Senate Agenda, June 18, 1999 - EXHIBIT I



  1. Senate Membership
  2. Brescia College Constituency

    Recommended: That Theresa Topic, elected representative to Senate for the Brescia College constituency, be granted a leave of absence from her elected position during the term in which she will be attending Senate meetings as Acting Principal (July 1, 1999, to June 30, 2000), and

    That Patricia Skidmore (Department of Social Science), be elected to serve as an alternate for Professor Topic during that term.

  3. Senate Committee on University Planning - Terms of Reference
  4. Recommended: That SCUP's terms of reference be amended as shown below:

    CURRENT: On behalf of Senate, to approve the establishment of terms of reference for graduate scholarships and/or awards not involving changes in the graduate scholarship policy of the University, for recommendation to the Board of Governors through the President & Vice-Chancellor.

    PROPOSED: On behalf of Senate, to approve, for recommendation to the Board of Governors through the President & Vice-Chancellor:

    the establishment of terms of reference for graduate scholarships and/or awards not involving changes in the graduate scholarship policy of the University;
    NEW the establishment of designated chairs, professorships, and faculty fellowships consistent with University policy, subject to approval by a two-thirds majority of members present.


    The policy governing the establishment and funding of designated chairs and professorships is Policy 2.22 ("Funding of Academic Chairs and Professorships"). A policy is currently being developed for faculty fellowships which will be a simpler version of Policy 2.22, with a lower funding threshold. Typically these involve a salary supplement for current members of faculty. Until there is an articulated policy on faculty fellowships, all such recommendations will be forwarded for Senate approval.

    It is expected that donor support for a large number of designated chairs, professorships and fellowships will result from the 125th Anniversary Campaign. That trend is already evident. It is highly desirable that confidentiality of each gift be maintained until a public announcement can be made. Sometimes the donor does not want the size of the gift to be publicized, but in all cases, any premature exposure of the gift diminishes the public announcement arranged by the University in consultation with the donor. [Any proposal destined for a regular meeting of Senate is posted on the Internet several days before the meeting and is also distributed to local press with the Senate agenda.]

    By allowing SCUP to approve designated chairs, professorships and fellowships on behalf of Senate, protection of the confidentiality of these gifts can be managed. Following SCUP approval, the recommendations will be promoted to the Property & Finance Committee of the Board (confidential meetings) and the Board of Governors in confidential session.

    The alternative to the above proposal is to refer these proposals to closed sessions of Senate meetings. If this is the preferred option, it is reasonable to expect that most meetings of Senate would begin with a brief closed session. (In the last 20 years, there have been only two brief closed sessions of Senate meetings.) Because attendance at Senate dwindles toward the end of each meeting, it is not advisable to hold closed sessions at the end of the day for fear of losing quorum.

    It is proposed that SCUP be permitted to approve designated Chairs, Professorships and faculty Fellowships on behalf of Senate only when two-thirds of SCUP members give their approval. Proposals that cannot not garner two-thirds of the SCUP members' votes will likely be contentious. If a proposal is approved by a simple majority of members, but not two-thirds, it would be recommended to Senate (in closed session, if necessary) where it can be debated fully. In all cases where a proposal is at substantive variance with Senate policy, the proposal will continue to be forwarded by SCUP for Senate approval.

  5. Subcommittee on Information Security (SUIS)
  6. Recommended: That Senate approve the creation of the Subcommittee on Information Security (SUIS) as a subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Information Technology Services (SCITS), with the following terms of reference and composition as recommended by SCITS.

    Subcommittee on Information Security (SUIS)

    Terms of Reference:

    To develop mechanisms for maintaining security in collaboration with faculties and departments across campus;

    To develop and recommend to Senate Committee on Information Technology and Services (SCITS) security-related policies regarding University-owned networks and systems and those attached to the campus Internet.

    To design computing security standards to support University Security policies;

    To develop security monitoring mechanisms;

    To educate the campus community on computer security issues and policies;

    To report to the SCITS, at least annually, a summary of system interruptions and security incidents investigated.


    Three members representing independently managed networks, appointed on a rotational cycle approved by SCITS
    One graduate student, appointed by the Society of Graduate Students
    One member of SCITS, elected by SCITS
    One member of Information Technology Services, appointed by the Director
    One member of the PeopleSoft Resource Group, elected by the Group
    One member appointed by the Vice-Provost and Registrar

    Ex officio:


    The infrastructure of the University is very complex and growing in terms of networks, applications and platforms. University systems are connected internally through networks, including the backbone, and externally to other institutions and the Internet. It is a challenge to secure a system made up of so many parts, each with its own security risks. While there are pockets across campus where security risks have been assessed and managed, there is no overall security strategy for the University. It is difficult to assess if information is protected properly or to pinpoint areas of high risk.

    The goal seen by SCITS is to develop an effective, integrated and comprehensive strategy for information security for the University in collaboration with faculties and departments. To develop such a strategy requires:

    To support the development of a security strategy, SCITS has recommended that its ad hoc Campus Computer Security Subcommittee, created in 1995,be disbanded and replaced by a standing subcommittee on information security.

    The membership cycle will parallel that of SCITS and its other Subcommittees with terms commencing July 1st and ending June 30th. The Chair and Vice-Chair will be elected at the first meeting following the election of new members and meetings are expected to be monthly. An annual report is submitted to SCITS in May.

    The Terms of Reference and Composition of SCITS will need no revision, but since Chairs of all standing subcommittees become members of SCITS, the membership will be increased by one ex officio member.


