Minutes: January 29, 2009

Minutes of the Erindale College Council meeting held on Thursday, January 29th, 2009, at 3:15 p.m. in the Council Chamber, Room 3130, South Building

Present: A. Wensley (In the Chair); S. Al-Abdul-Wahid; D. Kreuger; I. Orchard; G. Averil; D. Crocker; H. Schepmyer; D. Dunlop; M. Jalland; I. Still; T. Ahmed; J.P. Paluzzi; J. Gillies; A. Birkenbergs; A. Iwaniw; L. Gaspini; L. Oliver; K. Horvath; P. Handley; U. Krull; A. Lange; S. Munro; R. Reisz; M. Overton; J. Delves; S. McCarthy; W. Malik; J. Santiago; K.A. Ferdinand; D. Hassan; J. Khan; F. Lodhi; A.K. Madhavji; B. Mukhtar; D. Shariff; A. Stelmacovich; K. Poloz; R. DaSilva; A. Vyas; G. Richter; C. Capewell; D. Mullings; J. McCurdy-Myers; J. Lim; P. Goldsmith; B. McFadden; J. Stirling; A. Burnett; I. Whyte; Regrets: L. MacDowell; D. Raffman; M.A. Mavrinac; J. Poe; R. Beck; J. DeLuca; S. Speller;
Guests: J. Eldridge; M. Berger; M. Vincent; A. MacIsaac; J. Summers; C. Solenko; A. Devito; E. Zammit; A. Copatriello; M. Hashim; C. Bryson; S. Girard; N. Ishu;

1. Minutes of the Previous Meeting (December 11, 2008)
The minutes of the previous meeting were approved. (I. Orchard, R. Reisz)

2. Reports of Standing Committees

a) Resource Planning and Priorities Committee

Professor Reisz reported that the main items of business at the January 19, 2009 meeting of the Committee had been the management reports and budgets for the four ancillary departments. Ms Capewell, Director of Business Services, had provided an overview of the budget process. Ancillaries were expected to cover all their costs in the long term without subsidy from the academic budget. There were also expected to set aside reserves and to contribute to the operating budget.

i) Food Services Management Report and Budget

Professor Reisz noted that the forecasted revenue for 2008-09 exceeded budget by about $568,000, as a result of increased cafeteria sales and meal plan revenue. Expenses exceeded budget by $95,000 due to renovations at a number of sites.

The net operating result after transfers was a surplus of $187,000, with a closing total fund balance deficit of $72,000.

The budget for 2009-10 represented a conservative financial plan, with forecasted revenue projected to increase by only 1% over this year’s budget. The effective rate of increase for residence student meal plans would be 2.3%. The Group B meal plan would increase by $300 to take advantage of the tax exemption. Expenses would increase with the addition of two new employees. The plans for next year included the revitalization of the South Building Meeting Place and the proposed addition to Colman Commons at Oscar Peterson Hall. The operating result after commitments was projected to be a surplus of $189,000, with a closing total fund balance surplus of $117,000.

It was moved that the Erindale College Council approve the 2009-2010 Food Services management report and budget plan. (R. Reisz, A. Lange)

  • In response to a question about the large price increase in the Group B meal plan, Mr. MacFadden said that there were no roll-over capabilities for any unspent balance. However, he noted that the new amount was in line with current spending. He said that most plans were indeed overspent. Students would benefit from the tax exemption on the meal plan, as all of the fee would now be put towards food.
  • It was noted that UTM was 15,000 square feet short in food service space. The report mentioned the revitalization of the South Building Meeting Place. Was there a schedule for this project? In addition, the member was pleased with the new food services provided in the early morning and late evening and he asked if there were plans to expand the service. Mr. MacFadden said that his committee was at the stage of gathering data for the redevelopment in South Building and for new spaces in other buildings. With respect to the hours of food services operations, some data had been gathered. Spiegel Hall, for example, was not very busy either early in the morning or late at night. He would, however, continue to study the busier venues and their hours of operation.
  • In response to a question concerning the prohibition to use meal plans in the Meeting Place before 2.30 p.m., Mr. MacFadden explained that the Meeting Place currently was used by a high volume of non-meal plan students, staff and faculty. The addition of meal plan students would be too difficult to accommodate. He was looking to improve the options for meal-plan holders.
  • The vote on the motion was taken. The motion carried.

ii) Residence Management Report and Budget

Professor Reisz reported that the forecasted residence operating deficit for 2008-09 was $225,000, $706,000 less than originally budgeted. This dramatic result had been achieved through a higher occupancy rate, higher summer occupancy, savings on salaries and benefits and increased commissions and other incomes. The total closing fund balance would show a deficit of $4.5 million, $1.1 million less than the budget plan.

