MINUTES OF THE RESOURCE PLANNING AND PRIORITIES COMMITTEES of Erindale College Council held on Wednesday, April 9, 2003 at 3:10 p.m., in the Alumni Lounge, room 3138, South Building
PRESENT: G. Sprules (in the Chair), I. Orchard, C. Misak, P. Donoghue, R. Baker, G. Crawford, U. Krull, M. Lettieri, J. PoŽ, C. Capewell, M. Overton, G. Anderson, A. Mullin, B. Schneider
REGRETS: P. King, P. Silcox, G. Gad, A. Mirza
In attendance: K. Duncliffe, L. Paris
- Adoption of the Agenda
The agenda was approved. (M. Overton/ R. Baker)
- Minutes of the Previous Meeting (February 25, 2003)
The Minutes of the previous meeting were approved. (A. Mullin/ B. Schneider)
- Business Arising from the Minutes
a) Exciting New Component of Proposed Athletics Facility - K. Duncliffe / M. Overton
The Chair called on K. Duncliffe, Director of the Centre for Athletics and Recreation to give details on the proposed Athletic and Wellness Centre. K. Duncliffe stated that at its last meeting, the Committee was presented with the Centre for Athletics and Wellness project overview and relocation. Today, the Committee will be presented with the summary of the program components and the operating plan.
The plan for the Centre for Athletics and Wellness includes a new Aquatic Centre with a 25-metre, eight-lane pool with a moveable floor, a new double gymnasium with seating for 900 and sub dividable into two gyms, a new 15000 square foot Fitness Centre, an elevated, 3-lane, 200 metre indoor track, participant support change room space, a Sports Medicine and Therapy clinic, a Racquet Centre and administration and academic space. The current male change rooms will be reused and there will be new family and female change rooms constructed. There will also be a team change room area and the current FitStop area will be reused as the new Sports Medicine Clinic. The Racquet Centre will remain in its current location, but will be updated and renovated. In addition, the current administrative offices will also be reused.
The new Centre will be located adjacent to the south face of the South Building, with direct connection to the building's zero level and an anticipated 72,000 square feet. The main entrance to the South Building will pass through the foyer of the new Centre for Athletics and Wellness to the central reception desk. The Chief Administrative Officer also added that the proposed new parkade structure may be able to tie into the entrance area of the new Centre.
K. Duncliffe continued his presentation by saying that the plans have allowed for a drop off and pick up area at the entrance to the facility. The cost estimate for the building is projected at $24.5M. In March of 2002, the group Quality of Service to Students (QSS) approved a fee increase for students in incidental fees, which resulted in approximately $16M towards the project. He added that the Provostial match of $0.50 for every dollar contributed by the students (up to a max. of $7M) adds another $7M in available funds to cover the project's capital costs. Along with contributions of $500,000 from fundraising and $1M from UTM, the total available funding for the Centre for Athletics and Wellness is estimated to meet the projected capital costs.
He called on Mark Overton to continue the presentation. M. Overton emphasized that one of the goals of the planning group was to focus on the wellness aspects of the new building and to demonstrate environmental sustainability in its design. To achieve this, the planning group deliberated on factors such as passive thermal heating, siding construction and building materials that promote increased air quality. These sustainability factors would be balanced against the related costs and benefits to operating costs. An effort was also made to balance the sense of openness with sensitivity to privacy in the design of the building.
The Director of Business Services was called upon to summarize the operating plan. She explained that the student levy of $25 per FTE begins in 2002-03 and is increased by 3% per year until 2005-06, with all the funds generated going to the capital costs of the building. In 2006-7, when the building opens its doors, the capital levy is increased to $115 per FTE and the student fee is also increased by $35 for operating costs of the new facility for a total levy of $150. The capital portion of the student fee is discontinued once the mortgage has been paid. It is projected that there will be an annual deficit during the first few years after the opening of the new facility, however breakeven occurs on an annual basis six years into the life of the facility. Forecasting into the next 20 years, the facility will be able to provide for large items that may need to be replaced. She also emphasized that it is likely that UTM will be able to negotiate a mortgage rate that is much lower than the estimated 8% that is built into the operating plan. She added that final approval of the operating plan is pending on determination of the amount of capital reserve.
It was duly moved and seconded,
THAT the Resource Planning and Priorities Committee approve the space and operating plan for the new Centre for Athletics and Wellness. (M. Overton / P. Donoghue)
The Chair opened the floor to questions.
