Written by: Srijani Datta, Assistant News Editor
On September 10, SFU Senate met for the first session of the fall semester this year. As the academic governance of SFU rests with its senate, the session focussed on issues that impact both teaching and research in the university. Some of the highlights of the first fall open session of Senate are listed below:
English language admission requirement to undergraduate studies raised
Revisions were made to the English language admission requirement for the undergraduate program. The senate introduced and carried the motion to increase the English language admission cut-off to 70% for incoming undergraduates, effective fall 2019. The change is with regards to grade 12 results and equivalent. Senator Daniel Leznoff stated that “this change was long overdue.”
“The revision to English language admission requirement is long overdue.” – Senator Daniel Leznoff
Senate did not provide any insights into how the new cut-off was decided on.
University and senate membership
President Andrew Petter announced that the fall session welcomed 5,125 new undergraduate students and 1,500 graduate students into the university this year, from 45 countries.
The senators also discussed the need to recruit more members of the university, both faculty members and students, into Senate.
Clarification on June Senate session issue:
The senators briefly reflected on an issue from the June senate session pertaining to SFU’s biomedical physiology and kinesiology (BPK) course BPK 326 Functional Anatomy. The question raised in the June session was if BPK 326, which is offered only to students majoring in the subject due to limited resources, could be offered to non-major students in a less resource-intensive form given its high demand among students. The senate announced in the current session that in lieu of BPK 326, minor and non-major students are offered BPK 325 Basic Human Anatomy, and BPK 326 would continue to be restricted to only majors.
2018 financial report
The Senators reviewed the 2018 financial report at the meeting. According to the report, the university’s revenue has grown by 5.2% to reach $724 million from $689 million of 2017. The report also stated that SFU’s expenses grew by 3%, which were fully covered by the institution’s revenue.