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Senate’s Role in University Governance

According to the University Charter, Mount Saint Vincent University is governed by a bi-cameral structure consisting of the Board of Governors and the Senate. The Board of Governors is charged with the fiduciary responsibility for governance, conduct, management and control of the University’s assets, and the Senate is the academic governing body of the Mount and is responsible for the academic policy of the University. It determines, in its own Senate-ByLaws, its composition, members’ terms of office, and internal procedures.

Senate Responsibilities

The Senate is responsible for the academic policy of the University and has statutory authority to regulate academic programs; set courses of study and standards for admission and continued enrolment; establish procedures for the evaluation of student performance; approve recipients of certificates, diplomas and degrees (including Honorary degrees); provide for the convening and conduct of convocations; determine fellowships, scholarships, bursaries, medals, prizes and other awards; be responsible for library policy; determine the academic qualifications for appointment and promotion of faculty; determine (subject to ratification by the University’s Board of Governors) the academic terms on which any faculty, school, institute, department, chair or course of instruction may be established or discontinued and on which any agreement for academic co-operation may be made with individuals or groups outside the University; regulate the conduct, activities and discipline of students, appoint committees (including executive) and delegate any powers it deems advisable, and exercise other functions, powers and duties conferred on it or assigned to it by the Board.

Senate Secretary

The Secretary of Senate is a non-voting member elected by Senate for a three-year term. The Secretary of Senate is normally the first person to contact with questions or issues about Senate or its work. For additional information concerning The Senate of Mount Saint Vincent University, contact Senate Secretary Professor Paula Crouse (

The President of the University serves as the Chair of Senate, and while the Senate is composed of ex-officio members, student representatives, and faculty, including librarians and full-time laboratory instructors, the faculty group forms the majority of its membership.

Ex Officio Members
President, Dr. Joël Dickinson, Chair
Vice-President Academic and Provost, Dr. Lori Francis
Vice-President Administration, Isabelle Nault
Dean of Arts & Science, Dr. Carrie Dawson
Dean of Professional Studies, Dr. Susan Trenholm
Dean of Education, Dr. Antony Card
Interim University Librarian, Denyse Rodrigues
Registrar, Stephanie Hale
Director of Teaching and Learning, Dr. Scott MacMillan
Associate Vice-President Research, Dr. Jacqueline Gahagan
Associate Vice-President Student Experience, Dr. Keltie Jones 
Faculty Association President, Dr. Susan Brigham
Mi’kmaq Member, L’nu Advisory Circle, John R. Sylliboy

Faculty Representatives (20)
Dr. Karen Blotnicky:  July 1, 2022 – June 30, 2025
Prof. Rhonda Bursey:  July 1, 2023 – June 30, 2026
Dr. Gabrielle Durepos:  July 1, 2023 – June 30, 2026
Dr. Michelle Eskritt: March 2, 2023 – June 30, 2026
Dr. Tamara Franz-Odendaal:  July 1, 2021 – June 30, 2024
Lab Instructor Judy Fraser Arsenault:  July 1, 2023 – June 30, 2026
Dr. Roni Gechtman:  January 1, 2023 – June 30, 2025
Dr. Marnina Gonick:  July 1, 2022 – June 30, 2025
Dr. Mary Jane Harkins:  March 2, 2023 – June 30, 2026
Dr. Nargess Kayhani:  July 1, 2023 – June 30, 2026
Dr. Jeffrey MacLeod:  July 1, 2021 – June 30, 2024
Dr. Melissa McGonnell:  July 1, 2022 – December 31, 2023
Dr. Christine McLean: July 1, 2023 – June 30, 2026
Dr. Cornelia Schneider:  July 1, 2022 – June 30, 2025
Dr. Mohammad Siddiquee: January 1, 2024 – June 30, 2026
Dr. Corey Slumkoski:  July 1, 2022 – June 30, 2025
Dr. Gary Sneddon: July 1, 2023 – June 30, 2026
Dr. Larry Steele:  July 1, 2022 – June 30, 2025
Dr. Amy Thurlow: July 1, 2023 – June 30, 2026
Dr. Juliette Valcke:  July 1, 2021 – June 30, 2024
Dr. Rhoda Zuk:  July 1, 2021 – June 30, 2024

Note: Italics denote terms which do not include the entire academic year.

Student Representatives
President of Students’ Union  – Katerina Allan
Vice President Advocacy –  Carson Cameron
Education Representative  – Vacant
Professional Studies Representative  – Koen Schlief
Vice President Graduate Affairs  –  Suhnandany Goswami
Science Representative  – Grace MacInnis

Secretary of Senate
Prof. Paula Crouse:  July 1, 2021 – June 30, 2024


Revised:  September 13, 2023