November 10, 2005

UNVERSITY OF TORONTO AT MISSISSAUGA

ERINDALE COLLEGE COUNCIL



REPORT OF THE ERINDALE COLLEGE COUNCIL meeting held on Thursday, November 10, 2005 at 4:00 p.m., in the Council Chamber, South Building, UTM.

PRESENT: B. Branfireun (in the Chair), I. Orchard, R. deSouza, U. Krull, C. Misak, M. Overton, M. Rennie, J. Tran, S. Foster, H. Gunz, B. Louie, J. Stirling, K. Giuliani, D. Crocker, J. Lim, M.A. Mavrinac, L. Thomson, L. Brooks, J. Lougheed-Laycock, A. Farah, D. Kreuger, C. Smitka, V. Glebov, B. Gupta, J. Paluzzi, T. Kolarinwa, R. Namazie, A. Giles, N. Lopez-Woodside, C. Bryson, L. Gaspini, J. McCurdy-Myers, I. Still, S. Laughton, M. Thuna, P. King, Z. Baig, A. Bellerby, R. Carroll, A. Iwaniw, R. Reisz, A. Lange, S. Munro, M. Musa, S. Abrahim, H. Aboghodieh, N. Khan, D. Hunter, W. Khogali
REGRETS: R. Beck, A. Wensley, J. Delves, J. Percy, T. Remmel, M. Georges

 

1. Adoption of Agenda

The Agenda was approved. (I. Orchard/U. Krull)

2. Minutes of Previous Meeting (October 7, 2005)

The report of the previous meeting was approved. (D. Crocker/I. Orchard)

3. Business Arising from the Minutes

a) Phase 8 construction noise – Ray deSouza, Chief Administrative Officer

Ray deSouza reported that at the last meeting of ECC the issue of Phase 8 construction noise had been raised and a member asked whether construction could be delayed to later on in the morning so as not to disturb residence students. Mr. deSouza was pleased to report that contractors had agreed to delay the noisiest phases of construction to a later time in the morning (8:00 a.m.) at no additional cost to the project.

4. Reports of Standing Committees

a) Computing Committee (October 26, 2005 meeting)– Joe Lim

The Chair called on Mr. Lim to provide the report of last Computing Committee meeting.

Mr. Lim reported that at its last meeting, the Computing Committee received an update on spam and an overview of how the mail server operates. It was reported that out of the daily 170,000 messages, 42,633 arrive in inboxes, and of those 14,268 are filtered with user defined and trained spam filters. Of these user filtered messages, 10% or 1608 messages are spam and therefore end up in spam folders. It was also reported that of the 22000 existing email accounts, 6200 are active and of those approximately 900 are anti-virus program users.

The Computing Committee also received a presentation from the director of strategic computing at the university, Marden Paul, on the proposed learning management system (LMS) and the student portal system. It was reported that the LMS project is at the RFP stage and that a decision regarding a vendor is anticipated to be made by December 1, 2005. Once a decision has been made, a multi-campus team will be assembled to implement both the LMS and the student portals project by September 1, 2006.

It was duly moved and seconded,
THAT the report of the Computing Committee be accepted. (J. Lim/ R. deSouza)
The motion carried.

b) Academic Affairs Committee (October 25, 2005 meeting)– Professor Angela Lange

Professor Lange reported that at its last meeting, in addition to the ratification of new committee members, the Committee heard three reports. The first was a presentation by Professor Ulli Krull, Vice-Principal Research on UTM’s research activities, which will be given in full as part of the current agenda. The second report to the Committee was from Lynn Snowden, the Assistant Dean on the curriculum development process with the goal of preparing members for the consideration of the curriculum reports at the committee’s November 29, 2005 meeting. Members of the AAC heard that the curriculum process begins in late summer or early fall, (major proposal work begins in the spring) at the departmental level. Curriculum changes are then discussed at the three curriculum committees, which are composed of departmental chairs and are chaired by Prof. Amy Mullin (Humanities), Prof. Angela Lange (Sciences), and Prof. Graham White (Social Sciences). This process is followed by consideration of the various proposals at the Academic Affairs Committee and Erindale College Council, and then by Governing Council committees for major program changes. She reminded members that an Information Session on Curriculum (and Ancillaries) had been planned for Thursday, November 24, at 3:00 p.m. in the Faculty Club, room 3140 in the South Building and invited everyone to attend and learn about the curriculum changes being introduced. The third item on the agenda was a report from the instructional technology liaison librarian on the selection of the new learning management system for the university and the related extensive consultative process.

