Minutes: November 6, 2009

Minutes of the ERINDALE COLLEGE COUNCIL meeting held on Friday, November 6, 2009 at 3:15 p.m. in the Council Chamber, Room 3130, South Building

Present: A. Wensley (in the Chair), I. Orchard, A. Lange, R. Reisz, G. Averill, P. Donoghue, D. Crocker, J. Stirling, T. Kristan, S. McCarthy, S. Sidani, A. Burnett, F. Liaqat, M. Chowdhury, C. Leung, H. Schepmyer, U. Farooq, R. da Silva, G. Richter, L. Robertson, L. Collins, K. Xiao, A. Modh, J. Santiago, A. Lalla, M. Pilar Galvez, H. Ssali, C. Au Yeung, D. Dunlop, I. Still, F. Evanics. S. Gonsalves, L. Barber, A. Birkenbergs, A. Iwaniw, L. Oliver, T. Luke-Gervais, T. Ahmed, K. Bolesa, J. Cruz, S. da Silva, R. Haroon, M. Hassan, S. Jia, A-K. Madhavji, R. Mannapperuma, S. Minhas, A. Noor, S. Sarfi, N. Shaikh, S. Sidani, P. TAneja, M. Walli, G. Yuen, W.L. Bailey, E. Nikiema, Y. Poloz, L. Robertson, A. Vyas, D. Kreuger, L. Paris, C. Capewell, D. Mullings, L. Collins, K. Duncliffe, J. Lim, P. Goldsmith, B. McFadden, A. Burnett
Regrets: A. Graham, M. Overton, C. McGrath, S. Speller, W. Edgar, G. Li, L. Gaspini, J. Fletcher, C. Boyd, M. Jalland, J. Ramlakhan
In attendance: Andrew Frontini (Shore Tilbe Irwin & Partners), C. Westgate

In his opening remarks, the Chair welcomed members to the work of ECC and to a new academic year. He thanked those members who participated in a very well-attended ECC new member orientation on October 20th. The Council office received positive feedback on the session. He also expressed his thanks to Mr. Devin Kreuger, acting Director of Governance and Secretary of Council for the 2008-09 academic year for his invaluable help.

Professor Wensley encouraged all those present to support the United Way in whatever way possible; he noted that staff and faculty should be receiving their pledge forms by the end November. He drew members' attention to ongoing campus events benefiting the United Way, which can be found at http://www.utm.utoronto.ca/unitedway.

1. Approval of Minutes of Previous Meeting (April 14, 2009)

The minutes were approved. (I. Still/S. McCarthy)

2. Ratification of the Erindale College Council membership

The Chair referred members to the 2009-10 membership list that was made available with the notice of the agenda as well as for those who requested hardcopies at the front of the room.

The following administrative staff were elected to fill the two available seats (3 candidates were running for the two available positions):

  • Luke Barber (Library)
  • Carmen Bryson (VP Research office)

This year there were 70 candidates to fill the 50 ECC seats for full-time undergraduate students. Out of the 14 positions available for part-time students, only one was filled. The Chair asked members to contact the Director of Governance to suggest part-time students for ECC membership.

It was duly moved and seconded that the 2009-10 ECC membership list be approved (J. Lim/G. Averill) The motion was carried.

3. Election of Vice-Chair

The Chair announced that Ms. Rose da Silva, Vice-President of the UTM Association of Graduate Students has been nominated and has accepted the position of Vice-Chair of ECC. Ms. Da Silva is a graduate student in the department of Biology and has been involved with UTMAGS for a number of years and has been a consistent and involved member of ECC and some of its Standing Committees for several years.

The Chair asked if there were any further nominations from the floor.

Since a non-member of ECC was nominated from the floor and that nomination was therefore deemed invalid, the Chair declared Ms. da Silva elected by acclamation.

4. Reports of Standing Committees and Officers

a) Resource Planning & Priorities Committee: Report of the October 26, 2009 meeting - Professor Robert Reisz

Professor Reisz reported that at its last meeting, the committee had four reports for information. These included an update from Paull Goldsmith, Director of Facilities Management and Planning on the Health Sciences Complex and the Instructional Centre. Professor Reisz noted that he would focus on the former in this report, since the latter would receive detailed coverage later on in this meeting's agenda.

It was reported that the Health Sciences Complex was on time and on budget. Level 1 of the building would house the Mississauga Academy and the Help desk, level 2, the Mississauga Academy, level 3, the Biomedical Communications program, the Vice-Principal Research office and other academic offices, level 4, the anatomy lab and biomolecular research and finally the penthouse would house the mechanical area. Classrooms of both 60 and 30 seat sizes would be available, as would 12-seat problem-based learning rooms. The building would also house biomedical communications design studios. The project would be LEED certified at a minimum Silver certification, and therefore features optimal use of natural light, a unique concrete structure with finned metal cladding, multiple green roofs and terraces and a gray water system for toilets and landscape irrigation.

