Minutes: January 29, 2010

UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO MISSISSAUGA

MINUTES OF THE ERINDALE COLLEGE COUNCIL meeting held on Friday, January 29th, 2010, at 3:15 p.m. in the Council Chamber, Room 3130, South Building

Present: A. Wensley (in the Chair), I. Orchard, G. Averill, P. Donoghue, D. Crocker, M.A. Mavrinac, M. Overton, C. Bryson, L. Barber, A. Birkenbergs, A. Iwaniw, L. Oliver, T. Luke-Gervais, K. Horvath, D. Dunlop, M. Jalland, I. Whyte, S. Senese, M. Meth, A. Stelmacovich, A. Vyas, D. Kreuger, L. Paris, G. Richter, C. Boyd, D. Mullings, F. Morgan, L. Collins, E. Martin, R. Tennant, J. Lim, P. Handley, P. Goldsmith, B. McFadden, J. Stirling, A. Burnett, Y. Poloz, R. Da Silva, J. Delves, S. Gonsalves, H. Schepmyer, W. Edgar, A. Lange, R. Reisz, P. Macdonald, U. Krull, H. Gunz, S. Munro, G. Crawford, L. Kaplan, E. Nikiema, L. Bailey, N. Woolridge, J. Santiago, M.P. Galvez, H. Ssali, C. Au Yeung, N. Jafri, V. Bhatt, S. Hassan, I. Hindy, T. Kristan, T. Bhandari, K. Bolesa, C. Choi, J. Cruz, S. da Silva, U. Farooq, M. Hassan, L. Hawn, S. Jia, J. Khan, S. Le, C. Leung, G. Li, F. Liaqat, F. Lodhi, A-K. Madhavji, R. Mannapperuma, S. Minhas, A. Modh, A. Noor, J. Ramiakhan, D. Roelofsen, N. Shaikh, S. Sidani, S. Tauseef, M. Waheed, M. Walli, K. Xiao, W. Yan, G. Yuen, R. Zafar, S. Badhwar, T. Ahmed

Regrets: D. Raffman, R. Beck, S. McCarthy, S. Speller, L. Thomson

In attendance: K. Dhananja, N. Hernandez, S. Sumra, S. Watson, M. Berger, R. Cerrudo, S. Marotta, A. Lopatriello, R. Algar, A. DeVito, D. Cervoni, T. Breukelman, K. Giles, C.E. Lewis, M. Sheikh, C. Feurstein,

1. Approval of Minutes of Previous Meeting (December 4, 2009)

The minutes of the last meeting were approved. (P. Donoghue/H. Ssali)

2. Reports of Standing Committees and Officers

a) Resource Planning & Priorities Committee: Report of January 18, 2010-Prof. Robert Reisz

Professor Reisz, reported that the Resource Planning and Priorities Committee considered two major items on January 18, 2010: the ICC renewal proposal was approved, which was also considered by the Academic Affairs Committee and will be presented later on in this meeting's agenda under that committee's report and the ancillary budgets, which were unanimously approved.

Mr. Donoghue detailed the Service Ancillaries Review Group (SARG) guidelines by which all ancillaries at the University of Toronto must abide as follows:

• Subsidies from the operating budget, both direct and indirect, must be expressly identified and eliminated.

• Operating revenues must be sufficient to support regular capital renewal of both buildings and equipment. Deferred maintenance must be eliminated and provision made for regular replacement of furniture and equipment.

• Having achieved objectives (1) and (2), ancillaries will create an operating reserve.

• Having achieved (1), (2) and (3), ancillaries will contribute net revenues to the operating budget.

• In addition, where an ancillary takes on a major capital investment (normally a new building or extensive renovation), Each ancillary must:

• Achieve annual breakeven position 5 years after opening a new building

• Achieve a cumulative breakeven position 8 years after opening a new building

The Chair opened the floor to questions.

In response to a member's question about when the SARG guidelines were implemented, the CAO answered that they have been in effect at least since 2001. The member commented that in his opinion, SARG guidelines were outdated and that such policies needed re-examining in light of their stringent requirements about loan pay-back terms, especially for new buildings. The CAO pointed out that 5 and 8 years of break even position do not mean that debts are paid off; mortgages are normally at least on a 25 year amortization period. He explained that the issue is that on an annual profit and loss basis the bottom line has to balance out. He added that while still carrying debt, ancillaries have to generate revenues enough to cover their expenses; if they cannot do this, viability is a serious concern.

