Approved by Senate: November 1993.
Approval Authority: Senate
Signature: Malcolm Ransom
1. Authority and Approval Process
1.1 Schools are established by the Board of Governors on the recommendation of Senate.
1.2 Proposals to establish a school are reviewed according to the processes by which new academic initiatives are approved.
1.3 Specifically, proposals must be approved by Senate’s Committee on Curriculum and Academic Standards and the Academic Policy and Planning Committee, and by Senate itself. Related academic initiatives or regulations that require Senate approval should be submitted, in the first instance, to the appropriate Senate committee.
1.4 Proposals for the creation of a school within an existing Faculty or Faculties will normally be considered only if they have been approved by the appropriate Faculty Councils.
1.5 APPC is responsible for presenting recommendations for the establishment of schools to Senate.
2. Characteristics of a School
2.1 The term school can apply to a Faculty, as in the case of the Osgoode Hall Law School, or to a sub-unit of a Faculty or Faculties such as a department or programme.
2.2 Proposals should indicate if the school is equivalent to a Faculty or to a sub-unit of a Faculty and provide specific details about administrative structures and reporting lines.
2.3 If a school is not intended to be equivalent to a Faculty or equivalent to a department or programme, proposals must specify, in detail, the nature of the school.
3. Guidance for Proponents
3.1 Proposals should conform to guidance set out in the appropriate section of the CCAS Curriculum Handbook.
3.2 Proposals should contain detailed information about necessary and required resources.
3.3 Additional information and assistance can be obtained by contacting the University Secretariat.
Schools at York
Among the factors which have featured in the rationales for the title of School are the following:
- history, tradition, or previous independence (for example, Osgoode Hall);
- similar terminology applied to similar units at other universities in Canada or elsewhere;
- differentiation on the basis of professional studies;
- differentiation of the unit in a broader, community setting (for example, proponents of the School of Social Work noted that the term “department” is common in the social work field setting — such as in hospitals or agencies);
- integration of related disciplines or galvanization of interdisciplinary activities;
- consolidation or greater propinquity of units that cross Faculties;
- reinforcement of unique academic activities within the institution;
- perception of an enhanced ability to secure funding or standing with a profession, or to improve fund-raising prospects;
- perception of an enhanced ability to attract research funding;
- hopes of enhancing student recruitment efforts;
- strengthened ties between the unit and degrees, certificates, diplomas.
2. Schools as Faculties, Departments or Programmes
Osgoode Hall Law School is a Faculty, and is headed by a Dean. APPC’s report to Senate on the establishment of the School of Social Work emphasized that the School was meant to enjoy the “status of a department, with all the prerogatives and duties pertaining thereto; and that its administrative affairs would be conducted in the exactly the same way as a department’s.” The same stipulation was made in the legislation passed by Senate for the School of Translation.
In terms of key attributes, the term School appears to capture a sense of a unique ensemble of academic activities within the University (often associated with professional studies); a full range of academic activities encompassing teaching, learning, research, and related support; and nomenclature applying to similar units elsewhere.