Acadia University Senate


A meeting of the Senate of Acadia University occurred on Monday, 9 January 2006, beginning at
4:04 p.m. with Chair Ian Wilks presiding and 44 members present.
1)   Minutes of the Meeting of
12 December 2005
It was moved by R. Raeside and seconded by H. Hopkins that the minutes of Monday, 12 December 2005 be approved. 
H. Hopkins made an addition to Item 4)c), Para 3, last line to read "She noted that the Adjunct Professor category may be given to any retiring faculty, not just one from Acadia University."

2) Announcements and
   a) From the Chair
      -re Regrets
      -re Visitors
      -re Agenda

Regrets were received from G. Dinter-Gottlieb, A. Irving, J. Masterson, S. Phillips, and A. Smith.
Guests in attendance at this meeting were:  S. Donovan of the VP (Academic) Office, M. Hopkins of the School of Music, and G. Daborn of the Academy of the Environment.
The Chair noted that there was one handout for today's meeting:  From the Acting Dean, Research and Graduate Studies - two notices of motion regarding the Strategic Plan on Acadia's R&GS.

     c) From the Vice-President
R. Nilson wished Senators all the best in the New Year.  He advised that the ad hoc Senate Committee on the Proposed Strategic Plan has met once to date and planned to have a report available by the end of January.
He extended congratulations to R. Perrins on his appointment as Dean, Faculty of Arts beginning 1 July 2006.  A recommendation for the position of Dean, R&GS will go to the President and then the Board of Governors this month.
R. Nilson reminded Senators that the submission deadline for the Teaching Innovation and Improvement Fund is 3 February 2006.

  3) Business Arising From the
     a) Ad hoc Committee on
      Students with Learning
      Disabilities (056-22-SLD)
It was moved by A. Quéma and seconded by B. Matthews that Senate create an ad hoc committee on students with learning disabilities as described in the notice of motion given at the 12 December 2005 meeting of the Senate:
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 - one from each of the Faculty of Arts, the Faculty of Professional Studies, and the Faculty of Pure and Applied Science
- 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
- the Acadia University Dean of Students
∙ To report to Senate by 13 March 2006 
A friendly amendment to add the Dean of Students to the membership of this committee was accepted.
Much discussion was held regarding the need for a representative "from the School of Education", but no change was made. 
A second friendly amendment was accepted under the membership bullet, regarding the three Senators.  It was amended to read "three Senators - one from the Faculty of Arts, the Faculty of Professional Studies, and the Faculty of Pure and Applied Science.
R. Wilson said that the School of Theology has a resource person in this area of discussion (currently School of Theology's Dean of Students) and who would be available, upon invitation, as an advisor to this committee.
The Chair noted that the Senate Nominating Committee would now select the members for this ad hoc committee.

  4) New Business
   a) Research & Graduate
      Studies - Honorary
      Research Associate
      Designation (056-23-RGS)
It was moved by W. Bedingfield and seconded by J. Gould that the designation of "Honorary Research Associate" be eliminated.
W. Bedingfield spoke to this motion, saying that this designation has been reviewed by the SCRGS and it was determined that it was no longer needed.
G. Daborn said the loss of this designation would be felt by the Estuarine Center; however, was assured by W. Bedingfield that the center or any department could continue any community relationship on its own, rather than as a University designation.  She felt that the establishment of University privileges, the co-supervising of a graduate degree, or the opportunity to collaborate on a research grant were areas that the R&GS Office could negotiate; but, in supervising students in undergraduate degrees, finding placements, etc. these areas belong in the purview of the faculty in the department involved.  G. Daborn asked:  "Is there any reason why a person should not be appointed as an Adjunct Professor in more than one department or unit in this University, including such centers as the Estuarine Center, which does not offer academic courses towards a degree?"  W. Bedingfield replied that the current guidelines for the Adjunct Professor category do not address either of these points; however, they may be amended at any time.
W. Bedingfield noted that there are currently 2 to 4 HRA designations only, as most expired in 2005. 

    b) Research & Graduate
      Studies - Graduate
      Curriculum Changes -
      Education (056-24-RGS)
It was moved by H. Hemming and seconded by H. Wyile that the graduate curriculum changes for the School of Education as attached to today's agenda be approved.
H. Hemming noted that the entry for EDUC 4163 should be deleted from this document as this is not a graduate course and would be considered in the undergraduate changes to be brought forward by the Curriculum Committee later in the agenda.

        Environmental Science &
      Applied Geomatics
It was moved by G. Iwama and seconded by S. Bondrup-Nielsen that
the graduate curriculum includes a new program for Environmental Science & Applied Geomatics as attached to today's agenda be approved.
S. Bondrup-Nielsen spoke to this motion and noted that this is a proposed new program from Biology/Geology and is a masters program in conjunction with the Nova Scotia Community College. 
R. Raeside confirmed that students in this program will be enrolled in both NSCC and Acadia University and that an undergraduate university degree is a prerequisite.  There are supervisors at both institutions for this program.
Minor typing corrections were noted.