For 2009-10, the residence budget would be more aggressively aligned with the requirements for capital expansion. In 2007-08, the University had approved a plan whereby the ancillary’s annual operating budget would be in a surplus position in four years after the opening of Oscar Peterson Hall, and the total fund would be in a positive position 13 years after opening. The 2009-10 result would move the schedule ahead to reflect a surplus in the annual position in four years and in the total position in 9 years. The percentage increase in the residence fees for undergraduates, family and graduate students would all decrease from the 2008-09 levels. Residence rates would remain moderately competitive in comparison to off-campus accommodation.

It was moved that the Erindale College Council approve the 2009-2010 Residence management report and budget plan. (R. Reisz, S. McCarthy)

  • In answer to a question about consultation with the residence council, Mr. Mullings explained that the council members had been invited to two Housing Committee meetings, but they had chosen not to attend. Some graduate and family students had participated. Similarly, council members had not attended the Resource Planning and Priorities meeting. He had approached some students in Oscar Peterson Hall to obtain feedback on the proposals. He had been able to meet with the residence council the day before the ECC meeting and the council had been supportive of the budget plans.
  • The President of the UTMSU indicated that his organization was not happy with the budget and would not support it. Another student said that she was happy with the improvements and the fair increases in rates. She hoped the excellent management and service would continue.

The vote on the motion was taken. The motion carried.

iii) Conference Services Management Report and Budget

Professor Reisz reported that in 2008-09, conference services revenues were expected to be $153,000 higher than budgeted, but expenses would also be higher. However, the operating result before transfers would be a surplus of about $145,000. After a transfer of $350,000 to the operating budget, the total closing fund balance would be a surplus of $166,500.

For 2009-10, the total projected revenue would remain consistent with the current year’s revenue. No growth was anticipated due to uncertain economic conditions. A number of new groups had committed to holding their events at UTM. Expenses were expected remain similar, but costs were variable and related proportionately to sales. The budgeted operating result before transfers was $118,000. With a planned transfer of $100,000 to the operating budget, the total closing fund balance for 2009-10 was expected to be $185,000.

It was moved that the Erindale College Council approve the 2009-2010 Conference Services management report and budget plan. (R. Reisz, I. Orchard)

  • A member raised the question of an attribution to residence services for the use of its space by conference services. It had been discussed at the Resource Planning and Priorities Committee last year, and he asked whether there had been any movement on this issue. Ms Capewell said that her job was to ensure that residences were not harmed or put in a worse position through their use by conference services. Conference services paid a little more than its exact share so that residences benefit in a small way. Residences absorbed a number of costs, such as mortgages, and would do so if conference services were not there. She noted in closing that the budget process this year would be very difficult. Conference services had not contributed to the academic budget in the past several years, and the $350,000 contribution this year would benefit all students including those in residence. Mr. MacFadden and Mr. Mullings were working with conference services. Although there were no immediate plans for change, they were reviewing the relationships and roles each service played, and the results were expected shortly.
  • Ms Richter was congratulated by a student member on a great year in conference services.

The vote on the motion was taken. The motion carried.

iv) Parking Services Management Report and Budget

Professor Reisz reported that revenues for 2008-09 were less than those budgeted despite an increase in the pay-and display revenue. Expenses were more than budgeted due to major maintenance expense and increased salaries, wages and benefits. The total operating results before transfers was a surplus of just over $4,000, a decrease from the budgeted surplus of $221,000. The total closing fund balance was $360,000, down from the budgeted amount of $948,000.

For 2009-10, the parking budget would include a new “sessional” student permit, offered for 4-month or 8-month periods. It would be offered as a pilot project, and the Parking Services had budgeted a potential revenue loss of $20,000 due to a loss of summer permit revenue. There would be a modest 1% budgeted increase in revenues for pay and display, and no increase in parking fees for faculty, staff and students. Expenses would be the same as last year’s with the exception of $500,000 to install new light standards and resurface lot 5. There would also be $30,000 for snow removal. The net operating result after transfers was expected to be $60,000 with a budgeted total closing fund balance of $420,000. The Capital Renewal Reserve would remain at $300,000.

