Academic Approval Council (AAC) Terms of Reference

AC-TOR-029
Department Academic
Approval Date June 15, 2016
Effective Date September 6, 2016

I. MANDATE

The members of the Academic Approval Council have the mandate to support the Integrated Academic Strategy and its Strategic Intent.

II. PURPOSE

The purpose of the Academic Approval Council (AAC) is to advance the intent of the Board of Governors policies as referred to below and to contribute to the rigor, feasibility and viability of Academic programming and related policies.  Reporting to the Academic Leadership Team (ALT) through the Executive Vice President, Education, the Academic Approval Council’s mandate is to review and to recommend the approval of:

  1. curriculum quality assurance reports
  2. model routes
  3. program initiation, closure or suspension
  4. policies supporting the academic area

Board of Governor’s Policies:

II-40 Student Relations

II-70 Academic Program Development

II-75 Academic Program Elimination

II-80 Review of Academic Programs

The procedures and processes for curriculum quality assurance reports, model routes, program initiation, suspension or closure, and academic policies (Appendix II) describe the rationale and criteria for approval.

This committee contributes to “Best Experience, Best Education” by:

  • Providing a quality framework to approve new curriculum/ programs
  • Reviewing and maintaining evidence of continuous curriculum quality improvement
  • Examining and incorporating best practices
  • Monitoring curriculum models for integration and developmental progression
  • Reviewing alignment of policies supporting the academic area
  • Ensuring programs are relevant to market demand

III. MEMBERSHIP

Voting members:

  • Senior Director, Academic Planning & Operations – voting member, only in the event of a tie
  • Four (4) Faculty – cross program representation

Non-voting members:

  • Curriculum/Faculty Development Specialist
  • Administrative Assistant (CLI/AER/PMO)– ex-officio

Term of Members:

Faculty shall serve for two years. A call for vacant faculty positions on the committee shall be placed in December by the AAC Chair, with final membership confirmed in June. Voting responsibilities shall begin in September. All remaining members are permanently appointed through their job responsibilities.

Permanent members:

  • Senior Director, Academic Planning & Operations
  • Administrative Assistant (CLI/AER/PMO)
  • Curriculum/Faculty Development Specialist

Term members:

  • Faculty – two year term (renewable)

IV. ROLES & RESPONSIBILITIES

Members bring time, talent, special skills and perspectives to AAC.   In agreeing to assume this important role, a member is expected to:

  • Prepare in advance for meetings by pre-reading material to be discussed.
  • Actively participate, advise, make and vote on decisions or recommendations concerning academic curriculum, policies, and model routes (Exceptions to this agreement are covered in the member responsibilities section) )
  • Review annually the AAC Terms of Reference
  • Be oriented to the AAC review and approval processes

Member responsibilities:

AAC Chair (Senior Director, Academic Planning & Operations)

  • Calls scheduled and special meetings, and
  • Sets the meeting agenda
  • Chairs all AAC meetings
  • Mentors the Vice Chair
  • Signs off on all recommendations of AAC committee
  • Works closely with Administrative Assistant to ensure closure of all recommendations
  • Votes only in the event of a tie

AAC Vice-Chair (faculty member)

  • Performs function of acting Chair in the AAC Chair’s absence
  • Participates in mentorship with Chair
  • Voting member

Secretary (Administrative Assistant)

  • Administrative Assistant (CLI/AER/PMO)
  • Sets meeting schedule with the AAC Chair and distributes bi-annually
  • Sets and posts presentation submission deadlines in consultation with the AAC Chair
  • Books the room location and time for the AAC meetings
  • Confirms – in consultation with the AAC Chair – that all required steps, consultations and documentation are properly submitted by the presenter, or requests further steps be taken to meet the presentation criteria
  • Sets agendas with the AAC Chair
  • Organizes presentation times of courses, programs, model routes and/or policies for AAC review with appropriate Faculty and Academic Chairs
  • Records meeting minutes, circulates minutes to the members and posts approved minutes on the internal shared drive (Y:\AAC\Minutes)
  • Ensures that the recommendations moving forward are captured within the meeting minutes and proper parties are invited to present actions on those recommendations at subsequent AAC meetings if necessary
  • Coordinates the flow of material for review through the various stages leading up to and following the AAC meetings
  • Works closely with the Director, Academic Planning &, Operation and Executive Assistant to the Executive Vice President, Education to ensure that all official records are current in the office of the Executive Vice President, Education
  • Tracks membership terms and puts out call for membership renewal or replacement
  • Non-voting ex-officio member

V. DECISION MAKING PROCESS/VOTING

Quorum/voting

50% + 1

Please note that to ensure a rich review and consideration by all critical perspectives in this process, it is essential to have a broad range of members participate in each meeting. Members who cannot attend a scheduled meeting shall submit their feedback on the meeting documents electronically to the AAC Secretary prior to the scheduled meeting. No proxy votes shall be accepted. The AAC Chair will vote in the event of a tie.

