Senate: Urban Studies minor & major approved

University mandates sexual violence and consent training for first years

The first Senate meeting of the year took place on Tuesday.

Principal Patrick Deane opened the first in-person Senate meeting in two years on Tuesday with a land acknowledgement, followed by moments of silence for Queen Elizabeth II and Dr. Isabel Bader.

The Senate voted unanimously on all agenda topics except one: a motion by Senator Nathan Brinklow for Queen’s to send King Charles III a letter expressing the University’s condolences for the loss of his mother.

The motion was called into question by Beth Langdon, SGPS president, citing that not all students have a positive relationship with the British monarchy due to its colonial past.

The motion passed with 21 senators for, 14 against, and four abstaining.

Senate Committee on Academic Development and Procedures

The Senate approved a Bachelor of Arts (BA) General/Minor in Urban Studies within the Faculty of Arts and Science available for enrolment starting in September 2023.

The new program will “prepare students interested in pursuing occupations with city governments and non-profit organizations” through learning about the geographic context of urban regions and cities, according to the Senate Committee on Academic Development and Procedures (SCADP)’s cover memo.

A major modification to the Combined Bachelor of Science (BScH) and Master of Science (MSc) Chemistry program was approved to accommodate Concurrent Education (Con-Ed) students.

The modification will allow Con-Ed students to complete one term of the MSc after completion of their BScH, before completing their Bachelor of Education (BEd). The modification will accelerate the completion of their Masters by six months.

Modifications to the Professional Master of Public Administration Program (PMPA) and the MSc Physical Therapy program were also approved.

The PMPA will now have 80 per cent of active teaching hours conducted online to support students and faculty who are not based in Kingston. Changes to the MSc Physical Therapy include several small curriculum alterations and approaches.

The Senate approved the Queen’s National Scholar (QNS) Chair in Black Studies, Dr. Daniel McNeil.

“Last year, for the first time, we dedicated the entire competition in support of Black Studies,” Teri Shearer, provost and vice-principal (academic) said. 

“That was a one-time iteration of the program and now we are going to repeat that only in support of Indigenous Studies because it is a very effective way to attract a number of very high-quality scholars to Queen’s.”

The Senate approved the establishment of the Chair for the Institute for Sustainable Finance at Smith School of Business. The position is held by Sean Clearly.

Senate Governance and Nominating Committee

There were no objections to the nominations recommended by the Senate Governance and Nominating Committee (SGNC).

Senate briefly reviewed the Senate Effectiveness Survey conducted in March in which approximately 50 per cent of respondents found their engagement and sense of accomplishment at the conclusion of Senate meetings to be “low” or “very low.”

The topic was later re-visited with first-time Senator Steven Salterio.

“When I read a report like this [about the governance effectiveness], if I was doing pro-bono consulting, which I’ve often done for other organizations, I would say ‘Holy s—t, I have a lot of work in front of me to help this organization,’” Salterio said.

The SGNC Chair, Nathan Brinklow, said he also found the results “shocking” and the SGNC was working on “long-term solutions.”

Reports of Faculties and Schools

Queen’s is reporting a 16 per cent increase in international student enrollment from the 2021-22 academic year, but it remains below pre-COVID-19 levels.

As of this September, 1,875 admissions offers to Queen’s graduate and professional studies have been accepted. This represents 66 per cent of Queen’s target.

“Many graduate programs have intakes later in the academic year, such as January, May, or July, and so we do expect the numbers to increase as the academic year progresses,” Shearer said.

Shearer commented on Queen’s efforts to promote a campus free of sexual violence. A new online program called “It Takes All of Us,” focusing on sexual violence and consent as well as bystander intervention and supporting survivors is now mandatory for first-year students.

An online educational program regarding sexual violence for Queen’s faculty is being rolled-out in phases beginning this fall.

Principal’s Report

Principal Patrick Deane provided Senate with an update on several ongoing faculty searches.

The search for a Dean of Law is underway, and the University has struck an advisory committee regarding the Dean of Graduate Studies. Deane said there will be an announcement about that in the next two weeks.

A new Vice-Provost and Executive Director for Bader College in East Sussex has been decided and will be announced in coming weeks.

Deane concluded his remarks reflecting on the UNESCO meeting he attended in Barcelona in March.

“At the meeting there was a call for universities to defend more energetically the principles of academic freedom. There are instances around the world […] that are putting academic freedom in peril in societies that we might not ordinarily expect. […] Academic freedom and institutional autonomy are at the cornerstone of what we do.” 


October 1, 2022

An earlier version of this article stated that Dr. Katherine McKittrick was approved as the Queen’s National Scholar (QNS) Chair in Black Studies. It was in-fact Dr. Daniel McNeil.

The Journal regrets the error.

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