Report: December 8, 2004

UNVERSITY OF TORONTO AT MISSISSAUGA

ERINDALE COLLEGE COUNCIL

MINUTES OF THE ERINDALE COLLEGE COUNCIL meeting held on Wednesday, December 8, 2004 at 3:15 p.m., in the Council Chamber, South Building, UTM.

PRESENT: R. Beck (in the Chair), I. Orchard, I. Graham, L. Wilson-Pauwels, J. McCurdy-Myers, C. Thibault, G. Anderson, A. Wensley, K. Raufi, S. McCarthy, J. Linley, S. Kessler, R. Baker, G. Morris, M.A. Mavrinac, S. Kibria, L. Gaspini, C. Bryson, M. Overton, R. deSouza, B. Thompson, I. Whyte, A. Bellerby, I. Still, C. Misak, D. Crocker, A. Nicholson, C. Boyd, S. O’Connell, K. Piascik, L. Paris, D. Aldouri, A. Iwaniw, S. Munro, S. McGlashan, J. Tran, J. Seel, K. Krupica, K. Judge
In attendance: M. Ahmed, S. Gantotti

1. Adoption of Agenda

The agenda was approved. (S. McCarthy/I. Orchard)

2. Minutes of Previous Meeting (November 4, 2004)

The minutes of the previous meeting were approved. (B. Thompson/A. Wensley)

3. Business Arising from the Minutes.

There was no business arising.

4. Vice-President and Principal’s Report

a) Welcome to Ray deSouza

Professor Orchard welcomed UTM’s new Chief Administrative Officer, Mr. Ray deSouza to Erindale College Council. Mr. deSouza joined the University in 1988 as the administrative officer in the Department of Physics responsible for budget, procurement, human resource management and facilities management. He was then recruited to the Dean’s office and became first Director of the Faculty of Arts and Science new office of Administrative Services and Planning, which was created to manage the physical infrastructure of the vast network of offices, laboratories, classrooms, computer labs, workshops and information technology networks and support services. Professor Orchard noted that Mr. deSouza is very sensitive to the needs of faculty, staff and students and will work closely with the UTM community to improve resources and services.

b) Academic Initiatives Fund

The Vice-President and Principal explained that in the spring of 2004, UTM was allowed to carry a deficit through the first several years of the budget cycle, which allowed the campus to invest in projects upfront prior to receiving funding for the expansion. While this led to a large one-time-only deficit for each year of the expansion, no structural deficit in the base existed. These circumstances changed when the University introduced its last budget plan, with further cuts to each division. As a result, each division was asked to model a budget plan based on these cuts and to submit their new plans for approval to the Provost.

The Vice-President and Principal was pleased to report that the Provost accepted UTM’s new budget plan. UTM’s new long-range budget model included positive variance that had not previously been a part of earlier models.

He proceeded to outline a positive variance in UTM’s budget, the Academic Initiatives Fund (AIF). Divisions were asked to submit applications for funding from the AIF, which has approximately $30M, or $5M per year for six years available for distribution. In the first few rounds of applications, these funds are typically being granted as one-time-only funding for short-term or start-up projects.

UTM’s AIF application requested that the University pay off the mortgages on the CABB and CCIT facilities, which would save approximately $890,000 per year in the base budget. In turn, UTM has specifically outlined how these ‘saved’ funds would be used in different areas around the campus to improve the quality of the student experience.

Professor Orchard reported that the Planning and Budget Committee of Governing Council approved much of UTM’s AIF application, which was forwarded to Academic Board and Governing Council for further approvals. He noted that UTM’s strategy was different from other divisions, requesting base funding for a position in AccessAbility Resources and $9M to pay off mortgages for the CCIT building and the CABB facility. UTM was granted $8M in funding over a five-year period, saving UTM approximately $800,000 per year in mortgage payments, which will then be used on projects that satisfy AIF criteria. UTM will now enter a planning phase to request base funding of $3M from the AIF.

For details on these proposals, Professor Orchard directed members of Council to the report of the December 7, 2004 meeting of the Planning and Budget Committee on the Governing Council web site.

c) Advocacy: post Rae submission

The Vice-President and Principal noted that the submission from the University of Toronto was submitted and can be accessed on the University of Toronto’s web site along with its many appendices. The university has also created a condensed version of the Review, which is available to aid in lobbying efforts. The university is also in the process of producing a smaller brochure in a “question and answer” format.