VI. MEETING FREQUENCY

Other, please describe:

Meetings will be scheduled, at a minimum, four times per calendar year. The dates for the meetings will be posted by the end of August of each year. Additional meetings may be called by the AAC Chair – if necessary –and will be held electronically.   Meetings will be limited to two hours in length.

VII. ACCESS TO MEETINGS

Partially open, e.g. dependent upon topic

Meetings are open to the Michener Community except where program initiation, suspension, and closure are items on the agenda. Minutes of the open meetings are available on the internal shared directory (Y:\AAC\Minutes)

 

VIII. AGENDAS, MINUTES AND RECORDS

 

Agendas are set by the AAC Chair. The agendas are based on items submitted for approval/ recommendation by the deadline posted by the AAC secretary. Submission deadlines are generally posted in conjunction with the meeting schedule. The agendas shall include a Centre for Learning and Innovation ”Curriculum Quality Assurance Report”* on newly developed courses or those having completed major and minor changes.   The agendas shall also include, when submitted, presentations or proposals for model routes, program initiation, closure or suspension, and policies impacting the academic area.

 

Meetings may be held electronically or in person. An appropriate time will be set by the Secretary to discuss and provide comments and recommendations on each item submitted for review. The Secretary shall document all proceedings and submit them to the AAC Chair for review, before circulating to the rest of the members and posting on the intranet. Official decisions and/or recommendations shall be kept in the office of the Executive Vice President, Education.

 

*Please refer to Appendix II for more details on the Quality Assurance Report

IX. DESIRED OUTCOMES

 

The major desired outcome is to ensure a broad and informed consultative process to validate the quality and integrity of academic curriculum, programs, and policies and processes. Following each meeting, the presenter shall either revise the presented materials by incorporating AAC recommendations and/or share the approved materials with the Michener community (via posting on Y:/ and/or intranet) or via Communications weekly news or via Communication Plan on Program Closures/ Suspensions as is appropriately determined.

X. PROCESS

 

  • By the end August each year, the AAC Secretary will post the AAC meeting and submission deadline dates on Y:\AAC
  • The AAC Secretary will book the meetings for AAC members, organize presentation times (using historical data to determine each presentation’s time allotment). The schedule, presentations for discussion, and AAC terms of reference will be shared with AAC members at minimum one week in advance of the meeting date
  • Each AAC member is responsible for reviewing these documents prior to the scheduled AAC meetings
  • At the start of the AAC meeting, the AAC Chair will introduce AAC members, all presenters, and guests. The process for approval and/or recommendation and assigned presentation timelines will be reviewed with everyone present.
  • Each presenter seeking document approval/ recommendation from AAC shall:
    1. Provide an overview of the standing report, proposed new course, program, policy, or model route using the “AAC Request for Approval/Recommendation Form”. (Appendix I)
    2. Keep the presentation to a maximum of 10 minutes
    3. Allow for a 10 minute discussion and question period arising from the presentation to be fielded
    4. AAC decisions – with or without recommendations – are determined by the voting members of the AAC based on the presentation, supporting documents and discussion. Proceedings, discussion, decisions and/or recommendations shall be documented by the Secretary during the meeting. Decisions – with or without recommendations – include approval, conditional approval, or need to resubmit for approval at a later date (Appendix I) and shall be documented on the “AAC Request for Approval/Recommendation Form” and signed by the AAC Chair.
  • Once final approval is provided the signed “AAC Request for Approval/Recommendation Form” is forwarded to the office of the Executive Vice President, Education and copied to the appropriate areas as indicated on the Form.

Appendices

1.      AAC Request for Approval/Recommendation Form

2.      Procedures and Processes for Curriculum Quality Assurance Reports, Model Routes, Program Initiation, Suspension, or Closure, and Academic Policies

ASSOCIATED DOCUMENTS

 Revision History

Date Reviewer Change(s) made
October 2008

Pinar Peacock

Sheila Shaver

Document revised
April 2010

Pinar Peacock

Sydney Redpath

Gail Rodrigues

Ann Russell

Document revised
February 2011 Sydney Redpath Document revised and approved through AAC
July 2011 Sydney Redpath Minor changes to reflect title changes
May 2014 Academic Approval Council AAC Clarification of unofficial and official grades
June 15, 2016 Sydney Redpath Update visual identity (logo) and titles as per current organizational structure on all policies and procedure