Council MinutesMinutes of University Council
November 17, 2005
Neatby-Timlin Theatre (241 Arts Building)
Attendance: See Appendix A.
1. Opening Remarks
Condolences were expressed on behalf of Council to colleagues and family of Dr. Michael Zink, Professor in the Department of Biology, who retired in 1996 and passed away on October 15, 2005. The tribute was delivered by Dr. Cedric Gillott, Professor Emeritus from Biology.
Condolences were also expressed on behalf of Council to colleagues and family of Dr. John Iversen, who retired from the faculty of the Western College of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Veterinary Microbiology in December of 2000. He passed away on September 6, 2005. The tribute was delivered by Dr. Ted Leighton, Department of Veterinary Pathology.
2. Adoption of the Agenda
The agenda was adopted as circulated.
3. Minutes of meeting of October 20, 2005
BROWN/MACLEAN: That the minutes of the meeting of October 20, 2005 be approved.
5. Report of the President
In addition to his written report, the President reported on the following matters:
The President referred to a question that was asked at a previous meeting about institutional policy with respect to criteria for appointment of professors emeriti. Consistent with the sentiment expressed in that question, there has been consideration at Deans Council and the President assured members of Council that as a result of these discussions, amendments are likely to be made to the policy.
The President drew attention to the item in his report that indicates a change to the number of members of the Board of Governors from 12 to 11. This change arose from a suggestion from the provincial auditor that the province controlled the university because it appointed half of the members of the board. The response from the government was to propose amendments to the Acts governing the Universities with the effect of reducing the number of Lieutenant Governor in Council appointments made by the government to both boards from 6 to 5. Amendments to the Act are currently before the legislature, and indications from the provincial auditor are that this change will address her concerns.
The President also alluded to statements made about postsecondary education by Finance Minister Ralph Goodale earlier this week as part his financial update. The announcements included funding to address accessibility issues for low income students, a review and reform of student aid, significant funding of graduate student scholarships, a commitment to support study abroad, and funds for the provinces to support urgent provincial issues in postsecondary education, all representing a significant investment in higher education. Also announced as part of the financial update was a $2.5 billion investment in the Innovation Economy, including increases to the granting councils and the doubling of the federal government commitment to the indirect costs of research. There will also be more money for infrastructure, most likely destined to the Canada Foundation for Innovation. The President noted that this is very welcome news for the university sector, particularly the recognition of indirect costs.
In response to a question about the availability of the journal Science Watch, the President indicated that the report on the WCVM professors cited in that journal came from Research Services and that he would pursue the matter of its availability.
In response to a question about the Minister of Learning’s statement that he would be open to exploring further changes in governance at the request of the universities (from page 2 of the report), the President noted that there have been several suggestions brought forward from various quarters about changes—an example is the GSA’s suggestion for the addition of a graduate student representative to the board.
6. Student Society Reports (USSU, GSA)
Evan Cole, Vice President Academic of the USSU, reported on two items: 1. Nominations are being sought for the USSU’s teaching excellence awards 2. The USSU is about to launch a new student support site, available at www.ussu.ca/ass/.
Jonathan Anuik reported from the GSA on progress on the Graduate Commons project, which has struck a committee to explore possibilities. He will continue to keep Council apprised as this project progresses. He also reported that on November 2-6 he attended the Canadian Association of Graduate Studies (CAGS) annual conference in Toronto. There was some concern expressed about membership in CAGS from the Canadian Federation of Students; the GSA is working on resolution of this issue.
7. Report of the Provost
The Provost drew attention to the announcement in his report that Jim Greer has been asked and has agreed to serve as Academic Program Director of the new Learning Centre, and expressed his pleasure at this appointment and his thanks to Professor Greer for accepting it.
The President of the GSA took issue with the word ‘incentive’ in the Provost’s report of the new graduate tuition model; the Provost accepted this as a fair comment.
7.1 Enrolment Plan Update
The Provost introduced a status report on the Enrolment Plan “Bridging to 2010” which was adopted by Council in 2003. This presentation is available from the University Secretary’s Office.
He then invited Associate Vice President Student and Enrolment Services David Hannah to present the Final Enrolment Report for the fall 2005 term. Dr. Hannah began by acknowledging the work of the staff of the Institutional Analysis and Communications units, as well as Laurie Pushor, Kelly McInnes, and Russell Isinger of the Student and Enrolment Services Division. He described the complexity of the data involved in producing and comparing credit unit counts and headcounts, summarized the data in the report, and offered to respond to questions.
