The David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science in the Faculty of Mathematics at the University of Waterloo is constituted to:
- Conduct computer science research of worldwide impact and recognition;
- Teach computer science of the highest quality to undergraduate students, graduate students, and others;
- Train computer scientists who are in worldwide demand.
This document sets forth collegial governance practices of the David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science (the “School”). Where there are conflicts with policies of the University of Waterloo (the “University”), the University policies take precedence.
1. Computer Science Council
Administrative matters that require collegial governance approval of the School shall be brought before the Computer Science Council (“Council”), which shall include the following voting members:
- All faculty members holding regular (as defined by Policy 76) full-time or fractional appointments in the School whose current contract is of at least two years duration;
- The Administrative Officer, Undergraduate Studies Manager, and one of the Computer Science Computing Facility Technical Managers, chosen by the Director of Infrastructure, subject to approval of the School Director;
- One post-doctoral fellow in Computer Science chosen by the post-doctoral fellows supervised by Computer Science faculty members, subject to approval of the School Director;
- Two full-time graduate students in Computer Science chosen by the full-time graduate students in Computer Science through a procedure authorized by the Director of Graduate Studies, subject to approval of the School Director; and
- Two full-time undergraduate students in Computer Science chosen by the full-time undergraduate students in Computer Science through a procedure authorized by the Director of Undergraduate Studies, subject to approval of the School Director.
Additionally, one or more faculty members with non-regular appointments in the School may be appointed as voting members of Council at the discretion of the School Director.
Development and management of policies and procedures and the execution of operational decisions are delegated to appropriate standing committees; the role of Council is primarily one of oversight and information dispersal. Under University Policy 40, the School Director has executive authority within the School, and Council is, in the absence of university policy to the contrary, advisory to the Director. Where appropriate, decisions made by Council progress for further discussion and decision making to appropriate bodies of the Faculty of Mathematics (the “Faculty”) or the University Senate or its committees and councils.
Council meetings shall normally be held monthly. The chair of Council shall solicit agenda items from all School faculty and staff. The agenda for each meeting shall be announced in advance of the meeting. The Assistant to the School Director shall serve as Council secretary. If there are insufficient agenda items, the chair of Council may cancel the meeting. Special meetings may be called by the chair if a motion requires an immediate vote between regularly-scheduled meetings; if a time cannot be arranged for a special meeting, the chair of Council may call for a vote by email.
No decisions may be made at a meeting of Council without a quorum, which shall be one third (1/3) of all voting members not on leave; members on leave do not count toward quorum. A voting member who wishes to be represented by proxy must give the Council secretary, at least one day in advance of the meeting, a written statement designating the person who is to act as proxy. At a given meeting, an individual may act as proxy for at most one other Council member. Members represented by proxy do not contribute to the number required for a quorum.
In addition to all voting members, the following non-voting individuals may attend non-confidential parts of meetings of Council, and may speak to existing agenda items, or propose agenda items, with the approval of the chair:
- All faculty members holding other appointments in the School, including cross or adjunct appointments;
- Post-doctoral fellows with appointments in the School;
- All staff members holding appointments in the School; and
- Other individuals, with the approval of the chair.
2. School officers
Officers of the School shall consist of:
- The Director, who shall provide administrative and executive leadership for the School, as defined in University Policy 40;
- The Vice Director,* who shall assist the Director in carrying out the administrative tasks of the School. The specific division of responsibilities between the Director and Vice Director is left to the two persons who occupy these positions, subject to constraints imposed by University policy;
- The Director of Graduate Studies, who serves as the Graduate Officer, as defined in the University’s Graduate Calendar. This role includes maintenance and development of graduate curriculum, policy, and management of operations. The mandate also includes assisting the School Director with graduate teaching assignments, graduate admissions, graduate advising, and complaint resolution. While some tasks in this role can be delegated, particularly to the Associate Director of Graduate Studies, it is expected that policy, curricular development, and complaint resolution will not be delegated;
- The Associate Director of Graduate Studies, who assists the Director of Graduate Studies in the administrative tasks required for that role. In particular, the Associate Director of Graduate Studies often takes responsibility for admission of new graduate students;
- The Director of Infrastructure, whose portfolio is the instructional and research infrastructure of the School. This mandate includes managing the Computer Science Computing Facility (CSCF) by being the direct manager of the CSCF Technical Managers, development of laboratory facilities, and development of information technology policies and practices for the School. While some tasks in this role can be delegated, it is expected that policy and oversight of the computing facility and its services will not be delegated;
- The Director of Undergraduate Studies, whose portfolio is the undergraduate program, spanning development of curriculum and policy and management of operations. This role includes assisting the School Director with undergraduate teaching assignments, managing the Instructional Support Group by serving as the direct manager of the Undergraduate Studies Manager, and undergraduate advising. While some tasks in this role can be delegated, particularly to the Associate Director of Undergraduate Studies, it is expected that policy and curricular development will not be delegated;
- The Associate Director of Undergraduate Studies, who assists the Director of Undergraduate Studies in the administrative tasks required for that role. In particular, the Associate Director of Undergraduate Studies often takes responsibility for the assignment of teaching and hiring of sessional instructors;
- The Director of Women in Computer Science, who provides leadership and direction for efforts to increase gender diversity in the School. This role includes outreach educational events, technical workshops, female-friendly learning environments and labs, community-building, and networking and mentoring activities for CS students who identify as female. This role also includes providing guidance on avoiding conscious and unconscious bias against women in School policies, procedures, and activities; and
- The Chair of Computer Science Council, who ensures appropriate debate in Council meetings and maintains proper collegial governance standards.
