June 7 Senate: Four New Programs, Two New Majors, Four New Minors, Policy Changes

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The most recent U of G Senate meeting was held on June 7. Below are key highlights from the meeting. Prospective students are advised some programs are still subject to formal approval by the Ontario Universities’ Council on Quality Assurance.

A full synopsis of the meeting is available on the University Secretariat’s website.

Undergraduate Program Changes

University of Guelph maceOn the recommendation of the Board of Undergraduate Studies, Senate approved:

  • The Bachelor of One Health program and minor. The undergraduate degree in One Health will prepare future leaders for the complex challenges at the confluence of human, animal and environmental health, including critical analysis of complex systems, problem solving across disciplinary boundaries, mobilizing knowledge, and informing policy, all with the goal of promoting resiliency and sustainability of health.
  • A major and minor in Sexualities, Genders and Social Change. In this major and minor, students will consider the breadth and depth of scholarly inquiry relating to human identity, embodiment and self-expression alongside their connections to social, political and cultural systems.
  • A major in Creative Writing. In this major, students will learn to frame discussions and perspectives about the changing world in which they live through an exploration of a range of imaginaries. The program’s focus on social justice and environmental awareness will provide students with an enriched global understanding of issues affecting society and the environment, while encouraging students to engage with their communities for dialogue and change.
  • A minor in Linguistics which will provide recognition of coursework many students are already engaged in or are interested in pursuing and improve student employment and graduate program options.
  • A minor in Black Canadian Studies. Called for as a part of the University’s 2020 Anti-Racism Action Plan, this minor is dedicated to the study of the histories and experiences, cultural identities, social and community formations, politics and contemporary concerns of Black people in Canada, other parts of the Americas, and the world. Students will learn about Black creative expression and literature, political and labour movements, and issues of language, law, immigration and health.

Graduate Program Changes

On the recommendation of the Board of Graduate Studies, Senate approved:

  • The Master of Data Science This program will focus on data mining, data warehousing and database management, extraction, transformation and loading, machine learning, artificial intelligence, statistical modelling, scripting and data visualization. This coursework-based program’s content has been structured so that graduates will be well-positioned to develop their own customized tools to solve real-world applied problems.
  • The Master of Dairy Technology Management This unique professionally oriented program brings together global expertise to delve into the essentials of dairy science, dairy plant operations, dairy products, agri-food economics, food safety and quality management, operations management, and supply and value chain management. The program is designed to be delivered online and will produce highly qualified personnel with knowledge and training in dairy technology management
  • The PhD in Computer Science. This program will complement the existing PhD in Computational Sciences and will focus on core computer science research. Graduates will be highly qualified computer scientists, capable of conducting high-quality research in an ethical manner and making significant contributions to the academy and in the private sector.
  • The collaborative specialization in Sexualities, Genders and Bodies. This specialization builds on deep and long-standing institutional strengths, and explores the complex connections between political, social and cultural systems and how these interact with constructions of sexual and gender identities, self-expression and embodied experiences of humanity.

Policy Changes

Senate approved the following changes to academic policies and procedures:

  • Undergraduate Examinations: Effective Fall 2021, 1000 and 2000 level courses will no longer be required to have a “2-hour, regular sit-down format” exam. The change does not preclude a course from continuing to have a traditional two-hour final examination.
  • Clarifications to the Undergraduate Credit/No Credit Grading Option: Effective immediately, the regulations pertaining to the Credit/No Credit Grading Option have been updated in response to feedback received over the past year. The full, clarified, language is available in the Senate meeting package.
  • The regulations governing the appointment of the External Examiner for Doctoral Thesis Examinations were changed to provide that the graduate program coordinator appoints the examiner in consultation with the advisor. Previously, the department chair was responsible for the appointment.
  • The regulations governing Grading Notations applicable to graduate students who permanently withdraw from their program were revised to allow for a more compassionate approach that better supports students’ potential for future success in graduate studies. More information is available in the Senate meeting package.
  • The introduction of a Credit/No Credit Grading Option for Graduate Students. This option will allow graduate students to take courses outside their core area of study without fear of adversely impacting their average. Graduate students may elect to take up to 1.00 credits (typically equal to two, one-semester courses) on the credit/no credit grading option in each degree taken. These courses will not count towards fulfillment of minimum program requirements and students must obtain a minimum of grade of 65 per cent to obtain “credit” standing.

Prospective students are advised some programs are still subject to formal approval by the Ontario Universities’ Council on Quality Assurance. The next regular meeting of Senate will take place on Monday, October 4, 2021.