Minutes: April 14, 2009

Minutes of the Erindale College Council meeting held on Tuesday, April 14, 2009, at 3:15 p.m. in the Council Chamber, Room 3130, South Building

Present: A. Wensley (Chair); D. Kreuger; J. Szurmak; A. Vyas; L. Paris; G. Richter; C. Capewell; K. Duncliffe; P. Handley; P. Goldsmith; B. McFadden; J. Stirling; W. Edgar; K. Poloz; R. DaSilva; I. Orchard; G. Averill; P. Donoghue; D. Crocker; M. Mavrinac; M. Overton; S. McCarthy; W. Malik; R. Beck; D. Dunlop; I. Still; A. Lange; L. Thomson; U. Krull; L. Wilson-Pauwels; H. Gunz; S. Speller; H. Hines; J. Gillies; A. Iwaniw; L. Gaspini; L. Oliver; T. Luke-Gervais; K. Horvath;

Regrets: J. Delves; R. Reisz; S. Munro; D. Raffman; A. Madhavji; L. MacDowell; A. Graham; A. Birkenbergs; S. Al-Abdul-Wahid;

Guests: A. DeVito; M. Phillips; C. Bryson; C. DeMarco; N. Ishu;

1. Minutes of the Previous Meeting (March 5, 2009)

The minutes of the previous meeting were approved. (I. Orchard, G. Averill)

2. Reports of Standing Committees

a) Resource Planning and Priorities Committee

Professor Lange, reporting on behalf of Professor Reisz, said that at its meeting on March 5, 2009, the Committee had received four reports. Mr. Paul Goldsmith, Director of Facilities Management and Planning, had provided an update from the Signage Committee. Those who were interested in the Committee’s recommendations to date could review its report on the governance website under the minutes from the Resource Planning and Priorities Committee meeting. The second report was from Mr. Alex MacIsaac, Manager of Parking and Transportation, who had met with City of Mississauga officials to begin discussions to arrange a process that would allow tickets issued on the UTM campus to be dealt with at UTM. He hoped to have a new process operating in a few months. Mr. Joe Lim, Chief Information Officer, reported that his team was assessing the feasibility of wireless internet in residences. Other projects included the study of ways to prolong the lifespan of equipment in the computer labs. The final report was from Professor Ian Orchard, Vice-President and Principal, who provided the Committee with an update on the planning process for the Science Complex and the Instructional Facility. As a result of weekly meetings, the project teams hoped to have the capital projects through governance this spring for the Instructional Facility and in the early fall for the Science Complex.

There were no questions.

b) Academic Affairs Committee

Professor Lange said that at its April 6, 2009 meeting the Committee had received a report from Ms Diane Crocker, Registrar and Director of Enrolment Management, on a proposed academic regulation change. Students who met all the requirements for the HBA, HBSc, BBA and BCom degrees except for the Grade Point Average (GPA) requirement could elect to graduate with a BA or BSc degree as appropriate, provided they were in good standing with a 1.5 cumulative GPA. This change would contribute to the proposed harmonization of degree requirements across the three campuses. Sixty UTM students would be able to take advantage of this change and graduate this year. This change had been approved by the Committee. Ms Crocker also provided an update on the deferred examination schedule in place for the first week of May.

The Committee had received a second report from Professor Gage Averill, Vice-Principal Academic and Dean, who explained a proposed partnering with the Centre for Forensic Science and Medicine in the Faculty of Medicine. Participating as a goodwill partner would strengthen UTM’s program in Forensic Science and allow UTM students to join in the Centre’s events and engage with professionals in the field. UTM faculty would have the opportunity to assist in inter-professional training and to collaborate on research projects. The Committee had approved the proposed partnership.

There were no questions.

3. New Business

a) Changes to the Erindale College Council Constitution

Professor Orchard noted that at the previous meeting the Chair of Council had given a detailed overview of the proposed changes to the Constitution. The majority of the changes were made to clarify definitions and to bring the constituency membership up to date. He said that Mr. Devin Kreuger, Acting Director of Governance, had worked with the Secretary of Governing Council to ensure that any changes were consistent with those in other divisional constitutions. Professor Orchard referred to the change that removed the requirement for Council to meet three times per term. Under the new Constitution, the Executive Committee would have the power to cancel one meeting per term should it deem there was insufficient business to warrant a meeting of Council.