4) c) Research & Graduate
      Studies - Proposed Strategic
      Research Plan
              - Revisions to Above

As per APPENDIX A, it was moved by W. Bedingfield and seconded by A. Quéma that
1) the proposed Strategic Research Plan be approved by the Senate with the condition that the Senate Committee on Research and Graduate Studies design an ongoing, consultative process to review and update the plan, such process to take effect within 12 months and
2) the following revisions be accepted to this document:

● p2, paragraph 5, line 9: delete 'relatively small' and replace with 'growing'.
● p6, paragraph 4, line 12: delete 'their diverse knowledge bases, cultures, and value systems,'.
● p7, paragraph 2, line 2: insert 'education,' following the word 'religion'.
● p8, paragraph 5, line 14: change 'chilDR.en' to 'children'.
● p11, paragraph 2, line 2: insert 'and quality' following prior to 'of applications'.
● p11, paragraph 3, line 7: delete 'PhDs', insert 'doctoral studies'.
W. Bedingfield spoke to this motion and noted that this document has  the approval of the SCRGS.  She said this document had its basis in the Institutional Research Plan of 2000, which was reviewed by an ad hoc committee this last year and this is the result.
The following points were made as a result of open discussion of this motion:
● "support knowledge transfer" was described as collaborating with a community group for research, knowledge, etc.
● "mobile computing environment" was defined as "using laptops"
It was moved by S. Enman and seconded by G. Callon that the following amendment be made:  Pg 4, Section entitled "Major Research Themes", under second bullet to read " Cultures, Civilizations, Organizations, and Citizenship". 
S. Enman said this amendment would open the way for research by the faculty of the School of Business.
W. Bedingfield felt this document should represent established strength, rather than emerging strength, which she believed this change was.  Ongoing monitoring of this document would result in changes such as this. 
Much discussion followed.
The following friendly amendment was accepted:  Pg. 4, second bullet under "Major Research Themes" to read in part "....and is critical during this period of significant socio-political, organizational, and economic transition...."
In reply to a question, W. Bedingfield said there is more detail available under "Assessment of the Plan", but space was limited in this document.

    d) Curriculum Committee -
      Faculty of Arts
      (056-27 to 34-CRE)
It was moved by B. Matthews and seconded by H. Wyile that the curriculum changes, as attached to today's agenda, for the Faculty of Arts be approved.
Minor corrections were noted.

 Faculty of Pure and Applied
      (056-35 to 41-CRE)
It was moved by G. Iwama and seconded by S. Bondrup-Nielsen that the curriculum changes, as attached to today's agenda, for the Faculty of Pure and Applied Science be approved.
Minor corrections were noted.

        Faculty of Professional
      Studies (056-41 to 44-CRE)
It was moved by W. McLeod and seconded by G. Ness that the curriculum changes, as attached to today's agenda, for the Faculty of Professional Studies be approved.
It was confirmed by the Registrar that the deletions made by the School of Music this year, would be recognized/credited when additions come forth from this unit next year, following the policy that for each course added, one must be deleted.

     e) University Learning
      Commons Steering
      Committee (056-45-LER)
It was moved by R. Nilson and seconded by R. Perrins that the Senate nominate and elect, at the meeting of Senate to be held 9 January 2006, one faculty Senator from each of the Faculty of Arts, Faculty of Professional Studies, and Faculty of Pure and Applied Science to sit on the Acadia University Learning Commons Steering Committee.
R. Nilson spoke to this motion.  He said that it was time to establish the Learning Commons, which will support four Centers (Curriculum, Teaching & Learning; Internationalization; Civic Engagement; and Student Support [or Enrichment]).  A steering committee is now required to provide guidance in the establishment of the Learning Commons and to address the various issues that are necessary within the context of the Learning Commons.  It is important that the steering committee represent the academic Senate on campus.  Each of the Centers will be co-chaired by a faculty member, but this motion would be a means to report back to Senate on the various developments in the Learning Commons and provide the opportunity for dialogue back and forth.
A friendly amendment was accepted to identify which three faculties would be represented.
In reply to a question, R. Nilson said the nominations were coming through the Senate, rather than the Faculty Council, to expedite proceedings.

   f) Senate Representatives
      on University Learning
      Commons Steering
      Committee (056-47-LER)
G. Ness nominated S. Markham-Starr; B. Matthews nominated P. Abela; S. Enman nominated H. Hemming; and G. Iwama nominated R. Raeside for the University Learning Commons Steering Committee.  All accepted.
The Chair called for further nominations three times and hearing none declared P. Abela and R. Raeside appointed by acclamation.  A vote by ballot was held for the third position, resulting in H. Hemming appointed. 
The Chair noted that it was the duty of those members (P. Abela, R. Raeside, and H. Hemming) to represent the academic objects of Senate on this University committee and report back to Senate when they deem it appropriate to do so and to give the assurance that this Steering Committee is acting in accordance with Senate's general sense of how educational policy should unfold at this University.

P. Cabilio asked if the April 2006 meeting could be held earlier in the day, as the scheduled meeting date is a study day.  The request was  noted and will be addressed at the next meeting.

4) Adjournment

P. Cabilio moved this meeting be adjourned.  It was 5:56 p.m.