The University is governed by a bicameral system, consisting of the Senate and the Board of Governors, both of which are administered by the University Secretariat. The powers of Senate are determined in Section 19 of the Wilfrid Laurier University Act of 1973 as amended in 2001.
The powers of Senate involve the educational mandate of the university. Senate engages in a wide range of activities involving the academic operation of the university, including undertaking long range academic planning. In addition, Senate considers and makes recommendations to the Board of Governors on matters relating to the allocation and use of University funds, which would include recommendations to modify or terminate an academic unit (e.g. start a new Faculty or department) or add or modify curricula in a course where there are significant financial implications.
The Act provides for broad representation on Senate to ensure that all members of the University community have a voice and input. In keeping with principles of shared governance, Senate includes three members of the Board of Governors, as well as the Chair of the Board of Governors as an ex officio member of Senate. In addition to the President & Vice-Chancellor of the University, who chairs Senate, each Vice-President and Dean of a Faculty, the Chancellor, University Librarian, Registrar, and head of each federated or affiliated college are all ex officio members of Senate. Senate also includes: eight students, three alumni, one staff member, and two representatives of the secondary school system of Ontario. Significantly, Senate includes faculty members and academic librarians who together must equal in number to one more than the total number of all other members of Senate. Faculty representatives are elected to broadly represent all Faculties and departments across the University and each affiliated and federated college. Student representatives include one graduate student and one student from the Brantford Campus.
Senate meets approximately 8 times each year. There are also 11 Senate Standing Committees, which perform a wide variety of tasks, including the following: evaluating requests for new programs and the modification of current programs; overseeing the program review process; evaluating Senate by-laws and regulations; considering the University’s fiscal responsibility for maintaining academic programs; reviewing policies and priorities in regards to teaching and learning, research and student life; reviewing and making recommendations on applications for promotion and tenure; considering student appeals; and considering nominations for honorary degree recipients.
Senate News: February 2nd Meeting
(Headline - Feb 08)