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					The Senate of
York University

                                     SENATE COMMITTEE ON RESEARCH
                                               Report to Senate
                                        At its meeting of 22 May 2008

                                                      FOR ACTION

1.       Revisions to the Centre for Public Law and Public Policy

The Senate Committee on Research recommends:

         "that Senate approve the following amendments to the charter of the existing Centre for Public
         Law and Public Policy at Osgoode Hall Law School to take effect as of 1 July 2008:

                 A change in name from the Centre for Public Law and Public Policy to the York Centre for
                  Public Policy and Law;
                 A revised mandate to reflect the name change, as set out in Appendix A; and
                 A change in the administrative framework such that the Centre will be jointly housed by
                  Arts, Atkinson and Osgoode with alternating responsibility for the unit between the Faculty
                  of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies and Osgoode as of July 1, 2009

         And that the amended charter be renewed for one year (2008-09) with a definitive determination
         of the Centre’s status in 2009-2010.”

Rationale
In December 2006 and January 2007, the Senate Committee on Research considered the interim review
of the Centre for Public Law and Public Policy (PLPP). The Senate Policy on the Chartering and Review
of Research Centres/Institutes1 established that the purpose of an interim review was to assess a
Centre’s success in responding to the previous full review. The last six-year review in 2002 identified
several challenges facing the Centre, and the interim review in 2006 revealed that very little changed
with regard to many fundamental aspects of the Centre’s mission and make-up. After careful
consideration and a discussion with the Director of the Centre, Professor Bruce Ryder, the Committee
judged that withdrawing the Centre’s charter was warranted. Foremost among the ongoing concerns
were the lack of both an engaged membership and a coherent long-term research plan, continued
ambiguity about the precise role of the Centre, episodic research funding and the lack of graduate
student involvement in the unit. The Academic Policy and Planning Committee provided its concurrence
with SCOR’s recommendation.

The Centre invoked the option to have the recommendation reconsidered. Consistent with the Senate
Policy, the Vice-President Research & Innovation convened a Reassessment Panel to conduct the
review.

In January 2008 the Reassessment Panel issued its decision. It concluded that SCOR conducted the
interim review in accordance with the procedures set out in the Senate Policy on the Chartering and
Review of Research Centres/Institutes. However, in support of its request for reassessment of the
recommendation to withdraw the charter, the Centre Director and the Dean, Osgoode Hall Law School
advised the Panel that the Centre and the Law School were actively engaged with proponents in the
School of Public Policy and Administration to partner in a proposal to revise the mandate, status and
name of the existing Centre, which they believe will concretely address the concerns about the stability of
the existing Centre as identified in last full and the current interim reviews. The Reassessment Panel

1
  This policy has been superseded by the Senate Policy, Guidelines and Procedures for the Chartering and Review of Research
Centres/Institutes at York University; however the prior version of the policy was employed in this interim review as the review
stemmed from the 2005-06 year when that policy was still in effect.
concluded that the proposal merits review by SCOR and that the Director of the PLPP and the
proponents from the School of Public Policy and Administration (spearheaded by Professor Ian Greene)
be given the opportunity to have the proposal to re-vision the PLPP considered by SCOR.

SCOR considered the proposal on May 14 as required by the Reassessment Panel; Professors Ian
Greene, Bruce Ryder and Lesley Jacobs (the intended Director) joined the meeting. The Committee sees
the potential for a rejuvenated Centre to emerge on the basis of the proposed changes to the mandate,
the new structural arrangement of alternating Faculty responsibility and the expanded membership. In
particular it found the following aspects persuasive:

        The Centre has found enthusiastic partners in Arts and Atkinson Faculties who are providing
         resources and space.
        Membership has expanded considerably and includes a strong cohort of senior and junior faculty
         across the University who are interested in joining the Centre
        The advice from APPC in 2002, reiterated by SCOR in 2007, has been heeded such that a re-
         visioning of the mandate and direction of the Centre has been designed.
        New leadership has been secured.

What remains necessary is a tangible research plan that sets out immediate priorities, concrete research
projects and grants based at the Centre in order for the criteria of “fostering a vibrant and ongoing
program of collaborative research”2 to be met. Until the Committee is confident that the potential
exhibited is coming to fruition, it is not prepared to recommend a full renewal of the Centre. Balancing
the promise shown with the need for definitive research plans and initiatives, the Committee
recommends that the Centre be given one year to concretize its research plan and activities. At the
conclusion of the 2008-09 year, a review of the Centre’s progress towards the establishment and
implementation of a research plan will be conducted by SCOR and a determination made about the
Centre’s status. The Committee has communicated to the proponents the explicit renewal criteria for the
review in 2009.

