Minutes: Executive Committee September 1, 2011

MINUTES OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEETING OF ERINDALE COLLEGE COUNCIL, held on Thursday, September 1, 2011 at 2 p.m. in room 3214, William G. Davis Building

Present:  A. Wensley (in the Chair), D. Saini, L. Bailey, P. Donoghue, G. Cassar, M. Zandawala, N. Woolridge, D. DiCenso,

The Chair welcomed members to a new academic year and the first meeting of the committee for the term.  Short introductions followed.

The Chair explained that the meeting was called specifically to discuss the creation of a Governance Review Committee.  Professor Wensley discussed the need for a governance review.  He noted that in 2007, as part of the university-wide Towards 2030 planning process, the Governing Council of the University of Toronto established the Task Force on Governance (TFOG). Following approval in principle of the Report of the Task Force on Governance, the Governing Council established an Implementation Committee (IC) to oversee and coordinate the implementation of the Task Force’s recommendations.  Over the course of the last year on the recommendations of the IC, the Governing Council has introduced various changes to practice and to the terms of reference for the Governing Council’s Boards and Committees.

The Chair referred to recommendation 20 from the Report of the Task Force on Governance, which calls for the re-assignment of selected responsibilities of the University Affairs Board to Academic Board, Business Board, Executive Committee and to proposed Campus Affairs Committees for each of the three campuses.  These Campus Affairs Committees, would focus on campus, staff and student life issues specific to those campuses.  Therefore, matters concerning the quality of student and campus life would then be addressed on a campus by campus basis. This change would require revisions to the terms of reference for the University Affairs Board and, possibly, to those of the Academic and Business Boards, which in turn would necessitate a review of the constitution and structure of ECC, since the proposed CAC would be integrated into the committee structure of the University of Toronto Mississauga, but would also be a part of the Governing Council structure.  Currently, the UTM and UTSC campus councils are established under the framework for Divisional academic faculty councils. The Task Force on Governance recommends that the UTM and UTSC campuses separate the functions of the faculty council from those of the campus council.

Professor Wensley reported that in light of the Governing Council’s implementation process and the need for close coordination of this central work and ours, it is timely for the University of Toronto Mississauga to begin its own process of governance review.  Such a review would address the necessary constitutional changes arising from the new academic program review and approval processes and the specific recommendations in the TFOG Report.  It is an opportunity to assess UTM’s governance needs and to establish structures and processes that enable us to meet those needs. 

He proposed that a Governance Review Committee (GRC) be appointed by the Executive Committee of the Erindale College Council to accomplish this task. 

Professor Wensley referred members to the proposed terms of reference document, which described the group’s mandate, timeline and membership, which was compiled with broad constituency representation in mind.

Section 5 of Appendix 3 of the By-laws gives the Executive Committee authority to appoint such special working groups or subcommittees as the committee members deem necessary, and to determine the terms of reference and the membership of all such working groups or subcommittees.

It was duly moved and seconded,
THAT
The Executive Committee approve and recommend to Erindale College Council the creation of a Governance Review Committee (GRC) as described in the Terms of Reference document as circulated.  (D. Saini/P. Donoghue)

The Chair opened the floor to discussion.

In general members expressed support for the need and timeliness of such a committee.  In response to a member’s question, the Secretary of Council explained that the GRC would begin its work in late October and would expect to have it work concluded by the end of April 2012.  As per a member’s suggestion “governor” was changed to “member” in the membership section of the terms of reference document.

The motion was carried.

The Chair called on Cindy Ferencz Hammond, Secretary of Council and Director of Governance, to discuss the next item of business, the revisions to the ECC Constitution and By-laws.  This item was for information and notice of motion for the October 26 meeting of the Executive Committee. Cross out, review versions of both documents were circulated with the call of the meeting.

Ms. Ferencz Hammond explained that there were two parallel processes that call for governance review and constitutional revisions.  In addition to the University of Toronto’s Task Force on Governance and the resulting comprehensive governance review as described by the Chair of Council earlier, the Council of Ontario Universities (Ontario Council of Academic Vice-Presidents) reviewed and restructured the quality assurance processes for undergraduate and graduate programs. This resulted in a policy change and in changes to the Terms of Reference of the Academic Board and two of its standing committees.  The resulting revisions to the terms of reference GC boards and committees together with the TFOG’s recommendation that delegation of authority with respect to transactional matters be transferred to the lowest appropriate level of governance have necessitated constitutional revisions to address these changes. 

She explained that the Councils of the academic divisions now have delegated authority to approve:
(a) modifications to existing degree programs;

(b) transcript notations within existing degree programs;

(c) the establishment, termination and modification of diploma programs and certificate programs, where authority is delegated to the academic divisions in the University’s Policy on Diploma and Certificate Programs.  The Committee on Academic Policy and Programs receives for information an annual report on such actions as appropriate.

She noted that all University of Toronto divisional governance offices and Council Chairs have therefore been asked to consider updating their constitutions and by-laws in order to incorporate the terms of delegated authority outlined above.  This process will be in tandem with the work of the GRC, and the revised documents will provide the GRC with a constitution and by-laws that are updated with respect to academic powers and consistently worded across all divisions.

Ms. Ferencz Hammond proceeded to go through both the Constitution and By-law documents line by line to explain each change. She noted that the major changes in the documents were those that were required for the approval of new academic programs and the modification of existing programs.  The remaining changes, which although numerous, were minor changes and consisted of a reorganization of items between the by-laws and the constitution and clarification of wording changes, which followed the conventional way these types of documents were written.   She reiterated that the final versions of the documents would be up for approval at the Executive Committee’s October meeting.  In addition, by-law sections that pertained to the Resource Planning and Priorities and Academic Affairs Committees would also be presented for information at their September meetings and for approval at their October meetings.

The Executive Committee meeting adjourned at 2:45 p.m.

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Chair                                                    Secretary