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Office of the Vice-President, Legal Affairs

  • Corporate body
  • 2001 -

The Vice-President, Legal Affairs is the senior University official responsible for coordinating the legal matters of the University. This officer is also in charge of policy development and interpretation, education and training relating to policies and procedures, and managing the University's employment equity program.

The office was previously known as the Office of the Associate Vice-President, Policy, Equity, and Legal (2001-2004) and the Office of the Associate Vice-President, Legal Affairs (2004-2006).

Department of Political Science, Sociology and Anthropology

  • Corporate body
  • 1965 - 1974

The Department of Political Science, Sociology and Anthropology (P.S.A.) was established by the Board of Governors in 1965 as one of the original Departments in the Faculty of Arts. It was dissolved on 19 February 1974. The Department was originally conceived as an experiment in interdisciplinary, and it was responsible, through its Chair, for the promotion of research and the development and delivery of programs which combined the fields of Political Science, Sociology and Anthropology. In 1965, P.S.A. consisted of seven faculty members and offered courses leading to a B.A. degree. In 1966, the number of courses and programs greatly expanded, to include both M.A. and Ph.D. programs. In 1969, the Archaeology program was removed and placed as a distinct unit under the administration of the Faculty of Arts. It later became a full department. The history of P.S.A. was marked by a prolonged period of dissension between faculty members, the Department, and the University which included a period of trusteeship and a strike by students and faculty in 1969, the suspension of faculty, and the subsequent censure of the University by the Canadian Association of University Teachers in May 1971. In 1974, P.S.A. was split into two successor departments: Political Science, and Sociology and Anthropology.

The Department was administered by a Chair and a number of standing committees. The Chair was the chief administrative officer, whose responsibilities included the management of the operational budget; faculty tenure, promotion and salary recommendations; teaching assignments; and representation of the Department to external bodies. The Departmental Assistant was responsible for much of the day-to-day administration and the management of the departmental budget, the scheduling of courses, the provision of liaison with administrative offices, and advising students.

The number and composition of departmental committees varied greatly over time. In 1969, there were eleven committees, including Budget; Curriculum; Executive; Faculty/Staff Relations; Graduate Admissions; Graduate Programme; Grievance; Library; Salary; Tenure and Promotions; Teaching Methods and Grades; and Visiting Lecturers. By the next year, there remained only the Executive, Budget, Curriculum, Graduate Studies, and Appointments committees. This structure remained until the dissolution of the Department. Other short-lived committees, such as Majors and Honours, were also formed. P.S.A. also struck ad hoc committees, such as the Chairman's Search Committee, when required.

Department of Chemistry

  • Corporate body
  • 1965 -

The Department of Chemistry at Simon Fraser University was founded in 1965 as a charter department in the Faculty of Science. The Department has been responsible, through its Head, for the promotion of research and the development and delivery of programs in organic, inorganic, physical, theoretical, nuclear chemistry, as well as biochemistry. It became known for its breadth of programs and was unique in Canada for its involvement in the nuclear field, which is commonly found in physics departments.

The Department offered degrees at all levels from the beginning. Honours and majors degrees in Chemistry are awarded at the B.Sc. level and after a separate program in Biochemistry was instituted in 1968, similar honours and majors degrees in Biochemistry were added. In addition, minor programs are offered in all areas. A joint program with the Physics Department in Chemical Physics was initiated early in the history of the Department, and in the early 1980s, a joint Nuclear Science minor program with the Physics Department was started. An undergraduate cooperative education program began in 1982.

Administratively, the Department began with a Head of Chemistry who was appointed without term. In 1968 this was changed to an elected Head which, in turn, was changed to a Chair in 1972. In addition to the elected Departmental Tenure Committee, there were 3 main standing committees charged with the responsibility of ensuring the smooth and effective operation of the Department's business. They were the Undergraduate Studies Committee, the Graduate Studies Committee, and the Appointments Committee, which also acted as a long-range planning committee. These committees were appointed by the Chair and, in the case of the Undergraduate and Graduate Committees, had separate chairs. There were additional minor committees such as the Space Committee and the Safety Committee. Departmental operations were also assisted by Academic Advisors in Chemistry and Biochemistry, and the Graduate Admissions Officer. The Laboratory Coordinator (formerly the Departmental Assistant), helped with many administrative tasks.

