Effective Date:
April 2, 1974
Revised Date:
May 15, 1974
Review Date:
Approving Body:
Vice-President (Academic) and Provost
Applies to:
Students and Academic Staff

Part I: Definitions

There are three general classes of service courses:

  1. Compulsory service courses offered outside the faculty or school in which a student is registered. These are inter-faculty service courses.

  2. Compulsory service courses offered by departments in the same faculty in which the student is registered. These are intra-faculty service courses.

  3. Optional service courses offered either outside or in the same faculty or school in which the student is registered.

  4. The program of a student is determined by the faculty or school in which the student is registered.

The Service Course Policy will concentrate on compulsory service courses as defined in #1 above with some reference to #2.

Part II: Principles Governing Service Courses

The basic content and the objectives of compulsory service courses should be defined by the faculty (or school or department) requiring the service, and discussed with the servicing department. This applies to both inter and intra faculty service courses.

The servicing faculty, school or department should do its best to meet the requirements of the serviced department or faculty, unless these requirements are unreasonable or would result in a course that is below the standards of the servicing department or there is no one on staff who is properly qualified to teach the proposed course. (Problems arising under this item will be resolved by procedure in Part IV.)

If a servicing department is unable to teach the course,

  1. the department requiring the course should have the opportunity to ask Senate for the right to teach it.

  2. the servicing department should assist in obtaining an instructor to teach the course.

  3. a member of the serviced department may hold an appointment with the servicing department in order to teach the course.

Part III: Cooperation in Course Planning

Liaison committees should be established for each major service area (e.g. Engineering-Mathematics, Engineering-Physics, etc.).

If the service course serves students from several other faculties, the liaison committee should include representatives of these faculties.

Part IV: Resolution of Conflict

Liaison committees should endeavour to resolve any difficulties that exist or may arise.

The faculty, school or department being serviced, or offering service courses, may be dissatisfied with existing or proposed courses. The nature and degree of the dissatisfaction must be fully documented by the faculty initiating the complaint. If differences cannot be resolved by the appropriate liaison committee, the procedure for dealing with such service courses will be as follows:

  1. Inter-faculty service courses: the liaison committee will meet with the deans/directors concerned. If agreement still cannot be reached, the question will be referred to the Vice-President (Academic) and Provost for final resolution. However, if the Vice-President (Academic) and Provost deems such action likely to be effective, the matter may be referred to Senate for decision.

  2. Intra-faculty service courses: resolution of problems with this type of course is to be reached within the faculty concerned.

Part V: Service Courses
A. Introduction of New Service Courses

A faculty or department requiring a new service course, or wishing to replace a service course now offered by another department, must follow the procedures outlined in this document. If agreement is not reached at any of the three progressive stages of negotiation, viz. (a) liaison committee, (b) liaison committee and deans/directors concerned, (c) Vice-President (Academic) and Provost, the faculty or department requiring the new or replacement service course has the right to offer the course subject only to regular Senate control over new courses.

Departments can assume in the first instance that all teaching in their subjects will be done by them. It is understood that there may well be some overlap among departments in certain subjects. However, in such cases the treatment of the subject will be different, in terms of its relations to the academic program of which it is a part.

Individual faculties have the right to determine the programs of their students. This right, to be meaningful, must be taken to mean that faculties can, if they wish, define the objectives of courses supplied them as a service (although it is assumed that, rather than specify specialized variants, faculties will use existing standard courses wherever possible).

Although faculties and schools have the right to determine course objectives and basic content for students enrolled in their programs, the means by which course objectives are to be attained must finally be the responsibility of the servicing department.

B. Assignment of Instructors

Faculties/schools can rightfully expect that properly qualified instructors from relevant departments will teach service courses on request.


The assignment of instructors for service courses and therefore decisions about the level of instructor competence and training called for by such courses must be the responsibility of the servicing departments.

However, where a faculty or school believes that its objectives are being frustrated because of the qualifications of the instructor assigned, and where negotiations with the servicing department have failed to improve the situation, the liaison committee should, on appeal, decide whether there is cause to request a change of instructor. It should also deal with refusal by a department to recruit the kind of staff that may have to be added to give service.

C. Replacement of Service Courses

Where a faculty or school, after full discussion with relevant service faculty believes that it can, based on academic considerations, service its students better than they, it has the right - subject to regular Senate approval of new courses - to institute and give whatever courses it chooses (under course labels that do not usurp departmental descriptions). It is understood that before such action is taken that full discussion will have taken place, including the procedure provided in Part IV.

Part VI: Course in Fundamentals

In general, introductory courses in fundamental subjects will be given by departments in the Faculties of Arts and Science; so will advanced courses that are generally applicable. It is understood, however, that there will be cases where such courses are not available in the Faculties of Arts and Science (e.g. soils, entomology).

It is agreed that some variation, or slanting, in courses, especially at the introductory level, is not only permissible but may be desirable in a particular section.

Advanced courses in subjects that are fundamental but which either are of little interest to the departments in Arts and Science, or require experience in another field, will most likely be offered in applied departments.

Similarly, courses in the application of basic principles should ordinarily be given by the department specializing in the applied field.

It is generally agreed that courses should be given in the school or department and by the person best qualified. It is also recognized that two or several departments may deal with a single subject (e.g. Thermodynamics) and that this is natural since the emphasis and presentation will be quite different in the fields of chemistry, physics and engineering.

Part VII: Discontinuance of Service Courses

Any faculty or school wishing to discontinue teaching a service course shall obtain the approval of Senate before doing so.

Any faculty or school wishing to discontinue having a service course provided for it by another faculty or school shall obtain the regular Senate approval of course deletions before doing so.