A member asked whether the student levy was secure. Ms. Capewell stated that the levy was secure and was guaranteed to increase by 3% a year for inflation until the mortgage was paid.
In response to a question on whether or not the gymnasium could be used for exam delivery, K. Duncliffe replied that the gymnasium could be separated to use for this purpose. Another member asked about the purpose of the moveable swimming pool floor. K. Duncliffe answered that this feature will allow for more flexibility in programming. For example, the pool may be used at a constant depth for water polo, while at the same time allowing disabled users with limited mobility to access the pool via its rolling slope. He added that members are able to use the pool while the moveable floor is in operation and that the cost is not prohibitive, at approximately $500,000.
In response to a member's query, K. Duncliffe explained that funding models for a sports medicine clinic would include private operators on a part-time basis with shared revenue plans, so as not to be a drain on the operating budget. In addition, the sports clinic space would be configured so that UTM staff may also use it for fitness testing and other purposes.
The Motion was called to question. The motion was carried.
- New Business
- Departmental Planning Announcement - I. Orchard / C. Misak
The Vice-President and Principal began by saying that the 2002/2003 academic year represented a time of change and excitement for UTM. In the Fall of 2003, Erindale College Council heard discussion on the tri-campus restructuring framework document and gave its unanimous endorsement for the creation of departments and the resulting planning process. The discipline groups were then asked to create and submit their departmental plans. These plans were then reviewed by an advisory group consisting of the three associate deans, Professor Ulli Krull, Vice-Principal Research, Professor Sidney Aster, Chair of the Academic Affairs Committee, Professor David Cook, Principal of Victoria College, and Professor Hugh Gunz. The Advisory Group agreed that the Vice Principal Academic should be integrated into this review process, and therefore the committee waited to finalize a model until she commenced her tenure at UTM. Professor Misak met with all relevant discipline groups to discuss their plans and to provide feedback in consultation with the advisory group. I. Orchard remarked that, since much discussion of departmental plans had previously occurred, the plans were accepted in the majority of the cases.
The Vice-President and Principal proceeded to detail the departmental structure at UTM, as outlined in the relevant document, starting with the announcement that there were two changes in the department names since the last revision of the planning document. The Department of Biological Sciences had been changed to the Department of Biology and the Department of Modern Languages, had been changed to the Department of French, German and Italian. Both of these changes were in response to requests from the affected departmental groups. The Vice-President and Principal remarked that at the April 8th meeting of the Academic Affairs Committee, there was some discussion about a change in the name of the department of Mathematical and Computational Sciences. He assured the Committee he was consulting the relevant group about this suggested name change.
He invited the Vice-Principal Academic to continue the presentation. On the process of departmental consultation, she reported that she had met with every group in its current form, not in its proposed amalgamated form. She explained that during the past several weeks there was intensive meeting activity, discussion and consultation with the various groups on the details of the amalgamations. She remarked that the feedback from the various groups was very positive overall, while some groups raised some reservations.
The Vice-Principal Academic explained that during the departmental planning process, the intention was to create departments that were recognizable in the academic community and that would attract quality faculty and students, while at the same time balancing the interests of the various faculty members. The planning process continues with the commencement of the Chair searches and it is anticipated that operating departments will be established by July 1, 2003. The Vice-President and Principal emphasized that changes were made to the plans, which were a direct result of the consultative process with the various departmental groups. The terms of reference of the Resource Planning and Priorities Committee (section 5.1.b) contains the establishment of departments and administrative units. Although not specified in the terms of reference of the Academic Affairs Committee, that Committee heard and endorsed the planning document. Following Erindale College Council, the departmental restructuring document will go to Planning and Budget, Academic Board and then Governing Council for final approval.
The Vice-President and Principal invited the Chief Administrative Officer to give details on the budgetary resources for the restructuring. P. Donoghue stated that in May of 2002, a joint meeting of the College Affairs and the Resource Planning and Priorities Committees, approved approximately $800,000 as funding for the restructuring process, based on the creation of 12 departments. The current revised figure in the budget associated with the reorganization of the campus is estimated to be $1.144M. He explained that this funding would support the administrative portion of restructuring, the proposed chair offices, and the establishment of the offices of the Vice-Principals. This budget also received favourable response from the Office of the Provost.