The Vice-President and Principal noted that he would be pleased to pass on the concern expressed about SARG guidelines to the Vice-President and Provost.

A member commented that students have seen increases in the past, but one needs to looks at the campus expansion and the benefits students experienced as result. She cited the example of the Recreation, Athletics and Wellness Centre, a building for which students contributed funds even though it was built after they graduated. Those students contributed funds in order to benefit the future student population. She added that if students wanted the expansion and the accompanying advantages that came along with new buildings and services, then they would have to contribute as well.

i. Parking Services - Alex MacIsaac, Manager of Parking and Transportation

The parking services management report and budget is attached hereto as Appendix A.

Mr. MacIsaac reported that Parking & Transportation Services lost 300 spaces due to the construction of the Instructional Centre and a further 140 spaces to the Health Science Complex in 2009-10. Space inventory has fallen below the total demand and has curtailed service for the 2009-10 demand for parking on campus, resulting in all existing being over-sold.

Permit sales have been capped on all existing lots and waiting lists established. Furthermore, U of T Mississauga has had to reduce some outreach activities and cancel special events (or reschedule to off-peak hours, affecting attendance) because of lack of parking. With the loss of Lot 2 due to the construction of the new Medical Academy, and spaces lost in Lot 9, the total loss of spaces experienced was 440. A temporary solution to regain some of the loss inventory included the conversion of the baseball diamond and tennis courts into parking spaces. Permit revenues are expected to fall short of budget by 5% which equates to a total of $90,630.

Mr. MacIsaac reported that the planned construction of a parking deck will increase the number of parking spaces in Lot 8 by approximately 250. This will make available more spaces to offset the loss of Lot 2 & Lot 9. Construction is expected to begin in April 2010 and is projected to be completed by September 2010. The cost of this project will be $6,500,000 which will be amortized over a 10 year period.

Regarding the 2010-11 budget, Mr. MacIsaac reported that it includes a 3% permit price increase.

Pay & Display revenues continue to increase from the 2009-2010 forecast. This increase is due to continued effective enforcement practices and the proposed rate increase of $1 (from $12 to $13) for the daily maximum and a $1 increase (from $5 to $6) in the evening and weekend rate.

It was duly moved and seconded,
THAT the Parking Services Operating Plan and Management Report for 2010-11 be recommended to Erindale College Council for approval. (A. MacIsaac/R. Reisz)

The Chair opened the floor to discussion.

A member asked what the rationale for the 3% increase was in light of profits shown by the ancillary between 2006 and 2008. Mr. McFadden answered that over the past three years, profits have gone to capital accrual projects. The CAO noted that this was due to a combination and sequence of events of sound management planning and the opportunity of government funding. He explained that Lot #2, which was the most popular lot, was badly in need of repair, which was completed; subsequent to that, the campus received notice that it would receive $70M from the government to erect the Instructional Centre (IC) and agreed to do so. Given the amount of development on campus, many of the campus' buildings were placed on top of parking lots, due to the highly prohibitive cost of building an underground garage, such as the CCT parking garage. The IC also had an aggressive timeline and had to be completed by March 2011. The CAO remarked that planners did not know in advance of the funding, but felt that due to the campus' desperate need for teaching space, the project would ultimately have a positive impact.

A member asked why the ancillary could not forgo a lager profit and keep rates at the current rate. The CAO noted that the Transportation and Parking subcommittee, the Resource Planning and Priorities Committee as well as Council, had discussed the issue of replacing parking lots and increasing parking supply. The resulting parking deck proposal has been submitted for approval to the Planning and Budget Committee of Governing Council, which will then be followed by submission to the University Affairs Board, the Academic Board, the Business Board and finally Governing Council. He explained the business case for the parking deck is sound, and the debt for it can be retired in 10 years. He added that part of the sound business case is the fact that the project can be undertaken with only a small increase in rates. This will allow the ancillary to maintain an operating revenue and operating reserve; this business case becomes significantly weaker without any rate increase.