Documentation (attached as Appendix A)
Proposal to revise the name and mandate of the Centre
Decanal letters of support
VPRI letter of support

Approved by SCOR 14 May 2008
Concurrence of APPC 15 May 2008

2.       Chartering of the Muscle Health Research Centre

The Senate Committee on Research recommends:

         “that Senate approve the chartering of the Muscle Health Research Centre as a Faculty-based
         organized research unit in the Faculty of Health for a period of six years (2008-2014) with a full
         review to take place during the academic session 2013-2014.

Rationale
A strong cohort of faculty in the biomedical sciences has identified a need and opportunity to formally
organize as a research centre to facilitate the integrated study of muscle biology. Muscle health has been
identified as a key research area that needs to be investigated to understand its link to the increasingly
common chronic health conditions, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. With the growing
complement of faculty in the School of Kinesiology and Health Sciences (in the Faculty of Health) and
the Department of Biology (in the Faculty of Science & Engineering) with research programs in muscle
health, York is very well positioned for such a research centre. Letters of support from peers at the
Universities of Manitoba, Guelph and McMaster University confirm as such and regard the establishment
of the Centre at York as timely and opportune.

2
 Senate Policy, Guidelines and Procedures for the Chartering and Review of Research Centres/Institutes at York
University.
From an internal perspective the proposed Centre would provide several advantages to the researchers
and the University:

        Facilitates a strong platform for team collaborative grants often necessary for the funding
         programs under the Canadian Institute for Health Research (CIHR) umbrella
        Fills the need for such a research facility/network in North America
        Increases the international visibility of the University as a major centre for biomedical health
         science research
        Contributes to the UAP goals of intensifying the research culture, enhancing the student
         experience, building the focus in health research and education, and improving the University’s
         reputations

The Senate Committee on Research is satisfied that the proposed Centre meets the conditions for
chartering as set out in the Senate Policy, Guidelines and Procedures for the Chartering and Review of
Research Centres/Institutes at York University. The attached proposal confirms a robust membership of
engaged scholars and graduate students, a sound research plan, financial viability, support from two
Faculties, and complementarity to the University Academic Plan.

The proposal also sets out the specific plans for the necessary administrative structure, including the
governance framework, conflict resolution and consistency with financial and human resources
University practices. The required biosafety approval for the participation of human participants in the
Clinical Evaluation Unit has been received. Professor David Hood, the proponent of the proposal (and a
Canada Research Chair) has committed to be the inaugural Director of the Centre for a period of three
years.

Dean Harvey Skinner has confirmed the funding commitment and support from the Faculty of Health,
and Dean Nick Cercone has confirmed funding and space allotment for the Centre from the Faculty of
Science & Engineering.

The Senate Committee on Research enthusiastically recommends the establishment of the Muscle
Health Research Centre.

Documentation (attached as Appendix B)
Charter Proposal
Decanal letters of support
VPRI letter of support
External letters of support

SCOR approval 14 May 2008
APPC concurrence 15 May 2008


3.       Chartering of the York Centre for Education and Community

The Senate Committee on Research recommends:

         “that Senate approve the chartering of the York Centre for Education and Community as a
         Faculty-based organized research unit in the Faculty of Education for a period of six years (2008-
         2014) with a full review to take place during the academic session 2013-2014.

Rationale
The proposal contains a detailed rationale for the establishment of this Centre (pages 3-4). In sum, the
strengths of the proposed Centre include:
      Building on the Faculty’s and the University’s strength in the area of education and community
       and enhancing the University’s reputation locally, nationally and internationally;
      Providing the infrastructure and capacity necessary to actively respond to research initiatives,
       proposals and external funding opportunities;
      Providing opportunities for graduate students to participate in collaborative, interdisciplinary
       research projects within the community; and
      Advancing the UAP goals of intensifying the research culture, enhancing the student experience,
       the expansion of community education initiatives and highlighting and maintaining York’s
       distinctiveness

The Senate Committee on Research is satisfied that the proposed Centre meets the conditions for
chartering as set out in the Senate Policy, Guidelines and Procedures for the Chartering and Review of
Research Centres/Institutes at York University. There is a critical mass of active and well-funded
scholars engaged in collaborative research programs. The Six-Year Plan confirms that several prominent
emerging research projects will be connected with the Centre in the first three years, including an
exciting project with the Toronto District School Board. As such the unit will offer a rich environment for
graduate student learning and research training.

The budget confirms sources of funding for the administrative operation of the unit and significant
research funding through existing grants and additional applications in submission. The Dean has
confirmed space for the Centre on the Keele campus in close proximity to other ORUs, and seed funding
for the initial three years. As with all Faculty-based ORUs, the Faculty is committed to provide the
Director’s course release and stipend on an ongoing basis.

