The University of Alberta Senate

Current Business


Who We Are

Senate Vision:  The University of Alberta Senate, an independent body of diverse community leaders and University representatives, will be recognized as successfully examining, fostering and celebrating the achievements and excellence of the University of Alberta, resulting in enhanced linkages in the community.

Senate Mission:  'To inquire into any matter that might benefit the University and enhance its position in the community.' - Post-Secondary Learning Act (2003)

Senate Mandate:

Inquire:  Identify and explore issues in post-secondary education of interest to members of the Senate in their dual roles as community representatives and University ambassadors.

Promote:  Advance the reputation of the University of Alberta through advocacy and celebration.

Connect:  Enhance the University's local, provincial, national and international connections by building external relationships using Senate contacts and resources and by building relationships within our University communities.


What We Do

Within the context of the legislated Mission, the Senate acknowledges its mandate to inquire, promote and connect.  The Senate will:

  • Fulfill its legislated responsibilities as an independent, self-governing body within the Post-Secondary Learning Act (2003) through effective governance and efficient conduct of the business of Senate.
  • Engage as a valued partner with the University of Alberta Academy, contributing positively to the University's mandate, mission, vision and strategic priorities.
  • Use its collective wisdom to reflect and advance the communities' interests, acting as an advocate, catalyst and conscience for the University community.
  • Examine and thoughtfully advise on issues related to the University.
  • Use its legislated mandate, influence and resources to advance University of Alberta learning, discovery and citizenship, with a primary focus on connecting, engaging and responding to community stakeholders.
  • Act as a bridge between the University and the community it serves.
  • Provide a forum in which issues and concerns about post-secondary education in Alberta may be considered.
  • Require a report from any part of the University, and receive and consider submissions from any member of the public, when deemed necessary and appropriate.
  • Select individuals for the conferral of Honorary Degrees and celebrate the contributions that outstanding individuals have made to life and learning.
  • Guide the allocation of the Senate administrative and program resources.
  • Seek financial support for projects closely associated with its role.
  • Advise regarding the disbursement of all Senate Endowment funds.
  • Celebrate achievement, recognize excellence and serve as the guardian of traditions at the University of Alberta.


Current Activities and Initiatives

  • Honorary Degrees and Convocation - Click here to see who we are honouring this cycle.
  • Nominations for Honorary Degree Recipients - nominations are welcome year round for the University's highest honour.
  • Emil Skarin Fund - an endowment fund created in March 1976 from a donation from Mrs Ada Skarin in memory of her late husband Emil Richard Skarin.  Projects with an emphasis on the arts and humanities and of interest or value to the public may apply for assistance from the fund every two years.  Applications will be next accepted in 2017. 
  • U School - a program that offers elementary and junior high students from the inner city and other communities with socio-economic challenges a full week on campus to explore life and learning at the University of Alberta
  • Community Conversations with the Chancellor - a series of informal discussions on post-secondary education with leaders in communities across Alberta
  • Senate Committees and Working Groups - focus on areas such as student recruitment and retention, Aboriginal issues, and University of Alberta contributions to learning, discovery and citizenship.