November 2 , 2004 - Trent University

Three Hundred and Sixty-Third Meeting of the
Senate of Trent University
2:00 p.m., Tuesday, November 2, 2004
A.J.M. Smith Conference Room, Bata Library
Present were: President Patterson (Chair); Senators Abdella, Andriewsky, Apostle-Clark,
Aubrey, Bleasdale, Dockstator, Drewes, Eadie, Ely, Garcia-Sanchez, Genoe, Holdsworth, Hurley,
Jamieson, Kennett, Law, Malandrino, Muldoon, Neufeld, Pearce, Ponce-Hernandez, Poole,
Preston, B.Smith, Sproule, Stapleton, Stauffer, Storey, C. Taylor, Thompson, Torgerson,
Urquhart and D. Choate (Secretary). Official guests: Best, Casserly, Glover, Kinzl, McIntosh,
Ramsay, Salusbury, Stover and Wear. Also present were: Mr. Cumming and Ms. Burns.
Regrets: Senators Bondar, Buttle, Edwards, D. Evans, W. Evans, Hagman, Hickie, Hoegy,
Jones, Lowe, Nefstead, Newhouse, Parker, Renwick and Wickson. Official guests: French,
MacDonald, Mackle, O’Leary and Warren.
1. Minutes and Business Arising. The minutes of the 362nd meeting of Senate were approved. It was
clarified that Nursing students could choose to be affiliated with any college but most had chosen
Peter Gzowski College at Argyle. They are members of TCSA but also get together socially as a
group and are members of the local chapter of the Canadian Nursing Students’ Association.
2. Chair's Remarks. The Rae Review would be in Peterborough November 22nd for discussions and
the Chair hoped there would be a strong Trent presence at the meetings. Senate’s input later in the
agenda would help inform Trent’s draft report. Other provinces were waiting to see what framework
emerged in Ontario that might be applied to their own jurisdictions. The provincial budgetary
process would be well underway when the government received the report. The Chair spoke about
the University’s budget and challenges related to the effects of the short-fall in projected enrolment.
She informed Senate of a personal challenge facing the Registrar and encouraged members of
Senate to be supportive.
3. Amendments to the Senate By-laws. Notice of motion to amend the Senate by-laws was given at
the last meeting (appended to the master set of minutes). Most of the proposed amendments
related to the division of the position of Dean of Graduate Studies into two roles. However, one
proposed amendment would remove a “notwithstanding clause” to do with representation for Peter
Robinson affiliates for the 2003-04 academic year, just past. Some members of Senate had
received a purported amendment to the notice of motion to add a TCSA voting member to Senate, in
part to represent PR affiliates. PEG had discussed this with members of the student Senate caucus
earlier in the day and had come to the conclusion that it could not be considered to be an
amendment to the notice of motion that had been given because it raised different issues. The Chair
also noted that not all members of Senate had received the documentation because the customary
practice of distributing messages through the Secretary of Senate had not been followed, and an
out-of-date list had been used. As a result of this the student Senators would be requesting that no
action be taken to remove the “notwithstanding clause” at this time as they wished to serve notice of
motion to amend it instead.
In a series of motions, Senate approved the changes to Article I (Members of the Senate);
Article 2 section (f) (Provisos); Article VIII (Committees) and four amendments to reflect title
changes as set out in the notice of motion.
The amendment to delete Article 1 (2) (h) which applied to the 2003-04 academic year was deferred.
Senator Malandrino, seconded by Senator Ely, gave notice of motion to amend the article to read:
“Notwithstanding Article I (1) (k) and Article I, Proviso 2 (f), for the academic years 2004-05
and 2005-06 there shall be one additional student senator who shall represent Peter
Robinson students, and the voting membership of the Senate shall be increased to
accommodate this member for 2004-05 and 2005-06”. This would be considered at the next
meeting of Senate.
The Chair noted that there were about 230 students currently registered with PR affiliation, and a
year from now there would be about 100. After that, there would be virtually none left.
4. Undergraduate Studies Committee Report. Senator Taylor presented the First Undergraduate
Studies Committee Report (appended to the master set of minutes). Senate approved changes to
the requirements for a joint-major Honours in International Political Economy on the understanding
that the wording for the Calendar would be edited to eliminate any confusion around the use of the
word “degree” in the context of a joint-major. Senate also approved a change to the requirements
for 300- and 400-level reading courses in Psychology, and received a number of items for
information, including a list of enrolment caps placed on courses.
5. Rae Review on Post-Secondary Education. Senate discussion focused on the five key areas
outlined in the report entitled, “Higher Expectations for Higher Education”. Comments included:
▪ accessibility funding for capable students with disabilities is a pressing need in the province
▪ Trent is developing a certificate program to support graduate students as teaching assistants
▪ part-time studies needs to be cultivated as a way to make universities more accessible
▪ recognition of achievement for immigrants with skills training should be guaranteed
▪ students face a dilemma in not having enough time for reflection – and many of them have work
and family obligations on top of school
▪ the financial burden for working class students who can’t consider going on to higher education
needs to be addressed
▪ “go now, pay later” is not a good option for students at the university level
▪ more youth may be pursuing higher education, but aboriginal students don’t think it is realistic to
pursue a post-secondary education and are being left out across Canada
▪ it is dangerous to link accountability systems and research as has been done in the U.K., for
example. There seems to be a shift away from providing infrastructure funding for research which is
▪ there is a risk of creating a tiered system so that only teaching institutions are left to deal with
accessibility numbers
▪ the link between teaching and research needs to be emphasized
▪ diversification in research is also an important quality issue
▪ we need to highlight our successes in building common shared resources, such as is seen in the
library system. With matching federal and provincial money, the effect for small institutions like Trent
is profound for access to research literature. The Rae report should recommend that this work
▪ collaboration should not require uniformity
▪ it is important to try to question the assumption behind system design that there be a coherent
coordinated system. Universities and colleges have different missions, different purposes and
different characters and there should be appropriate transfers between them, rather than a
continuous system.
