useful distinctions. A Senator congratulated the Subâ committee for their work. The letter from the Viceâ President (Academic) adds context for students before they fill out the survey. The Senator thought that the package being proposed will clarify and provide much better feedback for the review processes. A Senator felt that the new instrument provides a clear way to make a valid determination of whether the teaching is satisfactory and is a vast improvement over the existing instrument. S. Brown asked K. Dewar for clarification on whether the motion is to approve only the instrument, or did it also include approval of the Viceâ president's letter. K. Dewar said the motion was to adopt the recommendations of the Subâ committee which includes both the instrument and the letter. Terminology for faculty was used interchangeably throughout the documents but could be easily adjusted to refer to those who teach courses as course instructor, instructor, or faculty member. A Senator questioned how the findings from the rating forms would be expressed and interpreted (i.e. would the findings be expressed as percentages for each rating grade, or would they be calculated and expressed as averages). The Senator noted that for the purpose of assessing the instructor's teaching "high" and "low" have less of an emotional label than "excellent" and "poor". S. Brown indicated that the proposed change was to the instrument and not to the way the instrument was used. 5.13 Writing Initiatives Committee There was no report. 5.14 Undergraduate Admissions and Scholarships Committee L. Theriault advised that acceptances continue to arrive from students for entrance scholarships and the total is now over $200,000. 5.15 University Research Ethics Board There was no report. 6. Other Reports 6.1 Students' Union R. MacNeil advised that the new executive took over the previous day and will begin a strategic planning phase next month. S. Brown wished the new executive members all the best in their endeavours. 7. New Business 7.1 Spring 2003 Graduation List (confidential business) Moved by W. Doyle, seconded by M. Fitzgerald to move in camera to conduct confidential business. CARRIED Certificate in Business Administration (Lyon/Doyle) Certificate in Community Residential Services (Lyon/Fitzgerald) Certificate in Proficiency in French (Lyon/Nevo) Certificate in Gerontology (Lyon/Norris) Certificate in Information Technology (Lyon/Casey) Certificate in Marketing (Lyon/Doyle) Certificate in Tourism & Hospitality Management (Lyon/Doyle) Diploma in Business Administration (Lyon/Doyle) Diploma in Tourism & Hospitality Management (Lyon/Doyle) Bachelor of Arts (Lyon/Drain) Bachelor of Arts (Advanced Major) (Lyon/Dewar) Bachelor of Arts (Honours) with Firstâ Class Honours (Lyon/Drain) Bachelor of Applied Arts (Child & Youth Study) (Lyon/Fitzgerald) Bachelor of Applied Arts (Family Studies & Gerontology) (Lyon/Norris) Bachelor of Applied Arts (Family Studies & Gerontology) Honours (Family Studies) with Firstâ Class Honours (Lyon/Norris) Bachelor of Human Ecology (with Distinction) (Lyon/Norris) Bachelor of Applied Arts (Information Technology) (Coâ op Education Route) (Lyon/Casey) Bachelor of Office Administration (Lyon/Casey) Bachelor of Business Administration (Lyon/Doyle) Bachelor of Business Administration (Honours) with Firstâ Class Honours (Lyon/Doyle) Bachelor of Business Administration in Association with Bermuda College (Lyon/Doyle) Bachelor of Business Administration in Association with the University of St. Marten (Lyon/Doyle) Bachelor of Public Relations (Lyon/Doyle) Bachelor of Science (Lyon/Blum) Bachelor of Science (Advanced Major) (Lyon/Blum) Bachelor of Science (Honours) with Firstâ Class Honours (Lyon/Hill) Bachelor of Science Applied Human Nutrition (Lyon/Woolcott) Bachelor of Tourism & Hospitality Management (Lyon/Woolcott) Bachelor of Education (Lyon/French) Master of Applied Human Nutrition (Lyon/Blum) Master of Arts Child & Youth Study (Lyon/Fitzgerald) Master of Education (Lyon/French) Master of Arts in Education (Lyon/French) Master of Arts in Women's Studies Offered Jointly by Mount Saint Vincent University, Dalhousie University and Saint Mary's University (Lyon/Steele) Master of Arts in School Psychology (yon/French) Moved by M. Lyon, seconded by S. Drain that Senate permit the Registrar to add an individual's name if the requirements are completed prior to the Convocation Ceremony and further, to adjust any students' distinction status if so warranted. CARRIED Moved by B. Casey, seconded by P. Watts to move from in camera. CARRIED. 8. Items for Communication Convocation list, changes to Byâ Laws, new student ratings of instruction and letter from the Viceâ President (Academic). 9. Adjournment Moved by F. French to adjourn the meeting at 2:25 p.m. CARRIED