Professor Reisz noted that the second report was from Joe Lim, CIO. Mr. Lim reported that the following computer labs were upgraded: CCT0160, SB1158, SB1154, SB1161, and those located in the North Building study lounge & cafeteria. The network in the residences was also upgraded. It was noted that there would also be a deployment of wireless network to the residences by the end of October. In addition, access to library workstations by faculty and staff could now be achieved automatically (a separate step to enable their UTORid's is no longer needed).

Following this report, the committee was read a memorandum from Alex MacIsaac, Manager of Parking and Transportation regarding parking tickets that were issued in error. The memorandum announced that UTM now had a local ticket review process to deal with parking tickets, which were obviously issued in error.

Finally the committee heard a report from Bill McFadden, Director of Hospitality and Retail Services on the arrangement of food services at the Instructional Centre.

b) Academic Affairs Committee: Report of October 26, 2009 meeting - Professor Angela Lange

Professor Lange reported that the committee met on October 26, 2009 and had two reports for information. The Dean reported on the Instructional Centre and planned facilities and also talked about a number of initiatives coming out of the Office of Dean. The Dean noted that a number of initiatives were receiving focus in his office, including academic integrity, a new web page for the vice-dean graduate office, new orientation materials and international exchange. He noted that the Snider lecture committee was reappointed and running again this year. He also gave highlights of some curricular changes, which would be considered by the Academic Affairs Committee at its November meeting. He briefly talked about a change to the Institute of Communication and Culture that would appear before the AAC in January of 2010, and which stemmed from a review of that area.

The second report to the committee was from the Registrar and Director of Enrolment Management; Diane Crocker discussed the impacts of late withdrawals and deferred exams. The Office of the Registrar has seen tremendous use of the new late withdrawal procedure. The office would be introducing new language in the calendar with respect to this rule. Previously, it had required students utilizing the late withdrawal rule to see an academic counselor prior to being allowed to withdraw. This requirement will now be dropped because it required much staff as well as student time. The new process will be electronic: students will be required to read about the impact that late withdrawal can have on their academic status and sign their understanding electronically.

Ms. Crocker also discussed deferred exams. In the past if students missed an exam, they were offered to write it the next time the exam was offered or approximately 4 months after the original exam date. The change that has now been in effect for two sessions is that students, who miss a final exam, are required to write it in approximately two weeks. Notification of these students is accomplished by using electronic scan cards at exams, which are downloaded immediately following the exam, providing the Office of the Registrar with a list of those who did not attend. Those students are then sent an email detailing next steps for making up the exam and they have 72 hours to respond. This new practice has produced very positive results: the no-show rate has been cut in half. In addition, students seem to be writing more successfully. Ms. Crocker thanked many instructors who produced deferred exams at the same time as regular exams. This change has also resulted in more students being able to graduate. Another change is that further deferred exams are no longer scheduled at special times/sessions, but rather if a student is legitimately sick in the two weeks after missing the first final exam, he or she is now required to write it the next time the course is offered.

The Academic Affairs Committee also discussed moving the academic calendar exclusively online versus also printing it in hardcopy. There was much discussion and it was agreed that Ms. Crocker would return to the committee with more feedback from members and a revised proposal.

Professor Lange called on the Dean, Professor Gage Averill to give his report.

i) Report of the Vice-Principal Academic and Dean - Professor Gage Averill

Professor Averill noted that one of his goals over the past few years has been to improve the coordination of UTM's teaching and learning efforts and to promote UTM's strengths in teaching and learning. As well, during the last few years, UTM, U of T, as well as the Province have all been focused on how to assure the quality and renewal of university programs: whether they meet current student needs and industry demand. As a result, the university participated in developing set university undergraduate degree learning expectations, which give a set of goals and ideals to its programs in terms of the types of students produced and the types of learning experiences students are receiving.

The Dean explained that there has been a lot of activity at the level of teaching and undergraduate program quality, and one of the outcomes has been the creation of a new position of Vice-Dean Undergraduate: Programs, Teaching and Learning in the Office of the Dean. Currently, UTM is not well represented at tri-campus meetings where undergraduate vice deans gather to discuss issues related to concurrent teacher education, student recruitment, undergraduate issues, student experience and other topics.

The role of the Vice-Dean Undergraduate: Programs, Teaching and Learning will be to help foster a shared vision, philosophy and exchange of ideas in pedagogy and teaching and learning. The Vice-Dean Undergraduate will also work with other offices at UTM to coordinate efforts on the study abroad program, the research opportunity program, and experiential service learning. This position will also support innovative instructional pedagogy by moving ahead initiatives in the new Instructional Centre. Finally, the position will oversee the governance process for undergraduate curriculum, liaise with undergraduate students and student bodies, and supervise the work of the Robert Gillespie Academic Skills Centre, UTM's concurrent teacher education programs, and the office of experiential and service learning. The Dean expressed his hope to attract someone deeply concerned about undergraduate issues to fill this position who will move ahead vigorously on the above issues.

