Senate Meeting Rules

Order of Business


The order of business at regular meetings of Senate shall normally be as follows, and shall be changed only if authorized by the Executive Committee in its publication of the Agenda or by unanimous consent of those present at the time a change is proposed, provided that such change does not affect the rights of members who are not present.

1. Matters to be Considered in Closed Session

(a) At the beginning of a meeting of Senate, if there are items listed as "Confidential" on the Agenda, the Speaker of the Executive Committee shall make the following motion with respect to each item placed under "Confidential Business":

"I move that item No. (blank) on the Agenda be discussed in closed session."

(b) Debate on each motion shall be limited strictly to the propriety of moving into closed session when the item is reached later in the Agenda.

(c) If the Chair considers that it is not possible to debate the propriety of moving into closed session without revealing those matters which Senate might ultimately consider to be confidential, the Chair may require that the balance of the debate on the motion be conducted in closed session.

(d) If a motion to go into closed session is defeated, then such motion may be rescinded only by a vote of two-thirds (2/3) of those members of Senate present (and voting) provided, however, that a motion to rescind shall be entertained only at the time when the relevant item is before the meeting.

(e) If the motion to go into closed session has been carried, then such motion may be reversed by a majority of those members of Senate present and voting, provided, however, that the motion to rescind shall be entertained only when the relevant item is before the meeting.

(f) Publication. After Senate has finally decided a matter which has been discussed in a closed session, a decision shall be made as to whether, when, and how the decision taken by Senate shall be made public.

2. Matters For Concurrence Without Debate

(a) The Executive Committee may from time to time place on the Agenda certain items which it recommends that Senate adopt without debate.

(b) On motion of a member, supported by at least nine (9) other members, any item listed in this section of the Agenda may be transferred to "Additional Business".

(c) Debate on such motions shall be confined to the propriety of transferring the items and shall not exceed two (2) minutes in length.

3. Matters Forwarded For Information

(a) On motion of a member, supported by at least nine (9) other members, any matter contained in this section of the Agenda may be transferred to "Additional Business".

(b) Debate on such motions shall be confined to the propriety of transferring the items and shall not be more than five (5) minutes in length.

(c) When such a matter has been transferred and is before Senate under "Additional Business", only procedural motions shall be in order and substantive motions may be received only as notices of motion.

4. Report of the President

(a) The report of the President may concern any matter considered by the President to be of interest to Senate and may, at the discretion of the President, include reports from any other University officials.

(b) Senate may discuss matters arising out of the report of the President, provided that the time devoted to this item shall not exceed thirty (30) minutes unless Senate, by a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote, extends the time.

(c) Only procedural motions shall be in order and substantive motions may be received only as notices of motion.

5. Question Period

(a) Unless extended with support of at least two-thirds (2/3) of the members present and voting, the time devoted to this item shall not exceed fifteen (15) minutes.

(b) Questions shall normally be submitted in writing to the Secretary not later than 10:00 a.m. on the day preceding the meeting.

(c) The Chair shall determine whether or not such questions concern matters within the jurisdiction of Senate, and if the Chair considers them to be within the jurisdiction shall either answer them or arrange for them to be answered by some other appropriate person.

(d) If there is not sufficient time to prepare an adequate response for the ensuing meeting of Senate, the Chair shall so inform Senate and indicate when the response may be expected.

(e) If, in the opinion of the Chair or any other member of Senate, a question does not seem to warrant the time or expense required to prepare an answer, a motion of objection to the question may be put. Such motion shall not require a seconder, shall be debatable only to the extent of a brief statement of objection from the mover and a brief response from the questioner, and shall require support of at least two-thirds (2/3) of the members present and voting.

(f) If time permits, questions may also be put from the floor. The relevance of such questions shall be determined by the Chair.

(g) Supplementary questions shall be permitted only for the purpose of clarification. The Chair may accept an oral question as a notice of question to be answered at a later date. Objection to an oral question may be raised by the Chair or any other member of Senate.

(h) Only members of Senate shall have the right to submit questions.

6. Adoption of Minutes of Previous Meeting(s) 

7. Business Arising From the Minutes

This may include some motions for which notice was given at a previous meeting.  

8. Report of the Executive Committee and Report of the Senate Planning and Priorities Committee  

9. Reports of Other Committees of Senate and Faculty/School Councils

10. Additional Business

(a) Motions for which notice was given at a previous meeting and which were not dealt with under 6.9.7.

(b) Matters transferred from Concurrence Without Debate.

(c) Matters transferred from For Information.

(d) Matters submitted to the Executive Committee after the previous meeting but in sufficient time to be included on the Agenda.

(e) Notice of motions to be presented at a later meeting.

11. Confidential Business  

12. Adjournment