Acadia University Senate


A meeting of the Senate of Acadia University occurred on Monday, 12 December 2005, beginning at
4:05 p.m. with Chair Ian Wilks presiding and 40 members present.
1)   Minutes of the Special
      Senate Meeting of
       21 November 2005
It was moved by R. Raeside and seconded by H. Hopkins that the minutes of the Special Meeting of the Senate of Monday, 21 November 2005 be approved. 
2) Announcements and
   a) From the Chair
      -re Regrets
      -re Visitors
      -re Agenda
      -re Correspondence
Regrets were received from P. Corkum, G. Daborn, J. Gould, A. Irving, S. Lochhead, J. MacLeod, J. McClelland, and R. Perrins,
Guest in attendance at this meeting was:  Shane Donovan of the VP (Academic) Office.
The Chair noted that there were handouts/additions to the agenda:  1) From the VP(A) - a motion regarding an ad hoc committee on Strategic Planning to review the draft Strategic Plan of 27 September 2005; 2) From A. Quéma - a motion regarding an ad hoc committee on policies and practices when dealing with students with learning disabilities; 3) From I. Wilks - background material on the issue of students with learning disabilities which included a motion.  He also asked permission to deal with item 4)a) early in the agenda.  There was no objection to any of this.
I. Wilks read a letter dated 29 November 2005 from R. Smith, Chair of the Board of Governors regarding guidelines for the appointment and review of senior academic officers (APPENDIX A).
 b) From the President G. Dinter-Gottlieb announced that the BOG would be meeting on 15 December 2005 to consider recommendations for the position of Dean, Faculty of Arts.

 c) From the Vice-President
R. Nilson noted that the search for Dean, Research & Graduate Studies is ongoing.  He thanked all those who participated in the Research Plan.  This plan will come before Senate in the new year.
He advised that Kim Rose would be taking on Acting Managing Director of the Division of Continuing and Distance Education.
R. Nilson expressed appreciation for the hard work and additional responsibilities taken on this term in regards to the Strategic Plan.  These extra efforts will enable us to continue to build the best possible scholarly environment for our students. 

4) New Business
   a) Research Ethics Board -
      Membership (056-19-REB)
As agreed, this item was dealt with early in the agenda.
It was moved by W. Bedingfield and seconded by B. Matthews that Peter Nathanson be appointed to a second three-year term as community representative on the Research Ethics Board, effective
1 January 2006.
The Chair called for further nomination three times and hearing none, declared nominations cease.

3) Business Arising From the
   a) Vice-President (Academic)-
      Senate Standing
      Committees & Committee
      Chair (056-14-VPA)
The meeting continued with the regular order of business.
It was moved by R. Nilson and seconded by G. Iwama that whereas Senate recognizes the importance of enhancing faculty involvement in the decision-making process for academic policy of Acadia, Be It Resolved that henceforward the following four Senate Standing Committees will have a faculty member instead of the Registrar as its chair:  The Curriculum Committee, the TIE Committee, the Honours Committee, and the Academic Integrity Committee.
R. Nilson confirmed that the Registrar would still be a member of these committees.
 b) Vice-President (Academic)-
      Ad hoc Senate Committee
      on Proposed Strategic Plan
It was moved by R. Nilson and seconded by B. Matthews that the Senate create an ad hoc committee on Strategic Planning to review and revise the draft Strategic Plan (submitted to Senators on 27 September 2005).  This committee will be chaired by the Vice-President (Academic) and include one faculty representative from each of the three faculties.  The membership of this committee shall be determined by nomination and election at Senate.
R. Nilson spoke to this motion.  He commented on the original motion on this issue of creating an ad hoc committee to review the proposed Strategic Plan of 27 September 2005, and felt this motion clarified many points of concern.
In reply to a question on how this proposed committee differed from the Faculty Council input on the Strategic Plan, R. Nilson noted that this ad hoc committee would take the material already gathered and work with it.  This committee will report back to Senate on where there are concerns, areas needing attention, and revisions.  This report will come back to Senate for approval. 
It was moved by P. Eirikson and seconded by J. White that this motion be amended to read:  "This committee will be chaired by the Vice-President (Academic) and will include four members of Senate, elected on 12 December 2005 by Senate with one Faculty Senator from each of the Faculties of Arts, Professional Studies, and Pure & Applied Science, and one Student Senator".  This committee will bring a revised draft of the Strategic Plan to Senate by the February 2006 meeting.
This committee would go back to the faculties with a final draft, before coming to Senate for approval.
Much discussion was held regarding a time-line for implementation of the task of this ad hoc committee.  G. Dinter-Gottlieb hoped a final draft or consensus could be taken to the Board of Governors at their May meeting, following the Senate's approval of such a draft. 
R. Nilson hoped this committee could have such a final draft prepared for the February 2006 meeting and a completed document for approval for the March meeting of the Senate.  The Chair reminded Senators that this body (Senate) is a singularly representative body on campus -- representative through community members, representatives of all faculties, administrators, and that it has considerable ability to make decisions here by virtue of bringing so many representative resources to bear on any question which may come before it.
A friendly amendment to include a reporting date was accepted.

