Senate Notes


A regular meeting of the Concordia University Senate, held May 19, 2000.


Government funding: In the Rector's absence, Provost Jack Lightstone provided information about a meeting held recently with Quebec officials concerning the promised "performance contracts" and changes to the funding formula for universities. Any performance contracts required by the government will be of a general nature, not as specific as those now being imposed in Alberta and Ontario; universities will provide their academic goals and their performance will be measured against their ability to fulfil them. The funding formula will be based entirely on full-time-equivalent enrolment, rather than on adjustments to a formula based on enrolment at a given date in the past.

Research chairs: The federal government's last budget promised help to universities in the form of funded academic chairs. Concordia's share of these will be 21, a maximum of five to be named next year. In all, the 21 will include two funded by the Medical Research Council, two by NSERC and six by SSHRC; half are to be junior and half senior. Dean of Graduate Studies and Research Claude Bédard said that a research strategic plan must be prepared by September 1. Lightstone said, "We must defend ourselves against raids by other universities, and must use these chairs to achieve our academic goals in research."

Renewal of term: On the basis of an evaluation of the performance of Chief Financial Officer Larry English, the Board of Governors has propsed the renewal of his five-year term. He was congratulated by Senate.

Curriculum changes: A number of changes were approved in Arts and Science, Engineering and Computer Science, Fine Arts and the School of Graduate Studies. Among them, the English Department will introduce a Minor in Professional Writing. The Photography Department is offering Digital Photography and internships in photography. The School of Cinema is phasing in post-production and sound digital technologies for all undergraduates and developing digital options in other areas. Études françaises will have a new Master's program, the Maîtrise en littératures francophones: espace social et résonances médiatiques.

Curriculum approval: The recommendations of the academic programs committee for changes in this process were accepted.

Policy review: The Ethical Review of Research Involving Humans has been overhauled under the guidance of ethicist Fred Bird. It was approved, and gratitude was extended to Dr. Bird for his work.

Research centre: A recommendation by the University Committee on Research Centres that the Centre for the Study of Learning and Performance be granted the status of Concordia University Research Centre was approved.

Speaker: Dr. John O'Brien was acclaimed speaker of Senate for another year, with thanks for his fine leadership.

Next meeting: Due to the fact that insufficient information was available from the Quebec government to present the operating budget for 2000-2001, another meeting of Senate has been scheduled for June 9, at 2 p.m., in the Senate Chamber.

- C0mpiled by Barbara Black


Copyright 2000 Concordia's Thursday Report.