VI. Order of Business:
The Agenda, together with all related documents, should be distributed to senators, and also be placed in a number of public repositories where they could be examined by interested members of the University. The Agenda and documents should be circulated at least five days in advance of the meeting.
The order of business at regular meetings shall be as follows:
- Resolutions on the death of members or friends of the University
- Reports of the Steering Committee
- Adoption of the Agenda
- Part A - Motions and Questions by Members of Senate
- Part B - Motions and Reports from Organs of University Government
The order of business at special meetings shall follow the order of the items contained in the notice calling the meeting.
The order of business at any meeting, as fixed by the above, may be changed by a majority vote of those present at such meeting. When considering the adoption of the Senate Agenda, there are to be no amendments permitted to alter the order of questions in the Question Period, all questions to be considered in the order in which they are submitted prior to the meeting of Senate.
VII. Confidential Sessions of Senate Meetings:
In most cases there should be advance knowledge of items that require confidential treatment and they should be so specified in the Steering Committee's Report or on the Agenda. Since the motions to adopt the Report of the Steering Committee and the Agenda are debatable, any reservation about confidentiality should be aired and settled at this stage. Once the Agenda is adopted Senate should automatically move into closed session when the item "Confidential Business" is reached, and the spectators should retire from the meeting. This would not preclude the presentation of a procedural motion to have a particular item transferred to “Confidential Business.” “Confidential Business” would be minuted in an Appendix to the Minutes of Senate, accessible only to members of Senate; but the minutes themselves would indicate the general nature of the confidential items and the reasons for them being considered confidential.
At the conclusion of a confidential session there shall be a resolution concerning whether any motions passed by Senate during the confidential session, or any part of them, shall be made public.
VIII. Question Periods:
As the first item under Part "A" of the Senate Agenda, a question period limited to thirty minutes is to be scheduled. Questions that remain unanswered at the end of the thirty minutes shall be tabled until the conclusion of Part "B" of the Agenda to be answered then, if time permits.
Any senator may deliver a written question to the Secretary before any Senate meeting addressed to either the Principal, the vice-principals, or the chairs of any Senate committees. With the consent of the questioner, the questions may be referred by the recipient to any member of Senate who would be more directly responsible for the information required in the reply.
During the question period anyone who has received a written enquiry will read the question and may reply immediately or defer a reply until the next regular meeting of Senate. Any senator may be permitted to ask the recipient one or more supplementary questions relating thereto, but no debate is to be permitted of either the question or the answer.
In the case of questions directed to the Principal, the Secretary shall assume the chair of Senate for the duration of the question and its reply, and any supplementary questions and their replies. In order to distinguish more properly the suitability of questions submitted for the Question Period, the following guidelines should be used by members of Senate where possible:
The intent and purpose of the Question Period is similar to that of the Parliamentary Question Period, and should not be generally used as an opportunity to solicit opinions of individuals, to pose highly speculative questions, or to request information which is readily available through other sources. Each question should be capable of standing on its own, and supplementary questions should only be posed during the Question Period once the respondent has replied to the original question.
Steering Committee shall direct members who submit questions that broach largely non-academic issues to direct their questions in the first instance to the responsible University officer. In such cases, upon request by the senator, the Secretary of Senate shall circulate the question and the answer from the responsible University officer to all senators in the regular Senate mailing. Senators may resubmit the question to Steering Committee if they do not receive a satisfactory answer.
IX. The Chair:
If the Principal of the University be absent from any meeting, and no Vice-Principal or Acting Principal has been appointed by the Board of Governors, the senior dean present shall take the chair and forthwith call for the election of a temporary chair. The member elected as temporary chair shall then take the chair and conduct the business of the meeting, with all the powers of the statutory chair.
X. The Secretariat:
If the Secretary of Senate be absent from any meeting, a secretary appointed by the chair shall assume the duties of the Secretary.