June 27, 2002

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Undergrad curricula review
Senate discussed the recommendations of the undergraduate curricula review committee. The recommendations include requirements for all undergraduate students to take courses specially designed to cultivate writing abilities, quantitative abilities and breadth. While most senators were in favour of a recommendation requiring all students to complete two writing-intensive courses, some queried the need for two quantitative courses, saying that such courses may deter many arts students from enrolling at SFU. Other senators worried about the length of time required to complete such courses and about the resources required.

The undergraduate curricula review committee plans to submit its final report to the senate committee on university priorities for approval in principle in July.

Committee chair Dennis Krebs expects it will take up to three years to put the recommendations into effect, and an implementation task force would probably be appointed for this purpose.

Honorary degree designations
Senate approved a broader range of honorary degree designations to permit the university to more appropriately recognize achievements and contributions. In addition to the current Doctor of Laws, Honoris Causa (LL.D.) there will also be a D.Litt. (letters) for outstanding achievement in literature, a D.F.A. for outstanding achievement in the fine and performing arts and a D.Sc. (science)for outstanding achievement in science, engineering science, computing science and medicine. The school of engineering science was granted approval to award a general degree in engineering science, effective in September 2002. Currently, engineering science is effectively an honours program without a corresponding general degree program.

TechBC graduate programs
A proposal for the transition of TechBC graduate programs also received senate approval, with senate recommending to the board of governors that the university extend special cohort arrangements for current PhD students in computing arts and design sciences. The motion also stated that no new students would be admitted to a PhD program unless a regular PhD program is approved by senate.

Non-confidence motion tabled
A motion of non-confidence brought by student senator Joel Warren over issues surrounding the J.S. Woodworth chair and involving senior members of the university administration was tabled.

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