Professor Lange called on the Professor Ulli Krull to begin his presentation on research at UTM.

i. Research at UTM – Professor Ulli Krull, Vice-Principal, Research

Professor Krull began his presentation on UTM Research by discussing funding patterns. He reported that pro-rated research revenue in 2004-05 reached just over $9M, which supported 371 active research projects. Revenue from the Canadian granting councils hit an all time high of approximately $5M. Revenue from the councils’ standard grant programs can be tracked to as a measure of an institution’s research success. He explained that since faculty will typically hold just one of these grants at a time, the impact of outstandingly successful researchers is tempered. He noted that in 2004-05, UTM saw a rise in revenue through each of the councils’ standard programs, including an exceptional increase in revenue through Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council’s (SSHRC) standard research grant program.

Professor Krull continued his presentation by reporting on the impact these investments have made to UTM. Between 1996 and 2001, UTM’s share of research funding at the University of Toronto averaged 1% ($3,715,828/year). When the Centre for Applied Biosciences and Biotechnology (CABB) equipment became available to UTM faculty and expansion was initiated, research activity surged, and UTM’s research revenue now represents 3.6% of UofT’s research revenue.

Professor Krull explained that the role of the Office of the VP Research in the UTM’s research endeavour was to build relationships with and act as a bridge to industry and government partners. He asked faculty members to participate in the expertise database developed by his office, which summarized the many talents of UTM faculty. He added that his office was also doing extensive work on connecting researchers across divisions and campuses to establish expertise in interdisciplinary studies. As an example of local and multi-campus success, he cited the Genes, Environment, Nervous System and Behaviour Group (GENAB), which is a unique cluster in Canada consisting of world-class scientists who cross genetic, molecular, neuroanatomical, and behavioural disciplines. Professor Krull noted that UTM is becoming internationally known for its research excellence and interaction, citing Professor Bruce Schneider’s work on communication and ageing.

He continued his presentation by discussing the efforts of the Western Greater Toronto Area Convergence Centre (WGTACC), a not-for-profit centre, which brings together regional stakeholders in industry, government, hospitals, colleges and universities to build an environment and to offer resources that will encourage entrepreneurship, innovation and investment. Through the activities of this Centre, UTM is a major partner in the Mississauga Healthy Cities Stewardship initiative and the Mississauga Technology Business Accelerator (MTBA) and has provided student placements to various institutions. The Healthy City Stewardship Centre is based on the Mississauga-World Health Organization “Healthy City” program, and operates to further develop local social, educational, recreational and employment/volunteer opportunities and services. Planning meetings for this initiative have taken place with groups including the United Way, Success by Six, and the Fair Share Committee, the Social Planning Council and both the public and separate school boards. These meetings are setting the stage for research plans and partnerships and provide one way of encouraging grants to Social Sciences and Humanities research, which can sometimes be difficult. The WGTACC Web site allows for a searchable list of industry resources and facilitates connectivity between interested partners. He noted that through the MTBA, UTM will be able to gain the services of a laser scanning system, an exiting new imaging technology. For more information on WGTACC he directed members to the following Web site: www.wgtacc.com.

Professor Krull provided members with examples of new academic initiatives being explored as follows: a possible Academy of Medicine at UTM in partnership with Mississauga hospitals; developing a link with Provincial centres of forensic sciences; research collaboration in environmental sciences, community and health with Humber College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning; and Sheridan College Centre for Advanced Manufacturing and Design Technologies, and new Centre for Wellness and Ageing.

Professor Krull concluded his presentation by noting that the Office of the Vice-Principal: Research aims to keep its web site up to date with all the latest research news and events and invited members to contribute their significant research news. He thanked Devin Kreuger, Research Manager, for his extensive work on developing the Web site. Additional information about research activities at UTM, including a report on UTM’s research performance, can be obtained from that web site at: www.utm.utoronto.ca/research.

