March 19,1998

Senate Notes

Compiled by Barbara Black

Rector's remarks: Rector Frederick Lowy reported that the CUPFA collective agreement had been ratified, and the CUFA agreement was expected to be ratified soon. A detailed inventory of space requirements is being submitted by the Faculties, and submissions are being prepared to contribute to Quebec's five-year plan. The final report of the Loyola revitalization task force is expected at the Board of Governors meeting, March 18. The offices of the senior administration are being consolidated in Bishop Court. The Rector said he is heartened by the response of alumni to the Capital Campaign, here and in New York, Hong Kong and Toronto, and a "friend-raising" trip is being planned to Calgary, Vancouver and Los Angeles. Producing a small hockey stick, he proposed a vote of congratulations to Athletics Director Harry Zarins and the coaches and members of the Concordia Stingers, the first CIAU champion women's hockey team, which was unanimously passed.

Graduate studies: During question period, Catherine MacKenzie (Fine Arts) asked for financial help to deal with the "overwhelming increase" in graduate studies applications. Dean of Graduate Studies and Research Claude Bédard said that Concordia now has a record number of graduate students, more than 3,700. Provost Jack Lightstone remarked that the University lacks the capacity to track graduate studies applications.

Code of Ethics: The new code requires a hearing pool to be named to deal with infractions by senior administrators and Board members: four members chosen by Senate and four by the Board of Governors. Four members were duly named. Curriculum changes: Catherine MacKenzie, on behalf of the academic programs committee, proposed revisions to the approval process for major and minor curriculum changes, which were approved.

Université devant l'avenir: An hour was set aside for preliminary discussion of this document, prepared by a government-appointed task force that met last year to formulate a policy toward universities. (Written responses are to be sent, after which the minister will visit each university to hold hearings.) Provost Lightstone had analyzed the document, and identified issues which Concordia has already resolved through the academic planning process, and others which could be more closely examined. These include improving student-centredness among professors; greater involvement of undergraduate students in faculty members' research projects; greater harmonization of CEGEP-level and undergraduate studies; and "giving priority in some manner to the strategic priorities of Quebec." Some senators admitted that CEGEP and undergraduate studies overlap; Registrar Lynne Prendergast said that university policy permits CEGEP credits to be transferred in some cases, though the trend is away from doing so. Lowy said that in general, the framers of the document felt that senior professors were uninterested in undergraduates. However, the document itself was criticized as being biased toward conventional degrees, as opposed to innovative certificate and self-financing programs. Lowy characterized it as "not a forward-looking document." He, Lightstone and Dean of Commerce and Administration Mohsen Anvari noted entrepreneurial trends outside Quebec that are beginning to exert competitive pressure, but are not acknowledged in this paper. Unless the government makes it easier to respond to the needs of prospective students, Anvari said, "this train is going to go right by us."

Next meeting: April 3.

Copyright 1998 Thursday Report
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