A member asked why students had to pay twice in light of the 25% rate increase from 2006. Mr. Donoghue noted that he has already touched on this issue, but explained that the only way to build the CCT underground parking garage was to have that large of an increase. Since then, the parking rate has either remained unchanged, or has been decreased.

In answer to a member's question about whether the parking deck would be built, if the parking ancillary budget was not approved, the CAO replied that he did not know if that was possible.

A student asked if the university had considered reducing the number of incoming students, because of the pressure the increased student population was placing on student services, including the ancillaries and students could no longer afford paying for new buildings. The Vice-President and Principal noted that there were multiple aspects to this issue. The new library was funded by the government as well as substantial fundraising efforts, without any monetary contribution from students. He added that the suggestion of stopping non-UTM students from using the library would go against the reciprocal arrangement university libraries have, since UTM students could no longer use other university libraries. He further explained that UTM entered an expansion in 2000, in response to the government's request for expansion to meet the needs of Ontario's population growth. The aggressive growth from 6000 to 11,000 students, allowed UTM to build the new library, the CCT building as well as the residences; without this growth all of the new facilities would not have been possible and the university would not have been offered the money for the Instructional Centre. The expansion also allowed the campus to build critical mass in faculty and staff and contributed to greatly enhanced research efforts. He emphasized that this expansion has been carefully monitored and expressed his belief that the benefits of expansion have outweighed any negative effects.

In answer to a member's question, the CAO confirmed that the parking deck's $6.5M cost would be paid off over 10 years. Sufficient revenue stream has been built into the financial model of the parking deck plan, such that the deck can be paid off in 10 years, with no more than 3% yearly increases. This would also allow the ancillary to rebuild its capital and operating reserves. The CAO added that part of the case for the parking deck to gain approval has been the fact that the ancillary is not asking for extraordinary increases in rates to accomplish the project.

The member further commented that although there had been either no increase or a reduction in parking rate increases over the past two years, students could not afford the current proposed increase in light of the poor quality of service.

Mr. Donoghue explained that in previous years, the campus had more than the needed amount of parking spots and that the availability of spots had never been a problem until the loss of Lot #2 and spots in Lot#9 in the fall of 2009. The question remained as to what the ideal supply versus demand ratio should be, and whether the ancillary should replace all of the spots lost recently in light of issues related to environmental sensitivity. He added that if the campus wanted to replace all of the spots it lost, it would cost an additional $3M, which would further increase parking rates.

In response to a member's question about the use of Erindale Park for extra parking, the CAO explained that this option, as well as using surrounding mall parking lots had been explored, but that due to safety concerns in the case of Erindale Park and no interest from the malls, neither of these options could be implemented.

A member commented that graduate students applaud the campus expansion and noted that UTM students are paying less than students at other universities. She further spoke in support of the parking deck, which she found to be a way to provide much needed parking spots at a cost savings.

Another member suggested that the university look for other ways besides raising rates to fund the parking deck. The Vice-President and Principal explained that the government does not provide funding for parking, food services or residences - such funding is strictly restricted to the academic venture. He added that UTM campus rates were lower than those of the St. George campus and noted that in fact planners there had questioned why UTM was not proposing larger increases.

In response to a member's question about whether having a Go Bus station on campus had been explored, the CAO explained that there have been ongoing discussions with Mississauga Transit and Go Transit on this issue without much progress.

The motion was put to a vote. The motion was carried.

ii. Food Services - Bill McFadden, Director of Hospitality and Retail Services

The food services management report and budget is attached hereto as Appendix B.

Mr. McFadden reported that, regarding forecasted revenue, cafeteria sales fell short of budget by 1.7%, due to the reduction in discretionary spending related to the recession and reduced business as a result of the condensed academic schedule. The forecasted total revenue still exceeds budget by 2%, primarily as a result of increases in the meal plan and catering sales. It was noted that cost of sales are 2.3% higher as a direct result of the higher revenue.

