Senate Motions for March 16, 2020

The following motions were approved by Senate at its special meeting on March 16, 2020:


In the event of an emergency, as declared by the President, Senate authorizes the Senate Executive Committee to act for Senate in determining academic matters which require urgent resolution. Should the nature of the emergency warrant it, the authority to make decisions may be delegated by Senate Executive to the Provost and Vice-President (Academic). These matters include, but are not limited to:

a) Revisions to the academic schedule and the delay of the exam period and changes to other dates and deadlines;

b) The temporary modification or suspension of academic policies, such as the Final Examinations and Final Grades Policy, the Responsibility of Academic Staff to Students Policy, in response to the emergency;

c) Changes to assessment requirements;

d) Completion of course requirements;

e) Changes of requirements of continuing awards;

f) Approving academic accommodations for students affected by the emergency.

Decisions made under this delegated authority should be confined to dealing with specific issues related to the emergency for the period of the emergency and for the period immediately after the emergency. Care must be taken to avoid making decisions that may have ongoing implications for the delivery of academic programs. Normal approval channels shall be restored by the President as soon as it is permissible and safe to do so.  The Senate Executive Committee shall report any actions taken to Senate both by email and at the subsequent meeting of Senate following an emergency situation.

THAT Senate approve the suspension of section 2.6 of the Voluntary Withdrawal Policy for the winter 2020 term, and authorize the Provost and Vice-President (Academic) to amend the Voluntary Withdrawal date for this term.

The Provost and Vice-President (Academic) communicated her decision to suspend the following sections of the Responsibilities of Academic Staff with regard to Students (ROASS) Procedure, effective immediately and for the remainder of the winter term. This suspension is to facilitate adjustments to courses and evaluation method by Faculties, Colleges, and Schools. The relevant sections are

Section 2.8 Changes to Course Outline and Timing Requirements
Academic Staff who wish to make changes to the method of evaluation or format of assignments in the course outline after it has been distributed to the class shall proceed as follows:

(a) Academic Staff shall, in a timely fashion:

(i) Discuss the proposed changes (e.g. in the class and/or through UM Learn) and encourage Students to provide feedback to the Academic Staff if there are any issues with the proposed changes;

(ii) Provide the revised outline to the Academic Administrator of the Unit; and

(iii) Confirm the changes in writing by providing the revised course outline to every Student registered in the course within the first week following the change, either through a paper copy and via the University’s student information system (Aurora, UM Learn, or such other University information system as may be approved by University administration from time to time);

(b) In circumstances where weighting of assignments is changed retroactively, a Student who wishes to be graded according to the original course outline must advise the Academic Staff within at least five (5) Working Days of receiving the revised outline, failing which the Student will be graded according to the revised outline. Academic Staff shall advise Students of the deadline when they provide the revised outline.

Section 2.9 (f) Interactions with Students
In their interactions with Students, Academic Staff shall:

(f) provide early evaluative feedback as specified in the course outline.

Section 2.12 Evaluation
Academic Staff shall adhere to the relevant Senate-approved policy regarding professor-course evaluation.