The University Act, 2008, provides for establishment of special purpose teaching universities with bicameral governance. The academic branch is known as Senate and has powers and duties including:
- setting criteria for awarding certificates, diplomas and degrees, including honorary degrees;
- setting curriculum content for programs;
- setting qualifications for admission;
- setting criteria for academic standing, academic standards and the grading system;
- setting policies and procedures for appeals by students on academic matters and establishing a final appeal tribunal for these appeals.
Additionally, Senate has the mandate to advise the Board of Governors on matters including:
- educational goals, objectives, strategies and priorities of the University;
- establishment, revision or discontinuance of courses and programs;
- priorities for implementation of new programs;
- establishment or discontinuance of Faculties;
- evaluation of programs and educational services;
- library and resource centres;
- setting of the academic schedule;
- qualifications for faculty members.
As the senior governance body composed primarily of the academic staff of the University, Senate has the responsibility to conduct its business in collegial, open forums.