The governance and administration of graduate studies involve a number of Councils and Committees that operate at the University and Faculty levels. An overview of these bodies is provided here with links to web pages that contain more complete information.
The Board of Governors
The University of Waterloo has a Board of Governors, the responsibilities of which are outlined in the Waterloo Act. Information on the Board’s membership, its meeting dates, agendas and minutes can be found on the Secretariat’s Board of Governor’s website. Two graduate students are members of the Board. Issues of importance to the graduate studies community that are handled by the Board include management of the University’s buildings and properties and approval of recommended tuition and fees.
The University of Waterloo also has a Senate, the responsibilities of which are outlined in the Waterloo Act. Information on Senate’s membership, meeting dates, agendas and minutes can be found on the Secretariat’s Senate website. The Waterloo Act specifies that Senate’s membership will include three graduate students. Senate, either directly or through its Councils, provides oversight on all academic matters of the University.
Senate Graduate and Research Council (SGRC)
SGRC is the body that considers and reviews proposed changes to graduate studies that involve: governance, administration, graduate awards, program reviews and curricular elements. For research, SGRC hears discussion on the creation of new, and renewals of existing research centres and institutes. SGRC’s mandate is determined by Senate Bylaw 2. Operational information for the Council – including membership, agendas and minutes – can be found on the SGRC web page. SGRC is co-chaired by the Associate Vice President Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs and the Vice President, University Research and International.
Graduate Operations Committee (GradOps)
The Graduate Operations Committee is chaired by the Associate Vice-President, Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs (AVP GSPA). Its membership includes the Assistant Vice Presidents, GSPA, the Associate Deans (Graduate Studies) from the Faculties, and the Director, Graduate Academic Services. Other members of the Graduate Studies community including staff colleagues from GSPA and the Faculty regularly attend. GradOps is the forum at which potential changes to the administration and governance of graduate studies are proposed, debated, and developed. The work done at GradOps typically results in proposals that are vetted by SGRC and, if approved, changes to the Graduate Studies Academic Calendar or other Policies or process documents.
Graduate Student Relations Committee (GSRC)
The Graduate Student Relations Committee (GSRC) deals with all matters pertaining to the initiation and review of policies governing the University’s relationships with graduate students, including conditions of employment and financial support. It is chaired by the Associate Vice-President, Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs alternating with the President of the Graduate Student Association. GSRC’s mandate is included in Policy 1 - Initiation and Review of University Policies appendix D; its operational information can be found on the Committee web page.
Faculty Graduate Studies Committee
Each Faculty convenes a Graduate Studies Committee that has responsibility for the academic quality of graduate studies and graduate student experiences. These committees consider Faculty-wide concerns about graduate studies and, when appropriate, will bring proposed changes as appropriate to Graduate Operations for consideration or to Senate Graduate and Research Council for approval.
Graduate Student Association (GSA)
The Graduate Student Association (GSA) is recognized by the University of Waterloo in a Memorandum of Agreement as the representative body for graduate students at the University. The GSA aims to serve the graduate students of the University of Waterloo with dedication and commitment to enhance the quality of their academic and social experience and promote their well-being.