The Vice-President and Principal stated that as a result, UTM has the resources in place in order to establish the administrative infrastructure for each of these departments. He also commented that the University of Toronto at Scarborough's restructuring resulted in six or seven departments, and St. George had 35 departments, divisions and centres. He ended his presentation by stating that the current amalgamation of departments creates very strong areas and further added that UTM would become increasingly attractive to students, faculty and staff as it continues to grow and evolve in response to its 60% expansion.
It was duly moved and seconded,
THAT the "Departmental Structure of the University of Toronto at Mississauga", effective July 1, 2003, be recommended to Erindale College Council for approval.
(I. Orchard / C. Misak)
The Chair opened the floor for discussion.
A member asked for clarification regarding the definition of an institute and how it functions within departments. The Vice-President and Principal consulted a Governing Council report from early 1990s, which described extra departmental units. He quoted from the report, which set out certain guidelines and structures for these units: A multi-disciplinary and multi-departmental group with faculty and students working in a defined area of academic study and research investigation. It is centrally established and an independent unit designed to foster research and teaching in new or highly specialized areas. He added that there were a number of interdisciplinary groups, which did not have a departmental home. The creation of an extra departmental unit allows faculty to be drawn into that unit with the idea of creating a breeding ground for innovation. He further stated that the institute would have cross-appointed faculty, which would allow for the bridging between the sciences, social sciences and humanities.
The member suggested that the name of the Institute be changed to "Communication, Culture and Technology", in order to attract researchers and funding. The Vice-Principal Academic explained that the naming issue was discussed at great length with relevant parties and there was agreement among them regarding this naming. He added that current naming of the institute captures all the participants' work, while maintaining their autonomy and identity.
A member asked about departmental norms for teaching across different departmental groups. The Vice-President and Principal replied that this issue is undergoing continual discussions at tri-campus groups, whose focus is planning for restructuring. Commenting on this issue, the Vice-Principal Academic noted that since each faculty member has an appointment in a graduate department, the norms of that department could govern teaching loads. Another member remarked that he does not consider this to be a problem in the sciences, as most have similar teaching loads.
A member asked for details regarding the budget allocation to a Chair at UTM versus a Chair at the St. George campus. The Vice-Principal Academic replied that there is a large variation of practice across the St. George campus regarding this issue and there will be similar variation of practice at UTM. She stated that for example, a Chair of 35 faculty would receive greater reduction in teaching versus a Chair of 9 faculty. The member further asked about discretionary travel funds for graduate students and funding for seminars. The Vice-Principal Academic explained that funding of this kind would be directed in two ways: first, to departments in their budget and second, through requests to the office of the Vice-Principal Academic.
The Vice-President and Principal called on the Chief Administrative Officer to give further details about the restructuring budget. The Chief Administrative Officer noted that the items in the budget include chair stipends, additional departmental support staff, departmental operating expenses, and a small amount of central support. He stated that the planning tried to ensure that there would be sufficient money to balance the differing characteristics of departments in terms of their culture and operation, while ensuring that the main categories of expenses were met. He added that in terms of the structure of the $1.144M budget, the costs were a direct result of restructuring, not enrolment growth. He also stated that a predominantly centralized approach has been maintained in the provision of key service areas such as finance, business operations and human resources. Plans are also underway to develop a budget model based on relatively large departments, to determine the kind of resources that may be required for a department and to expedite the implementation of restructuring.
In response to a member's question regarding a centralized versus decentralized support system for the departments, the Chief Administrative Officer explained that in future, UTM would most likely move toward a de-centralized model, however at present, this approach could cause some areas to be over-resourced and would be an overwhelming amount of change over such a short period of time. Another member stated his agreement that the allocation of a business officer to each department would constitute an over allocation of resources. The Chief Administrative Officer further noted that UTM needs to have an informed approach to the design of support services. There are ongoing discussions with the Vice-President of Human Resources, regarding the design of a staff development program, which would ensure that support staff have the tools and skills necessary for service provision.
A member spoke in favour of a centralized support system and suggested that smaller departments also be consulted in the modeling of these support systems. The Chief Administrative Officer added that achieving a balance between shared and centralized support was a basic objective of the restructuring of support services.
