Senate consults with Fall Term Break Task Force following contentious debate

Senate also discusses sexual violence policy, truth and reconciliation, and equity


Following a contentious discussion regarding diversity at Queen’s at this Tuesday’s meeting, Senate returned to it’s regular business. 

The meeting addressed several ongoing task forces and reports, updating Senators with their progress and impending deadlines. 

Task Force Updates

Provost Benoit-Antoine Bacon informed Senate that he had attended the final Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) Task Force consultation on Nov. 23, and advised Senate that a finalized TRC report will be released in February or March 2017.

Bacon also announced that the newly drafted Queen’s Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Policy will be presented to the Board of Trustees next week for approval.

Fall Term Break Task Force Consultation

Teri Shearer, deputy provost and chair of the Fall Term Break Task Force, opened a discussion to Senate on the implementation of a Fall Term Break.

The task force has been meeting with various stakeholders over the past couple of months to gather opinions on how to move forward.

According to Shearer, a survey distributed to members of the Queen’s community via email this month has already yielded over 6, 000 responses.

Shearer announced that after collecting data from their survey and various consultations, the task force will deliver their recommendations to the principal in February.

Equity Office Annual Report

Irène Bujara, director of the Human Rights Office, spoke to Senate about the results of the 2015 Equity Office report.

Bujara explained that while employment equity and diversity standards met their equity ratio target for tenure track positions at Queen’s in 2015, this isn’t the case for adjunct appointments.

The Equity Office has been engaged in conversation with the Queen’s University Faculty Association on how to remove some of the barriers in the process of appointing adjunct professors, Bujara said.

Bujara also explained that not enough people have used the Diversity and Equity Assessment Planning (DEEP) tool designed to help assess diversity among faculties, so the Equity Office is having a difficult time in collecting data on some departments.

The office also conducted a student census, which yielded only a 35 per cent response rate.

However, Bujara noted that an employment equity plan has been started and is ongoing so as to ensure an improvement in these numbers.

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