Report: Review of a Senate Review Board Academic Hearing

See Appendix 1.

Senate Agenda, June 18, 1999 - EXHIBIT I, Appendix 1



Pursuant to its general responsibility to supervise the operation of the Senate and make recommendations on rules of order, by-laws, change in committee functions, establishment of new standing or ad hoc committees, and other operational matters, and pursuant to its specific responsibility to review the role and operation of Standing Committees of Senate, the Senate Operations/Agenda Committee established an ad hoc subcommittee of its members to investigate statements reported by a member of Senate regarding the operation of the Senate Review Board Academic (SRBA) and report its findings to the Operations/Agenda Committee. This investigation was undertaken at the specific request of Professor Mike Atkinson, Chair of SRBA.

Terms of Reference of Subcommittee:

  1. To investigate the statements concerning SRBA reported by Professor S. Lupker in the February 18, 1999, edition of Western News and report back to the Operations/Agenda Committee.

    Specifically, the subcommittee shall:
    - determine the specific appeal which was the subject of the allegation;
    - determine if the members of SRBA voted freely on the basis of the evidence before them, or if they felt that they had to vote, and did in fact vote, to grant the appeal because of a request or directive from "higher-ups in the Administration" (quote taken from Western News, February 18, 1999);
    - determine if the members of SRBA were recipients of a directive or request that they had to vote in favor of the student and, if so, determine the details of the directive or request;
    - determine if a member or members of SRBA breached the confidentiality requirements for panel members.

  2. In undertaking the investigation, the subcommittee shall ensure that it complies with the restrictions set out in the University's Guidelines on Access to Information & Protection of Privacy regarding the disclosure of personal information. It shall also maintain, where possible, the confidentiality of the deliberations in its investigation and its report, while ensuring that it provides the Operations/Agenda committee with all relevant information for its consideration. The maintenance of confidentiality is especially important as this investigation was not requested by either the appellant or the respondent in the particular appeal hearing.

The following members of the Operations/Agenda Committee were elected to the subcommittee: Professor Patrick Deane, Professor John Nicholas, Mr. Abe Prabhakar and Professor David Rosner. Dean Allen Pearson, Chair of the Operations/Agenda Committee, was Chair of the subcommittee.

The subcommittee met individually with Professor Mike Atkinson, Professor Steve Lupker and each of the members of the SRBA panel that heard the appeal referred to in the letter to Western News. It also listened to a taped portion of the deliberations and read a portion of the transcript of the deliberations. It reported its findings to the Operations/Agenda Committee. The Operations/Agenda Committee has now concluded its review of the results of the investigation.

The Operations/Agenda Committee has concluded that the SRBA panel arrived at its decision properly. There is no reason whatsoever to question the integrity of this decision. All members of the panel conducted themselves appropriately during the deliberations and each of the voting members made his or her decision to grant or deny the appeal solely on the basis of the evidence presented at the hearing. There was no impropriety whatsoever in relation to this hearing, either by panel members or by "higher-ups in the administration."

The Operations/Agenda Committee has found no evidence to support the statements about the hearing reported in the February 18, 1999, edition of Western News, specifically that "word had come down from higher-ups in the Administration that SRBA had to rule in favor of the student and, thus, the committee members held their noses and voted as requested." In addition, it is clear that there was no pressure placed on members to grant the appeal on the basis of some sort of legal requirement or legal fear.

During the SRBA deliberations there was a mention of the fact that the University is governed by the statutes that apply to other institutions in the province and that the University is therefore bound by the Human Rights Code. This puts the University under the obligation to provide accommodations for people with disabilities, including learning disabilities. The SRBA panel members regarded this as relevant information but they also all agreed that in the case at hand the issue was not whether an accommodation should be granted. Rather, the issue was whether they were persuaded that the academic accommodation offered by the Dean was unreasonable or unsupportable on the evidence before the Dean. All of the panel members saw the distinction that the reported legal requirement to offer an accommodation did not determine that the panel had to find in favour of one party in this case. Of all the things that the subcommittee heard, it was this particular aspect of the deliberations that might have given rise to the allegation that there was pressure on the panel to vote in a certain way. It is clear though, that in fact the reported general legal requirement to accommodate did not have this effect whatsoever, based on the statements of every panel member.

The obligation of members of SRBA to maintain the confidence of the deliberations is intended to preserve the integrity of the particular decision and of the deliberative process. For members to speak fully and frankly, and without fear that their remarks will be inaccurately conveyed or taken out of context, they must be assured that their comments will not be disclosed to the parties or to the public at large. This case has become a matter of discussion in a way that SRBA hearings should not, although there is no reason to suggest that the actual outcome of this case is in any way flawed.

There is evidence, however, that there was a breach of confidentiality by one or more members of SRBA. Senate by-laws suggest that at the extreme, "breaches of confidentiality, with respect to Committee reports, minutes, or discussions ... may result in the suspension or dismissal of the member from the Committee upon the recommendation of the Committee to Senate." Moreover, members of SRBA are told specifically that they must not engage in discussion about any aspect of a hearing with other persons and that individual members must not speak on behalf of the SRBA or reveal the substance of its deliberations. The Operations/Agenda Committee has reported its observations to the Chair of SRBA. The Chair of SRBA will decide what further action, if any, should be taken in this matter.

The confidentiality requirement that is imposed on SRBA members should be respected by all members of the University community. Any concerns about a hearing should be sent to the Chair of SRBA since the Chair has the overall responsibility to ensure that SRBA is operating according to its procedures. If there are still concerns, they should be forwarded to the Chair of the Operations/Agenda Committee.