The Department has been involved with TRIUMF (Tri-University Meson Facility) since its establishment in 1974, which marked the beginning of a major local research program in the nuclear sciences and associated areas. A long-standing research collaboration with members of the Department of Biological Sciences, called the Chemical Ecology Research Group, was formed in 1981.

During the Department's first year 12 faculty members were appointed. After an initial rapid increase in the next few years, the Department had a relatively stable number of 26 permanent faculty members by 1986.

School of Communication

  • Corporate body
  • 1965 -

The School of Communication has built its curriculum and research around understanding the organization, operation and meaning of the communication messages on which personal, national and global associations are built and sustained.

The School had its origins in 1965 as the Centre for Communications and the Arts, a unit in the Faculty of Education which offered credit courses, non-credit workshops, and public events. In 1970, the Faculty of Education was reorganized. The Arts program separated from the Faculty of Education to become part of the Division of General Studies. It retained the organizational title of Centre for Communications and the Arts although it no longer offered academic courses in communication studies. These courses remained in the Faculty of Education and became part of that faculty's Educational Foundations Centre. In 1972 Communication Studies became a department of the newly created Faculty of Interdisciplinary Studies. In 1977-1978, its name changed to the Department of Communication.

The School concentrated on six areas in the undergraduate program: theory and systems, history of communication, communication processes, communication media, political economy, and communication policy. In 1980, the School played an active role in founding the Canadian Communication Association (CCA). In 1981 a proposal was submitted to the Universities Council of British Columbia to establish a Ph.D. program in Communication. Approval for this program was obtained in 1983, making it the only Communication Department in Canada (west of Ontario) to offer a full set of academic degree programs (Ph.D., M.A., and B.A.) in the communication field. In 1984 the School consolidated its teaching and research areas, focusing on three areas of specialized concentration: communication media, technology and policy.

In 1985 after the dissolution of the Faculty of Interdisciplinary Studies, the School moved into the Faculty of Applied Sciences, in recognition of the fact that communication is a discipline of practical application. In 1994, the School adopted its current name, the School of Communication.

The School continues to be leader in local and international communication research and is involved in a number of projects including the Canadian Centre for Studies in Publishing (founded in 1987), Centre for Policy Research on Science and Technology (established in 1988), The Digest (an on-line journal published by the Centre for Policy Research on Science and Technology), Emergency Preparedness Information Exchange (operated by the Telematics Research lab), and NewsWatch Canada. The School also has a number of lab facilities that supporting research and communication development. These include the Assessment of Technology in Context Design Lab (ATIC-DL) created in 1997, the Emergency Preparedness Information eXchange Lab, the Media Analysis Lab and the Sonic Research Studio (home of the World Soundscape Project established at Simon Fraser University during the late 1960s and early 1970s).

Department of Biological Sciences

  • Corporate body
  • 1965 -

The Department of Biological Sciences was established in 1965 as a department in the Faculty of Science. From its inception, the department offered a broad curriculum leading to B.Sc., M.Sc., and Ph.D. degrees. The overall mission of the Department was to provide instruction in Biology and, by research, to increase the knowledge base in Biological Sciences. This mission encapsulated four broad areas of responsibility: to provide broad-based undergraduate instruction in modern biology; to provide graduate training leading to Master of Pest Management (M.P.M.), M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees; to provide a work environment and facilities for faculty, researchers, and graduate students; and to provide for expansion and development of research and graduate training and to foster the development of intra- and interdepartmental Centres and Institutes designed to promote collaborative research and training. With the opening of the Pestology Centre in 1967, it began its specialization in pest management and the role of nurturing an international centre for excellence in research and teaching in the field.

The Department was administered by the Chair and two standing committees: Departmental Undergraduate Curriculum Committee (DUCC) and the Departmental Graduate Studies Committee (DGSC). The Chair was responsible for the overall administration of the Department, including the operational budget, faculty tenure and salary recommendations, teaching assignments and representation of the Department. The DUCC was responsible for the development, implementation and monitoring of the undergraduate program. The DGSC was responsible for graduate admission recommendations, monitoring the progress of graduate students, and developing criteria and methodology for student evaluation for purposes of scholarships. By 1990, two further committees had been added: the Departmental Tenure Committee and the Committee on Space. The Departmental Assistant and Lab Coordinator were responsible for much of day-to-day administration of the Department. The Departmental Assistant reported to the Chair, who in turn reported to the Dean of Science. The Pestology Centre, renamed the Centre for Pest Management in the 1980s, was headed by a Director, who was responsible for the planning and development of programs within the Centre and the promotion of external relations. The Director was also actively involved in a number of international organizations for biological control and entomological research. The Director reported to the Department Chair.

