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Executive Committee Bylaws

1. Establishment

The Faculty of Science Faculty Council (​Council​) hereby establishes a standing committee called the Executive Committee (the ​Committee​) under the provisions of the Council’s General Terms of Reference for Standing Committees and these Terms of Reference, and delegates to the Committee the authorities set out herein. In the event of a conflict between the provisions of these Committee Terms of Reference and the General Terms of Reference, these Committee Terms of Reference will govern.

2. Membership

The Executive Committee shall consist of:


  • the Dean (or designate) (ex officio),

Voting Members 1

  • all Associate Deans (ex officio),
  • the Department Chairs (ex officio),
  • and a full-time academic member chosen by each Department
  • and from each Department.2
  • First Year Academic Director (ex officio)


  • one Dean’s designate (optional)

The term of office of full time academic members representing Departments shall be two years,and shall be staggered so that half of the vacancies occur each year. If a member chosen by a

1​In the event that a single individual holds multiple ex officio membership positions that person shall only carry one vote.

2Departmental councils are free to define the method of selection for these members. Department is, for any reason, unable to attend a meeting, then a substitute member of the Department may attend that meeting. Such a substitute member will, at that meeting, have all the rights and duties of a regular member of the committee. There shall be no other substitutions and ​no proxy voting​.

3. Role

The Committee serves as Council’s primary advisory group, advising Council, Council standing committees, and the Chair on strategic and complex issues, steering, and early stage matters. The Committee also acts on behalf of, and with full authority of Council concerning specific matters (noted below) that must be handled between regularly scheduled Council meetings, may be called upon to advise or act upon matters not clearly within the jurisdiction of another Council standing committee, and acts as Council’s primary appointment and nominating committee.

4. Responsibilities

The following specific powers and duties have been delegated to the Executive Committee by council, with power to sub-delegate. The Executive Committee:

A. serves as the executive arm of the Council,
B. at certain times and under certain circumstances acts on behalf of the council; and
C. serves as the Striking Committee of the Faculty.

A. Acting as the Executive Arm of the Council:

a. The Executive Committee shall meet at appropriate times during the academic year to prepare the agenda for council meetings. The committee may recommend to the Dean that a council meeting, in addition to those specified, be called.

b. Recommendations of any standing or ad hoc committee of the Council, or any other recommendation to be considered by Council, shall be sent to the chair of the Executive Committee who shall circulate them to the members of the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee may consider such recommendations at the time they are considered for inclusion on the Council’s agenda. The Executive Committee cannot substitute for such recommendations either motions or recommendations of its own (for subsequent consideration by Faculty Council), but has the authority to return such recommendations to the submitting committee for further consideration and state the reason for the decision. The Executive Committee may do this twice with each recommendation but will then allow the recommendation to proceed for consideration at Council.

c. The committee shall also have the following duties:

  • to recommend approval (where appropriate) of new Faculty Research Centres established by the Faculty and to ensure that they are reviewed in accordance with Senate Policy 144;
  • approval of work plans of standing committees;
  • Other powers and duties may be similarly delegated by Council from time to time. The list of powers and duties delegated by Council shall be reviewed by Council every three years.

B. Acting in the name of the Council:

a. The Executive Committee shall have the power to act, in accordance with the policies established by Council, in the name of the Council, on the request of the Dean, during the period between spring convocation and the first day of lectures of the fall session. The committee shall report such actions at the first Council meeting thereafter.

b. When there is no quorum forthcoming at a duly scheduled Council meeting, the committee shall have the power to act, in accordance with the policies established by Council, in the name of the Council on any agenda item that the Dean judges to require a decision. The committee shall report its actions to the Faculty Council without undue delay.

c. The committee shall have the power to act for the Council, in accordance with the policies established by Council, in extraordinary situations in which, in the Dean's discretion, opportunities are inadequate to have the matter dealt with by Council. Such actions will be reported to the next scheduled Council meeting.

C. Acting as the Striking Committee of the faculty:

Chaired by the Dean (or designate), the members of the Executive Committee (excluding ex officio members) shall act as a Striking Committee for the Faculty to strike such committees as are requested by Council, the Executive Committee, or the Dean. The Executive Committee shall be responsible for striking those committees required for the coming academic year. The committee shall bear in mind the desirability of involving new participants in the business of the Faculty, and the importance of representation with respect to questions of diversity and inclusion in the choice of such committees. To this end, the Chair of the Executive Committee should, whenever possible, give adequate notice to make possible consultation between the members of the Striking Committee and the Heads of the Departments about possible candidates.

5. Powers

Other than, or in the absence of, specific delegations of authority from Council to act autonomously, the Committee’s powers shall be limited to providing input and ideas, advising and making recommendations to Council, Council standing committees and the Chair.

6. Authorities

The Committee has the specific delegated authority to act autonomously as described below, on the condition that decisions made or actions taken under this delegated authority are reported to Council.

  • Act on behalf of, and with full authority of Council concerning matters that must be handled between regularly scheduled Council meetings;
  • Approve the terms of reference for any group over which Council has been granted or exercises authority in this regard, other than its own terms of reference;
  • Require changes to agendas for upcoming Council meetings (this action does not need to be reported to Council).

7. Meetings

The Committee shall meet two weeks prior to any Faculty Council meeting. The Chair of the Executive Committee shall invite the chairs (or designates) of standing and ad hoc committees to those meetings of the Executive Committee at which reports from such committees are considered.

The minutes of the Executive Committee meetings shall be circulated on a regular basis (but no later than the next Council meeting) to all Council members. The Chair of the Executive Committee shall ensure that the minutes of that meeting of the committee at which the agenda for a Council meeting is adopted are circulated before that council meeting.

A meeting may be held electronically (such as by Video Conference) unless at least three members object.