To the Brock Community:
The February 2015 meeting of Senate will take place on Wednesday Feb. 4th at 3 p.m. in the Sankey Chamber. The full agenda and supporting materials are available at:
For your interest, what follows is a brief summary of the agenda.
The Report of the President is both an explanation of the impact of the external forces on our university and a call to Senate to meet the challenge posed by the conditions facing higher education in a heightened competitive environment. As the report contains data, analysis and comment I invite you to read the text in full rather than my precis so that nothing is lost.
Additionally, the Report of the Vice President Academic presents the figures on post secondary applications and the disappointing downturn for our university. The thinking is that tendencies show student preference for large urban centres and well established schools. He says “We … have developed a comprehensive strategy to increase the conversion of 101 applications to confirmed registrations. I would ask for the help of all faculty, staff and students in recruitment efforts; this is a vital task for all members of the Brock community.” He goes on to conclude that “… we cannot shirk uncomfortable debate, and to not embrace the possibility of change(s) will hurt, rather than help us in these increasingly difficult times.” A list of ‘exciting” events and developments in our Faculties end the report which is found at
The report of the Vice President, Research and Scholarship is a celebratory memo. He announces award winners and reminds the Brock community of the Research Celebration at the Guernsey Market on February 10th. Attachments report specifically on the Transdisciplinary Hubs.
Our COU colleague will provide an oral report to advise faculty of the annual Innovative Designs for Accessibility (IDeA) student competition which is supported by The Council of Ontario Universities, and the Government of Ontario:
Several actions are recommended to senate by the Governance Committee. In addition to procedural items, the Committee recommends that Senate appoint Professor David Whitehead as the Chair of the Teaching and Learning Policy Committee, effective February 5, 2015.
Due to the resignation of a Senator, the Teaching & Learning Policy Committee is in need of a faculty representative from the Faculty of Humanities. In accordance with FHB II:9.8.2, the Governance Committee has put a call for a Faculty of Humanities Senator or a member-at-large to serve on the Committee for the remainder of the academic year to ensure that each Faculty is represented on the Committee.
The Planning, Priorities and Budget Allocation Committee has the following recommendations to Senate:
1. That Senate accepts the recommendation of the Planning, Priorities, and Budget Advisory Committee that the current level of budgetary support given to the Library is insufficient to support the academic priorities of the University and therefore is inconsistent with those priorities.
2. That Senate accepts the recommendation of the Planning, Priorities, and Budget Advisory Committee that additional funding be requested for allocation to the Library’s 2014-15 budget in order to re-subscribe to the highest priority Wiley-Blackwell journals.
3. That Senate accepts the recommendation of the Planning, Priorities, and Budget Advisory Committee that Brock University set in motion and support a long-term plan to move towards more appropriate methods of scholarly dissemination, including open access, in order to address budgetary pressures, improve access to scholarly information, and expand the reach of Brock research.
The Graduate Studies Committee also has a motion on the subject of library budget:
That Senate ask the Administration to provide sufficient funding to the Library to reinstate the Wiley-Blackwell journal subscription (or equivalent) for 2015, in order to minimize the serious negative impact of the cancellation on graduate students and graduate programs.
The Undergraduate Programme Committee has numerous motions to adopt changes to the Undergraduate calendar as per submissions received.
The Undergraduate Student Affairs Committee recommends an addition to the Faculty Handbook: (FHB III: A: 4.1.5 – Official Transit Time) to state that transit time between classes shall be at least ten minutes.
Reports from The Teaching and Learning Policy Committee and the IT and Infrastructure Committee do not contain recommendations for action.
The Academic Review Committee recommends to senate the approval of Major Modifications to the following existing programs: Accounting Specialization and the MA in Classics.
Brock has received a Report from the Quality Council as a follow-up to the audit which was conducted in 2013. The Report contains the institutional response to the audit’s eight recommendations and the auditor’s response to Brock on the progress made on implementation of the recommendations. The Report has been posted on the Brock Quality Assurance webpage and is also available at this link: http://brocku.ca/webfm_send/34663.
The Ad-hoc Committee on Program Prioritization has finalized the classification of all academic programs into 5 priority categories. The draft Academic Review and Prioritization Report including recommendations is expected to be submitted for distribution to Senate no later than February 3, 2015. On February 4, 2015 Senate should have an initial, general discussion on process. The Committee feels that it is up to Senate to decide if and how the report will be made available to all parties involved in the Consultation process. The content of the report will be discussed in the special Senate meeting on February 11, 2015.