The Department was involved in or associated with university interdisciplinary research institutes which conducted both research and instruction. These included the Centre for Pest Management and the Institute of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry (IMBB). The IMBB was established in 1987 as an interdisciplinary graduate research institute, and its members held appointments in Biological Sciences and/or Chemistry. The Department was also affiliated with several bodies responsible for research. These research groups included the Behavioural Ecology Research Group (BERG), the Chemical Ecology Research Group (CERG), the Institute of Aquaculture Research (IAR), the Institute of Quaternary Research (IQR), the R.H. Wright Institute for Sensory Science (WISS), and the Western Canadian Universities Marine Biological Society (WCUMBS).

From its inception the department expanded greatly in terms of the size of its faculty and the number of programs offered. In 1965, the department consisted of six faculty, and increased to thirty by 1969 and forty by 1994. A significant addition to its program offerings was the establishment in 1973 of the Master of Pest Management degree program.

The first Director of the Centre for Pest Management was Dr. Bryan P. Beirne, who served until 1980. In 1986, Dr. J.P. Manfred Mackauer became the new Director, and he was succeeded by Dr. Zamir Punja in 1993.

Office of the Dean of Graduate Studies

  • Corporate body
  • 1970 -

When SFU opened in 1965 the Board of Governors and senior academic staff agreed that there were not enough students to form a separate faculty of Graduate Studies. For the first couple of years, each academic department was responsible for the administration of their own graduate students and the development of graduate programs. In 1968 the Senate Committee on Graduate Studies approved the formation of departmental graduate studies committees and the recommendation of a Dean of Graduate Studies. In 1971, the Office of the Dean of Graduate Studies was officially created. Reporting to the Vice-President, Academic, the Dean was given responsibility for graduate studies policy development and graduate student services, including the administration of research and grants for faculty and scholarships for students. In 1994 the Dean's role was combined with that of Vice-President, Research with the graduate studies portfolio reporting to the Vice-President, Academic. In 2000 the Dean of Graduate Studies was made a separate position once again, with the Vice-President, Research taking responsibility for research administration and the Dean of Graduate Studies reporting back again to the Vice-President, Academic and Provost.

The Office of the Dean of Graduate Studies ensures that graduate students throughout the university conform to standards approved by the university Senate. The Dean is assisted by an Associate Dean of Graduate Studies who is responsible for matters that involve individual students and individual graduate programs. The Dean retains primary responsibility for policy matters and external relations. The Dean approves supervisory committees, recommends the awarding of degrees, advises on program development and approves new graduate programs. The Dean also administers and provides information about all graduate awards and liaises with national and provincial granting agencies. The Office of the Dean of Graduate Studies maintains all formal graduate student records from the time of application to the awarding of degrees. The Dean's office also administers Special Arrangement students and Post-doctoral Fellows. The Office of the Dean of Graduate Studies organizes a number of events throughout the year including Graduate Scholarships Day, the TA/TM Day, library workshops for graduate students, SFU Graduate Student Certificate Program in University Teaching and Learning, and the SFU Teaching, Learning, and Research Showcase.

The Dean of Graduate Studies participates in university administration through membership on senate and various senate committees. The Dean serves as Chair of the Senate Graduate Studies Committee, the Executive Committee of the Senate Graduate Studies Committee, the Assessment Committee for New Graduate Programs, the University Ethics Review Committee, the Senate Graduate Awards Adjudication Committee, and the President's Research Grant Committee. The Dean serves as an ex officio member of Senate, the Senate Committee on Academic Planning, and the Senate Policy Committee for Scholarships, Awards and Bursaries. Over the years, the Dean of Graduate Studies has also served on a series of external boards, including the TRIUMF (Tri-University Meson Facility) Board of Management, the Canadian Association for Graduate Studies, and the Western Canadian Deans of Graduate Studies Committee.

Faculty of Interdisciplinary Studies

  • Corporate body
  • 1972 - 1985

The Faculty of Interdisciplinary Studies (FIDS) was established by the Board of Governors 12 December 1972 to succeed the Division of General Studies. The primary function of the faculty was to encourage the development of multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary programs and provide a stable administrative environment within which these could mature. Upon the dissolution of FIDS 1 September 1985, the responsibility for promoting interdisciplinary studies was inherited by the Faculty of Arts, and the FIDS departments and programs were assumed by the Faculties of Arts, Science, and Applied Sciences.

