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Policy 158: Program Advisory Councils


Original Approval Date:         December 2, 2003

Amended:                               January 26, 2010

Presented By:                         Academic Policy and Governance Committee Provost and                                                 Vice President Academic

Responsible Office:                Provost and Vice President Academic

I.   Role of Program Advisory Councils at Ryerson

A Program Advisory Council (PAC) is a group of volunteers that provides expert advice to a school or department on program related matters such as curriculum, program review, technology and trends in the industry, discipline or profession.  The PAC should promote the Program in the broader community, including among potential employers, and advise and assist the program in respect to external liaison.  Where appropriate, the PAC will advise on, and participate in, fund-raising and the securing of resources.

A PAC provides advice to a program, may recommend such actions as it deems appropriate and, with the agreement of the program, may play an active ongoing role in the life of the program and the academic unit.  However, PACs are not authorized to make decisions on behalf of the program, school/department or the University, as decision-making authority rests ultimately with Senate or the Board of Governors.

As the PAC is advisory in nature, it shall be designated as a “Council”.

II.   Establishment of Advisory Councils 

All programs are required to establish an Advisory Council. Where a School/Department has more than one program, it may decide that one Advisory Committee may serve those programs.

III.   Advisory Councils shall:

a.     assist in curriculum development and change to help ensure that graduates possess the competencies, knowledge, and skills required by the profession;

b.     advise on matters related to outside accreditation, where appropriate;

c.     assist in determining current and projected demand for program graduates;

d.     assist in identifying ways in which the program can most effectively meet societal needs;

e.     participate in the program review process;

f.      assist in the identification of student placements and graduate employment opportunities;

g.     promote the Program and Ryerson in the external community, developing effective links with the profession and the broader community and enhancing the University profile; and

h.     submit minutes of their meetings to the Dean.

IV.  Report - Advisory Councils should report on their activities to the appropriate Dean (s) and to the Provost and Vice President Academic, for their information, by June 30 of each year,

Guidelines for the Establishment of Program Advisory Councils

I.   Membership:

Program Advisory Councils shall consist of an appropriate mix of members, depending on the discipline and program objectives, as follows:

a.     Program alumni who are active in the industry, field or profession.

b.     Other representatives with expertise in the Program field(s). These may be drawn from private and public organizations and agencies, professional bodies, Ryerson schools/departments, other universities, or from the community-at-large.

c.     The Chair/Director (and, where relevant, the Program Director).

d.     Efforts should be made to achieve an Advisory Council membership which reflects the composition of Ryerson and the community at large in terms of gender, visible minority and aboriginal status, and disability.

II.   Program Advisory Council Chair

The Chair shall be elected by the members of the PAC.

III.  Selection and Approval of Members

Members are approved and appointed by the Dean, in consultation with the Chair/Director and the Chair of the Program Advisory Council (if one is in office at the time).

IV.   Term of Office

Normally PAC members serve a three-year term, but may be appointed for further three-year term(s).  

V.    Meetings 

PACs will meet as needed, normally at least once a year.

VI.   Sub-Committees

The PAC may establish sub-committees as needed.

VII.   Minutes and Agenda 

The Program Chair/Director is responsible for the agenda and minutes of the meeting.