A member stated that some faculty in the Chemistry, Earth Sciences, Physics and Astronomy group were not in agreement with the proposed departments. She also stated that she presumed that departments were amalgamated for two reasons: based on common interests and based on resource considerations. She therefore asked how resource decisions were made during the planning process. The Vice-Principal Academic stated that saving money was not a consideration in any of the departmental amalgamations. She further stated that during the planning exercise and her discussions with the groups, she made it explicit that the goal was to build strong departmental groups. With respect to the above-amalgamated group, she noted that although not unanimous, most faculty in the group are on record as being satisfied with the final departmental result. The Chief Administrative Officer emphasized that during the restructuring process he remained available as a consultant to the planning group on resource issues, but exempted himself from being directly involved in the process. This was deliberately done to avoid influencing discussions regarding resource allocations.
The Vice-Principal Research spoke in agreement and added that the restructuring process was to achieve certain long-term goals and planning; it was not an issue of dealing with resources. He emphasized that what will be required of the amalgamation of the four departments in the above area is to participate in a new mode of thinking in order to attract students, faculty and funding. In this way, the department will be equipped to build into the future, and develop a vision of how physical sciences can be delivered at UTM. The Associate Dean of Sciences also concurred, saying that the goal of discussions was to plan for groups that would attract and retain outstanding quality faculty and students.
The Motion was called to question. The motion was carried with one abstention.
- The Canadian "Innovation Agenda" and the opportunity for creation of a Convergence Centre for sciences, health, management and policy at UTM - U. Krull
The Chair called on Vice-Principal of Research, Professor Ulli Krull to begin his presentation on the proposed Convergence Centre at UTM.
Professor Krull explained that this proposal was formulated approximately two years ago, under the tenure of the previous Principal, Robert H. McNutt. The purposes of the proposed Convergence Centre are to achieve the development of capital infrastructure (possibly a new Science Building), the creation of a mechanism for bridging the divisions and developing funding opportunities and the design of programming that is relevant to both UTM students and the external community. Professor Krull explained that UTM is not eligible by COU standards to seed funding for a new science building. UTM has to find innovative ways of creating research space. At the same time, he emphasized the importance of UTM promoting its own academic agenda, which would cater to the needs of students as well as industry.
The federal government's "Innovation Agenda" provides an opportunity for novel funding sources. In a document entitled "Achieving Excellence", the federal government describes what Canada needs to do to move ideas from Institutes (universities, teaching hospitals) into economic reality. This stance by the federal government has created a secondary response by the Provincial government to support this "Innovation Agenda." A number of Ontario taskforces have pointed to areas of industry that UTM already strongly links to - for example, the life sciences, information technology and biotechnology. These initiatives by the two levels of government provide UTM with the opportunity to promote itself as fitting into their agendas.
The overall proposal is a Convergence Centre, which in its basic form takes knowledge and makes it commercial. The common theme is the promotion of the life sciences, by creating the Ontario Biotechnology Corridor, which is a geographical corridor where each city represents a node in the corridor, and each cluster brings its own specialty in terms of research strengths and enterprise. These nodes consist of a consortium of universities, institutes, local government, and local industry and other capital investment firms. The City of Mississauga has taken centre stage within Canada as a leading Biotechnology cluster with over 400 companies and over 19,700 people employed within this Bio-cluster. The Mississauga node will therefore reflect these strengths in the life sciences and information technology, featuring UTM, where significant activity already exists in these areas.
There will be three components of the University of Toronto Biosciences and Biotechnology Cluster. Two critical pieces that are already in place are: The Toronto Academic Health Sciences Complex and CCBR and The MARS (Medical And Related Sciences) Discovery District. The third crucial element in this triad is The Biotechnology Convergence Centre (BIOTECC) at UTM, which represents the next and last major step in the development of the University of Toronto Cluster.
The Vision for BIOTECC is in two parallel streams. The Academic Stream includes work in new technologies for drug discovery and proteomics, training, business modelling and policy/management. The second stream is the Institute Stream, which focuses on how to apply new technologies to selected targets of commercial interest, training, government and economic modelling. The Institute would be arms-length from the university, but would have cross-appointed faculty.
Professor Krull emphasized that UTM had many potential partners in this endeavour, including the City of Mississauga, Sheridan Science and Technology Park, and the Ontario Ministry of Health, to name a few. In addition, UTM is poised to impact several well-established areas of strength, such as medical/health, water quality and safety, and health and environmental monitoring. He listed potential linkages in the areas of CABB, Languages/Communication, Management and Biological Communications and Mathematics. He cited examples of real outcomes, already implemented. Among these is the Mississauga Technology Business Accelerator (MTBA), which helps Mississauga based high technology and life sciences companies accelerate their development. In addition, he pointed to the "Mississauga Model", a partnership with the WHO at the mayoral level that features Mississauga as an example of how a city should be run in terms of an overall concept of 'health'.
