Senate Executive Committee Terms of Reference

The Executive Committee is the committee responsible for coordinating the work of Senate and its committees, monitoring the organization and structure of Senate and other bodies, ensuring that equity considerations are integrated into the work of Senate and its committees, and serving as Senate's liaison with external bodies. The Executive Committee's responsibilities shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

1. Coordination and Communications

In pursuance of its responsibilities, the Executive Committee directs the flow of Senate business to the appropriate committees, administers the process of nominating members to serve on Senate and its committees, sees that committees report on policy matters, and schedules the agenda of Senate to facilitate the consideration of reports and other policy matters. Matters of a kind that do not raise questions of substance will be examined by the Executive Committee and referred by it to appropriate Senate Committees for decision. All matters going to Senate will be directed to the Executive Committee, which may refer them to the appropriate committees. These committees will then return them to the Executive Committee, having pointed out those aspects which in their view merit Senate discussion. Senate and the Executive Committee should create special committees to deal with matters of general concern which do not fall within the accepted area of jurisdiction of an existing committee.

2. Organization and Structure of Senate and Other Bodies

The Executive Committee shall be responsible for monitoring and making recommendations to Senate on all matters pertaining to: the organization of Senate and its committees, the organization and function of academic governance in the University; Senate's relation both with other bodies in the University and with bodies external to it. The Executive Committee may make recommendations on behalf of Senate, and subject to Senate approval, to the Administration and the Board on matters related to the organization and structure of the University. The Committee shall seek the advice of appropriate Senate committees with regard to matters that touch on their mandates.

3. Equity

The Sub-Committee on Equity is responsible for reviewing, recommending revisions to, and proposing and pursuing policies in the domain of equity that are within Senate's mandate, either through its own initiative or by coordinating the work of Senate committees. It facilitates the consideration of equity matters and serves for Executive as Senate's liaison with other bodies of the University. The Sub-Committee reports twice-annually to Senate on equity issues and reports to bodies such as the President's Advisory Council on Human Rights. The Sub-Committee also ensures that other Senate committees act and report on aspects of their mandates that relate to equity. In discharging its mandate the Sub-Committee seeks such advice as is necessary and desirable.

In addition to members from Senate Executive, the membership of Sub-Committee shall include a member from each of Academic Policy, Planning, and Research, and Academic Standards, Curriculum, and Pedagogy. [March 27, 2003; May 28, 2009]

4. Cancellation of Classes

The cancellation of all classes in a Faculty or in the University shall be effected only by the consent of:

i) the Executive Committee of Senate, or
ii) the Dean of the Faculty concerned, with the agreement of the Chair of Senate (or the Chair's nominee), or
iii) the Chair of Senate.

Such cancellation should be considered only in emergency or exceptional situations. Cancellation under (ii) and (iii) shall be reported in writing to the Executive Committee of the Senate and notices of such cancellation of classes shall be posted by the Secretary of Senate.

Except in emergency or exceptional situations and subject to Presidential Order or Senate Policy on Class Cancellation, any cancellation of classes or limitation of academic activity for all or part of a day in any or all Faculties must be approved by Senate prior to the commencement of the term in which the cancellation is required, in order to allow as much time as possible for any necessary adjustments. In declaring a limitation of academic activity, the Senate may declare, amongst other things, that students will receive no academic penalty for failure to attend class or classes on a particular day; that students missing class must be given reasonable alternative access to materials, that alternative arrangements must be made in the event that students miss tests or examinations; that tests or examinations may not be scheduled on a particular day.

In the event that Senate takes action under this policy, Senate may declare reasonable exceptions such as students engaged in practica, clinical activities, laboratory sessions, etc. and may authorize the Executive Committee of Senate to interpret and clarify Senate's action and to implement its interpretations and clarifications.

5. Act for Senate Under Summer Authority

Between June meeting of the Senate and the first regular meeting of Senate in September, the Executive Committee of Senate shall possess and may exercise any or all of the powers, authorities, and discretions vested in or exercisable by the Senate, save and except only such acts as may by law be performed by the members of Senate themselves; and the Executive Committee shall report to the Senate at its first regular meeting in September, what action has been taken under this authority. [April 24, 1975; amended March 25, 1982; amended June 24, 1993; amended October 26, 2006]

6. Approval of Council Membership Lists and Regulations

The Executive Committee is granted the power to approve annually the membership lists of Councils in those cases where the lists are consistent with Senate-approved regulations governing memberships of Councils.

7. Board / Senate Communications

A summary of the Board's actions shall be made available to the Senate Executive regularly for distribution to Senate. In addition, the Executive Committee also acts as Senate's liaison with the Board of Governors. In exercising this function, the Committee meets at least twice annually with the Executive Committee of the Board. The Executive Committee of Senate is the body authorized to pass information from Senate to Board and Board to Senate.

8. Meetings of Senate Committee Chairs

The Executive Committee shall be responsible for convening at least one meeting each year of all Senate committee chairs and vice-chairs.