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Senate's last meeting, chaired by Dean of Law Nicholas Kasirer, may have set a record for brevity as the normally garrulous body quickly dispatched a series of items.
Interim Provost Tony Masi apprised the room that a series of actions are underway in relation to the alleged hazing incident. As the matter remains under investigation, it was not a matter for the Senate meeting.
Question period opened with Senator Adam Conter asking why hours of service at Dawson Hall had been cut, and inquired more generally about the perceived issue of 'red tape' at McGill. Masi responded that the change is only a trial procedure, and that it had resulted in a net reduction of only one hour of service per day. It was taken as part of larger efforts to eliminate duplicate requests, and to create a more equitable distribution of student affairs personnel amongst the faculties.
Senator Paré then asked whether the administration was applying new standards to the reappointment procedures for professors or whether old ones were being applied more rigorously. Masi replied that procedures have varied across units, and that he is working with deans to analyze these issues.
Paré then inquired about a task-force related to non-tenure track academic personnel. Masi noted that a report had been presented in 2004, but that no action was taken because the task force had operated under flawed terms of reference and had drawn on internal data that was insufficient and without comparison to other G10 universities. Masi added that the review will be ongoing and that a response will be issued in early October.
Question period finished, Senate then moved quickly through matters related to committee appointments and housekeeping amendments to the University statutes. A Senator asked why the University permitted the president of the accredited student union SSMU to sit on Senate but not on the BOG. Masi replied that BOG and Senate were separate bodies with independent governing statutes.
On a final Senate note, long-time watchers of the august body were tickled to note that the seats of Leacock 232 have recently been fitted with light-up-in-red individual microphones.