Upon inception of the Faculty, the functions of the previous Dean of General Studies were transferred to the new Dean of Interdisciplinary Studies. As the executive officer of the Faculty and an administrative officer of the University, the Dean of Interdisciplinary Studies was responsible to the Senate for ensuring that the functions of the Faculty were carried out. Specifically, the position was given six major duties: 1) to act as the central budget authority for all departments and programs in the Faculty of Interdisciplinary Studies; 2) to administer all non-departmental programs of the Faculty; 3) to coordinate curriculum development through the faculty undergraduate and graduate curriculum committees and maintain scholastic uniformity; 4) to be responsible for faculty hiring, discipline, tenure and promotion in conjunction with appropriate departments; 5) to facilitate the research undertaken by Faculty members by ensuring facilities, equipment and support, and; 6) to engage in the ongoing assessment of Faculty performance through performance review, contract renewal, tenure and promotion evaluations. The Dean also acted as chair of Faculty meetings and represented the Faculty to external bodies such as Senate and the Board of Governors.

The Faculty consisted administratively of a number of departments and programs. Departmental chairs and program directors reported to the Dean, who in turn reported directly to the Vice-President, Academic. The Dean was solely responsible for overall academic and administrative matters until 1980, when the position of Associate Dean was established. The Associate Dean was made responsible for space allotment, the appointment of sesssional staff, the coordination of curriculum development in graduate and undergraduate programs, advice to the Dean on specific matters, and to take the role of Acting Dean when required.

The original Faculty departments were Fine and Performing Arts, Kinesiology, and Communication Studies, all of which were formerly units within the Faculty of Education. Fine and Performing Arts had been part of the Centre for Communications and the Arts; Kinesiology was an expansion of Physical Development Studies; and Communication Studies was created by the amalgamation of two former units: Behavioral Science Foundations and the Centre for Communications and the Arts. The original Faculty programs were African/Middle Eastern Studies, Canadian Studies, Computing Science, and Latin American Studies.

The Faculty expanded steadily in the number of its departments and programs offered. A program in Criminology was created in 1974, and became a department in the Faculty in 1975. Further program additions included Women's Studies (1976), Natural Resource Management (1979), Management and Systems Science (1980), and Gerontology (1982). When the Faculty was dissolved, it consisted of the Centre for the Arts; Centre for Canadian Studies; the Departments of Communication, Computing Science, Criminology, and Kinesiology; and the following programs: African/Middle Eastern Studies, Gerontology, Latin American Studies, Management and Systems Science, and Women's Studies. Upon dissolution, most of the units became part of the Division of Interdisciplinary Studies in the Faculty of Arts. The exceptions were the Departments of Communication, Computing Science and Kinesiology, which became part of the Faculty of Applied Sciences, and the Management and Systems Science Program, which became part of the Faculty of Science.

School for the Contemporary Arts

  • Corporate body
  • 1965 -

The School for the Contemporary Arts is a department within the university's Faculty of Arts committed to the study, production and promotion of contemporary art. The School offers a graduate Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree, and undergraduate programs in art and culture, dance, film, music, theatre and visual art. Exhibit and performance are integral to the curriculum. The School also includes the Praxis Centre for Screenwriters; located in downtown Vancouver, Praxis is a non-profit organization devoted to the professional development of Canadian screenwriters and filmmakers.

The School's history can be divided into three broad periods: its origins as a Centre within the Faculty of Education in the university's early years (1965-1969); its years as an independent Centre emphasizing public-events programming (1970-1976); and its formation as an academic unit offering credit courses and degree programs (1976-).

In the university's first year of operation (1965), the Faculty of Education was organized into several Centres, including the Communications Centre (renamed the Centre for Communications and the Arts in 1966). The Centre's mandate included instructional programming (credit and non-credit courses in communications, media studies and the fine and performing arts) and public programming (theatre productions, films, art exhibits, lectures and demonstrations). In the fine and performing arts, artists were engaged as faculty and university residents, accessible to students and the university community through performances, exhibits, workshops, seminars and special events.