The proposal also sets out the specific plans for the necessary administrative structure, including the
governance framework, conflict resolution and consistency with financial and human resources
University practices. Professor Carl James has committed to be the inaugural Director of the Centre for a
period of three years.

The Senate Committee on Research enthusiastically recommends the establishment of the York Centre
for Education and Community.

Documentation (attached as Appendix C)
Charter Proposal
Decanal letter of support


SCOR approval 14 May 2008
APPC concurrence 15 May 2008
                                         FOR INFORMATION

1.     Internal Research Fund Guidelines
In the autumn of 2007 the Senate Committee on Research approved a change to the Ad Hoc Research
Fund Guidelines such that its travel funds would be dedicated to support faculty conference travel within
“Canada, the US and the US possessions”. The Committee approved the change with the knowledge
that the SSHRC Grant in Aid of Travel Fund would continue to support travel to international
conferences. Nonetheless, the change triggered some apprehension:
     that travel to the US and its possessions was being privileged over travel to international
        conferences; and
     that cost as a rationale for the change does not recognize that travel to some areas of the US and
        Canada is more expensive than travel to some international destinations.

The questions prompted the Committee to re-examine the terms of both Funds. As a result, and after
consultation with the Chairs of the Ad Hoc Fund and the SSHRC Small Grants and Travel sub-
committees, further revisions to the terms of the Funds were made to remedy the concerns.

Changes Made
The SSHRC Grant in Aid of Travel Fund previously provided travel support for faculty presenting a
paper or making a substantial contribution to an international Learned conference abroad. It will now be
a source of funding for eligible faculty to travel to national and international conference destinations.
There will continue to be four competitions annually, and the deadlines will remain as the first of
February, May, August and November.

The Ad Hoc Fund had been dedicated to providing travel assistance for faculty participating in
conferences in Canada and the contiguous US when other sources of money did not cover the full cost.
It will now also be a source of funding for travel to national and international conference destinations,
particularly for NSERC and CIHR eligible faculty who are not eligible for support from the SSHRC Fund.
It will also continue to hold four competitions annually, offsetting the SSHRC competition periods, with
deadlines of the 15th of June, September, December and March.

The effective date of these changes will be August 1, 2008 to coincide with the SSHRC Fund’s August
competition. The revisions are seen to fairly address the concerns about the distribution of central travel
funds. A copy of the revised Guidelines for each Fund is attached as Appendix D.

Communication of the New Terms
Plans are afoot with the Office of Research Services to broadly communicate the new terms of the two
Funds to the research community and the corollary changes to the application processes, and to develop
a clear and comprehensive resource page on the ORS website for applicants. The SCOR website will
include a direct link to the ORS site as well.

2.      SCOR-APPC Integrated Research Planning Workshop
SCOR reported to Senate in November 2007 that, given the primacy of research in the UAP, one of the
Committee’s priorities for the year was to facilitate research planning within the next iteration of the
Faculty Five-Year Academic Plans. In December the Committee and the Vice-President Research &
Innovation organized a pre-planning exercise with the Associate Deans Research at which information
was shared and a discussion held about pertinent research issues, challenges and strategies, and the
current context in which academic planning must take place.

Following up on that preliminary exercise, SCOR, APPC and the Vice-President Research & Innovation
are providing a workshop on integrated research planning to engage the Associate Deans Research and
unit Chairs in discussion about the centrality of research in the academic planning process and to equip
them to work with their faculty members and Deans to ensure that the 2009-2014 Faculty and
department Plans incorporate research as a/the core planning objective and priority. The workshop is a
half-day event being held on Monday, May 26. A copy of the program is attached as Appendix E for
information.
                                                                                       Roxanne Mykitiuk,
                                                                                                   Chair
                                                                                           APPENDIX A

 Centre for Public Law and Public Policy                York Centre for Public Policy and Law
                 Mandate                                              Mandate
                     (Existing)                                           (Proposed)

The Centre for Public Law and Public Policy           To facilitate interdisciplinary and collaborative
researches the role and impact of law in the          research on a wide range of matters related to
formation and expression of public policy. The        public policy and law, and to link this research to
Centre focuses on constitutional, institutional and   government agencies, NGOs, citizen advocacy
legal aspects of the public policy, as well as the    groups, and nonprofits in Canada and
international and transnational dimensions of law     internationally that could benefit from the practical
and public policy.                                    applications of that research. The Centre will
                                                      emphasize the development of innovative
                                                      solutions to serious problems facing public policy,
                                                      public administration, public law, and other policy
                                                      and law issues, recognizing that effective
                                                      advances often include an integrated approach to
                                                      law, policy and administration.

				
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