It was moved that the Erindale College Council approve the 2009-2010 Parking Services management report and budget plan. (R. Reisz, A. Iwaniw)

  • A member noted that last year, parking fees had decreased by 5%. He hoped there would be no increases in future years. He also commented on the poor quality of the parking pass. Mr. MacIsaac said that he was considering moving to a card similar to that used on the St. George campus.
  • A member said that the lots had not been well cleared after the snowfall the previous day. A number of cars had been stuck, and she asked if this matter would be addressed. Mr. MacIsaac said that the grounds department was doing the best they could, recognizing that safety was important. Professor Reisz noted that the RPPC would discuss the issue at its next meeting.
  • The vote on the motion was taken. The motion carried.

v) Matters for information

Professor Reisz reported on two other matters.

At the previous meeting of Council, several members had raised the issue of tickets being given to students and staff who had the appropriate permits displayed on their dashboards. At the Resource Planning and Priorities Committee meeting, Mr. MacIsaac had provided an overview of the parking ticket process. The City of Mississauga, campus police and a UTM staff member could all issue tickets. The “first attendant system” to pay or challenge the ticket was explained on the back of the ticket. In the fall, there had been a rash of problems concerning incorrectly issued tickets. These issues had been resolved. Mr. MacIsaac continued to discuss the issue with the City. In 2008, 15,000 tickets had been issued, and a large number remained unpaid. There was no ticket appeal process on campus. He planned to discuss this also with the City and hoped that UTM might house a “first attendant system” on campus. He had agreed to report back to the Committee in the coming months.

  • Several members noted that one should not have to go through the “first attendant system” if there was a valid pass. Why were cars beings misticketed? This should be part of the discussion at the Committee.
  • A member said that the violation on the ticket referred to parking on private property without consent. He noted that when people pay for their UTM parking passes, they are paying for consent to park, so when tickets are erroneously issued, UTM should be responsible for informing the City that the consent was present, and for voiding the ticket. In short, shouldn’t the responsibility for correcting incorrect parking tickets vest with UTM, not with the victim of the parking ticket? Mr. MacIsaac noted the member’s point and agreed to take this into consideration in his discussions with the City.
  • The second matter for information concerned the notification of UTM By-law revisions. Mr. Kreuger was working on some revisions and would bring changes to the next Committee meeting.

b) Academic Affairs Committee

Professor Lange said that there were four matters arising from the Academic Affairs Committee’s meeting of January 19, 2009.

i) Primary/Junior Concurrent Teacher Education Program Option
Professor Lange invited Dean Averill to present this item.

Dean Averill proposed that UTM offer a Primary/Junior Concurrent Teacher Education Program (P/J CTEP) beginning in the Fall of 2010. It would allow a student, in five years, to obtain concurrently a BEd and an HBA or HBSc degrees. At present, UTM offers this program for students studying to be secondary school teachers only. The addition of this option would not affect staffing in the Department of Psychology since all required and recommended courses were already offered. Additional teaching assistants would be required for two of the CTEP courses, but that need already existed for 2009-10. The primary/junior option would provide students with strong backgrounds in child development, abnormal behaviour and exceptionality. The graduates of the program would receive the necessary academic preparation to include students with disabilities in general education classrooms. Dean Averill noted that in Ontario, there was a growing need for teachers of students with exceptionality. The new program option would be offered to students who were enrolled in the Psychology Major or Specialist program or the Exceptionality in Human Learning Major or Specialist program. Applications for the P/J CTEP option would be accepted from secondary school students who wished to enter directly into the program or from first-year university students interested in beginning the option in Year 2.

It was moved that the Erindale College Council approve the Primary/Junior Concurrent Teacher Education Program proposal. (G. Averill, D. Crocker)

There were no questions.

The vote was taken on the motion. The motion carried.

ii) Matters for information

Professor Lange said that the first matter concerned the implications of the 12-week term and defined the parameters for study breaks. Ms Crocker had provided the Committee with the following text:

“Study breaks will be offered immediately following the last day of classes and shall be at least five day (including weekends) during the Fall-Winter Session, and two days (including weekends) during the Summer Session. During Study Break
• Optional review sessions may be held; no new content may be introduced
• Students will be allowed to hand in assignments, at the discretion of the instructor
• Make-up tests may be held
• Term tests may not be held
• Instructors may offer extended office hours, at their discretion.”

Professor Lange reported that this clarification of what could and could not be done during Study Break would be circulated to departments and would be included in the calendar.

With respect to the second matter, Professor Lange noted that, as required by the Provost’s Office, the Dean had presented the 2007-08 departmental reviews and responses to the Committee for review. The departments included Economics, English and Drama, Management, Mathematical and Computational Sciences, and Sociology. Documentation was available on the Governance website.

