The following motion was submitted by York University Senators Richard Welland, Ricardo Grinspun, and Mina Rajabi Paak to the Senate Executive Committee in advance of the Senate meeting on Thursday, April 26 (see here for agenda). Following a period of discussion, the motion passed with near unanimous support from Senators.
(submitted by Richard Wellen, Ricardo Grinspun, and Mina Rajabi Paak)
Senate instructs Senate Executive that any actions or decisions attempting to clarify the authority and role of Senate, including the formation of any committees, working groups or investigation bodies, will be acted with, and only with, the formal approval of Senate.
In his April 2 letter, the Chair of the Board of Governors calls for the formation of a joint committee appointed by and composed of the Executive of the Board and of the Senate to clarify "the respective roles of the Board and Senate." Anticipating that Senate Executive may develop a process to clarify some of these matters, it is important to assert the need to bring any such plans and decisions as a recommendation for formal approval of Senate.
Senate Rules and Procedures stipulate (Section D, page 33) that:
The Executive Committee shall be responsible for monitoring and making recommendations to Senate on all matters pertaining to: the organization of Senate and its committees, the organization and function of academic governance in the University Senate's relation both with other bodies in the University and with bodies external to it. The Executive Committee may make recommendations on behalf of Senate, and subject to Senate approval, to the Administration and the Board on matters related to the organization and structure of the University.
Although this is a broad mandate, it is circumscribed to "monitoring and making recommendations to Senate". Senate Executive does not have independent decision-making on matters of "the organization and function of academic governance in the University, Senate's relation both with other bodies in the University and with bodies external to it"; rather, it "may make recommendations on behalf of Senate, and subject to Senate approval" on the matters at hand.
The intent of the motion, therefore, is to instruct Senate Executive that, in regards to establishing a process for reviewing these governance matters, forming a body to conduct such a review, as well as deriving conclusions and decisions, Senate Executive, shall, as per Senate procedures, bring any recommendations to Senate for approval.