Mr. McFadden explained that Chartwells selling prices were based upon a number of costs incurred in the delivery of services to the community. The two largest components are food costs and labour costs. He emphasized that Chartwells faced tremendous challenges in these areas this year. There was an 8.5% increase to the minimum wage in Ontario. In addition, food prices were the primary driver of inflation in Canada in 2009: specifically, inflation related to food was at 7.9% at the beginning of April and although the Ontario economy has seen subtle deflation through the fall, the cost of restaurant meal purchases for December were still approximately 3% higher than last year. Mr. McFadden noted that selling prices for food need to keep up with the inflation related to the service input costs, otherwise, services need to be reduced. Chartwells price increases for the 2009/10 year were less than inflation, resulting in margin pressure over the year.

Regarding direct expenses, total forecasted direct expenses are 4.8% less than budget.

Regarding the price of food on campus, a 4% inflationary increase to the price of food is anticipated on campus. This increase is a result of the further 7.9% increase in the minimum wage scheduled for the spring and to cover the anticipated inflationary increase to food in 2010-11. Mr. McFadden detailed a number of trends developing regarding the cost of food as follows:

  • Global food prices increased 7% in November
  • The recovery from the recession is beginning to increase worldwide demand for food
  • Drought in India and Argentina and typhoons in the Philippines have reduced output and trade restrictions have been put in place in a number of countries
  • There are reductions in the inventory of commodities in the U.S. and Canada
  • Food prices will be going up

Regarding the meal plan cost, a 5% increase in meal plan revenue and a weighted average meal plan rate increase of 4.1% is being budgeted. Schedule 6 shows a complete breakdown of meal plan rates.

Mr. McFadden noted that U of T Mississauga meal plan rates, remain very competitively priced: the campus rated 7th out of 13 schools in both the least expensive and average Group A meal plan rates. When the average of all meal plans is taken into consideration, the U of T Mississauga campus ranks second lowest of 14 universities. He emphasized that this was important to note because the campus is offering services similar to universities that are much larger while still remaining very competitively priced.

Mr. McFadden continued his report by noting that sales have flattened out as the existing food service infrastructure is pushed to the limit. The food service operation is currently serving more than 8500 customers per day. He acknowledged that the food service operation was rated as a "D" operation by the Globe and Mail Report Card of Universities, noting that more quality facilities are needed. In keeping with this, a master plan for campus food service facilities has been completed to identify areas of future food service development. The proposal for a new food service outlet in the Instructional Centre was approved and will be completed for the fall of 2011. In addition, preliminary conceptual planning for enhanced food service in the South Building is beginning and a new Tim Horton's kiosk will be implemented in the Meeting Place.

It was duly moved and seconded,
THAT the Food Services Operating Plan and Management Report for 2010-11 be recommended to Erindale College Council for approval. (B. McFadden/R. Reisz)

The Chair opened the floor to discussion.

A member asked there were increases in meal plan rates when many students who buy the meal plans do not use them up by the end of the year and there is no possibility of a roll-over of the plans into subsequent years.

Mr. McFadden explained that during the first year of the meal plan, there was no increase in rates and during the second year of the meal plan there was only a very small increase of 2%, with the net effect over time amounting to a very small increase. He further explained that the ancillary tries to ensure a very high student value factor, which is currently at 99%. Meal plan balances are downloaded on a regular basis and compared to budget figures.

A member commented that it was not fair to students to have mandatory meal plans. The Chair pointed out that the issue of mandatory meal plans was not speaking to the motion under consideration.

The member then commented on the lack of food diversity on campus. Mr. McFadden explained that there was a real opportunity to do something special with new facilities planned for the Meeting Place. He noted that food services would be listening intently to what user preferences were. In response to user input, currently, staff are exploring or offering a Mexican feature, and special food features in honour of Black History Month. He noted that he was open to suggestions and requests from users on any diverse food offerings.

In response to a member's question about whether the recent food survey results would be distributed, Mr. McFadden answered that he had only received the survey results that morning and they had yet to be analyzed.

A member commented that food price increases as listed in the CPI for Canada were 1.7% over last 12 months and asked why rate increases proposed here were much higher. Mr. McFadden noted that the number he had for food price increases was 12% not 1.7%.

A member asked if there were any further benefits for students as a result of the rate increases. Mr. McFadden explained that food services was striving to improve existing facilities and introduce new ones on campus, and will be making significant investments in that area in the future.