As part of advocacy efforts, the University ran an academic conference entitled “Taking Public Universities Seriously: A Conference sponsored by the University of Toronto,” which saw attendance by faculty from across Canada and internationally. Conference papers will be published by University Press.

The Vice-President and Principal asked members to help the University of Toronto and the Ontario educational system in lobbying the government to respond to the Rae Review and help obtain increased funding for universities and colleges.

The Chair opened the floor to questions.

In response to a member’s question about specific projects AIF would be used to fund, Professor Orchard listed the following projects:

- wireless network access in all public spaces on campus

- enhancing video conferencing and web casting to integrate all three campuses
- implementing cyclical replacement of computing equipment to replace computers in the Library, administrative offices, teaching laboratories
- enhancing teaching infrastructure such as improvements to ‘wet,’ ‘dry,’ and language laboratories, classrooms
- scholarships and awards, and
- improving servers within Human Resources to increase efficiency
He added that each one of these requests could be linked to a set of criteria within the AIF. In reply to a member’s question, he explained that the University of Toronto’s response concurred with the Rae Review with respect to the need for OSAP reform. A member commented that the University Town Hall process did not provide sufficient time for students to participate in the discussion. The Vice-President and Principal noted that extensive discussion occurred at the Rae Town Hall meetings as well as at the previous meeting of Erindale College Council.

5. Reports of Standing Committees

a) Resource Planning and Priorities Committee – Robert Baker

Professor Baker reported that the Committee met on November 22, 2004 and received a presentation by the CAO and the Vice-President and Principal on long term budget priorities. The Committee was presented with the general direction of the budget and was informed about modeling positive variance into the budget, as described earlier by the Vice-President and Principal.

The Committee provided full support to the general direction and ideas presented with respect to the long-term budget. Finally, the Committee discussed the need to develop an inventory of research space needs, which will be required to support an increase in tenure stream faculty. Some of the ideas that were discussed included the identification of existing space that can be reconfigured for research space use and taking into account faculty who are retired, but still active in research.

It was duly moved and seconded,
THAT the report of the Resource Planning and Priorities Committee be accepted. (R. Baker / S. O’Connell) The Motion was carried.

b) Computing Committee – Ray deSouza

The Chief Administrative Officer reported on behalf of Mr. Joe Lim that that the Committee heard a report on the subject of Spam and Microsoft Critical Updates. It was reported that only a small number of UTM community members make use of the spam filter. Computing Services has increased the effectiveness of the filter by activating its heuristic feature. In addition, over the coming weeks, Computing Services and Micro-Electronics will be installing a small client called PatchLink, which would allow for automatic download and installation of Critical Updates from Microsoft, similar to Norton Anti-Virus. The software has been fully implemented in the North Building, Library and CCIT, with users in the South and Kaneff buildings next on the installation list.

The Committee also heard a presentation from the Library on the Hazel McCallion Academic Learning Centre with respect to its design and technical specifications. The Instructional Technology Liaison from the Library also presented results from the survey that was conducted on the student uses of technology. With over 200 students participating, the survey found that students would like more training on web page design and graphics.

It was duly moved and seconded,
THAT the report of the Computing Committee be accepted. (R. deSouza/C. Misak)
The Motion was carried.

c) Academic Affairs Committee – Professor Anthony Wensley [Detailed curriculum reports are attached to this report as Appendix A.]

Professor Anthony Wensley reported that at its November 23, 2004 meeting, the Academic Affairs Committee’s agenda featured the Curriculum reports. The Sciences and the Social Sciences Curriculum reports were fully endorsed by members of the Committee. In the case of the Humanities Curriculum report, with respect to the Diaspora Studies program, members were of the opinion that the Social Sciences Curriculum Committee (SSCC) should formally endorse the program before it could be recommended to Erindale College Council for approval. At an additional meeting of the SSCC was held for this purpose members provided their support for this program.

i) Professor Wensley called on Professor Mohamad Tavakoli-Targhi to report on the curriculum changes in the Humanities.

