Veronica Kitchen is an Associate Professor of Political Science and an elected Arts Senator who produces a great summary after each University Senate meeting and has agreed to share them here. The reports understandably focus on items relevant to Arts faculty and are not intended to be a comprehensive summary of all the agenda items, nor should they be viewed as a substitute for the official minutes on the University Secretariat’s website.
University of Waterloo Senate Meeting, 30 March 2020
Well, colleagues, this was different. The February Senate meeting was cancelled (not enough material). We had an extra-ordinary (but in hindsight rather ordinary) confidential Senate meeting on March 9, and then—well. You know.
Kudos to Karen Jack, Emily Schroeder, the President & VP Academic, the IT folks in the background and everyone else who managed to pull off a 90-ish person Senate meeting on Microsoft Teams having never done it before. Now that was extra-ordinary.
Items of interest (to Arts) on the consent agenda
Much of the Senate’s business was moved to the consent agenda in order to make it easier to vote on everything at once. There was an opportunity for Senators to ask to move any individual item onto the regular agenda, but this was not necessary.
- The Clinical Research Ethics and Human Research Ethics Committees have been renamed Boards, in alignment with common practice at other universities.
- The MASc in Applied Psychology is to be renamed the MASc in Industrial and Organizational Psychology.
- Final Assessments for English Language and Literature and Italian Studies were approved.
- For reference, the consent agenda includes the two motions passed earlier this month: to change the academic year dates for the Spring 2020 term, and to allow students to convert a received numerical mark for the Winter 2020 term to CR/NCR easily.
- A call for nominations for honorary degrees.
- An interesting report from Johanna Wandel re: the December meeting of the Council of Ontario Universities’ Academic Colleagues meetings.
As always, you can find all of these in further description in the minutes.
As you can imagine, the President’s report was about the university’s response to COVID-19. I captured as much as I could of the discussion and here are (some of) the important bits. There is fuller information on most of this on the University website:
The President and senior response team are in 2x a day phone meetings. Key strategic issues are:
- Continuity for Canadian students (ie incoming first year class, graduates)
- Loss of international students and recruitment
- Impacts on research
- Securing research from cyber threats (phishing)