After opening the floor to questions and discussion on the presentation, Professor Lange called on Professor Hugh Gunz from the department of Management to report on the Master of Innovation Management Program.

ii. Master of Innovation management program in the Graduate Department of Health Administration – Professor Hugh Gunz, Department of Management

Professor Gunz reported that the Master of Innovation management program in the Graduate Department of Health Administration (HPME) is a one year masters program, which was first introduced in Plan 2000 and then appeared in UTM Steps Up. The MIM program focuses on economic analysis and would be complementary to the successful Master of Biotechnology program at UTM providing more graduate level courses in management that address issues particular to organizations, which deal with the innovation process. The enrollment is expected to reach a steady state of 24 students per year. The program is designed for those who wish to pursue careers in the health care industry (e.g., as R&D managers), investment funds oriented towards the sector, public sector or nongovernmental organizations at agencies involved in supporting R&D and technology transfer. It will prepare people for a management role in technology-focused organizations particularly in the health care industry. He referred members to the full program description which was available on the Council Web site. He noted that the governance process will proceed through the School of Graduate Studies, because the graduate home of the program is HPME.

The Chair opened the floor to questions.

In response to a member’s question, Professor Gunz confirmed that the study of productivity and efficiency will be a part of the MIM program.

It was duly moved and seconded,
THAT the report of the Academic Affairs Committee be accepted. (A. Lange /C. Misak)

The Chair opened the floor to questions and discussion on the entire report of the Academic Affairs Committee.

The Dean encouraged all members of Council to attend the information session on curriculum, the first such yearly session with the purpose of making curriculum information available to the UTM community prior to them being taken through the governance process. In response to a member’s question regarding student involvement in the curriculum development process, the Chair of the Academic Affairs Committee noted that in the Biology department, students are involved at the departmental level. The Dean added that most departments have student participation in the development of their curriculum and noted that review of curriculum continues beyond UTM committees and is coordinated among the three campuses. In response to a member’s question, the Dean confirmed that changes to curriculum proposals could still be made through the committee structure. A student member remarked that he had been invited several times to participate in the curriculum development process of the Political Science department. The detailed time and location information for the Information Session was repeated.

The motion was called to question. The motion carried.

5. New Business

a) Report from the Office of the Registrar: New Services for Students, Faculty and Staff – Diane Crocker, Registrar and Director of Enrolment Management

Ms. Crocker began her presentation by acknowledging her staff for their work in introducing a number of new services at the Office of the Registrar. She explained that when UTM’s enrolment was projected to grow from 5500 to 11,500, it became evident that the provision of services through the office’s current location needed to be enhanced and made more efficient. To this end, several on-line service enhancements have been introduced, which have freed up staff time for more one-on-one personal academic counseling. The Office of the Registrar has replaced its large paper filing cabinets with electronic student files, which means that staff have automatic access to information. She stressed that the introduction of this service has greatly enhanced the speed with which staff are able to attend to student needs and has had a very positive impact on the level of service and access to information. She noted that the office no longer keeps paper copies of student files; instead, each file is scanned and imaged and stored in a new system, an eCabinet, which is backed up every evening. This enhancement has also increased accountability and transparency in that staff can store incoming student emails and their replies on the eCabinet for future reference and has made the generation of relevant reports more efficient.

Another service that has been introduced is called Qmatic, which was located in the Meeting Place and was used to eliminate lineups in the OSAP delivery and processing system. Students pick a number and watch for the system to tell them when their number was ready, eliminating the need to remain in a line up. This has allowed the Office of the Registrar to process 600 more student cases per week than previously. This system will also be used for other service delivery areas where lineups exist in the future.

Ms. Crocker talked about the new student assessment module called SAMI, which has replaced a very paper driven process. This system allows departments to review a student’s academic history electronically and ensure that all requirements have been fulfilled for graduation. This has enabled the office to email students with a copy of their program of study assessment and in the future student will be able to access SAMI to find out all of their graduation request details. She also noted that UTM is now responsible for handling graduation assessments, which used to be through the Faculty of Arts and Science. Again the generation of related reports has also been enhanced.

She reported that for the first time this year as departments developed their new curriculum they entered the information into a newly introduced database. This database is now linked to the calendar so that staff do not have to re-enter the information that is part of the curriculum process. This enhancement has saved time, and has decreased data entry errors.

Ms. Crocker concluded her presentation by pointing to the accessibility of all registrarial forms on the Office of the Registrar Web site here. In addition, she noted that the office could meet ‘on the spot’ service requests, such as requesting copies of exams, eliminating the need for multiple visits.

The Chair opened the floor to questions.

