Senate Steering Committee

Terms of Reference

The Senate Steering Committee is a Standing Committee of Senate charged with proposing Senate agenda and routine business matters.

Specific Areas of Responsibility

The Committee shall:

1. Meet approximately one week prior to every Senate meeting.

2. Review the Senate calendar of business including any follow up on matters arising from decisions and discussion at Senate. The Secretary-General shall provide a verbal report to the Steering Committee on follow-up from Senate decisions/discussion at each meeting.

3. Consider and report, in writing, to Senate recommendations related to the development of the agenda and the Senate meeting, including recommendations for approval of the minutes of the last meeting, assignment of speaking rights, assigned items for confidential session and committee of the whole, time allotted for discussion per item as required, open discussion topics, questions submitted by Senators, appointments of acting Chairs and other items of relevance to the conduct of Senate meetings. The written report of actions taken by the Steering Committee shall be submitted to Senate at each meeting.

4. Recommend to Senate, the approval of the Senate agenda following review of the draft developed by the Secretary-General;

5. Solicit open discussion topics from Senators through the Secretariat at the beginning of the governance year. The Committee may select the open discussion topic(s) for the governance year and may task a Steering Subcommittee with the preparation of appropriate background materials for the open discussion.

6. Review written questions (or motions) submitted for the Senate Question Period and determine their suitability bearing in mind the following guidelines set out in Section VIII of the Senate Standing Rules of Procedure addressing Question Period:
“Question Period…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.”

6.1 In reviewing written questions/motions, the Steering Committee may:

a) Decide to include the question/motion on the agenda of the next-scheduled Senate meeting, or to defer the question/motion to the agenda for the next Senate meeting, and advise the Principal on the appropriate officer to answer the question;

b) Refer the question/motion back to the submitter(s) for revision and resubmission with such suggested changes as the Steering Committee may advise;

c) Determine that the question addresses a largely non-academic issue and direct the questioner(s) to refer the question in the first instance to the responsible University officer.

7. Have the delegated authority of Senate to grant degrees and diplomas, provided that the same degree of formality obtained in Senate presentation of degrees is assured. The Steering Committee will report such degree-granting activities to Senate at the earliest possible opportunity.


The Principal – Chair (ex officio)
The Provost or delegate (ex officio)
One Dean selected on the recommendation  of the Provost (ex-officio)
Five members from among the elected academic or administrative and support staff members of Senate, nominated and elected by all members of Senate, other than student members
Two student members of Senate (one undergraduate and one graduate), nominated and elected by student members of Senate
Secretary-General (Committee Secretary)

Senate Minute 11, September 30, 1987
Amendments: Senate Minute 5, September 16, 1993
Senate Minute 120, May 15, 1996
Senate Minute 6, May 21, 1997
Senate Minute 6, November 10, 1999
Senate Minute IIB4.2, May 20, 2009
Senate Minute IIB 6.1.2, May 15, 2013
Senate MinuteIIB5, November 20, 2013
Senate MinuteIIB3, March 18, 2015


The Principal, Chair, Professor Suzanne Fortier
The Provost: Professor Christopher Manfredi
Dean: Professor Jim Nicell (Engineering)

Five elected staff members of Senate:
    Professor Terry Hébert (Medicine) - 2019
    Professor Nate Quitoriano (Engineering) - 2019
    Mr. Marc Richard (Libraries) - 2019
    Professor Kenneth Hastings (Medicine) - 2020 
    Professor Angela Campbell (Law) - 2021

One graduate student: Mr. Erik Larson (PGSS)
One undergraduate student: Mr. Jacob Shapiro (SSMU)

Secretary: Ms. Edyta Rogowska (Secretary-General)