MINUTES OF THE ACADEMIC
AFFAIRS COMMITTEE of Erindale College Council held on Tuesday, January
21, 2003 at 3:10 p.m., in Room 3129.
PRESENT: S. Aster (Chair), J. Poë, J. Lester, M.A. Mavrinac, S.
Munro, W. Ghobriel, M.L. Smith, W. Thompson, J. McCurdy-Myers, M. Overton,
G. Allen, J. Borchenko, M. Massey, C. Boyd, C. Ferencz Hammond
REGRETS: I. Orchard, P. Donoghue, G. Anderson
Adoption of the Agenda
Approved by all present. (J. McCurdy-Myers/M.A. Mavrinac)
Minutes of the Previous Meeting
The minutes were approved. (M. L. Smith/M.A. Mavrinac)
Business Arising from the Minutes
a) Anticipating the Double Cohort: Assessment of Skills to Date -
Cleo Boyd, Director of the Academic Skills Centre, gave a presentation
entitled Anticipating the Double Cohort: Assessment of Skills to Date.
She reported that since September of 2002, she had been collecting
and examining approximately 733 pieces of writing, 400 from Grade
12, the remaining 300 from OAC High School students. She studied each
student's ability to focus on what each identified as the topic of
a paper and their technical proficiency with the language. The objective
of her study was to determine whether there was a qualitative difference
in these skills between Grade 12 and OAC students. When taking into
account the three skills criteria of focus of attention, topic development
and expression of thought, she found no difference between Grade 12
and OAC students. The only significant difference that teachers reported
between the two groups was in their level of maturity and attitude
of "consumerism", in which Grade 12 students were more developed.
A member asked whether she had any report on the Mathematics skills
of graduating High School students. C. Boyd explained that, although
math skills were not part of her study, the consensus seems to be
that Grade 12 students will be more prepared than OAC students, but
only if the current curriculum was completed.
A member asked whether the information in the above report was disseminated
to appropriate constituencies at UTM. C. Boyd explained that this
was available to individual faculty members who approached her on
The Chair thanked C. Boyd for her report.
b) Discussion of the "Green Papers on the Academic Plan":
Questions for the Provost at the UTM Town Hall Meeting
In order to focus the discussion, the Chair called on committee members
to present their thoughts on section 2C of the "A Green Paper
for Public Discussion: The Student Experience", on "Reviewing
the Undergraduate Curriculum". This section contains the description
of the Foundations Program at UBC, a highly integrated program specifically
designed for first year students. A member suggested that the creation
of such a program would be a good investment by the University and
that UTM would be an ideal location for such a pilot project, especially
in the Sciences. Other members stressed the importance of having the
appropriate resources and funding to encourage faculty to participate
in such innovative programs.
In the discussion of interdisciplinary programs, a member questioned
what incentives exist for faculty who are asked to participate in
the development of these programs in light of a perceived disadvantage
when these faculty are evaluated for merit/tenure based on individual
In section 1C of the same document, outreach and diversity efforts
were discussed and the extent to which this enriched the student and
A member raised the concern that when discussing Writing Programs,
UTM's own successful program was ignored in the "Green Paper".
There was finally some discussion about the section "Strengthening
The Appointment And Tenure Review Process". Some members observed
that there was pressure to make the tenure review programs more stringent.
Others suggested that the real solution lay in perfecting the appointments
The Chair concluded the committee's discussion of the "Green
Paper" by recommending that members continue to contribute their
ideas via the Provost's website, or by attending the January 24th
Town Hall meeting.
The next meeting of the Academic Affairs Committee will be on Tuesday,
February 4, 2003.
The meeting was adjourned at 4:20 p.m. (W. Thompson / M. Overton)