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General Terms of Reference (ToR)

Approved by Faculty:
Approved by Senate:
Revised By Faculty of Science Faculty Council:

1. Definition of Terms

  • Senate Policy: Toronto Metropolitan University Senate Policy.
  • Faculty Council: Formal Faculty Council, as defined by Senate Policy.
  • Member: Voting member of the Faculty Council.
  • Faculty/School: The Faculty of Science (FoS).
  • Department/School: an academic unit in FoS with its own Chair or Director. These include:
    • Department of Chemistry and Biology
    • Department of Computer Science
    • Department of Mathematics
    • Department of Physics
  • Chair: The elected Chair of Faculty Council
  • Dean: Dean of FoS
  • Faculty Member: member or associate member of the Toronto Metropolitan Faculty Association, appointed or cross-appointed to FoS.
  • Contract Lecturer: Limited Contract (Temporary) Instructors who are members of the CUPE 3904 Unit 1 bargaining units who teach FoS courses during the current academic year.
  • Undergraduate/Graduate Student: individual currently registered full-time or part-time in a FoS undergraduate/graduate program leading to an undergraduate/graduate degree.
  • Staff: current full-time contract or career employees of FoS who are members of OPSEU or MAC

2. Mandate

The role and responsibilities of the Faculty Council shall be as follows:

  • Coordinate the development, submission, and review of undergraduate and graduate degree programs, graduate certificates, and Chang School Certificate programs.
  • Make recommendations to the Senate and other appropriate bodies on the Academic Plan of the Faculty and academic policies affecting the Faculty.
  • Review periodic reports submitted by each of the Standing Committees established under these terms of reference and make recommendations to the Dean on matters arising from these reports.
  • Make recommendations to the Faculty on matters identified as significant by the Faculty Council and/or Dean

3. Council Structure

3.1. Membership

  • Voting Membership: The following are voting members of Faculty Council:
    • Full time Faculty Membership: All faculty members are voting members of the Faculty Council.
    • Contract Lecturer Membership: 2 members selected annually from CUPE Unit 1 Contract Lecturers, with no more than one member selected by each department in the Faculty of Science
    • Student Membership:
      • One undergraduate student from each Department elected annually by undergraduate students.
      • Two graduate students elected annually by graduate students.
    • Staff Membership elected annually by the respective groups: 2 members elected by and from MAC and OPSEU
  • Ex Officio Membership (non-voting):
    • President of the University (or designate)
    • Provost and Vice-President of the University (or designate)
    • Dean of the Faculty of Science, Associate Deans of the Faculty of Science
    • Secretary of Toronto Metropolitan University Senate
    • President of the Toronto Metropolitan Faculty Association
    • President of CUPE Local 3904
    • President of the students’ Toronto Metropolitan Science Society
    • Dean of the Yeates School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (or designate)

3.2. Term Office

  • The term of office of elected members of Council shall be two years, starting on July 1 and ending on June 30, with the exception of student members whose term starts at the beginning of September and lasts for one year.
  • The terms of office for members of Council’s Standing Committees shall also be two years, starting on July 1 and ending on 30 June, unless the committee’s ToR establishes a different term of office for members of that particular committee.

3.3. Quorum of Council

  • At all meetings of the Council, a quorum shall consist of at least four faculty members from each department.

3.4. Officers

  • Chair & Vice-Chair: Tenured faculty members elected by the members of the Council, and by virtue of this election have and enjoy the authority and respect of the Council.
  • Recording Secretary: Appointed by the Dean.

3.5. Duties of Office

A thorough knowledge of the ToR and Robert's rules of order is a prerequisite for all officers of Council.

  • Chair: The Chair shall preside at all meetings of the Council, enforce the objectives, operating rules of the ToR, and rules of order, and ensure that the committees perform their duties. It is the duty of the Chair to maintain order and decorum, read motions to the meeting so that they may be debated, decide questions of order and procedure, submit motions or other proposals to the meeting for its decision by a vote, and to adjourn the meeting when its business is concluded. The Chair has the responsibility of ensuring that the rights of individuals as members are upheld and respected. He or she also has the responsibility and authority of ensuring, as far as possible, that the business before the meeting is expedited and facilitated, and that deliberate systematic dilatory efforts on the part of a member or small group are ruled out of order.
  • Recording Secretary: The Recording Secretary shall:
    • assist the Chair in circulating written notice and agenda of Council meetings; prepare and maintain a record of the current membership (including alternates, if there be any) with their email addresses.
    • take minutes during Council meetings, and prepare and circulate these minutes; and
    • maintain soft and hard master copies of the ToR and revise them as Council approves changes.

3.6. Committees

  • Committees shall review, develop and make recommendations to the Faculty Council on matters related to their respective mandates.

Standing Committees

  • Faculty Council shall have three (3) standing committees with composition and terms of reference approved by Faculty Council. They are:
    • Executive Committee (ExeC)
    • Dean of Science’s Advisory Committee (DSAC)
    • Undergraduate Curriculum Committee (UCC)
    • Graduate Curriculum and Policy Committee (GCPC)
  • Faculty Council, through the ExeC, shall establish and periodically review the terms of reference and composition of standing committees. The ExeC may make recommendations to Faculty Council regarding the establishment or dissolution of standing committees.
  • Any standing committee may recommend to Faculty Council –via the ExeC, changes to its terms of reference and composition.
  • The ExeC shall review Faculty Council ToR every three years and report/recommend proposed changes to Council. The ExeC will facilitate alignment of Council, Senate, and Department by-laws.
  • Standing committees must submit a written report to Faculty Council on their activities once every academic year, and that report should be included in the agenda of the last Council meeting of the academic year.