It was agreed that nominations would now be received for the four positions on this committee and if an election was necessary it would be by secret ballot
The following nominations were accepted:  R. Perrins - Arts, D. Piper - Professional Studies, D. Brodeur - Science, P. Eirikson - Student Body.  The Chair called for further nominations three times and hearing none declared nominations ceased and confirmed that those nominated would be the membership of the ad hoc committee to review and revise the portions of the Strategic Plan of 27 September 05 which relate to education policy, and report back to Senate at the February 2006 meeting.

4) New Business
   b) Honorary Degree
      Committee- Honorary
      Degree Nominations
There was no objection to moving to item 4)b) of the agenda.
It was moved by L. McDonald and seconded by B. Matthews that the Honorary Degree Committee Report containing nominations for the Acadia University Honorary Degree List (as distributed to Senators only) be approved by secret ballot.
G. Dinter-Gottlieb spoke to this report and after a brief discussion an election by secret ballot was held.  The Chair confirmed that for a name to move to the list of those to be considered for this title, it must receive a minimum of 50% + 1 votes from members present at this meeting.
All nominees were accepted through this election. 

3) Business Arising from the
   c) Ad hoc Committee on
      Students with Learning
      Disabilities (056-22-INT)
I. Wilks referred to a handout prepared by himself, that outlined the history of this issue (APPENDIX B) and he asked, "What do we want to accomplish in regards to this item?"  He noted that such educational obligations should be set by Senate, not by administrative fiat.  Some Senators felt that existing guidelines are not clear, especially in regards to the administration of examinations.  The Chair confirmed that there currently is no policy and procedure for faculty members to deal with students with learning disabilities. 
A. Quéma handed out and spoke to a proposed motion on this issue (APPENDIX C). 
R. Jotcham noted that the criteria for establishing the needs of special consideration are laid out in a report that comes with the student from a professional outside the University.  The Director of the Resource Centre makes a decision regarding special consideration based on this documentation.
A. Quéma gave the following notice of motion:
that an ad hoc committee of Senate be struck and be given the following mandate:
* To examine current policies and practices regarding students with learning disabilities at Acadia with the view to making recommendations for improvement or modifications.  In examining these policies and practices, the committee should consult Senate's Timetable, Instruction, and Examination Committee, the coordinator of Academic Support Programs, and the Equity Officer.
* To address Senate's concerns about issues of discrimination, learning accommodation, equity, and academic standards.
* To consult broadly with members of the University to take account of the fact that different schools and departments have different policies to address the issue of learning disabilities.
* The membership of the committee will include:
- three Senators
- two student representatives who participated in the panel on learning disabilities organized on 28 September 2005
- one student Senator
- one representative from the School of Education whose field of research includes learning disabilities.
* To report to Senate by 13 March 2006

4) New Business
   c) Honorary Degree
   Emeriti: Procedures and
   Criteria (056-21-HOD)

It was moved by G. Dinter-Gottlieb and seconded by L. McDonald that Senate accept the procedures and criteria for Professors Emeriti status as attached to today's agenda.
G. Dinter-Gottlieb noted that the benefits that go with this status are few and not listed.
In reply to a question from the floor, W. Bedingfield said that Acadia's current categories of Research Professor, Adjunct Professor and Honorary Research Associate are being evaluated and any change will be brought to Senate for approval.  These categories are different than the Professors Emeriti status.  She noted that the Adjunct Professor category may be given to any retiring faculty, not just Acadia University.
G. Dinter Gottlieb confirmed that the Professors Emeriti status was only for Acadia University retirees.  A friendly amendment was made to the first sentence of this document to read " Professor Emeritus is an honour to be conferred upon a retiring or recently retired Acadia University faculty member by majority...."

 4) Adjournment P. Cabilio moved this meeting be adjourned.  It was 5:55 p.m.


D. Murphy, Recording Secretary