The UBC Senate meets monthly to discuss and vote on academic matters pertaining to the university. What goes on in the Senate chambers can often feel very overwhelming or dull to the average student, and the dockets posted before every Senate meeting can be long and tedious to read. Here’s what to expect at the October 2017 Senate meeting:
Changes to Undergraduate Admissions
Of the many agenda items at this Senate meeting, the most noteworthy topic for students and the broader campus community are the proposed changes to undergraduate admissions requirements. The proposal from the Admissions Committee, at the current time, is being brought forward seeking a mandate to further explore and implement detailed changes, rather than making amendments to the Academic Calendar now.
Most notably, the proposal suggests switching from an admissions average primarily calculated on four Grade 12 courses (or equivalents) to a more broadly calculated average.
Publishing of Committee Minutes
With a key goal of the Student Senate Caucus this year to bring more transparency to Senate, a discussion is being brought to Senate seeking a mandate for the Agenda Committee to propose rule changes that would lead to the publishing of select committee minutes. As the business of certain Senate committees is confidential, such as the Committee on Student Appeals of Academic Discipline, exemptions would be provided in those cases.
Search Committee Composition
The Board of Governors and Senate are jointly responsible for UBC policy 18, which governs the search process for senior academic administrators, including deans and the Vice-President, Academic and Provost for Vancouver. The Board already approved adjustments to the policy in June — however, the Senate is now proposing further amendments, which would switch the eligible members on the search committees in question from faculty members at-large to faculty members who are members of the Senate.
Jakob Gattinger is a fourth year applied science student, a student member and vice-chair of the UBC Vancouver Senate, and the former VP Academic and University Affairs pro tem of the AMS.