Bicameral Governance of Brock University Summary

The bicameral system of governance of Brock University consists of two governing bodies – the Board of Trustees and the Senate.

Generally, the Senate is responsible for the educational policy of the University, and the Board of Trustees is responsible for the administrative management of the institution. The Office of the University Secretariat provides administrative services and overall support for both governing bodies. The following provides a general overview of the bicameral system of governance.

Brock University was incorporated in 1964 through The Brock University Act, a statute of the province of Ontario. The Act gives the University its power and authority to establish and maintain faculties, schools, institutes, departments, chairs and courses and to grant any and all university degrees and honorary degrees and diplomas in all branches of learning.

The Act also established the Board of Trustees and the University Senate with their respective powers and authority. The Board of Trustees and the University Senate function as the two governing bodies of the institution. The Brock University Act outlines a more detailed description of the role and powers of each governing body.

The Board of Trustees is governed by The Brock University Act noted above, its General Bylaws and the Faculty Handbook. The General Bylaws (Bylaw #1) of the Board of Trustees prescribe the procedures, policies and operation of the Board, for example, powers of the Board, election of trustees, committee structure and requirements, and the execution of documents.

The Brock University Board of Trustees is responsible for the government, conduct, management and control of the University and of its property, revenues, expenditures, business and affairs.

The Board of Trustees consists of 27 trustees including 17 community trustees elected by the Board, as well as two Brock student trustees (the President of the Brock University Students’ Union (“BUSU”), ex officio; and the President of the Brock University Graduate Students’ Association (“GSA”), ex officio), three faculty trustees and two staff trustees selected by their respective constituencies. The Chancellor, and the President and Vice-Chancellor, are ex officio trustees of the Board. The Chair of Senate, as one of the three faculty trustees, is also an ex officio trustee of the Board.

The full Board generally meets five times per year to conduct business and also meets for an annual orientation and a strategic issues session.

The Board has a structure of seven standing Committees and one subcommittee, as follows:

  • Executive Committee
  • Audit Committee
  • Capital Infrastructure Committee
  • Financial Planning and Investment Committee
    • Pension Committee (Sub-Committee)
  • Governance/Nominating Committee
  • Human Resources Committee
  • University and Community Experience Committee

The Senate is governed by The Brock University Act noted above and by the Faculty Handbook. The Faculty Handbook acts as a procedural, operational and policy manual for the Senate and is divided into in four main sections including University Government, Senate Bylaws, Regulations and Appointment/Reappointment Procedures under the purview of the President and at the pleasure of the Board.

The Senate is responsible for the educational policy of the University, and, with the approval of the Board in so far as expenditure of funds is concerned, may enact by-laws and regulations for the conduct of its affairs.

The University has the power to establish and maintain such faculties, schools, institutes, departments, chairs, and courses as the Senate deems necessary and as approved with respect to finances and facilities by the Board.

The Senate currently consists of 72 members. This includes 39 elected full-time teaching staff and professional librarians,(see guidelines) two members of the Board Trustees, and six undergraduate and two graduate students.  There are also 23 ex officio members of Senate including one Alumni Association representative elected by their respective constituencies.

The Senate meets monthly from September to June to conduct its business. Its eight standing committees, one special committee and one board meet to conduct business that is brought forward to Senate as recommendations or for information. The Committees include:

  • Governance
  • Graduate Studies
  • Information Technology and Infrastructure
  • Planning, Priorities and Budget Advisory
  • Research and Scholarship Policy
  • Teaching and Learning Policy
  • Undergraduate Program
  • Undergraduate Student Affairs
  • Student Appeals Board
  • Academic Review (special committee)
  • Two Row Council (special committee)