The motion was put to a vote. The motion was carried.

ii. Residence - Dale Mullings, Director of Residence

The residence services management report and budget is attached hereto as Appendix C.

Mr. Mullings reported that the forecast for 2009-2010 is better than the financial plan as approved through governance in 2009. The operating result before transfers is a deficit of $436,703, which is $133,709 better than budget. Regarding revenues, occupancy (number of beds occupied) for 2009-2010 met projections at 96%, however they are lower than anticipated revenues attributable to the variance in pricing for accommodations, a shortfall of $35,382. Summer occupancy was higher than projected with an increase in half semester housing occupancy, leading to a surplus of $77,258.

Regarding expenses, Mr. Mullings reported that significant savings in utilities ($105,978) are due to lower utility rates and increased environmental cost-saving initiatives. Annual and Major Maintenance collectively are projected to be higher than plan by $71,244 due to unanticipated electrical code issues in the townhouses, accessible door operator installations in Oscar Peterson Hall, additional shingle replacements in MaGrath Valley and Schreiberwood following a Roof Conditioning Audit in the spring of 2009, and roofing repairs to Roy Ivor Hall Pod B.

Mr. Mullings also reported that a 20-year roof conditioning audit for all residence buildings was completed. In addition, a new September family and graduate lease period was implemented to better meet the needs of graduate program cycles.

He reported that in the EBI or Educational Benchmark Survey, which is a comprehensive, comparative assessment instrument and analysis to support quality improvement efforts, U of T Mississauga is rated 4.8 out of 5.

Regarding student consultation, Mr. Mullings reported that in preparing the residence budget, he had met with members of the Student Housing Advisory Committee, which consists of elected student representatives, who provide input and feedback on matters pertaining to housing services, programming for students, resources and departmental budget priorities. The Committee reviewed the budget and operating plan and unanimously endorsed it. The detailed membership of the committee was included as Appendix A to the residence management report, which was linked to the Council meeting agenda.

Regarding the proposed operating plan, residence fees are planned to increase at a combined rate of 5% for the 2010-2011 year. This will be achieved through a proportional increase model based on weighted revenues from the two specific areas of residence (undergraduate and family & graduate), as proposed by the UTM Student Housing Advisory Committee. Undergraduate residence fees are planned to increase 5.2% in 2010-2011, as compared to 5.5% in 2009-2010; rates are for the 8-month period from September to April. Family and graduate rental rates are planned to increase by 4.5% in 2010-2011 as compared to 3.25% in 2009-2010. In addition, graduate bachelor accommodations will also increase by 4.5%.

Mr. Mullings concluded his report by noting that rates would remain competitive in comparison to off-campus accommodation. Housing demand for graduate students and students with families has seen a decline over recent years, while housing demand for undergraduates continues to increase. A more aggressive marketing plan for family and graduate housing has yielded some results, and the department will continue to work closely with the Office of the Vice-Dean, Graduate to explore opportunities for outreach to graduate students. Undergraduate housing although consistently strong, will be enhanced with a new reapplication process for returning students, improvements to the four-year guarantee for international students, and additional feeder school recruitment for residence in collaboration with the Office of the Registrar.

It was duly moved and seconded,
THAT the Residence Operating Plan and Management Report for 2010-11 be recommended to Erindale College Council for approval. (D. Mullings/P. Donoghue)

The Chair opened the floor to discussion.

A member commented that more than 50% of revenue was going towards debt financing and asked about how much debt residence was carrying. Mr. Mullings noted that the residence operation was $5M in debt and that .50 cents out of every dollar was being contributed to paying down that debt. He added that as a result of all of the new residence buildings coming online in recent years, the operation has never had a change to work down its debt. In a follow-up question, a member asked whether rates would decrease once the debt is paid down. Mr. Mullings explained that this would depend on what students would like to see in terms of improvements to residence.

In response to a member's question about the student housing advisory committee, Mr. Mullings referred the member to page 4 of the residence budget management report, which was available with this meeting's agenda and noted that the committee had indeed endorsed the residence budget.