Regarding the entire Convergence Centre project, there are plans for on and off site construction and renovation needs. For on-site operations, the need exists for laboratories, seminar and workshop space, distance education facilities, and integration of space for life science, mathematics, management, medicine, engineering and culture/communications. For off-site operations, there is a need for space that allows for entrepreneurial activity, advisory boards, innovations foundation, space for promotion of commercialization, IRAP headquarters in targeted areas of investment and offices for venture capital presence.
Professor Krull concluded his presentation with several possible considerations for discussion by the UTM community, which are as follows:
1) Does the proposed structure for BIOTECC provide value and impact for UTM and Mississauga?
2) How should the Convergence Centre be structured and what would be a recommended blend of participants?
3) Who might be the champions and who might be the supporters of this initiative?
Professor Ulli Krull provided the following Notice of Motion to the Resource Planning and Priorities Committee:
THAT the Resource Planning and Priorities Committee recommend the approval of the UTM Convergence Centre as becoming part of the Campus' overall strategic plan.
The Chair opened the floor to questions and comments by Committee members.
A member gave his full support to the above strategic plan, commenting that involvement in the project will be very positive for departments in the humanities. The Vice-Principal Research remarked that he is already receiving feedback from such departments on how they might participate in the proposed Convergence Centre.
- Update and Planning on Security Issues at UTM - P. Donoghue / L. Paris
The Chair called on Len Paris, Manager of Campus Police to give an update on planning for Campus Police and security issues at UTM. Len Paris distributed copies of the department's Annual Report. He stated that Campus Police has a mandate to create a safe and secure environment at UTM. It is the department's philosophy that safety and security of the community is a responsibility of all members of the community.
Referring to the organizational chart, he explained that out of a total of nine officers, there are two officers per shift over a 24-hour period to provide coverage for the entire campus. He stressed that the concept of numerous officers is not an effective means of policing the campus. Instead it is the goal of the UTM Police services to accomplish this by sharing responsibility and cultivating partnerships in the community.
He continued to say that Campus Police responded to the recent rash of thefts by installing security systems throughout the campus. He stated that in order to meet increased demand on the services of police, there are plans to increase the staff complement over the next several years.
He noted that longer-term goals included expanding the department's current space and upgrading its facilities. The current space is inadequate in terms of its reception area, which can result in the underreporting of incidents. In addition, there is a need for private interview rooms. These improvements to the existing facilities have a higher priority than increased staffing. The staffing plan called for hiring one new officer each year for the next four years. It is now proposed to add two officers for the upcoming budget year, followed by one officer in each subsequent year for two years. Future plans also call for a civilian dispatch position to respond to phone calls and handle issues surrounding lost items and an administrative support position. With all the above changes, staff complement is projected to increase to three officers on duty at all times, therefore increasing the response level, while allowing one officer to stay behind in the office as others are on patrol. He added that UTM Police Services also has the support of the Walksafer program, which not only acts as an escort to members of the UTM community, but also patrols the campus. This program is very popular and has worked extremely well to serve its users.
Mr. Paris proceeded to give details regarding incidents by location and time, referring to the UTM Police Annual Report. He noted that a comparison of criminal offences over the past five years showed that it had remained consistent. He stressed however that there were many more calls for service that did not result in written reports.
He further noted that there has been a large increase in cases of personal injury and sickness, where officers are called on to assist members of the UTM community.
The Chief Administrative Officer continued by saying that during this period of expansion, Campus Police have experienced increased demand and pressure on their services and congratulated the office for maintaining a high level of service. He added that it was an important goal for UTM to accelerate the staffing increase for its police services, but added that significant recent investments in security systems have incurred a large cost. He emphasized that due to the nature of the campus, security is everyone's responsibility and that everyone has to be more sensitive to and aware of his or her surroundings.
The Chair opened the floor to questions and comments.
The Vice-President and Principal complimented UTM Police on maintaining a high level of service and added that it was important to resource it properly.
The Chief Administrative Officer noted that during the summer UTM will be working on establishing internal communication strategies, to keep the UTM community informed about security matters and issues of daily life on campus.
- Other Business
- Next Meeting
There is no upcoming regularly scheduled meeting. A meeting will be called if relevant issues need to be addressed.
The meeting was adjourned at 5:30 p.m. (M. Overton / A. Mullin)