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[Meeting minutes of the Senate of The University of British Columbia] 1949-01-11

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Tuesday, January 11, 1949.
A special meeting of the Senate of the University
of British Columbia was held on Tuesday, January llth, 1949,
at 8:00 p.m. in the Board and Senate Room.
Present:  Chancellor E.W. Hamber, President N.A.M.
MacKenzie (in the Chair), Mr. H.F. Angus, Mr. Jacob Biely,
Dr. V.C. Brink, Dean S.N.F. Chant, Mr. K.P. Caple, Dean G.F.
Curtis, Dr. J. Roy Daniells, Dr. C.E. Dolman, Dr. H.O. English,
Dr. J.M. Ewing, Dean J.N. Finlayson, Mr. E. Davie Fulton,
Dean W.H. Gage, Mr. G.D. Kennedy, Brig. Sherwood Lett, Dr.
A.R. Lord, Mr. H.N. MacCorkindale, Mr. ^.R. McDougall, Dean
M. Dorothy Mawdsley, Mr. J. Fred Muir, Miss Florence S.
Mulloy, Dr. R.C. Palmer, Mr. F. Read, Dr. W.N. Sage, Dr. A.B.
Schinbein, Prin. K.E. Taylor, Prin. W.S. Taylor, Dr. F.A.
Turnbull, Dr. H.V. Warren.
Regrets for their inability to be present were
received from Mr. A.E. Lord, Dr. C.A.H. Wright, Major H.C.
Holmes, Dr. R.E. Foerster, Mrs. Sally M. Creighton.
Before dealing with the report of the Senate
Committee on Catholic Education, which was referred to this
special meeting of Senate for consideration, the President
asked permission to present one item of business.
On Hoods for New Degrees
A letter dated January 10th was received from Dr.
J. Roy Daniells, Chairman of the Committee on Hoods for New
Degrees, presenting the following recommendations of that
Committee: 1466
Tuesday, January 11, 1949.
"The committee appointed to consider the colours of
hoods, consisting of Professor Angus, Dean Mawdsley
and Professor Daniells, after consulting Professor
E. L. Woods, Mr. R. Osborne and Professor u. J. Todd,
recommends that the hood for the degree of Bachelor
of Science in Pharmacy shall be of Black bordered
with Dark Green (Ridgeway: Plate XVIII,m) and edged
with a cord of Scarlet Red (Ridgeway: Plate I,b); it
recommends that the hood for the degree of Bachelor
of Physical Education be of Black bordered with
Malachite Green (Ridgeway: Plate XXXII,b). The
nomenclature is similar to that used by a previous
committee to consider hoods and is based on Color
Standards and Color Nomenclature by Robert Ridgeway."
Dr. Daniells )
Dean Mawdsley) That the recommendations be accepted.
On Request of Catholic Schools Association
The President reviewed the purpose for which this
special meeting of Senate was called and asked the Secretary
to read certain relevant correspondence about the matter
under consideration and somewhat related matters.
The Secretary read a letter dated November 30th,
1948, from Rev. Charles M. Stewart, Minister of Shaughnessy
Heights United Church, written on behalf of a Committee of
the Presbytery, to inquire into the possible creation of a
Chair of Religion at the University.  The Committee, knowing
that the University is obligated not to endorse or present
any partisan view of religion, wondered whether it might
still be possible to have the objective facts of religion
presented by a lecturer who would have some sympathy and
understanding for its essential truth without in any way
favouring a particular denominational emphasis.
The President reported that he had told the 1467
Tuesday, January 11, 1949.
Committee of the action of Senate in approving an objective
course in Living Religions and that the chief reason this
course had not been implemented was because of the difficulty
in finding a suitably qualified person to give it.
The Secretary also read a letter dated December llth,
1948, from Professor Basil Mathews, Chairman of an unofficial
Faculty Group on Moral and Spiritual Values, pointing out that
two years has elapsed since the Senate approved a course in
Living Religions in the History Department, and suggesting
that if action in this connection is impossible in the Department of History there are at least two other Departments in
which such a course might logically find a place.
A letter dated December 10th, 1948, from the Secretary, Summerland Group, U.B.C. Alumni, was read by the
Secretary of Senate, reporting a resolution of that Group to
make known to Senate its unalterable opposition to the introduction by any sect or denomination of its teachings into the
University curriculum, or of its clergy into the University
faculty, other than through the medium of affiliated
theological colleges.
The Secretary read also a letter dated January 3rd,
1949, written by the Secretary Manager of the U.B.C. Alumni
Association, on behalf of the Vancouver Executive of that
Association, and quoting the following resolution passed by
that Executive at a meeting held on December 17th, 1948: 1468
Tuesday, January 11, 1949.
