Senate: Applications up 14 per cent from last year

Deane moves forward on The Conversation with complete timeline

Deane is once again discussing The Conversation with the community.
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Queen’s Senate gathered Tuesday on Zoom to discuss the Harassment and Discrimination Policy, the Conversation, and the ongoing search for leadership roles at the University.

Lon Knox, University secretary and chair of the working group, was available to provide an update on the draft Harassment and Discrimination Policy. The policy seeks to replace two policies—the current policy, last revised in 2000, and the interim workplace policy, established in 2016—with one holistic policy. 

According to Knox, one of the main changes being made to the policy is the distinction between the intake process to gather complaints and the investigative process, which examines and addresses complaints.

The changes to the policy also include the establishment of an assessment team model. The model will see a team of individuals trained to look at complaints and ensure they're sent to the appropriate place and funneled through the correct procedure. 

READ MORE: Queen’s seeks feedback on harassment & discrimination policy

“It also allows for systemic review, so review of systemic concerns, or adverse effects of discrimination at the University,” Knox told Senate.

A coalition of reporting is also being established to allow the University to access data related to the complaints, see trends, and identify possible areas of concern that may warrant further intervention. 

“It’s been a significant undertaking,” Knox said.

Principal’s Report

In his report, Principal Patrick Deane told Senate the ongoing search for a new Chancellor and a new Vice-Principal (Research) are both proceeding “as they should.”

The search for Vice-Principal (Research) is expected to conclude in the “next several weeks,” according to Deane, and the University will make an announcement regarding the appointment.

Deane also provided an update on The Conversation, his campus consultation project. Following a year of consultations with staff, students, and faculty, he released a report addressing the various challenges facing Queen’s.

“I’m now in the process of meeting again with the community to talk about what the positive strategy ahead of us should look like, to address some of the challenges that are diagnosed in that document,” he told Senate.

These meetings involve a series of town halls, including one that happened on Jan. 27 and one on Feb. 9. Deane also has meetings scheduled with alumni and students, and will bring the topic to Senate for discussion on Feb. 23.

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

Following these meetings, Deane will present the Board of Trustees with a strategic framework for approval in March. He will then establish various working groups to cover these strategic goals.  

These groups will work on the issues over the spring and summer, with the goal of having a full strategy ready for the September Board of Trustees meeting.

Provost’s Report 

In his report, Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic) Mark Green told Senate that applications for the 2021-22 academic year are “quite strong”—they’re up about 14 per cent from last year. Applications close on Feb. 1.

“This puts us in a very good position,” Green told Senate. “Once again, it reflects all the hard work of everybody involved in admissions and recruitment, and I think is a testament to the strength of our institution.” 

He also said the Vice Provost and University Librarian search is in its “final stages,” and should conclude “fairly soon.” The University is also beginning the interview process for the new Dean of the Smith School of Business.

Green also touched on the issue of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, saying the recent government restrictions have put an “added strain” on faculty, staff, and students. 

He said the University is trying to emphasize gratitude and compassion in all of their efforts regarding the pandemic and remote learning. 

“We are continuously adapting to these strange circumstances,” he said.

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