The third matter concerned revisions to the UTM By-laws. Mr. Kreuger had reported that, in consultation with the Secretary of Governing Council, he would be proposing changes to clarify the roles and the appropriate delegation of authority to Standing Committees. The changes would also facilitate an efficient and effective governance process. The revisions would be presented to the Committee for its consideration at its next meeting.

c) Computing Committee

Mr. Lim reported on three items for information from the January 21, 2009 meeting.

Mr. Bob Cook, the Chief Information Office, had reported on the challenges and priorities he had identified in assuming his new role. The power point presentation was available on the Governance website, under the Committee’s agenda. His foundational principles for his portfolio included: alignment of research and teaching priorities and functions; customer service focus; recognition, respect and balance in the tri-campus system; and coherence of IT strategy and experience. He was supporting and facilitating the continuation of such projects as BlackBoard enhancements, the SAP update, and the rollout of the Outlook Exchange service. In addition, he wished to enhance communication, support consultation, restructure the central IT portfolio, and co-locate central IT+S workers.

Mr. Lim reported that Mr. Arora had provided an update on the Microsoft Exchange project. This was a central UofT project. 939 UTM accounts needed to be moved to Exchange by February 26. The benefits of the new system included: a larger email quota; synchronization to desktop computers and mobile devices; and a more effective webmail system. Training sessions for new users would be forthcoming.

  • A member noted that there had been a loss of e-mails in the migration to the Outlook program. Mr. Lim acknowledged some problems and advised users to wait for the IT staff to do the migrations. He said that there would be instances where messages were corrupted but the system generally had a good record.
  • A member asked a question about flexibility around the quota for data transfers using UTORwin, the system used to connect laptops wirelessly to the University network. Mr. Lim responded that the UTORwin system set the quota.

The third matter concerned proposed By-law changes. Mr. Lim noted that Mr. Kreuger had conducted an extensive review of the governance structure at UTM, and he had concluded that the Computing Committee had rarely fulfilled it original intended function of making policy recommendations on computing and information technology. The Committee had mostly been used to receive administrative reports and to discuss impending IT changes. Mr. Kreuger had recommended that the Computing Committee become a subcommittee of the Resource Planning and Priorities Committee (RPPC). This would allow for fewer formal meetings to be scheduled as the need arose. The Chief Information Officer would become an member of the RPPC. Mr. Lim said that the Committee had voted in favour of accepting the proposed changes in principle, and would consider the revised Computing and IT subcommittee terms of reference at its next meeting.

3. Vice-President and Principal’s Report

Professor Orchard wished everyone a happy new year. He welcomed Mr. Andrew Stelmacovich, the new Director of Advancement, to the meeting. He said that there had been a reception for the new Director in December. He also thanked the directors of the ancillary services for jobs well done.

i) Federal Budget

Professor Orchard shared with the Council a memorandum from the Vice-President University Relations which outlined specific budget outcomes that impacted the university sector. These included:

• $2 billion for university and college infrastructure refurbishment and construction to go to urgent repairs at university and colleges and to new construction which would prioritize projects “that will advance our universities’ work in research and development, and our colleges’ role in advanced skill training.” Distribution would be project based and this funding will be split 70%-30% between universities and colleges. Based on its past share of similar funding, the UofT might receive approximately $91 million. Allocation would be based on project merit and readiness. The funds would pay for up to half of project costs, levering an equivalent amount from other municipal and provincial partners. Preference would be given to projects at universities that could improve the quality of research and development at the institution.

• $750 million over three years to the Canada Foundation for Innovation “to support leading edge research infrastructure.” $150 million to increase the funding available for meritorious projects in the 2009 Leading Edge and New Initiatives Funds Competition, though it appeared that only $50 million of this was new money. $600 million for future activities of the Foundation, including the launch of one or more new competitions by December 2010 “in support of areas of priority identified by the Minister of Industry in consultation with the Canada Foundation for Innovation, and guided by the Foundation’s strategic plan.”

• $250 million over two years for deferred maintenance at federal laboratories. This money might also go towards transferring federal laboratories to universities and other institutions

• $50 million for the Institute for Quantum Computing at the University of Waterloo. This money had already been announced during the 2008 federal election

• $1 billion for “clean energy research, development and demonstration.”

