Concordia's Thursday Report

Vol. 28, No. 2

September 25, 2003


Senate Notes

A regular meeting of University Senate, held Sept. 12, 2003

Procedure: Speaker John O’Brien said that based on last year’s experience, under all but the most unusual circumstances, items for the agenda should be submitted to steering committee, and the chair would be more scrupulous in observing the 15-minute limit for question period. Increased representation for graduate and part-time students is being considered; in the meantime, visitors in these categories would be given speaking rights as needed.

Rector’s remarks: Dr. Lowy said there’s a new spirit on campus, and he congratulated the CSU for a successful orientation. He reminded Senate of the call for nominations for the Loyola Medal and the Shuffle walkathon. Enrolment is at an all-time high, as is the average mark of entering students, 82.1 per cent. The university is still working to achieve its hiring goals in a competitive environment.

Appointment challenged: One of the three appointments to the student tribunal pool, Patrice Blais, was challenged by a faculty member on the grounds that Blais, having graduated from Concordia in June, is enrolled full-time at the Université de Montreal’s law school. The secretary of Senate replied that Blais fulfilled the eligibility requirements set out in the bylaws. The Rector said that the principle of sitting on governing bodies of two institutions will be looked into.

Lonergan College: Dean of Arts and Science Martin Singer traced the history of this body, which started in 1978 and was named after a Quebec-born Jesuit theologian. The decision to close the college was “difficult emotionally, but not academically,” Singer said. It had never had its own program for students, but was intended mainly for faculty to focus on a particular thinker each year. Most of the founding generation had retired, and the college’s interdisciplinary courses had been taken up by Theology and the new Loyola International College.

Amendment to Code of Conduct (Academic): As part of a reorganization in his office, the Dean of Arts and Science has created the position of Code Administrator to handle cases and appeals. Danielle Morin, Associate Dean of the John Molson School of Business, said that some professors who file incident reports might balk at the ruling of an administrator who was not on the faculty, to which Singer replied that the person chosen had in fact taught on the faculty of another university earlier in her career. Carried.

Tribunals: An amendment was proposed to increase the maximum number of people available to chair hearings from 10 to 15. The names and CVs of members of this pool to be appointed or re-appointed was submitted. One faculty member suggested that experience in commercial law might be inappropriate for the cases they were likely to encounter at the university, to which several other senators and General Counsel Suzanne Birks replied that the important things were that the candidates not have the potential for a conflict of interest and that they have experience in litigation. The amendment and appointments were carried.

Academic Hearings Panel: A report was tabled on charges handled between Sept. 1, 2002, and Aug. 31, 2003. A total of 316 incident reports were filed, of which 218 were upheld at the faculty level, and 54 hearing panels have been or will be scheduled to haandle them.

Appointment: Dean of Graduate Studies Elizabeth Saccá announced that Professor Nina Howe had agreed to serve as Vice-Dean, Student Affairs, for one year. Sacca also said that graduate students’ admission and advising services had moved into the Birks Student Services Centre.

Engineering Week: Dean of Engineering and Computer Science Nabil Esmail announced that six of the seven programs had been professionally accredited, and Engineering Week would be observed Oct. 7-9 (not Sept. 29-Oct. 2, as previously reported in CTR).

Research: Provost Jack Lightstone announced that preliminary figures for research revenue for 2002-03 totals about $5 million more than the previous year, and a great deal of work has gone into preparing hiring proposals for Canada Research Chairs.

New building: Dean Singer thanked Professor Bob Roy and Vice-Rector Services Michael Di Grappa and all the others who had worked so hard towards the construction of the Science Complex, and invited everyone to attend the official opening Sept. 22.

Next meeting: The meeting scheduled for Oct. 3 has been cancelled.