Senate Meeting Highlights – Feb. 4


U of G’s Senate is responsible for making decisions on our academic programs, regulations and policies.  The third Senate meeting of the 2018-19 session was held Feb. 4. Highlights from the meeting are below. A full synopsis of the meeting is available on the Secretariat website.

President’s Remarks

In his opening remarks to Senators, President Vaccarino discussed:

  • Launch of the new Centre for Advancing Responsible and Ethical Artificial Intelligence (CARE-AI)
  • Announcement of a gift from the late John F. Wood which renamed CBaSE to the John F. Wood Centre for Business and Student Enterprise
  • Announcement of the new name of the OMAFRA – U of G partnership as the “Ontario Agri-Food Alliance”
  • Launch of the Guelph Institute for Environmental Research housed in the College of Biological Sciences
  • Creation of the Marketing and Analytics Centre, to be housed in the College of Business and Economics, which will explore consumer behavior in the food and health industries using big data
  • Visits from federal ministers, including Minister Kirsty Duncan, Minister Bill Morneau and Minister Navdeep Bains
  • Celebration of 50th anniversaries for the College of Arts and the McLaughlin Library
  • Increase in student applications this year, which are also higher than the provincial average
  • The Board of Governors’ decision to reduce the carbon footprint of the endowment portfolio over the short and long term, noting Fossil Free Guelph’s role in initiating this campus conversation
  • Updates on work on a smoke-free campus policy and campus cannabis policy
  • Update on the ongoing reviews for the provost and vice-president (academic) and vice-president (research)

The President also expressed sadness on the recent passing of former University president William Winegard. President Vaccarino and noted that information about a tribute service for Winegard would be forthcoming.

Updates on Recent Provincial Announcements

President Vaccarino provided an update on recent provincial announcements regarding the budget including:

  • Reduction in tuition funding by 10%, to be frozen through 2020-21
  • Anticipated new framework on mandatory student fees
  • Significant changes to the OSAP program

President Vaccarino reiterated the University’s commitment to student access and success throughout these changes.

Updates on from the Office of the Provost and Vice-President (Academic)

During the meeting, Associate Vice-President (Academic) Cate Dewey, announced the creation of a new Office of Teaching and Learning to be led by interim director, Prof. Martin Williams. The office will include Educational Development staff from OpenEd. Prof. Dewey also noted that Michelle Fach is now Executive Director of Open Learning and Educational Support. The department intends to expand its focus on online offerings.

Other Business Discussed and Decisions Made at Senate

During the meeting, Senators approved the following:

  • Changes to the International Development Studies program, including changes to the name, areas of emphasis and introduction of a new co-operative education option
  • New graduate collaborative specialization in Artificial Intelligence
  • New graduate program in Cybersecurity and Threat Intelligence
  • Changes to the credits required for the Master of Engineering program
  • Changes to the Winter (February) convocation – U of G’s last February convocation took place this month. Going forward, convocation ceremonies will take place in June and October. Students will still be able to graduate in absentia in February, with the option of crossing the stage in June.

During the meeting, Senators received the following for information:

  • Results of the Institutional Quality Assurance Process audit
  • Changes to the credit weighting associated with co-operative education

The complete meeting agenda package is available on the University Secretariat website and includes detailed information on the items listed above.

Interested in attending a Senate meeting?

The next Senate meeting will be held Apr. 1, 2019, in the OVC Lifetime Learning Centre, Room 1714.

Meetings are open to the public. Visitors who wish to attend should contact the University Secretariat at Please visit the Secretariat website to learn more about Senate and its Rules of Order.  Senate open session meeting materials are available online approximately seven calendar days in advance of each meeting.