The University Secretary is responsible for coordinating and facilitating the activities of the Board of Governors and of the Senate, and their various committees, to ensure the effective and efficient operation of the University's bicameral system of governance. The Secretary will work closely with the Chair of the Board, the Chair of Senate, the President, senior administration, and committee chairs, to provide advice and guidance on jurisdiction, strategy, policy and process. The Secretary is responsible for ensuring there is effective liaison among the decision-making bodies and senior university officers. The Secretary is responsible to the entire university community for the provision of timely, accurate, and objective information, advice, interpretation and application of policy.
The Secretary reports administratively to the President. On a functional basis, the Secretary is also accountable to the Chair of the Board, and to the President, as Chair of Senate. Supervision is on an informal basis, although contact is regular, and often involves matters of a sensitive nature.
The general objectives of the position are:
- To work closely with the Chair of the Board, the President, senior administration, and committee chairs, to ensure timely input of recommendations and information to committees and to the Senate and Board. As well, to anticipate substantive or procedural difficulties and to recommend ways to avoid them.
- To be well informed about all university policies and procedures and about the status of proposals as they proceed through the University's decision-making process.
- To be well informed about legislation related to the Board, the Senate, and to the University, such as The University of Manitoba Act and The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.
- To be responsive to all legitimate requests for information, assistance, and advice, within the context of the resources of the Secretariat.
- To communicate regularly on the deliberations and actions approved by Senate and the Board.
Duties and Responsibilities
The Secretary is responsible for providing secretarial and administrative assistance to the Board, the Senate, and their ad hoc and standing committees. This includes organization, preparation, and distribution of agendas and supporting documentation, writing reports and minutes of meetings, and disseminating policy and information to the Board, Senate, and the University community. In order to ensure that requests for information from these documents are available expeditiously and accurately, the Secretary is responsible for maintaining a comprehensive computer-based index and makes policies and procedures of Senate and the Board available on the world wide web.
The Secretary is responsible for conduct of several elections, including:
a) Elections of faculty and student members to Senate.
b) Election of members to Senate committees.
c) Election of Senate members to the Board of Governors.
d) Election of graduates as members of the Board of Governors.
e) Election of the support staff assessor to the Board.
The Secretary is responsible for organizing orientation for new Board members, new Senators, and from time to time, Board retreats.
The Secretary advises students, faculty/school representatives, senior administrators, the Director of Student Advocacy, and legal counsel, on matters relating to the Senate Appeals Committee, and the University Discipline Committee, and prepares reports arising from appeals and disciplinary matters.
- The Secretary, as a budget head, is responsible for long-term planning and budget submissions for the Secretariat.
- The Secretary is responsible for the internal management functions of the Secretariat, such as hiring and discipline, setting objectives and priorities, evaluating performance and general direction to the staff of the Secretariat.
- The Secretary, as Secretary of Senate, serves as Chair of the Senate Committee on the Calendar.
- The Secretary is responsible for determining, on behalf of the Board, the disposition of appeals from undergraduate students on fee assessments in consultation with the Registrar.
- The Secretary assists the Chancellor, including advising on questions which are raised with the Chancellor from within and outside the university, and ensuring the Chancellor's secretarial needs are met.
- The Secretary undertakes, from time to time, reviews of Board and Senate committees as to their effectiveness, and, if necessary, recommends changes to improve the efficacy of governance at the University.
- The Secretary is responsible for the on-going revision and publication, including on-line, of the Board of Governors' Handbook and Orientation Guide, the Senate Handbook, the Bylaws of the Board of Governors, and the University's Policy and Procedure Manual.
- The Secretary provides continuity to the Board, Senate, and committees by providing historical information and interpretations of policies and practices. Such advice, especially to committee chairs, frequently relates to the procedures established by the Board or Senate, or those which are implicit in the committee structure.
- The Secretary is responsible for maintaining the official minutes, by-laws, rules of orders, and other public and confidential documents of the Board and Senate.
- The Secretariat is a resource centre for the university community for information on all matters within the jurisdiction of Board and Senate.
- The Secretary is responsible for maintaining the records and providing information in the context of The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.
- The Secretary provides liaison with UMSU and other student organizations to ensure matters of academic concern are addressed and to examine ways of increasing student participation in academic governance; and to assist student members of the Board of Governors in their role as members of the Board.
Members of the staff of the Office of the University Secretary assist the University Secretary in carrying out his/her responsibilities.