In response to a member’s question, Ms. Crocker confirmed that SAMI would be available for June convocation for undergraduate students. She added that currently the UTM Office of the Registrar was not offering services to graduate students, but was working with the School of Graduate Studies to determine what kind of services would be needed.

A member asked whether these new on-line systems had any privacy concerns. Ms. Crocker explained that all registrarial and ROSI related data is secure and that staff access is highly restricted. In addition, she noted that the eCabinet is behind a firewall and is located on an inside server.

In response to a member’s question about transferring transcripts between universities, Ms. Crocker explained that most Ontario universities accomplish this electronically through the Guelph Application Centre, but noted that this function is limited for other jurisdictions.

A member asked whether consideration had been given to reducing costs to students given the introduction of online services and the related cost savings in human resources. Ms. Crocker explained that the only resources associated with savings have been those that relate to the time of staff. She noted that while UTM has grown from 6500 to 9500 students, her office has been able to reduce the number of paper based requests. This has meant that revenue related to these requests has also been reduced. She stressed that these new services have enabled the movement of human resources to where student needs are, namely, academic and financial counseling.

b) QSS yearly activity report – Mark Overton, Dean of Student Affairs

Mr. Overton began his presentation by noting that QSS was established in 1991 as a joint student and administrative forum on quality of student services and meets monthly to explore issues of common interest. He listed some of the group’s past successes through its student leadership, including the following: improving the intercampus shuttle service (eventually made fare free for students), implementing new childcare support options for UTM student-families, improving public transit access and study spaces, and extended wellness centre and Health Services hours while maintaining some free and “clinic priced” common medications. He stressed that most of these successes were the result of sustained participation and communication by all QSS members and through concerns being brought forward in a cooperative way.

The Dean of Student Affairs continued his presentation by providing an overview of all UTM student services, detailing the popular services and their primary funding. He noted that Student Affairs works with the Career Centre, the AccessAbility Resource Centre, Health Services, Residence, and the Centre for Physical Education, Recreation and Athletics on student services. Student Affairs also works in partnership with Business Services to deliver the shuttle service, and with the Office of the Registrar to deliver child care support grants. With respect to child care services, Mr. Overton explained that the source of primary funding was student fees, in addition to university and campus grants and that the service provides grants of between $500 and $2000 to all qualified UTM students. Regarding the office of Student Affairs, he reported that its funding was from the UTM base budget and special projects funding, and that popular services included the new student orientation, Student Centre events support and leadership training.

The presentation also included details other QSS activity highlights including work on endorsing the recommendations of the tri-campus task force on athletics, funding customized job coaching and tailored resume workshop services through the Career Centre and developing a transportation working group to explore transit enhancements, including the possibility of a Mississauga Transit bus pass.

Mr. Overton reported on the QSS approval process for budget proposals, explaining that if the group approves the budgets they go to the University Affairs Board for consideration; if the budgets are rejected, increases based on the UT Index (UTI) / Consumer Price Index (CPI) may be carried to the University Affairs Board for consideration, with services pursuing up to the lesser of the indexed increases permanently and/or the greater of the indexed increases for three years.

He concluded his presentation by noting the terms of reference QSS had recently been revised resulting in increased student and staff memberships,(while maintaining student majority) a clarification of when funding increase proposals should go to referendum and a revised chair selection process.

The Chair opened the floor to questions.

A member asked whether the shuttle service could be made more responsive to faculty use, noting that summer bus shuttle hours are limited. Mr. Overton explained that the shuttle service schedule changes during summer to save costs. He further noted that the service was developed for and is funded by UTM undergraduate students and therefore serves that population primarily. Services for faculty, staff and graduate students are built into the system where there is excess capacity. He asked that suggestions regarding the shuttle bus from graduate students be communicated through AGSAE and from faculty and staff to the Student Affairs office. Ms. Crocker noted that the exam timetable has been coordinated with the shuttle bus schedule. A member pointed out that there was one week in the summer when no shuttle bus service was available and suggested that faculty members approach the Faculty Association for financial support for the expansion of the shuttle bus services.

With respect to transportation issues, a member pointed out that there was a sub committee consisting of student leaders in Mississauga or SLAM, which was in the process of conducting a university wide survey on UTM transportation issues, including Mississauga Transit and GO Transit and has successfully lobbied Mississauga Transit in the past. He encouraged all members to participate in the survey, which could be obtained through the chair of the subcommittee, Mr. Ryan Singh from the Students Administrative Council (SAC.)

