Senate briefs

Senate is the highest academic governing body at the University of Manitoba, comprised of administrators, deans, directors and elected professors and students
A Senate meeting was held on Nov. 3 in the Senate Chambers located in room E3-262 in the Engineering Building. The next meeting will occur Dec. 1.

United Way fundraising campaign behind

Vice-provost (academic affairs) Karen Grant reported that the university division of United Way fundraising campaigning is not in good shape in terms of reaching their current goal.

The organization’s goal for the sector was half a million dollars. There are only two weeks left before the end of the campaign and the money raised has not yet reached 50 per cent of that amount.

U of M president David Barnard noted the importance of contributing to the United Way, as it allows the university to give back to the community.

International College of Manitoba subject of scrutiny during question period

Questions regarding the International College of Manitoba (ICM) were posed regard its affiliation with a specific recruitment agency in China that allegedly takes advantage of students, according to recent reports from the Globe and Mail. Responses to the questions revealed that the ICM is aware that some students have come through this agency, more specifically, 19 students, one of which has graduated into the University of Manitoba.

Report of the Senate Committee on Rules and Procedures

A report completed by the Senate Committee on Rules and Procedures
examined the jurisdiction of the dean of graduate studies.

The report was created to assess the power of the dean to waive faculty requirements and resulted in a broad definition of the dean’s powers.

It was noted that deans and directors in various faculties sometimes waive academic requirements. The report asked the Senate to accept the dean’s right to waive major degree requirements approved by the Senate, including those for PhD degrees.

Several concerns were raised by faculty members. Professor Mark Gabbert addressed the fact that such jurisdiction given to deans fails to take into account rights granted to the Senate.

Gabbert felt that the committees report comes to dangerous conclusions, as it opens way for the dean to waive fundamental program requirements, which were initially approved by the Senate.
Several Senate members believed that the definitions of the powers of the dean were too broad in the report. One member argued that the lack of a mechanism for faculty members to appeal decisions of the dean puts the integrity of the university at risk.

Graduate Students’ Association president Meaghan Labine raised the importance of dissecting the details and the broader implications of the report.

Although implicit reference was made to the ongoing legal battle between suspended math professor Gabor Lukacs and the university, it was emphasized that the committee was not asked to make
jurisdiction in regards to the case.

A recommendation for the report to be considered by the Senate Executive Committee was presented and passed.