A member commented that the proposed rate increase is too high and asked how much the university owes in residence mortgages. The CAO commented that the amount in question is very large and encompasses a series of loans, one of which is over a 40 year amortization period. He also noted that members should keep in mind that the residence townhouses needed continuous capital investments, because they were old and badly in need of repair and improvements.

The Vice-President and Principal answered that although he did not know the exact number at this time, if the townhouses are removed from consideration, the mortgages would total approximately $40M.

The residence financial officer, who was in attendance at the meeting, noted that the number was at $35 to 40M.

In answer to a member's question, Mr. Mullings explained that major maintenance included larger planned projects such as roofs being replaced and annual maintenance included such items as plumbing repairs.

A member commented that going from 11 years to 9 years to pay off debt is admirable, but did not warrant the proposed increases. Mr. Mullings explained that the residence operation had been given a grace period to pay off debt in 9 years and added that the sooner debt is paid, the better off students are.

A member wished to discuss SARG requirements again and was ruled out of order by the Chair as not speaking to the motion under consideration.

In answer to a member's question about whether or not students are receiving any benefit as a result of these increases, Mr. Mullings pointed to page 3 of the management report which discusses in detail the improvements that were being made to the residences.

Although not a member of Council, a member of the Student Housing Advisory Committee was allowed to speak. He spoke in favour of the residence budget, which he felt was a good balance of growth and paying off debts; he added that a majority of the members of the Committee thought the budget was fair and equitable.

Another member noted that graduate students were consulted and were in favour of the residence budget.

The residence council president, although not a member of ECC was allowed to speak, and noted that he was a member of the Student Housing Advisory Committee, but was against the increases proposed in the budget. He then raised the issue of the unfairness of SARG guideline requirements, but was ruled out of order by the Chair, who noted that the member was not speaking to the motion under discussion.

Another member of the student housing advisory committee spoke and noted that he did send the residence budget to the residence dons asking for feedback and received unanimous approval.

It was duly moved and seconded,
THAT
Council extend its meeting adjournment time by 30 minutes. (I. Orchard/G. Averill)
The motion was carried.

A member commented that while the residence dons may have been in favour of the residence budget, the undergraduate student population is overwhelmingly opposed.

It was duly moved and seconded,
THAT
Council postpone voting on residence ancillary budget and management report until the next Council meeting. (J. Santiago/V. Bhatt)

The Chair opened the floor to discussion. The CAO spoke against postponement and explained that the next Council meeting was scheduled for March 4, while the Service Ancillary Review Group meeting, to which these budgets would be submitted for approval, was scheduled for February 12. The member making the motion spoke in favour of postponement, noting that there was much opposition to the residence budget among undergraduate students as proposed.

Mr. Mullings commented that indeed there were 7 students participating on the Student Housing Advisory Committee, who represented elected member of various constituencies, including undergraduate students. The Vice-President and Principal added that while ancillaries seek feedback and input on their proposed budgets, they have a responsibility to manage their budgets in a fiscally responsible way. He added that the Resource Planning and Priorities Committee, which also has elected student representatives, passed the residence budget unanimously.

It was duly moved and seconded,
THAT
the pending motion be put to an immediate vote. (A. Birkenbergs/I. Orchard)
The motion was carried.

The motion on whether consideration of the residence budget should be postponed to the March 4 Council meeting was put to a vote. The motion to postpone failed.

The main motion was put to a vote. The motion was carried.

iii. Conference Services - Gale Richter, Manager of Conference Services

The conference services management report and budget is attached hereto as Appendix D.

Revenues are expected to be $191,646 higher than the original budget, due to an increase in food and accommodation revenue. This additional revenue is due to a number of groups confirming their conference after the submission of the budget last year. The closing total fund balance is expected to be $330,069 at the end of 2009-10.

The Conference Services Budget for 2010-11 reflects a financial plan predicated on a reduction in the number of confirmed conference groups for the summer. Although Conference Services is awaiting final word on bids for a number of promising new conference groups, the budget cannot assume the associated revenue. As a result, total revenues are projected to be $827,289.

It was duly moved and seconded,
THAT the Conference Services Operating Plan and Management Report for 2010-11 be recommended to Erindale College Council for approval. (G. Richter/P. Donoghue)

The Chair opened the floor to discussion.