The process of appointment and renewal of the School Director is defined in University Policy 40. All other officers of the School shall usually be regular faculty members (as defined by University Policy 76) appointed by the Director; the Associate Directors of Undergraduate Studies and of Graduate Studies are typically appointed with consultation from the Directors of Undergraduate Studies and of Graduate Studies, respectively. The term of office for all of these positions is usually two years, with the possibility of renewal. For all officer positions except the Chair of Council, there is usually a stipend and some teaching reduction accompanying the position. An interim or acting officer can be appointed by the School Director when the office holder goes on leave or leaves the position before completing the term.
The Director, Vice Director, and Directors of Graduate Studies, Infrastructure, Undergraduate Studies, and Women in Computer Science shall serve as the School Executive Committee, which will typically meet weekly and advise the Director.
* On other pages of the School of Computer Science’s website, the term Associate Director is used in place of Vice Director. This change is in name only — i.e., the duties and responsibilities of the position are identical.
3. Standing Committees
The School shall have a variety of standing committees. The following will serve as a template:
- In general, each committee should be composed of faculty members chosen from all ranks, as well as graduate and undergraduate student representatives where appropriate. Staff membership on a committee is dependent on the responsibilities of the staff member vis-à-vis the mandate of the committee; staff members appointed because of their position’s responsibility to a committee’s mandate are voting members of committees. There will typically be a staff member assigned as support staff for each committee by an appropriate staff manager. Each faculty member of a standing committee will typically serve a 1-year term beginning in July.
- Committee membership shall be proposed by the Director, in consultation with committee chairs. Faculty and staff membership of each standing committee shall be subject to approval by Council, normally each June. Graduate student and undergraduate student committee members shall be selected by the graduate and undergraduate members of the Computer Science Council, subject to approval by the committee chairs and the School Director. The Tenure and Promotion Committee must be identified earlier in the year than the other School Committees, because of requirements set forth in University Policy 77.
- Some School officer positions include ex officio membership on standing committees, and some committees are chaired by School officers ex officio. Such ex officio members have full membership rights and responsibilities, including being voting members and counting toward a committee’s quorum.
- The mandate of each committee shall include the solicitation of opinions and advice from the faculty, staff, or students of the School as appropriate. Committees shall make timely reports about their work to Council (with the exception of the Tenure and Promotion Committee, which is confidential).
- Unless explicitly decided by Council or University policy to the contrary, committee meetings shall be advertised and open to all faculty members of Council. Only committee members shall be eligible to vote. For all open meetings, agenda, minutes, and related public documents shall be made readily available to all Council members in a timely fashion.
- The chair of each committee is a voting member of that committee.
- Quorum for a standing committee shall be a majority of voting members who are not on leave; proxies are not allowed for quorum or decision making. Committee members on leave do not count toward the number of members needed for quorum to be present.
Standing committees shall include:
- Advisory Committee on Appointments (“SACA”): recruits new faculty members who will hold regular professorial appointments. The procedure followed by this committee is defined by University Policy 76, except that the committee is usually larger than described in Policy 76, includes one full-time graduate student, and its chair is usually not the School Director. Usually, a separate SACA, chaired by the Vice Director, will recruit new faculty members who will hold appointments as Lecturers.