Professor Tavakoli-Targhi discussed two major and exciting changes within the Humanities Curriculum. He explained that the disciplines of Classics, History and Religion were brought together to form the department of Historical Studies. He stated that the combination of these programs has allowed UTM to offer global liberal education for the 21st century. The program has three components consisting of Classical Ancient Civilizations, History of Religions and History. He added that programming in Classical Civilizations takes students beyond the study of Latin and Greek to include World Civilizations. In addition to Christian studies, the Religion Program at UTM would be diversified to include introductory courses on Judaism, Christianity, Islamism, Zoroastrianism, Buddhism and Hinduism to expand students’ understanding of how these religions interact with each other. He expressed his thanks to the Dean for championing this change.

Professor Tavakoli-Targhi proceeded to discuss the Diaspora and Transnational Studies Program, stating that the program concerns itself with how the world has become an important part of Canada. He explained that the program examines the historical and contemporary movements of peoples and the complex problems of identity and experience to which these movements give rise as well as the creative possibilities that flow from movement. A major component of the curriculum offering is the process of globalization, post nationalist development, and de-territorialization of cultures and society.

It was duly moved and seconded,
THAT the sub-report of the Academic Affairs Committee on the Humanities Curriculum be approved. (A. Wensley/ M. Tavakoli-Targhi)
The Chair opened the floor to questions.

A member congratulated those involved in the development and introduction of the major curriculum changes in the Humanities and their positive response to the diverse needs of the UTM student population. A member commented that students need more time to review the curriculum changes before being asked to approve them. The Chair pointed out that the full curriculum reports were posted on the Council web site and are reviewed by members of the Academic Affairs Committee, which contains student members.

In response to a member’s question regarding the possibility of introducing graduate programs related to the above initiatives, the Dean responded that efforts are being made in this regard with respect to the Diaspora and Transnational Studies program as well as the Historical Studies program.

The Motion was called to question. The Motion was approved.

ii) Professor Wensley called on Professor Robert Baker to report on the curriculum changes in the Sciences.

Professor Baker noted that among new programs, UTM is introducing a Bioinformatics Specialist program, which involves the computational analysis of gene and genome sequences as well as functional genomic data. It is a highly interdisciplinary science that requires strong backgrounds in computer science and molecular biology and good knowledge of mathematics, chemistry, genetics and evolutionary biology.

Professor Baker proceeded to discuss the Health Sciences Communications Specialist (HSC). This program is an interdisciplinary specialist program offered through CCIT with a focus on health communication and explores the synergistic roles of visuals and text in print and new media.

Professor Baker also announced some important changes in existing programs. Rather than continuing to offer only parts of three different programs, UTM proposes to drop the Software Engineering and the Information Systems Specialist options and rename the “Computer Science: Comprehensive Option” to simply “Computer Science.” As a result, UTM will now have one specialist, called Computer Science. UTM will now focus on just one specialist at UTM and make it so that virtually all courses can be completed at UTM, rather than at the St. George Campus. Courses that are part of this program are not new, having been previously offered at the St. George campus and at UTM.

With respect to the Forensic Science Specialist program, a number of new FSC courses are proposed in its four Specialist areas of Anthropology, Biology, Chemistry and Psychology.

In the Physics Major, Chemistry 140 is being added to the first year requirement in the program, which will allow students to take some of the new joint Chemistry and Physics courses offered at higher levels. Regarding the addition of new courses, Professor Baker noted that Biology has developed Biology Behind the News, in response to rapid advances in the field and how these changes affect citizens. Biology has also amalgamated the laboratory component of several existing courses into three laboratory only courses, allowing for flexibility in the curriculum and leading to a more rigorous laboratory experience. He explained that another important change in the science curriculum is the replacement of the MAT132 basic Calculus course by two new first year Calculus courses, one for life sciences and the other simply labelled as Calculus. Separating the MAT132 course into two such different components, allows for focus on the most relevant components of Calculus for students.

He added that Psychology is offering many new courses, including courses on Psychology and the Law, Developmental Psychobiology of Social Behaviour, the Biopsychology of Sex, and Animal Behaviour Genetics, which reflects the research interests of a new faculty. In addition, Biology has a new fourth year course on Behavioural Genetics, which in the future may lead to a new joint program between Biology and Psychology in animal behaviour and genetics. Finally, Professor Baker went on to describe a new course entitled Science 498, Teaching Opportunity Program in the Science (TOPS), a unique course in which students interested in science education participate in and reflect on the teaching and learning process in a specific undergraduate course.