A member thanked Ms. Richter for an excellent job, but noted that the majority of conference services revenue comes from residence and is then transferred to the university budget and not the residence budget. He expressed his hope that in future some of these revenues could flow back into the residence budget. The CAO responded that while residence revenue represented a prominent part of conference revenue, conference services also has to supply meeting rooms, arrange for audio visual requirements and provide access to a whole variety of services. He noted that in the past few months, senior administration has examined the current business model for conference services to consider a instituting a rate for conference clients. In addition, he would also be looking at the business relationship between residence and conference to see what kind of modifications could be made for a more equitable arrangement.

The motion was put to a vote. The motion was carried.

b) Academic Affairs Committee: Report of January 18, 2010 -Prof. Angela Lange

Professor Lange reported that the Academic Affairs Committee met on January 18, 2010. The Committee heard a follow up report from the Registrar on revising the curriculum/calendar template to make it more user-friendly. The template will be revised by August, in time for the 2010 curriculum review process. Users and AAC members were invited by both the Registrar and the Chair of AAC to submit their comments about the template to the Registrar. Ms. Crocker also updated members on the printing of the calendar, an issue that had been discussed at a previous meeting. The calendar will still be printed in hardcopy and provided to all new students, but will no longer be printed for High School distribution. Of course the calendar will be available to everyone online.

The Committee also received the report of the Chief Librarian on the library's Annual Review, which is attached hereto as Appendix E.

Finally, the Academic Affairs Committee considered and approved the proposal from the Dean on the renewal of the Institute of Communication and Culture. Professor Lange called on the Dean to present the proposal for Council's consideration.

The proposal for the Institute of Communication and Culture renewal is attached hereto as Appendix F.

Professor Averill reported that this proposal had already been approved at a recent meeting of the Resource Planning and Priorities Committee.

Professor Averill explained that the renewal ICC initiative grew out of a program review and external assessment of the ICC. He explained that university program reviews take place every five years and are often linked to a change in leadership. During the course of discussions with students, faculty and staff in related programs, it was found that the ICC was in need of a review out of cycle.

The Dean detailed the consultation process, which included a self-study and an external review as well as administrative and decanal responses, extensive consultations within and outside ICC units, and a Town Hall meeting that demonstrated a large degree of consensus.

This reorganization responds to a number of shortcomings in the current structure of the Institute of Communication and Culture. These include the structural problems caused by the confusion of roles and responsibilities of the ICC Director and those of the individual Unit Directors; the organizational complexity of the ICC and its reporting structures, as well as the inability to achieve any degree of joint governance. There has also been a significant gulf among the academic worldviews and cultures of CVMC (arts/humanities with a research focus), CCIT (a media/social sciences teaching unit) and BMC (with its science-based professional masters focus); the lack of faculty and student identification with the parent unit; and the disparate notions of what constitutes academic quality and productivity among the units, which has inhibited shared evaluation of progress through the ranks. The reorganization of the Institute offers a solution to remedy these shortcomings while providing a more fertile environment for improving the teaching and research missions of the individual units and the University as a whole.

The Dean discussed higher order issues with the current alignment of units and programs. There were too many embedded units, with too many acronyms, for clarity, coherence, and profile. Most constituencies identify with the subordinate units, not with ICC as a whole. The existence of ICC masks a gulf in academic worldview and culture amongst the units. And finally, the current configuration is sub-optimal to attract the best students, create the best context for their education, and secure the most marketable degrees.

Therefore, it is proposed that the Institute of Communication and Culture (ICC) be disestablished and that there be established in its place a new Department of Visual Studies and a new Institute of Communication, Culture, and Information Technology (EDU:A). The new Department of Visual Studies will consist of the former Centre for Visual and Media Culture (CVMC, an informal centre rather than an approved University of Toronto centre), the Blackwood Gallery (a non-academic unit), and the Visual Resources Library (VRL). The new Institute will consist of the following former units: Communication, Culture and Information Technology (CCIT) and Professional Writing and Communication (PWC). Finally, Biomedical Communications (BMC) will be relocated to the Department of Biology at the University of Toronto Mississauga.

