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"Mount Royal University is governed by a bicameral system. The two bodies are the Board of Governors and the General Faculties Council (GFC). Although the Board of Governors is the senior of the two bodies, the two share and balance the decision-making responsibility and authority within the institution. In general terms, the Board of Governors is responsible for business policy decisions and the GFC is responsible for academic policy decisions.
In August 2008, Mount Royal established the General Faculties Council in accordance with the Alternative Academic Council Regulation of the Government of Alberta's Post-secondary Learning Act. The Regulationstipulates that the Academic Council (referred to as the General Faculties Council at Mount Royal) is responsible for decisions affecting academic programs of the University, subject to the authority of the Board of Governors.
The General Faculties Council should be an effective voice of the academic community, approving academic policy and priorities, and offering its advice to other decision-makers on issues touching upon the academic work of the University.
The General Faculties Council has firmly committed itself to collegial governance. The General Faculties Council will delegate some of its decision-making authority to other persons or bodies. For example, the Registrar determines the timetables for examinations and lectures and prepares the Academic Calendar. Other responsibilities could be delegated to standing committees, as appropriate.
The General Faculties Council receives reports and information from its committees and may also agree to receive information items from bodies falling outside its specific jurisdiction, but touching on the work of the academic community. This provides the members of General Faculties Council the opportunity to convey their views to the decision-makers, if desired.
General Faculties Council has a responsibility to ensure that others understand the nature of its decision-making. These are some of the means by which the General Faculties Council might attempt to communicate with a wider audience:
- Elected members are expected to report back to their Faculty Councils on the work of the GFC, and appointed members and observers are expected to report back to their constituents.
- General Faculties Council agendas and minutes are public documents and will be available to readers on this webpage.
Connection between General Faculties Council and the Board of Governors
The Post-secondary Learning Act and the "Alternative Academic Council Regulation" establish the roles of the General Faculties Council and the Board of Governors, but there are overlapping jurisdictions. For example, a new program proposal has its academic elements reviewed and approved by General Faculties Council and its financial components and its relationship to institutional priorities examined by the Board of Governors, but often a single proposal is prepared.
Although Section 6(1) of the "Alternative Academic Council Regulation" sets General Faculties Council's authority after the words "subject to the authority of the Board," the Board of Governors allows General Faculties Council complete discretion with respect to purely academic decisions, and will not interfere with the academic work of the institution. The Board of Governors recognizes that there are overlapping jurisdictions and will attempt to handle them sensitively and with regard for the proper role of General Faculties Council in determining academic matters.
The President is both the Chair of General Faculties Council and a voting member of the Board of Governors. The Post-secondary Learning Act designates the President as the conduit of proposals from General Faculties Council to the Board of Governors; the President is the advocate of General Faculties Council proposals to the Board of Governors.
The Administration serves as the operational link between the two governing bodies. The Recording Secretary of General Faculties Council ensures that items flow from one committee system and governance body to the next. The Vice-Presidents and Officers ensure that the policies approved by General Faculties Council and/or the Board of Governors are implemented and that the College's business and academic programs operate within the policy framework approved by the governing bodies."
Visit the GFC website to see bylaws and constitution of the GFC and its committees
Each Faculty/School has a Faculty Council comprised of:
- all tenured, tenurable and term-certain faculty
- elected Contract faculty representatives from the departments/programs in the Faculty/School
- student representatives appointed by the Students’ Association
- student representatives appointed by the Dean in consultation with the Chairs
- an elected non-academic staff member
The Faculty Councils are chaired by the Dean/Director; the Associate Dean serves as the Vice-Chair, where applicable. The President and the Provost and Vice-President, Academic are ex officio members of all Faculty Councils.
A Faculty Council is responsible for the affairs of the Faculty/School. It approves and/or recommends submissions of courses and programs, assessments and outcomes, program admission requirements, and academic standing.
Faculty Councils normally meet at least four times per academic year. Meetings are open to non-members from within the Mount Royal community. Agendas are distributed to members of Deans’ Council.
For more information on particular Faculty Councils and their meeting schedules, please contact the appropriate Dean’s office.