Senate Highlights – December 9, 2019

- December 20, 2019

Following meetings of the Dalhousie University Senate, Dal News highlights some of the presentations and decisions made.

Senate is the university’s senior academic governing body, with membership consisting of elected representatives from Dal’s Faculties and the University Libraries, elected student representatives, a representative from the University of King’s College and Dal’s senior academic administrators. Senate is responsible for approving new programs; granting degrees/diplomas; managing the reviews of Faculties, centres and institutes; and setting academic regulations and the academic calendar.

Senate meets on the second and fourth Mondays of the month, from September through June. Learn more about Senate and its business at the 
Senate website.

Academic Freedom Work Group recommendations for Non-Bargaining Unit members

Mary McNally (Dentistry) and H. Archibald Kaiser (Law) presented on the recommendations of an ad hoc committee struck in 2016 to examine the Dalhousie Senate Academic Freedom regulations with respect to academic unit members not currently covered  by a collective agreement.

The committee’s recommendations include Senate creating an educational program around academic freedom, consideringmeasures to better support academic unit members (such as advocacy and consultation resources), and ensuring appropriate rules and structures for a fair adjudication of any complaint regarding academic freedom. The various recommendations will be worked through the Senate Planning and Governance Committee in the coming months.

Consultation with Senate on Senior Admin Appointments Policy

Senate Chair Kevin Hewitt updated Senate on a discussion and recommendation from the Senate Planning and Governance Committee (SPGC) on consultation with Senate during senior administrative appointments at the university, as outlined in the Senior Admin Appointments Policy. The committee suggested that,  for these hires,  draft candidate profiles be received and commented on by the SPGC, with those comments presented to Senate at the next possible  meeting.

Update on Forum on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in Teaching and Learning

Senate Vice-Chair Katherine Harman and Health Promotion student Phoebe Owen provided highlights on last months’ Senate Forum on Embedding Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in Learning and Teaching at Dalhousie.

The forum, held in the Collaborative Health Education Building on November 13, was a full-day  event featuring speeches, panel discussion and workshops that attracted approximately 200 faculty, students and staff (with dozens more joining in via livestream). Harman and Owen spoke to the feedback they received about the forum.

Read more: Senate forum considers equity, diversity and inclusion in learning and teaching (Nov. 15)

“Many people asked us, Dalhousie, to keep moving this project forward and invest in it,” said Dr. Harman, who noted a call-for-proposal in the works for funding support for new or modified programs with an EDI lens, expected for 2020.

You can find four videos from the forum at the Senate website (right-hand column)

Learn more about the Dalhousie Senate at its website. Minutes for past Senate meetings are available on DalSpace. Minutes for this meeting will be posted once approved by Senate.


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