Last update: February 16, 2017

At the close of each triennium, the Vancouver Senate undertakes a review of its internal operations and practices.  To aid in gathering informed submissions and suggestions, this website has been established to gather together relevant documents from UBC and comparator institutions. Below are a variety of links and resources to help inform suggestions.  To make a submission to the Senate Nominating and Agenda Committees, please email with "Triennial Review" in the subject line.

The University Act

The University Act is the key constitutional document of UBC. The "current" University Act is from 1973, but has been amended many times since then, most notably in 2005 to establish UBC's second campus - and second Senate - in the Okanagan valley. The University Act sets out the structure of the University - including its Chancellor, President, Registrar, Convocation, Board, Senates, Council, and Faculties and grants them a variety of powers and responsibilities.   The University Act also sets out the functions and duties of the University generally and the Senate in particular.

Senate Membership

The University Act sets out the base membership of each Senate. For the Vancouver Senate, this results in a base membership of 24, plus four additional members (a dean, 2 faculty members, and a student) for each faculty, one additional member per affiliated college, and any additional members added by the Senate (Presently a further 8 convocation members and 1 professional librarian). Currently, this results in a Senate of 88 members. The University Act allows Senate to expand its membership so long as it does not alter the 2:1 ratio between faculty members and students. In practice, the Senate usually follows a similar ratio when adding senior academic administrators to the Senate (that is, for any administrator added 2 additional faculty members and 1 additional student would be added).

Rules and Procedures of Senate

Senate governs its internal affairs by a set of bylaws known as the "Rules and Procedures of Senate". These rules set out the parliamentary authority of the Senate, reflect the membership set out by the University Act with any additions made by the Senate, makes rules for Senate meetings and the consideration of business, and sets out the standing committee structure of the Senate. The Rules and Procedures of Senate also set out the organization of the Senate's Nominating Committee and how it goes about its work.

Standing Committees of Senate

Most Senate work is routed through one of twelve standing committees.  These committees are grouped into four broad areas:

1) Those with responsibility to review and recommend proposals and policies:

Academic Policy Committee, Admissions Committee, Awards Committe, Curriculum Committee, Tributes Committee

2) Those with advisory or management responsibilities:

Academic Building Needs Committee, Library Committee, Teaching & Learning Committee

3) Those with quasi-judicial responsibilities

Admissions Committee (when considering admissions appeals), Appeals on Academic Standing Committee, Student Appeals on Academic Discipline Committee

4) Those with internal government responsibilities:

Agenda Committee, Nominating Committee, Academic Policy Committee (when considering the academic organization of the University)

Additionally, with the 2005 amendments to the University Act, two former Senate Committees - the Budget Committee and the Elections Committee - were transferred to the Council of Senates and now exist as system-wide Committees for all of UBC. Although not formally part of this review, the Agenda and Nominating Committees are pleased to receive feedback regarding the Council of Senates as well and will pass comments on to the Council's Executive Committee for consideration.