December Senate: academic integrity breaches increased in 2019-20 year

Queen’s planning to accept federal government’s 50 - 30 Challenge for equal gender representation in the workplace

Senate met over Zoom on Tuesday.
Credit: 
Journal File Photo

In its last meeting of the term, Queen’s Senate met over Zoom to discuss academic integrity, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Indigeneity (EDII), and Principal Patrick Deane’s Report on the Conversation.

Senate approved a modification to the Master of Arts in Political Studies, introducing a graduate field in “Nationalism, Ethnicity, Peace, and Conflict.” The change is effective Sept. 1, 2021.

Senate also established a Chair in Student Success and Wellness in the Faculty of Education, subject to ratification by the Board of Trustees. 

Members discussed the 2019-20 Academic Integrity Case Summary which summarizes breaches of academic integrity across faculties at Queen’s.

In the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, 231 breaches of academic integrity were reported in 2019-20, compared to 48 cases in 2018-19. The Faculty of Arts and Science saw 297 cases, compared to 202 the previous year.

John Pierce, vice-provost (teaching and learning), attributed the increase to the ease of cheating during remote learning at the end of the winter term. 

“To me, these numbers were not surprising,” he said. “This is a system-wide problem that’s emerging.” 

Principal’s report

Queen’s is in the process of accepting the federal government’s 50 - 30 Challenge, according to Deane. The challenge is an EDII initiative challenging institutions to achieve equal gender representation in their leadership teams. 

While the challenge doesn’t reference a specific timeline, Deane said he’s aiming to achieve the goal during his tenure as principal.

“It’s a positive initiative,” Deane told Senate. “It recognizes the diversity of institutions, and some of the governance challenges that have to be dealt with.”

Deane also mentioned the University’s participation in the Times Higher Education University Impact Rankings, which measure the progress of institutions committing to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

READ MORE: Queen’s to participate in the Times Higher Education University Impact Rankings

The University sent in its submission Nov. 30, including information on all 17 SDGs, according to Deane.

Deane said participating in the ranking is “a very positive thing,” not only by how it encourages the completion of the goals, but because it requires Queen’s to closely evaluate its own operations.

“That level of self-knowledge about the institution is critically important for academic planning,” he said. 

Deane also touched on his Report on the Conversation, which he opened up to Senate for discussion to “verify the accuracy of its account.”

The Report reflects the results of the campus-wide consultations Deane conducted over the past year. It seeks to provide a Strategic Framework for University operations, as Queen’s currently doesn’t have one.

“We are in need of a guiding set of principles for the University,” Deane said. “We’re in need of inspiration and ambition to give us that sense of renewed commitment to our mission. And I tried to distill from the Conversation what that might look like.” 

READ MORE: Principal Patrick Deane reflects on the Conversation in new report

Provost’s report 

In his report, Provost Mark Green provided Senate with an update on the Queen’s National Scholars (QNS) Program.  

The current competition is geared toward the field of Black Studies at Queen’s, in response to Deane’s commitment to hiring more faculty to support the new minor program in Black Studies.

The competition will see the appointment of a QNS Chair in Black Studies and two additional QNS roles to support the program, according to Green.

“I look forward to the great appointments that we’ll be able to make out of this process,” he said.

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