Senate Recap: October 30

Principal Daniel Woolf at last month's Senate meeting.
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Principal’s report

Principal Daniel Woolf began Tuesday’s Senate meeting commenting on Homecoming and the University District Safety Initiative. 

“With the help of more than 270 volunteers, our staff and the staff of the AMS did an excellent job,” he said. “Traffic was down a little bit from past years, 

certainly the number of exercised emails and phone calls we received at my office was somewhat reduced from past years.”

Despite improvements, Woolf expressed concerns students are still excessively drinking and causing health and safety problems. 

“Whether they be students or perfect strangers with no connection to Queen’s or alumni, [they] will have to account for their actions before a justice of the peace as per the University District Safety Initiative.”

Woolf said the University will evaluate the effectiveness of the pilot initiative at the end of the year.

Provost’s Report

Interim Provost Tom Harris told Senate he will focus on two of Principal Woolf’s priorities: faculty renewal and initiatives on equity, diversity, and inclusion.

 “We continue to make good progress on the Principal’s faculty renewal initiative,” he said. “Our goal is to hire 200 faculty over a period of five years, and we’re currently at midpoint: 97.” 

Harris told Senate the percentage of women the University hired is 51 per cent, against a workforce availability of 43 per cent. Of visible minorities, the University hired 31.7 per cent against a workforce availability of 19 per cent. 

The University also hired Indigenous peoples at 6.3 per cent versus a workforce availability of 1.3 per cent, but lagged slightly when it came to persons with disabilities, 

who the University hired at 3.2 per cent against a workforce availability of 3.8 per cent. 

Modifications to Public Health Sciences PhD program

Senate approved major changes to the Public Health Sciences PhD program, effective Sept. 1, 2019. 

The changes called for broadening the program’s focus from epidemiology to include other areas of health sciences like health equity, biostatistics, and Indigenous health.

The Senate Committee on Academic Development (SCAD) also requested a mandatory introductory course in public health research be added to the program. 

In his report to the Senate, Committee Chair Jill Scott wrote the changes will “attract top students from a wider range of public health research areas” and “more purposefully engage all faculty members who have a wide range of research expertise.”

Scott also maintained the modifications will “enrich the student learning environment” and “prepare graduates for employment in non-academic settings.”

Revised terminology in the admission policy for Indigenous candidates 

Senate passed a motion approving revision to terminology used in the admission policy for Indigenous candidates applying to first-entry undergraduate programs. 

After formally announcing the Four Directions Indigenous Student Centre name change from “Aboriginal” to “Indigenous,” its director, Kandice Baptiste, asked the University to support the switch by updating their own materials. 

The Committee proposed all uses of the term “Aboriginal” be changed to “Indigenous” or “Indigenous Person” in the admissions policy. 

While Associate Vice-Principal (Indigenous Initiatives and Reconciliation) Kanonhsyonne Janice Hill didn’t directly oppose this motion, she told Senate the council didn’t support a University-wide terminology transition. 

“What the council determined was they did not want to set a standardized term for candidates but rather leave it up to the individual units, programs, organizations within the community to choose the form that was most appropriate to them,” she said. 

“We have historical terminology with things such as the Aboriginal Teachers Education Program, Aboriginal Access to Engineering and we use every term on the board because we also have a Queen’s Native Students Association.” 

She informed Senate the University is preparing a terminology guide to assist community members in determining which term to use and when.

Corrections

This story misattributed Kanonhsyonne Janice Hil's comments to Lisa Doxtater. It has been ammended to correct the error. 

The Journal regrets the error.

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