Over 1969 and 1970 the Faculty of Education reorganized; the Centre transferred out of the Faculty and reported instead first to the Director of General Studies, then to the Director of University Services (1971). The Centre retained its functions of public-events programming and provision of non-credit, non-degree instruction in the arts, while academic credit programming was transferred to the newly formed Department of Communication Studies in the Faculty of Education. During this period, the Centre focussed its energies on organizing the cultural life of the university, with an extensive series of public programs, including a full-scale production of Henry Purcell's 17th-century opera, "Dido and Aeneas" in 1973. The Purcell String Quartet became the SFU's Quartet-in-Residence in 1972, an association that continued until 1982.

In 1976 the Centre was reorganized as the Centre for the Arts, a department within the Faculty of Interdisciplinary Studies. Its mandate was to develop credit programs in the fine and performing arts, while inheriting its predecessor's public-programming functions, including management of both the university Theatre and Art Gallery. In 1984 the Centre sustained a large funding cut, approximately a third of its budget. Its home faculty -- the Faculty of Interdisciplinary Studies -- was disbanded in 1985 and the Centre moved to the Faculty of Arts. Despite these circumstances, the Centre continued to develop its academic programs, and in addition established strong professional development programs with the the annual Summer Institute series of intensive programs (1986-1994) and the Praxis Centre for Screenwriting (1986-).

In 1990 the Centre changed its name to the present form, the School for the Contemporary Arts. In the same year, the School created a graduate Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree.

University Advancement

  • Corporate body
  • 1967 -

The Office of University Advancement is responsible for fund raising initiatives to support the university's teaching, research, and service objectives.

Organized fund raising activities began at SFU in 1966, when the Resources Office was established. This office was responsible for following up pledges to the Three Universities Capital Fund, which had been established in 1963. The Resources Office was also responsible for establishing and developing new, permanent fund raising programs. Originally, the Resources Office reported directly to the University President. In 1971, the office of Vice-President, Development (later renamed Vice-President, University Services) was created, which then took on responsibility for the Resources Office. In 1977, the position of Vice-President, University Services was eliminated, and the Resources Office again reported directly to the President.

In 1982 the Resources Office was renamed Development Office and reported to the newly-created Vice-President, University Development and Extension. In 1988, the Director of Development began reporting to the Vice-President, Harbour Centre. In 2000 the office was renamed University Advancement.

The Office of University Advancement has close ties with the SFU Alumni Association, which was founded by SFU graduates in 1969, and which provides programs and services to assist SFU and its graduates. The Association is a registered nonprofit society governed by an elected board of volunteers. The Alumni Relations Office provides administrative support for all Association activities. It also publishes the Alumni Journal, maintains alumni records, and serves as the main point of contact for alumni on the SFU campus. From 1971 to 1972, this office reported to the Director of Resources. From 1973 to 1975, the office reported directly to the Vice-President, University Services, but still maintained close ties to the Resources Office. From 1977 to 1984, the office was again made a responsibility of the Director of Resources (also referred to as the Director of Development). By 1986, the Alumni Relations Office reported directly to the Vice-President, University Development and Extension, but was still linked to the Development Office. In 1988, the Director of Alumni Relations began reporting to the Vice-President, Harbour Centre.

Office of the President

  • Corporate body
  • 1965 -

The Office of President of Simon Fraser University was formally established with the appointment of the first President, Patrick D. McTaggart-Cowan, at the inaugural meeting of the Board of Governors on 10 October 1963. The President took office on 1 January 1964. The original functions of the President were laid out in the Universities Act (SBC 1963 c. 52, ss. 56-60), which stated that the President was the University's chief executive officer, with the duty to "generally supervise and direct the academic work of the University, teaching and administrative staffs, and the officers and servants." Other duties could be assigned to the President by the Board of Governors. The specific powers granted to the President included the authority "(a) to recommend appointments, promotions, and the removal of members of the teaching and administrative staffs and the officers and servants of the University; (b) to summon meetings of a Faculty whenever he may deem it necessary to do so ... and (c) to authorize lectures and instruction in any Faculty to be given by persons other than the duly appointed members of the teaching staff." Further powers included the ability to suspend any student or member of staff, and to deal summarily with any matter of student discipline. The President was to report to the Board of Governors annually on the progress of the University, acted as the chair of the Senate and the Faculty Council, and assumed the role of chairman of convocation in the absence of the chancellor. The powers and duties of the office have generally remained stable. However, over the years, different administrative bodies have reported to the President.

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