▪ not all post-secondary credits are interchangeable -- most college courses are not designed as
university courses
▪ it is on the basis of the detail that transfer credit is made
▪ Trent has a large number of articulation agreements with community colleges and students may
receive up to 10 transfer credits from other universities and colleges toward a Trent degree
▪ more students in Ontario transfer from universities to colleges than the other way around, but at the
present time, colleges do a poor job of transfer credit both among colleges and between universities
and colleges
▪ the College Consortium Council needs to carry on the process of facilitating transfer credits
▪ federal research funding, scholarships and fellowships are important to attract and retain graduate
students and should be maintained
▪ we should talk about ways in which we develop transfers and linkages with colleges. The colleges
teach in a certain way and they are important for that. We need to make the public understand that
college courses are important
▪ we should use the positive experiences at Trent as examples of what is working right and why it is
working right
6. Input to the Positioning of the University. Don Cumming, Senior Director of Public Affairs, and
Marilyn Burns, Director of Communications, were welcomed to the meeting. Mr. Cumming gave
Senate a brief overview of the history of student recruitment at Trent and challenges surrounding
enrolment. COU has a multi-year marketing plan in place to promote Ontario universities, to raise
awareness of the value of a university degree and to convince the government to fund the university
system in Ontario appropriately. AUCC is focusing on profiling the value of federally funded
research in society. All universities in Ontario are spending more on strategies for marketing. Trent
comprises 2.1% of the marketplace in the province. More women are coming to university, and
there are increasing demands for professional school programs. He said a joint Registrar’s Office /
Communications Office marketing group is looking at how best to position Trent in the marketplace
and will be engaging a research firm to do qualitative and quantitative research in the market. Ms.
Burns said there would be internal and external focus groups that would include students, faculty,
staff and members of the public, and as a first step she distributed a survey to Senate. In response
to a question about quality of students, the Chair noted that the Board of Governors monitors a
series of performance indicators and looks at the success of students with various entering
averages. In the past there have been concerns about high attrition rates for students with less than
a 70% entering average, and whether appropriate support systems are in place for them
Committee Reports.
Senate Executive Report. At its October meeting, Senate Executive thought it would be
useful to focus Senate’s discussion of the Rae review on the five key areas outlined in the
report. The committee received an update on the activities of the ad hoc Senate Executive
Task Force on recommendations in the Aboriginal Education Council reports. The staff-atlarge official visitor to Senate, who had just been elected for a two-year term, had resigned.
In the absence of procedures that applied to this situation, Senate Executive agreed to ask
the candidate who came second in the election to assume the seat for the remainder of this
academic year, and call an election again in 2005. The committee was alerted to a proposal
coming forward from the student Senate caucus to add another voting seat for students on
Senate. It was noted that any amendments to Senate by-laws require written notice of one
month to Senate and need to be channeled through Senate Executive in advance.
In response to a question, the Chair of Senate explained that under the Senate by-laws it is
Senate Executive’s role to review items coming forward to Senate and to set the Senate
agenda. The proposed motion circulated by students a few days prior to Senate had not
been seen by Senate Executive. It had also not been received by all members of Senate
because it was not sent through the Secretariat to the most recent membership list. She said
it was not a simple amendment to the notice of motion that had been circulated for this
meeting. While it appeared to be a simple matter to invite a TCSA representative to become
a voting member of Senate, it raised a whole series of issues. The other student
associations would have to be considered, as well as the recommendation that faculty have a
majority on Senate. If student members were added from all the associations it would have
implications for adding a proportionate number of faculty members to Senate and increasing
the size of Senate to what it was before Senate was reformed in 2000.
Faculty Board Report. Faculty Board met October 22nd. They were informed about the Rae
Review. The committee was updated on changes in the budget situation. Senator Taylor
said there would be difficulties around staffing academic programs for next year and he
alerted Senate that we would be looking at fewer courses and larger class sizes because of
the financial situation. Faculty Board was given a briefing on developments in Durham and
UOIT. There was an update from the V.P. Academic on the DNA cluster project and some
issues were discussed. An update was given on problems in the Bookstore and on issues
surrounding registration, timetabling and examinations. There was a discussion about
building connections between staff, faculty and students in departments and improving
COU Report. There were no questions about the COU report that had been circulated.
8. Question Period. A list of Trent representatives being put forward for the round table discussions of
the Rae review was requested and this could be provided when the roster was complete. It was
noted that participants had to register in advance for the town hall sessions on the Rae Review
9. Any Other Business. The Chair informed Senate that problems accessing Trent’s email, WebCT
and MyTrent on the weekend had originated with the service provider. The outage affected those
who subscribe through COGECO, and service was restored Monday morning. The computing group
is working on a backup for those customers, and is working to ensure that Friday night network
changes do not occur again. They are also communicating with faculty who use WebCT and asking
for flexibility.
10. Adjournment. The meeting was adjourned at 4:10 p.m.
B.M. Patterson, Chair
D.J. Choate, Secretary