- Graduate Studies: formulates policies regarding graduate courses, programs, and requirements, and approves individual graduate courses. Policies must be ratified at School Council, while programs and course approvals require School Council approval and will usually then be sent to the Faculty Graduate Studies Committee for further discussion. The committee is chaired by the Director of Graduate Studies. In addition to appointed faculty members, the committee includes the Associate Director of Graduate Studies ex officio and one graduate student.
- Tenure and Promotion: considers re-appointment, promotion, and tenure for faculty members, following University Policy 77. This committee is chaired by the School Director, and all of its meetings, minutes and agendas are closed. The process of electing members for this committee are described in Policy 77.
- Undergraduate Academic Plans: maintains and develops the undergraduate curriculum for the School. The committee manages requirements of the various Computer Science plans and programs, and the calendar descriptions of Computer Science courses. This committee is chaired by the Director of Undergraduate Studies. In addition to appointed faculty members, the committee includes the Associate Director of Undergraduate Studies ex officio, one graduate student, one undergraduate student, and one staff member from the School’s Instructional Support Group.
- Women in Computer Science: helps build an environment in the School that supports women in their work and studies, helps ensure that young women entering university see computer science as an option, and connects to outside organizations and events for women in computer science. This committee is chaired by the Director of Women in Computer Science. In addition to appointed faculty members and staff, the committee includes both graduate and undergraduate student representatives.
All School committees include either the School Director or Vice Director ex officio; the School Director shall serve on the SACA hiring professorial faculty and as the chair of the Tenure and Promotion committee.
4. Ad hoc committees
The School Director may establish an ad hoc committee at any time by specifying its mandate, its membership, whether it will report to the Director or to Council, whether its meetings are open and advertised or closed, and its termination date or conditions. When forming such a committee, the Director must appoint a chair. The Director or the chair of the committee shall report its formation at the next meeting of Council, and the chair shall report on the committee's progress at least once during each term of its existence to Council.
Similarly, committee chairs, in particular the Directors of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies, may establish ad hoc committees within the scope of their committees, under similar conditions, to report either to the committee or to its chair.
5. Membership on Faculty-level committees
The School is allowed to appoint faculty members to Faculty-level committees defined by the Faculty Constitution. Typically, these include:
- Administrative Committee: Director or Vice Director
- Computing Advisory: Director of Infrastructure, named by the Faculty Constitution as an ex officio member
- Graduate Studies: Director and Associate Director of Graduate Studies
- Undergraduate Affairs: Director and Associate Director of Undergraduate Studies
Other appointments of faculty members to Faculty-level committees are typically made by the School Director and approved at the June meeting of Council.
By-laws enabling the operation of this Constitution can be approved by a two-thirds majority of votes cast at a duly constituted meeting of Council at which quorum is present. Notice of a proposed amendment, repeal, or adoption of by-laws must be given at least 28 days prior to the meeting at which those proposals are intended to be considered.
Amendment to this Constitution shall require both of the following steps:
- a majority of votes cast at a duly constituted meeting of Council at which quorum is present, and where notice of the proposed amendment was given;
- a ballot, potentially electronic, of all members of Council, after the Council meeting at which the amendment was approved. The voting period shall have at least seven days’ notice before it begins, and the voting period shall last ten business days. The ballot must carry by at least 60% of all members of Council.
By-law #1: School Committees
In addition to the committees identified in the School Constitution, the School may have a number of standing committees, including, but not limited to, the following:
- Awards Committee: considers candidates for faculty and student awards, and may prepare nomination materials for such awards. In addition to appointed faculty members, this committee includes one graduate student.
- Commons: fosters community spirit in the School. In addition to appointed faculty members, this committee includes one undergraduate student, one graduate student, and some staff members.
- Graduate Recruiting: is responsible for recruiting students to Computer Science graduate programs. In addition to appointed faculty members, the committee includes either the Director or Associate Director of Graduate Studies ex officio and one graduate student.
- Undergraduate Recruiting: is responsible for recruiting students to Computer Science undergraduate programs. In addition to appointed faculty members, the committee includes either the Director or Associate Director of Undergraduate Studies ex officio and one undergraduate student.
By-law #2: Graduate student representatives to Council
The two graduate student representatives to School Council will be chosen by the full-time graduate students in Computer Science through a procedure authorized by the Director of Graduate Studies and the Computer Science Graduate Student Association, subject to approval of the School Director.