Ad Hoc Committees

  • An ad hoc committee maybe formed for a limited term by a Faculty Council resolution. Members need not be members of council. Unless reconstituted by Council, the committee is dissolved upon presentation of its report. The motion to establish an ad hoc committee must include the terms of reference of the committee, and may include:
    • the proposed number of members on the committee;
    • details of proposed distribution of members, if any;
    • names of proposed members of the committee, if any; and
    • the committee report date.
  • Terms of reference not specified by a Faculty Council motion will be established by the Chair of Faculty Council, in consultation with the ExeC.
  • The Chair of Council shall have the authority to form an Ad Hoc committee, as needed, between scheduled council meetings.

4. Rules of Procedure for the Election and Appointment of Members to Council

  • Elections and appointments for all constituencies will be completed and reported to the Secretary of Council in March of each year for the following academic year.
  • Elections Officer:The Secretary of Council shall act as the Elections Officer and oversee all elections of Council.

5. Meetings and Procedures

  • Schedule of Council and Standing Committees Meetings
    • Council Meetings: Meetings will be held at least four times in an academic year. The Secretary shall announce the dates for the year’s meetings no later than August 1st taking into consideration applicable academic deadlines.
    • Standing Committees: Standing committees shall meet as required. Each committee shall submit and present a written report to Council at least once per academic year, the preferred time being at a regular meeting or after consultation with Council Chair. A standing committee may request that the Chair of Council call a special meeting of Council to report on the work and recommendations of the committee.
    • Special Meetings: A special meeting of the Faculty Council :
      • can be called by the Dean; or
      • will be called when a written request is submitted to the Chair by any voting member supported by at least 15% of the voting members of Council. Upon receipt of such a request, a meeting shall be scheduled to be held within 10 days.
  • Meeting Agenda:
    • The agenda for meetings will be circulated to Members by the Secretary at least 5 working days prior to the meeting. The ExeC will set the agenda.
      • A Faculty Council Member may propose an item for inclusion on a meeting agenda. The proposed items must be received by the Secretary at least 14 days in advance of the day of the meeting at which they are to be discussed. They shall be considered by the ExeC and the form of the motions shall be set out on the Agenda.
      • The notice of meeting may identify items to be dealt with by consent. A consent agenda item is deemed to be approved unless, prior to the commencement of a meeting, one or more Members advise the Chair of a request to debate it.
      • The Dean will be given the opportunity to inform/update the Faculty Council of current news, events, and initiatives prior to the consideration of new businesses and motions.
  • Rules of Order: Meetings will be conducted under the provisions of Robert’s Rules of Order unless modified by the FoS Faculty Council ToR.
  • Faculty Council meetings shall be open unless a motion to conduct part of any meeting in camera is approved by a majority of Members present and voting.
  • Forwarding of Recommendations: Recommendations approved by the Faculty Council are forwarded to the Dean or other appropriate individuals or bodies.
    • Recommendations that require Senate approval are forwarded by the Dean to the Senate.
      • Department/Undergraduate Program Council recommendations for matters related to undergraduate curriculum are forwarded to Senate via the UCC. Other recommendations for policies, procedures, or academic planning are forwarded to Senate via the Dean’s Advisory Committee.
      • Where the Dean submits a recommendation to Senate upon which the Faculty Council and Dean have disagreed, the Faculty Council motion and vote count will be presented to Senate by the Chair or designate.
    • In the event of a disagreement, between the Dean and Faculty Council, on a recommendation decision that does not require Senate approval the parties shall:
      • Attempt an amicable resolution which may include the withdrawal, postponement, amendment, or further study of the disputed motion through committee.
      • If the parties cannot resolve the matter amicably, the Provost will recommend a dispute resolution mechanism in consultation with the Chair.

6. Debates and Votes

  • Recognition: A member or visitor who wishes to speak shall raise his or her hand, await recognition by the Chair and then address the Chair.
  • Voting:
    • Only voting members may vote at Faculty Council meetings.
    • The Chair may vote only to break a tie.
    • Votes must be cast in person
    • When the Chair is satisfied that the debate on an agenda item has covered the full range of issues, or when a motion to call the question has been approved, the Chair shall call the question.
      • If a motion to call the question is not approved by a vote, debate on the question may be continued and the question may be called by the Chair later in the same meeting when the Chair is satisfied that a fulsome debate has occurred.
      • When a question has been called, no motion can be made and no other intervention is permitted until the tally is completed and the results announced.
      • Motions shall be decided by a show of hands. The Chair shall determine the aggregate outcome and announce the outcome as “carried” or “defeated.”
      • Any Voting Member may request that the numbers, or that his/her own vote, be recorded in the Minutes.
      • Any Voting Member may make a motion that the issue on the floor be decided by secret ballot. The motion is not debatable and requires only a simple majority to be passed. The Chair may use their discretion to require a paper ballot on motions.
    • Abstentions: Voting Members may choose not to vote. Abstentions are not votes, are not recorded, and are not factored in the tallying of votes (although Voting Members who are present and who choose not to vote are counted as part of quorum).
    • Majorities: Motions shall be decided by a simple majority of those present and voting, except those specified in these Terms of Reference as requiring a two-thirds majority. Motions that shall require a two-thirds majority are:
      • A motion to revise or augment the Agenda for the meeting.
      • A motion to amend the Faculty Council Terms of Reference.

7. Changes to these Terms of Reference

  • Proposed changes to Faculty Council Terms of Reference shall be submitted in writing to the Chair and the ExeC at least 14 days before a scheduled Meeting.