Senate notes

The University of Manitoba Senate met on Feb. 1.

Student senators distributed cards with the message “Public for the People,” in relation to the student day of action, before the meeting.

The Senate approved and carried the list of the potential graduates for February 2012.

President David Barnard reported on his recent announcement regarding looking at simplifying the university’s academic structure.

He said the U of M has a complex structure relative to other universities of its size.

Barnard said he has asked the provost, Joanne Keselman, to move the conversation to a level of wider engagement.

He said the first conversation was taking place in the health sciences cluster.

Barnard said it is a project the university will spend several years on but he hopes the conversation in the health science cluster will be done in 2012.

Cameron Morrill, president of UMFA, asked how the university would consult faculty during the process.

Barnard answered that the conversation would include how to consult faculty and the provost will come up with a proposal.

Diana McMillan, a senator from nursing, asked what the driving force was behind this direction and what evidence supported new structure.

Barnard answered the university’s infrastructure has costs and the university sees an opportunity of doing some things better.

Camilla Tapp, president of UMSU, said there were comments in a Free Press article that implied the faculty of human ecology might be cut.

Tapp said some students were concerned and asked what the president’s message was to students.

Barnard answered that he has not said any particular faculties will not exist and that the human ecology comments were in response to a specific question.

Barnard said any changes discussed would come to Senate.

Susan Gottheil, vice-provost (students), responded to questions submitted by Arlene Young, head of the department of english, about a new automated system of classroom scheduling.

Gottheil said the administration purchased and is implementing the system Astra as part of the ROSE initiative to help optimize academic resources.

Julie Guard, an arts senator, said she found it problematic that ICM/Navitas got more priority for classrooms than arts courses or other units.

Gottheil answered that no one is being given absolute priority in classrooms.

There was no additional business.