Discussion of the Enrolment Plan and Enrolment Report included the effect of the change in the admission average, efforts that are being made to recruit international students, the availability of entrance scholarships and matching programs from provincial governments, recognition of foreign academic and professional credentials and bridging programs to enhance that recognition, the effect of changes to Open Studies, and the proportion of Aboriginal students as a reflection of the demographics of the province. A member of Council expressed the opinion that this was a very wholesome discussion and that it was valuable to see the enrolment figures in the context of an Enrolment Plan.
7.2 Operations Forecast
The Provost then moved to a presentation of highlights from the Operations Forecast, which was included in the Council material. He described the purpose of the document and the process which is used to create it, and its connection with the Integrated Plan and the Multi-Year Budget Framework. This year’s document communicates the message that the University is following through on its plan and is moving from planning activities to implementation in a way consistent with the Multi-Year Budget Framework. The Provost commented that the two universities have begun to harmonize their messages to the provincial government by articulating the importance of the university sector to the province’s economic and social health and by putting forward joint initiatives such as the need for matching grants for entrance awards. He then thanked the people in the Integrated Planning Office who put this document together, as well as members of the Planning and Budget Committees of Council and the Deans who were involved in reviewing drafts.
Discussion of the document included comments on the legitimate expectation that government put some money behind the university’s academic priorities fund process; the need for multi-year support from the province to the universities; the high cost of charges from Facilities Management, whether these result from budget cuts to that Division, and whether the Facilities Management Division has ever undergone a review; the tuition increase projections reflected in the Operations Forecast.
A member of Council commended the Provost for sponsoring the Technology Forum in early November and acknowledged all those who planned the event and participated. The Provost indicated that the forum was the brainchild of Rick Bunt, the Associate Vice President (Information and Communications Technology) who worked very hard to organize a very successful forum.
8. Budget Committee
8.1 Letter to the President on the 2006/07 Operations Forecast
This item was presented by Professor Grant Isaac, Chair of the Budget Committee, and was received for information.
9. Bylaws Committee
9.1 Revisions to Council Regulations on Academic Dishonesty
ZIOLA/MERRIAM: That section 12 of the Student Academic Dishonesty Rules of the U of S Council be amended by adding the following as (g) and (h). (g) Alteration or fabrication of research data or results. (h) Fabrication or invention of sources.
ZIOLA/MERRIAM: That effective immediately, responsibility for all election processes for both member-at-large and College representatives be moved to the University Secretary’s Office. This will involve the University Secretary administering all aspects of the nomination and voting process for College elections in addition to the steps that are already done by the University Secretary.
9.2 Proposed Guidelines for Election of College representatives on University Council
9.3 Recording Minutes at Council meetings
ZIOLA/MERRIAM: That the proposed practice for recording minutes at Council meetings be as follows:
The Secretary will indicate the tenor of the discussion without attribution of comments to particular Council members unless they are speaking ex officio, e.g. as Provost, as Dean of a College, etc. or unless a member asks that the comments be on record (normally at the same meeting).
The Secretary will also record commitments, e.g. to investigate something, including the name of the person who will be responsible for undertaking the commitment and/or for bringing a report back to Council.
10. Academic Programs Committee
10.1 Correction to Examination Regulations
Discussion of the motion included questions about the inclusion of supplemental and deferred examinations and the definition of holidays. MERRIAM/BECK: That Council extend the five-day policy for submission of marks to all terms, as described in the Examination Regulations policy.
11. Report of the Joint Board Council Committee on Chairs and Professorships
11.1 CIBC Enhancement Chair in Agribusiness
Discussion of the motion included questions about the appropriateness of the terms and conditions including the incumbent’s name and provisions for review of the incumbent’s work. It was agreed that the suggestion to delete this would be brought back for the Committee’s consideration.
GERMIDA/BECK: That Council approve the establishment of the CIBC Scholar in Agricultural Entrepreneurship enhancement chair.
12. Committee on Outreach and Public Service
12.1 Report and Recommendations on the Foundational Document on Outreach and Engagement
This item was presented by Professor Don Harris, Chair of CCOPS, and was received for information. Professor Harris introduced the report with an opening statement that stressed the opportunity that the university has to become a leader in the distinctive and distinguished area of Outreach and Engagement. He asked Council members to ensure that the work that has been done on this foundational document not be simply ‘lip service’ but result in a commitment to the University to be an engaged university. He urged Council members to ask themselves whether we truly want to walk this path, and what must be done now in order to establish a foundation for a truly engaged university. Professor Harris ended by indicating that CCOPS would continue to accept comments from Colleges and departments until December 5.
13. Other Business
14. Question Period
15. Next Meeting - 2:30 p.m., Thursday, December 15, in Neatby-Timlin Theatre.