Report: January 19, 2006

MINUTES OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEETING OF ERINDALE COLLEGE COUNCIL, held on Thursday, January 19, 2006 at 12:00 p.m. in room 3129, South Building.

Present: R. Beck (in the Chair), I. Orchard, J. Lim, R. Reisz, R. deSouza
Regrets: A. Wensley
In attendance: Sameer Wahid, AGSAE, Walied Khogali (part-time student member of ECC)

The Minutes of the previous meeting (December 1, 2005) were approved. (J. Lim/R. Reisz).

The Executive Committee met to set the agenda for the February 1, 2006 meeting of Erindale College Council.

The Chair of Council welcomed Mr. Walied Khogali, a part-time undergraduate member of Council and Mr. Sameer Wahid, Co-President of AGSAE and member of Council to the Executive Committee. The Chair explained that they were invited to contribute to the discussion of the Executive Committee regarding the motion on tuition freeze that Mr. Khogali wished to add to the agenda of Council. For a full discussion of the motion and why it was deemed out of order as legitimate Council business, please refer to the December 1, 2005 minutes of the Executive Committee. The Chair further explained that members of the Executive Committee still wished to have a focused debate on tuition, but that the motion submitted by Mr. Khogali asked Council to do something, which it has no power to do, namely advocate directly with the provincial government. Since, even if the motion passed, no realistic outcome could be expected, the Chair suggested that members introduce a motion that would offer a focused debate on the issue, and one that the Vice-President and Principal could act upon as staying within the purview and authority of Council. In this way a meaningful dialogue on the issue could be accomplished without circumventing the delegated authority of ECC. He pointed to a motion written by the Vice-President and Principal that would accomplish this task and asked for feedback. The motion is as follows:
Whereas the University is heavily dependent for its operating funds on the combination of the provincial operating grant and tuition-fee revenue;

Whereas the university is committed to providing an accessible, quality education, and removing barriers to accessing and completing higher education;

Whereas the university has a Policy on Student Financial Support that states:

“No student offered admission to a program at the University of Toronto should be unable to enter or complete the program due to lack of financial means”

Be it resolved that ECC recommends to the Vice-President and Principal that he advocate to the Governing Council of the University that the Province of Ontario provide sufficient public funding in the form of operating grants to universities, such that tuition need not be increased.

In response to the Chair’s comments, Mr. Khogali stated that although he personally agreed with the statements made in the above motion, he would still like to place his original motion on the agenda for several reasons: QSS has endorsed this same motion; Council members can amend the motion by majority vote if they wish; Council as a whole should decide on the motion without limiting debate.

In response to the Chair’s comments Mr. Wahid noted his agreement with the ruling of the Chair with respect to the original motion and its non-concurrence with the powers and authority of ECC. He further stated that a collaborative motion should be produced that would represent a compromise of the various positions. He also noted that advising the Vice-President and Principal to recommend a course of action would be an appropriate language to use in whatever motion is introduced.

The Vice-President and Principal noted that Governing Council needs to be presented with a motion that is credible, which the original motion in its current form is not. He explained that the above motion’s ‘whereas’ clauses can all be substantiated as fact and that the resolution is consistent with existing university policy and the Rae report.

Mr. Khogali expressed his disagreement with the Executive Committee’s ruling on the inadmissibility of his motion and repeated his request to have it added to the agenda for discussion and amendment by Council members. He cited a plebiscite conducted in November of 2005, which showed that 98 percent of the students who cast a ballot thought tuition should stay frozen or be reduced. Mr. Ryan Carroll, president of the Erindale College Student Union, remarked that the above motion would still be in the spirit of Mr. Khogali’s motion, but would have the advantage of a realistic outcome. Professor Reisz stated that in his experience as a past member of Governing Council boards and committees, Mr. Khogali’s motion would be ruled out of order at Governing Council because its ‘whereas’ clauses cannot be substantiated by supporting documentation and because of the lack of delegated authority of Council in such matters. Mr. Khogali noted that he would provide supporting documentation.

After a lengthy discussion, during which many of the above remarks were repeated by members, the Chair repeated his ruling that Mr. Khogali’s original motion was out of order. On motion duly moved and seconded, it was agreed that the above motion would be placed on the agenda under ‘other business’ as an actionable motion within the purview of the constitution and one that would generate focused discussion. (I. Orchard/R. Reisz)

The Chair noted that Mr. Khogali should feel free to challenge his ruling at the upcoming Council meeting and let Council members decide on the point. He assured all members of the Executive Committee that there would be ample opportunity to have a thorough discussion of the tuition issue at Council.

The Chair thanked both Mr. Khogali and Mr. Wahid for their time and input and called on the Chair of each standing committee to summarize recent business and identify items for possible inclusion on the next ECC agenda.

On behalf of the Academic Affairs Committee, Ms. Ferencz-Hammond reported that at its January 17, 2006 meeting members received two reports, one for approval. The Chief Librarian presented the UTM Library’s annual review, entitled, “Making Connections.” Members then received the proposal to establish a concurrent teacher education program (CTEP) at UTM. Both the program and the resulting calendar changes that were outlined and posted on the Council web site were approved by members. This item will be forwarded to Council for approval.

On behalf of the Resource Planning and Priorities Committee, Professor Reisz reported that at its last meeting on January 16, 2006 the major items of business were the four service ancillary management reports and budgets. The budgets for parking, conference, food and residence were recommended to Council for approval.

Mr. Lim reported that the computing Committee meeting scheduled for January 18, 2006 was cancelled.

The Vice-President and Principal noted that as part of his report he would introduce two items for approval. One of these items is the recommendation of the naming committee for the CCIT building and the other is the ratification of a UTM hearing officer for non-academic disciplinary matters.

The Executive Committee meeting adjourned at 1:10 p.m. (J. Lim/R. Reisz)