"That the Executive of the Alumni Association of the
University of British Columbia, believing that the
proposal of the Catholic Laymen's Educational
Association of B. C. requires careful and widespread
consideration before action is taken, recommend that:
(1) the proposal be tabled for a length of time
sufficient to make possible a general discussion
among U.B.C. Alumni, and
(2) the Senate of the University should direct this
Executive as to the time and manner in which
the Senate feels such discussions might be
carried on in the best interests of the University."
The Secretary then read a letter from Dr. C. H.
Wright expressing his regrets for his inability to attend
the meeting and suggesting that should a vote be called for
on the question of approving the request of the B. C. Catholic
Educational Association, that the vote be by secret ballot
and not by show of hands.
In commenting on the correspondence presented the
Chairman stated that he could see no particular reason why
a vote, if called for, should be by secret ballot, since
that would seem to give the matter a personal importance
that is not warranted.  Further, with reference, to the letter
from the Executive of the Vancouver Alumni Association, the
President reminded the members of the responsible nature of
both Senate and Board, and pointed out that while expressions
of opinion from interested parties were welcomed, nevertheless
it would not be appropriate for either Senate or Board to
delegate authority vested in them by the University Act to
anyone else.
After determining that there was nothing further
for presentation by any member of Senate, the Chairman called 1469
Tuesday, January 11, 1949.
for discussion of the question before the meeting, i.e. the
general question of religious education in the University
of British Columbia and the specific report of the Senate
Committee appointed to Consider the Request of the B. C.
Catholic Schools Association, which was presented to Senate
at its meeting on December 15th, 1948, and referred to the
present meeting.  The meeting was opened for comment,
question and discussion of the report of the Committee and
of the request on which the report was based.
A plea was presented on behalf of the liberal
humanists, believing in open enquiry, to reject the proposal
on the grounds that it would open the way for others which
it would be logically impossible to deny and practically
impossible to grant, and that it would turn the presentation
of "knowledge" into the presentation of "truth" and thereby
open the University to dogmatic teaching.  It was stated
that the introduction of dogmatic teaching into the University would betray the principle of intellectual freedom by
permitting courses to be given in which highly debatable
hypotheses might be presented as "truth".  It was further
suggested that, having rejected with regret the request of
the B. C. Catholic Schools Association, the University
should put on courses in Aristotelian Philosophy, Thomistic
Ethics, The Medieval Church, etc., using its own men and in
its own way, so that Catholic students might find their
point of view presented in relation to other points of view.
A question was raised as to the legality under the 1470
Tuesday, January 11, 1949.
University Act of implementing such a proposal as the one
under consideration.  The Chairman reported that he had discussed the matter briefly with the University Solicitor by
telephone and that he intended to write him more fully in due
course. The Chairman stated however that he felt that no
decision could be given in this regard until the proposals
were either given effect or rejected. He stated further that
the proposals as presented would not change, in a legal way,
the procedure laid down in the University Act, whereby new
courses are debated in Faculty and, if approved, recommended
to Senate.  If approved by Senate they are then recommended to
the Board of Governors for acceptance on a financial basis.
He pointed out that the only apparent legal obstacle
to the proposal was the question of whether or not the courses
proposed would be called dogma, creed or doctrine, within the
meaning of the University Act.  If they were they would be contrary to the Act; if they were not, they would be on the same
basis as any other course that might be given.  With regard to
possible appointees the Chairman reminded Senate that the Board
would continue to have complete freedom in making appointments,
regardless of a possible appointee's colour, creed, class, etc.,
provided only that he had the qualifications necessary.
In answer to the objection which was stated with
regard to the proposal in the request of the Catholic
Association that Catholic laymen or clerics be appointed to
teach the courses proposed, it was pointed out that this
would not interfere with the freedom of Senate or the Board, 1471
Tuesday, January 11, 1949.
but that it would be desirable since it would mean that the
course would be taught as nearly as possible as the original
philosopher himself would have taught it.
After a full and frank discussion of the whole
matter, and in view of the considerable opposition to the
proposal in question, the President stated that he would
like to see the people of the Province united in support of
the University, and that he would regret a public controversy
on the question which might embitter the interested groups.
Dr. Daniells  )
Dr. W.S. Taylor) In view of the fact that religion
has played an important part in
human society and affairs throughout
history and the further fact that
Christianity is of special interest
and importance to us and our society,
the Senate of the University recommends
that the appropriate departments study
the possibilities of providing suitable
courses, within the terms of the
University Act, that will enable the
young people who come to us as students
to get a fuller amd more accurate
understanding of these most important
Brig. Lett      )
Prin. K.E. Taylor)
That this report be referred to
the University Solicitor asking
for his opinion as to the legality
of the request.
Dean Curtis )
Chancellor Hamber)
That the  report of  the  Committee
of Senate appointed to consider
the request of the B.C.   Catholic
Association remain on the table
subject to a further  special
meeting of Senate to be  called
by the Chair.
Carried. 1472
Tuesday, January 11, 1949.
The motion to adjourn was carried.
Chairman. (_^y


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