Committee guidelines

Approved January 1986

Revised May 1993, Sept 2003, Sept 2006, Oct 2006, Sept 2014

  1. Nominations for committee membership shall be made to Senate by the Nominating Committee, which establishes its own procedures subject to the approval of Senate. Senate has endorsed "the principle" that the normal maximum term of membership on a Senate committee be three years. A member of a committee who serves as Chair during a third year may serve a further year as a member (i.e., not as Chair).
  1. Unless specified otherwise in the committee’s terms of reference, only Senators shall be appointed to Standing or ad hoc Committees of other structures in the University which call for representation from the Senate.
  1. Committees will be convened each Fall by the Chair designated by Senate or, in cases where the committee elects its own Chair, by the chosen Chair or if none chosen, by a Convenor designated by the Secretary of Senate.
  1. Unless designated non-voting, all committee members have equal status (subject to Section 74 (5) of the Act, which excludes students from being members of a body "for any purpose in relation to the determination of examination results and the award of degrees, certificates and diplomas in course").
  1. At the first meeting in the Fall, a committee will elect a Chair (where not designated), a Vice-Chair (if deemed necessary) and a Secretary.  These names should then be communicated to the Secretary of Senate.
  1. Each Fall, the Secretary of Senate will publish a list of committees showing full membership and Chairs (or Convenors).
  1. Committees may arrange their own procedures, provided they do not contravene any directions from Senate.  Committees shall provide the Senate Secretary with a copy of all meeting agendas and minutes (effective September 2003).
  1. Normally, one week's notice of meeting shall be required for a Senate committee to meet.
  1. Normally, no meeting of a Senate committee shall be held during the reading or examination periods.
  1. Committees may deal only with such matters as are within their terms of reference or are referred to them by Senate.
  1. Committees may appoint sub-committees to expedite their work. Sub-committees are responsible and report to their parent committees.
  1. A quorum for a Senate committee is a majority of its voting members. For committees with an even number of voting members, quorum shall be fifty percent of voting members plus one. For committees with an odd number of voting members, quorum shall be fifty percent of voting members rounded upward to the next whole number.
  1. Under Section 85 (3) of the Act, committee Chairs "shall have the same right of voting as other members of the body and a question, in the case of an equality of votes on a motion, shall be deemed to be resolved in the negative" (i.e., a Chair who wishes to vote does so at the same time as other members of the committee, and does not have a final casting vote).
  1. Committees must report at least once in each academic year to Senate. Reports may be for information only or may contain specific recommendations.  Written Reports are preferable, and they should be clear and concise. They need not set out in detail the considerations leading to a conclusion or proposal, unless these are cogent and directly relevant to the issue and its determination. A Report should be signed by the Chair of the committee, and may incorporate the signatures of all members for emphasis. Any dissident members may submit a minority report. The committee Chair, or designate, should present the Report to Senate.
  1. Reports or requests to be placed on a Senate agenda must be submitted to the Secretary at least ten (10) days in advance of the meeting.
  1. If the committee wishes to make changes in its terms of reference or membership, it should submit a request to the Nominating Committee for subsequent recommendation to Senate.
  1. At the end of the academic year, the Chair of a committee should remind members that it is their responsibility to inform the committee Secretary of any change in address.
  1. A committee member who goes on leave for a period of over six (6) months is required to resign from the committee and should notify the Chair or Secretary.
  1. Where specifically provided for in the terms of reference for the committee, committees may meet by conference call or video conference, and may vote on a matter by e-mail.