A member asked about the kinds of initiatives that had been implemented to increase study space, and also asked for information on the amount of study space in the new Library. Mr. Overton explained that there has been considerable work done to make both lounge and study space available to students. QSS is currently working to increase seating in the CCIT building. In addition, a Web site has also been developed that helps students locate existing study space, and features a chart indicating level of noise, site location and hours of availability. In addition, he noted that study space in the North Building had been enhanced through renovation and that extended hours in the Blind Duck Pub have been made available through QSS subsidies. It was also noted that the new Library will increase study space by 80%. In response to a member’s question about making some of the classroom space in the CCIT building available for study spaces, Mr. Overton explained that room 2080 has been made accessible for quiet study through out the study and exam period. He added that rooms without moveable furniture are ideal for such spaces because caretaking staff does not have to re-set the room. He stressed that these spaces would be continually monitored for their use and for possible improvements.

A member noted that SAC was working on identifying how to improve the availability of study space and asked that members contact that organization if they wish to participate.

6. Vice President and Principal’s Report

The Vice-President and Principal reported that the University of Toronto continues to work with the Provincial government on the way the increased funding announced in the budget would be distributed. He noted that there was still no decision on what criteria would be used for the funding distribution.

He noted that UTM is in the process of developing new graduate programs. As UTM increases its graduate enrolment, services to graduate students will also be increased. The Dean is already working with AGSAE on this issue, and will be bringing through Council proposals that address this issue in the near future.

Professor Orchard reported that UTM is continuing to negotiate with the government on the establishment of an Academy of Medicine. The government will make an announcement regarding their decision once they have signoff from all of the medical schools in Ontario. This announcement is expected in the very near future and should the response be positive, the establishment of an Academy of Medicine at UTM will be brought forward to Council for approval.

He noted that the Information Sessions on curriculum and ancillaries had been developed in response to a request from Council in order to highlight curriculum and ancillary changes prior to the formal governance process.

He announced that UTM is hosting the Healthy Cities Stewardship Centre on Saturday, November 12, 2005 with President David Naylor, and Peter Fonseca, MPP from Mississauga East as keynote speakers. Various organizations in Mississauga that impact health have been invited to participate in breakout groups on the topic of community discussion on health. Members interested in attending this event were asked to contact the office of the VP Research.

The Chair opened the floor to questions.

A member commented that SAC, AGSAE, EPUS and GSU had conducted a tuition plebiscite where 97% of students voted for a tuition freeze. He asked for the position of the office of the Vice-President and Principal on the tuition freeze. The Vice-President and Principal replied that this is a question over which Council has no jurisdiction as tuition fees are set through Governing Council and its boards and committees and noted that input on this issue should be directed to these governing bodies. He further noted that as part of the Rae Review process, there had been an extensive discussion on this issue and the position of the University of Toronto was that tuition should be set by the institution itself with appropriate accountability.

In reply to a member’s question about the how the $6.2B in government funding is to be distributed the Vice-President and Principal replied that he had not as yet had any information on the formula for distribution.

7. Notice of Motion for the December 9, 2005 meeting of Council.

The Chair announced that QSS had revised and approved its terms of reference and that notice is given for the Friday, December 9, 2005 meeting of Council for its approval. The revised terms of reference document is posted on the ECC Web site for everyone’s review. Any questions about them should be directed to Mark Overton, Dean of Student Affairs.

8. Other Business:

a) The Chair reminded members of the Information session on Curriculum and Ancillary Budgets scheduled for Thursday, November 24, 3-5 p.m. in the Faculty Club, room 3140, South Building. All Council members are invited.

b) A member announced that SAC, in collaboration with EPUS has introduced a food bank on the UTM campus for students in need. The food bank is open every Wednesday from 4-7 p.m. starting November 16, 2005 in room 131 of the North Building. The member encouraged residence families and others to register for this service and thanked Facilities Resources and the Financial Aid office for their assistance in helping to establish this program.

9. Next Meeting:

The Chair announced that the next meeting of Erindale College Council will be on Friday, December 9, 2005 at which the curriculum reports will be presented.

The meeting adjourned at 5:45 p.m. (H. Aboghodieh/I. Orchard)

Secretary of Council ________________ Chair _________________
December 2, 2005