Queen’s News Centre: Academic Planning Process Update (22 October 2010)

Excerpt from “Principal Woolf invites further discussion of rankings at Senate,” a report on the Queen’s Senate Meeting of 20 October 2010. Queen’s News Centre, 22 October, 2010:

Academic Planning Process Update
Deputy Provost Susan Cole provided an update on the academic planning process, which has been referred to the Senate Committee on Academic Development (SCAD). At the SCAD meeting on September 29, a small informal working group was struck. The working group will report back to SCAD next week. SCAD will inform Senate of its response to the referral at the November 25 meeting.

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One Response to Queen’s News Centre: Academic Planning Process Update (22 October 2010)

  1. Andrea Phillipson says:

    It seems as though the biggest academic planning process development reported to Senate since the last Principal’s Report (27 September 2010) is the formation of a small working group that will report to SCAD next week. I am curious to know who is in this working group. SCAD itself (http://www.queensu.ca/secretariat/senate/committe/standing/scad.html), with the exception of a staff member from the Provost office, is composed largely of faculty and students from departments and schools that are arguably minimally affected by the academic planning process and that do not reflect the disciplinary demographics of the university. Making up 60% of SCAD, there are representatives from the School of Business (1), the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science (1), the Faculty of Law (2), and the Faculty of Health Sciences (2, counting Chair Susan Cole’s pre-administrative affiliation). The largest faculty at Queen’s, the Faculty of Arts & Science (FAS), is represented by SCAD members from Economics (1), Chemistry (1), German (1), and an unnamed department (1). Of this minority FAS representation, 2 of 4 are students. Although it is an idealistic vision to privilege the voices of students in this process, I worry that in such a forum, the power dynamics inherent in the student/faculty relationship will jeopardize the realization of robust student contributions. This committee has been given an enormous responsibility, and while I don’t doubt that they will carry out their task with good intentions, I still must wonder whether it is important to Queen’s to ensure that stakeholders help shape its academic vision. If we value a participatory process, then we need to find ways to go beyond tokenism and ensure that this academic plan review committee is open and accessible to constituents who are rightly concerned that the resulting plan will have a lasting influence on how (or whether) their departments go about their business.

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