It was duly moved and seconded,
THAT the sub-report of the Academic Affairs Committee on the Sciences Curriculum be approved. (R. Baker / C. Misak)

The Chair opened the floor to questions.

The Dean congratulated on the Sciences Curriculum Committee on bringing forward some exciting changes and thanked them for their exceptional efforts in curricular development. Professor Baker noted the positive effect of integration and cooperation across departments. The Registrar commented that the changes made to the first year Mathematics courses, allow for much greater access to qualified students.

The motion was called to question. The motion was carried.

iii) Professor Wensley called on Professor Graham White to report on the curriculum changes in the Social Sciences.

Professor White thanked Ms. Norma Dotto for her efforts in compiling the information for the Social Sciences Curriculum report, and faculty members for their contributions on the Committee.

With respect to new programs, Professor White noted the new Accounting Specialist program in Management, represents a consolidation and formalization of existing practice. The Committee also reviewed and approved the Diaspora and Transnational Studies program. He reported that joint specialist program in Philosophy, Economics and Political Science would be deleted due to a lack of student interest.

Professor White noted that a substantial number of new courses are being proposed across all disciplines, the majority of them being half year courses. He noted that other changes included several course deletions due to faculty retirements, and renumbering and title description changes.

It was duly moved and seconded,
THAT the sub-report of the Academic Affairs Committee on the Social Sciences Curriculum be approved. (G. White / C. Misak)
The Chair opened the floor to questions.

A member asked whether a program in Marketing Finance similar to the Accounting program within the Bachelor of Commerce degree is being considered for the future. Professor Wensley responded that this has not been considered as of yet, but that it would be brought forward to the Management area for consideration. Another member added that the Department of Economics is developing a Finance component to be introduced in the future.

The Motion was called to question. The Motion was carried.

It was duly moved and seconded,
THAT the report of the Academic Affairs Committee on the Divisional Curriculum changes be approved. (A. Wensley /I. Orchard)
The motion was carried.

6. Other Business

The Chair called on Professor Gordon Anderson to raise a matter of concern he wished to discuss.

Concerning the Rae Review and the University’s position in particular with regard to increased accessibility in universities, Professor Anderson stated that the Rae Review and the University of Toronto endorse the idea of increasing accessibility. He noted that the academic community should discuss this position, as it may influence funding.

He expressed his concern that the government might increase funding if universities increase accessibility and that in turn would result in the decrease in the quality of students admitted to universities. He added that accommodating these students would be costly and difficult. He urged the university to debate and discuss these issues.

The Chair stated that the difficulty lies in the type of forum, which would be the most useful in terms of providing some action on this issue.

The member stated that there is a need to discuss whether the university should take a position of increased accessibility.

The Vice-President and Principal commented that the government will determine the appropriate participation rate and then ask post-secondary educational institutions to respond. He added that the University of Toronto’s submission has already been tendered, but it is in lobbying government that an effect can be made. He added that the Rae Review is based on post secondary education in its entirety, not just universities. The University of Toronto’s response did not support an increase in the percentage of students going to universities, but agreed that increased participation in post secondary education is appropriate, and would include apprenticeships, colleges, universities, and professional programs.

Professor Orchard read from the University of Toronto’s response as follows: “the University of Toronto strongly believes that higher rates of participation in post secondary education can be achieved, but without compromising quality or Ontario students’ prospects of success.” He added that much of the University’s response on increased participation discussed financial accessibility and access to students with disabilities.

A member agreed for the need to have more of an open forum and more influence on the University’s submission. With respect to the points made on accessibility, the member stated that accessibility could also refer to lower income students who face barriers.

The Chair noted that even if a majority of those at UTM felt that the university’s submission to the Rae Commission was not appropriate, limited influence exists as the response has already been submitted. Individual political action, both as faculty in academic circles and as citizen would be a better way to engage in the debate as this issue has already gone through governance of the University of Toronto.

The member commented he relayed his opinions to the administrators who were developing the University of Toronto’s response to the Rae Review, but wished there were more discussion on the subject prior to the submission being made.

7. Next Meeting:

Chair closed the meeting with his best wishes for a happy holiday season.

The next meeting of Council will be on January 27, 2005.

The meeting adjourned at 4:35 p.m. (R. Baker / I. Orchard)

Secretary of Council _________________________Chair _______________________

January 10, 2005