In terms of its curricular impacts and the delivery of academic programs, this reorganization will result in a series of program relocations. The Visual Culture and Communication (VCC) Specialist program currently delivered in CCIT, the Cinema Studies Minor currently housed in the Department of Language Studies, and CVMC's Art History and Art and Art History programs (jointly with Sheridan Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning, hereafter: Sheridan) will move to the new Department of Visual Studies. The academic programs in CCIT (jointly with Sheridan) as well as the Professional Writing and Communication (PWC) program will move to the new Institute. The Human Communication Technologies Specialist program in CCIT will be discontinued, as will the Health Science Communications/HSC major in CCIT. In addition, this restructuring will lead to the formation of a new joint undergraduate program offered through CCIT and administered by the Institute and the Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto. Finally, Biomedical Communications will move its undergraduate minor and graduate programs to the Department of Biology while maintaining their current relationship with the Institute of Medical Sciences at the graduate level.

It was duly moved and seconded,
THAT
Council extend its meeting adjournment time by 15 minutes. (I. Orchard/P. Donoghue)
The motion was carried.

The Dean discussed the intended outcomes of this reorganization, which include increased research capacity in digital media and other fields, improved collaboration with Sheridan, new and strengthened programs and a better profile, student recruitment, and overall program excellence.

It was duly moved and seconded,
THAT
i) The Institute of Communication and Culture (ICC) at the University of Toronto Mississauga be disestablished and that there be established in its place a new Department of Visual Studies and a new Institute of Communication, Culture, and Information Technology (EDU:A), effective July 1, 2010, as detailed in the attached Proposal;

and THAT
ii) Biomedical Communications (BMC) be relocated to the Department of Biology at the University of Toronto Mississauga, effective July 1, 2010. (G. Averill/A. Lange)

The Chair opened the floor to discussion.

In response to a member's question, the Dean re-iterated that no student will be disadvantaged by the proposed program changes and that students would be grandfathered into the program. The Registrar added that courses would be continued to ensure that students would be able to graduate.

The motion was approved.

3. Update from the Chief Administrative Officer

The CAO reported that the campus master plan, which dates back to the year 2000 and sets out the future plan of the campus, is currently being updated. Working with the space and facilities planning office, a special working group representing all relevant constituencies has been assembled and will have its first meeting on February 10. The working group would like to solicit the community's feedback on how to revise the existing, 2000 campus master plan to the year 2020. A special web button has been placed on the main U of T Mississauga website to ask for campus community feedback. Community feedback would then be incorporated and taken to a second meeting of the working group in March. A final updated document will then be taken to the Resource Planning and Priorities Committee, followed by Erindale College Council for consideration. Mr. Donoghue encouraged everyone to provide feedback through the website and accompanying email address, accessible through the main UTM website.

Mr. Donoghue stated that due to time constraints for this meeting, he would continue his report on capital project updates at the next Council meeting.

4. Vice President and Principal's Report

Similarly, the Vice-President and Principal noted that he would only provide a short report due to time constraints and would complete his report at the next Council meeting.

Professor Orchard announced that Governing Council had approved the appointment of Professor Hargurdeep (Deep) Saini, Dean of the Faculty of Environment at the University of Waterloo, as the new Vice President and Principal of the University of Toronto Mississauga, for a five year term, beginning July 1, 2010. Professor Orchard noted that Prof. Saini would be visiting the campus next week and more intensive orientations would commence later in the spring.

Professor Orchard further announced that Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion is among a group of individuals who will receive an honorary degree from the University of Toronto at one of its spring convocations. The mayor will accept her degree at the June 7, 9:30 a.m., ceremony. In her honorary nomination she is cited, among other reasons, for her leadership of the City of Mississauga since 1978 and as a tireless supporter of World Vision through her "Hazel's Hope" charity for children affected by HIV/AIDS in Africa. Other honorary degree recipient list includes Mary Anne Chambers, former Ontario minister of training, colleges and universities, and minister of children and youth services.

The Chair announced that the next meeting was scheduled for Thursday, March 4, 2010.

The meeting adjourned at 6:00 p.m. (A. Lange/H. Ssali )

Chair _______________________________ Secretary _____________________________