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Senate overview: May

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Senate is the academic governing body of UFV, with the university president and vice chancellor Joanne MacLean as the chair. They are responsible for making decisions on everything academic: approving new courses and programs, approving changes to programs, setting entrance requirements, and setting the academic calendar. The Board of Governors, which looks at the business side of the university, is advised by Senate on matters of mutual interest.  

All at the university are welcome to attend Senate’s public meetings, held once a month at either the Abbotsford or the CEP campus, but most do not. Regardless, Senate makes decisions that impact the daily lives of both students and faculty.

UFV requests orientation day

Alisa Webb, vice president students, and Greg Mather, manager of student wellness and development, presented on their vision for students’ transitions, specifically on incoming student orientation. As part of the presentation, they requested that Senate consider granting leadership of the orientation day trial to UFV instead of the Student Union Society (SUS).

The dedicated orientation day was granted at the request of SUS last year as a two-year trial. The day pushes the academic calender back by one day, allowing orientation to happen during the first week of school instead of before.

The trial began in fall 2018, where SUS ran orientation programming for incoming students. This winter, SUS did do their orientation on the dedicated orientation day and instead asked UFV to run programming. Gurvir Gill, previous SUS president, told Senate in February the choice was due to concern that hosting orientation before the weekend might result in a lower student turnout. UFV reported a turnout of 275 students for the orientation day they ran.  

Senate said the request would be put forward as a future agenda item, but that SUS would be consulted first.

Approved mission, values, and vision statements

Senate approved UFV’s new mission, values, and vision statements to a round of applause. The statements have been reworked as part of the visioning process UFV president Joanne MacLean began at the start of her presidency last fall. The process looked to update the statements to better align with UFV’s current goals and vision.

UFV’s core values will be integrity, inclusivity, community, and excellence and its mission statement is “engaging learners, transforming lives, building community.”

UFV’s vision statement describes the future goals and aspirations of the university: “UFV will be known as a gathering place for learners, leaders, and seekers. We will pursue diverse pathways of scholarship, leading to community connection, reconciliation, and prosperity, locally and beyond.”

Approved changes to admissions requirements

Senate approved the changes to UFV admission requirements to align with the new B.C. high school curriculum. The changes come as part of the redesign of the B.C. K–12 curriculum that started to be implemented in 2015. A wide range of new courses will be available for high school students, some replacing and some in addition to the old courses. Changes to the grades 11 and 12 curriculum will come into effect this September, and UFV could see students using the new courses for entry as early as January 2020.

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