There were no questions.

Professor Orchard moved, seconded by Ms Crocker, THAT the Erindale College Council Constitution be recommended to Governing Council for approval as amended.

The motion carried.

4. Vice-President and Principal’s Report

Professor Orchard recalled that at the previous meeting he had reported on the impact of the federal budget on post-secondary education. He proposed to do the same for the provincial budget which had been presented last month. $780 million of new capital funding was earmarked for universities and colleges over the next two years (to be matched with Provincial funding) through the Knowledge Infrastructure Program. The federal government deadline for the submission of projects had been March 31, 2009. Professor Orchard said that the University of Toronto had included the Instructional Facility in its list of projects. Of the assumed share of funding for the University, between $180-200 million, the Instructional Facility would cost about $70 million. With a similar amount for project(s) on the Scarborough campus, the remaining funding would be for projects on the St. George Campus. Professor Orchard said that thanks to the hard work of a number of departments and offices and the weekly meetings of the project committee, the submission was ready in time to be placed on the list. The Instructional Facility was chosen over the Science Complex because its cost fit the assumed funding available and it could be materially completed by the deadline set by the government, March 31, 2011. The Science Complex could not be completed until 2013. The University was accelerating all the projects and altering the governance process to contract the timeline for approvals. hoped the federal government would make its announcement soon.

In addition to the capital funding, the provincial government had announced $150 million in one-time-only operating relief funding for 2008-09 for the substantial enrolment growth and other operating pressures.

One hundred new medical school spaces had been announced, along with $35 million in capital funding and with operating funds. Professor Orchard said that UTM had been waiting for approval to expand the planned enrolment in its Academy from 26 to 54 students before beginning construction of its new facility. Details of how the 100 new spaces would be distributed were being decided and he was hopeful that UTM would be assigned the funding for the 28 spaces that would make it possible to break ground.

A member asked whether the Instructional Facility would proceed before the medical complex. Professor Orchard said that they would proceed at the same time. The medical facility was on hold until funding was announced for the additional 28 spaces. As soon as the funding was assured, the project would start. The expected completion date was 2011. If the funding for the 28 spaces was not forthcoming, the Faculty of Medicine would be unable to carry the mortgage on the funding provided for the original 26 students. The provincial budget had also included $10 million one-time-only funding to expand graduate fellowships in 2008-09. The University’s share was expected to be $2.5 million, which would be endowed.

With respect to research announcements, Professor Orchard noted the following:

  • $300 million over six years for research infrastructure funding through the Ontario Research Funds, to match $300 million in Canada Foundation for Innovation funds from the federal government
  • $100 million over four years additional operating funds for biomedical research, with a focus on genomics and gene-related research, also through the Ontario Research Funds
  • $250 million over five years for a new Emerging Technologies Fund, to match start-up capital to new companies in clean technology, life sciences, digital media, and information and communication technology, leveraging small and medium private sector investments
  • $50 million over four years to enhance the Innovation Demonstration Fund, to focus on bio-based, environmental and alternative energy technologies
  • $5 million for Ontario Genomics Institute, including the administration of Genome Canada research projects awarded in Ontario.

Professor Orchard referred members to the President’s message on the University’s budget and his comments in the e-Bulletin on the University’s investment losses as reported in the Globe and Mail. The President had dealt with the pension plan and endowment issues, noting that the University had the same problems as Mr. Warren Buffet and Harvard University. These were trying times.

On another matter, Professor Orchard expressed his appreciation to Ms Glenda Gill, her staff, other departmental staff and faculty, and volunteers for the successful open house held over the March break. The open house drew 1700 visitors. He noted that high school applications numbered 10,600, with 2,100 listing UTM as their first choice. The efforts made by the recruitment office were showing results.

As this was the last meeting of this academic year, Professor Orchard thanked the Chair, the Director, the Secretary, the Committee Chairs and members for their help in governance and the support and advice given throughout the year.

5. Next Meeting

The Chair noted that the next meeting would be held in the fall.
The Chair invited members to enjoy some refreshments after the meeting.

6. Adjournment
The meeting adjourned at 3:40 p.m.