• $200 million over two years to the National Research Council for the Industrial Research Assistance Program to support industrial research for medium and small sized businesses

• $87 million over two years to maintain or upgrade “key arctic research facilities”

• $110 million over three years for the Canadian Space Agency for the development of space robotic vehicles

• There was no provision in the budget to increase the amount of money provided through the Institutional Costs of Research Program (the indirect costs of research)

• $87.5 million over three years starting in 2009-10 “to temporarily expand the Canada Graduate Scholarship program.” This money included $35 million each for National Science and Engineering Research Council and Canada Institutes for Health Research and $17.5 million for Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). The money would provide for an additional 500 doctoral scholarships valued at $35,000 each year for three years and an additional 1000 master’s scholarships at $17,500. SSHRC’s new scholarships would be focused on business-related degrees. Based on UofT’s traditional share of granting council scholarships, UofT’s uptake should amount to approximately $4.3 million per year

• Spending reviews conducted in conjunction with the budget had resulted in reductions in the research granting agencies’ budgets of $17.7 million in 2009-10, followed by a decrease to $43 million in 2010-11 and to $87.2 million in 2011-12

• There was no new money for undergraduate student aid.

A member noted the possibility of $91 million for infrastructure at UofT and asked if new space for the sciences might be possible. Professor Orchard recalled that at the previous meeting he had reported that the provincial government had hired consultants to review capital requirements in the universities. In the summer, several capital projects had been presented for forwarding to the Provincial Government. It was his understanding that the capital projects should be ready quickly and to that end the governance process had been accelerated. The Governing Council’s Planning and Budget Committee had approved two users’ committees for UTM projects and meetings had already begun. Usually committees were not formed until the funding was in place. The two projects were a $70 million instructional facility containing lecture halls, seminar rooms and classrooms and a $170 million science complex containing new offices, research facilities for faculty and new undergraduate teaching laboratories. The users’ committees hoped to report by April. The University hoped that the federal government amount would be matched by the provincial government. He noted that the initial space plans for the new buildings were wonderful.

ii) UofT Budget

Professor Orchard reported that the immediate challenge facing the University of Toronto for this budget cycle was the loss of the payout from the endowment because of poor investment returns. The endowment contained between $1.5 and $2 billion. The loss of the payout meant a shortfall of $62 million for the 2009-10. For UTM, the shortfall would be $433,000. Most of UTM’s donated funds were for capital projects. Other divisions had endowed chairs. The salaries and benefits of the faculty holding the chairs were normally provided from the endowment payout. Each division would be working with the Provost in setting their budgets.

iii) Appointment of the Vice-President and Provost

Professor Orchard was pleased to announce that Professor Cheryl Misak had been appointed Vice-President and Provost for a three-year term. Governing Council had approved the appointment earlier in the week.

iv) Retention Rates

Professor Orchard announced that UTM’s retention rate between first and second year was 91%, tied for third place in Ontario with the University of Guelph, and only 0.1% behind the University of Western Ontario. This result reflected well on the efforts by UTM’s faculty and staff.

v) Library’s Annual Report

Professor Orchard encouraged members to read the annual report which highlighted the many innovations being made in the library. The report could be found on the web.

4. New Business

a) Alumni Association Report

The Chair invited Ms Hazlon Schepmyer, Vice-President Student Relations and Chapter Development of the UTM Alumni Association (UTMAA), to present her report.

Ms Schepmyer said that the UTMAA represented the 34,000 UTM alumni. The Alumni Association worked with the Office of Advancement, and she particularly noted the support of Ms Sue Prior.

The UTMAA was visible on campus through her presence on this Council, various awards committees, the Athletics Council, the Alumni Mentorship Program, the Show Me the Green program and oUTreach 2008. The President of the Association was also a member of the Council of Presidents of the UTAA.

The UTMAA had a presence in the community through attendance at Mississauga Board of Trade events and fundraisers for local charities. In addition, there was Flicks on the Field, Winterfest, the Phoenix Ball, Alumni Book Launches and Alumni Film Screenings.

Activities for Alumni included breakfast speakers, graduate receptions, the Alumni Friends Golf Tournament, Shaker West and Pro Sports Days.

Ms Schepmyer noted that there were a number of chapters or subsets of the UTMAA, organized by the alumni themselves. These included separate chapters for Management, CCIT and Commerce. In future, there might be chapters for languages, Music, the Caribbean Connection and Athletics.

She thanked the Council for the opportunity to report and invited members to contact her at haze.schemyer@utoronto.ca.

In answer to a question, several members thought that this was the first time a report from the Alumni Association had been presented. It was suggested that it become an annual event.

5. Next Meeting – Thursday, March5, 2009

6. Adjournment

The meeting adjourned at 4:50 p.m.