In closing, he added that the cost related to the establishment of this position would be equivalent to the release of an academic position from a course and an academic stipend.

There being no questions for the Dean, Professor Lange thanked him for his report and called on the Registrar to begin her report on enrollment counts.

ii) Office of the Registrar 2009 Enrollment Counts - Diane Crocker, Registrar and Director of Enrolment Management

The Registrar proceeded with a detailed presentation on recent enrollment demographics. Current total headcount was just over 11,000 students. Most of these students were fulltime. She noted that the current actual and the numbers that were estimated for budget planning were almost the same and that cross Canada and international student numbers were strong.

With respect to current registration status, UTM students taking courses at UTM were almost at 3000, with returning students at 8104. UTM had a strong retention rate - third in Ontario. Ms. Crocker noted that a very small number of new students are part-time.

With respect to Ontario High School registrant demographics, most UTM students originate from Mississauga and Brampton High Schools. Etobicoke is a growing catchment area as well. The top 20 originating High Schools were also listed, with Columbia International from Hamilton at the top with 101 students, followed by St. Francis Xavier from Mississauga with 68 students.

Ms. Crocker gave a breakdown of registrants by subject posts. The largest intake was for Social Sciences at 433, followed by Commerce at 283, Life Sciences at 264 and Humanities at 221. Admittance averages were highest in Commerce and Life Sciences. She noted that the Theatre and Drama program also had high admission averages, with 88% as the cutoff mark.

She reported that most international students (non-Ontario High School registrants) came from China (16), the United Arab Emirates (15) and the USA (14). She noted that slightly over 15% the incoming class was new international students.

Ms. Crocker emphasized that significant effort was made to withdraw admission offers in August if students did not meet criteria with their final marks. Admission averages were very strong this year and were on par with the St. George campus; UTM was no longer offering admission to applicants not admitted into St. George programs.

The Registrar continued her report by noting that the Faculty and Staff Application available on the Office of the Registrar website featured the faculty guide for new instructors as well as the office's Annual Report. Faculty and staff could log in with their UTORid's. She noted that her office was also working on providing student photos for class lists and added that most students were happy to participate in this project.

Professor Lange opened the floor to questions.

In response to a member's question Ms. Crocker affirmed that her office had corrected a mistake wherein faculty and some staff were given access to the addresses and phone numbers of students as part of their access to class lists. As a result of this correction, only limited, specially designated staff now have access to such information for the purposes of contacting past students for tenure review input and inviting students to special departmental events.

4. Vice President and Principal's Report

The Vice President and Principal thanked members of Council for contributing their time and effort to the governance of UTM. He expressed his thanks to members of the UTM community who participated in the annual fall campus day on October 25th, organized by the Office of the Registrar's recruitment area. A showcase of the UTM campus, the event has many valued contributors, including faculty, staff and student volunteers, conference services, facilities and grounds, and computing services.

a) Mississauga Summit 2009 (for information)

On May 26, 2009, leaders from all sectors assembled for Mississauga Summit 2009 - from Conversation to Action. The 2007 Summit brought together international, national and local leaders on topics related to sustainability, innovation and diversity, which was the beginning of a process to engage local leaders to work collaboratively on defining the future of Mississauga. The goal of this collaborative thought is to ensure that Mississauga remains a vibrant, resilient city where every individual, neighborhood and enterprise has the opportunity to thrive. This is an attempt at a communal approach to strategic planning within the city. Well-known environmentalist David Suzuki was a guest speaker at Mississauga Summit 2009 and the event was also the launch of the city's strategic plan.

Summit 2007 produced hundreds of ideas. Considering the direction of the City of Mississauga and other social, economic and political factors, four key task forces were launched at the 2009 Summit, including: building human capital, creating a postsecondary education strategy to complement economic and human capital development, waterfront development and environmental sustainability, and cultivating Mississauga as a centre of excellence for diversity and immigration.

The Vice-President and Principal thanked all those involved with this very important project including UTM graduate students, faculty and staff, who served on Summit taskforces. He highlighted the work of Professor Anthony Wensley, who serves as co-chair of the post-secondary education sector as well as other faculty and staff such as Professors Gunz, Krull, and Averill and from the Office of Advancement, Executive Director, Andrew Stelmacovich. The Geography department has also actively participated in a number of these taskforces.

b) President Naylor's message on The Urgent Need for a Bold Discussion About Canada's Universities (<-- broken link) (for information)

Professor Orchard reported that President Naylor recently gave a speech on the state of post-secondary education. The speech, which is available through a link in this meeting's agenda, offers comments and strategies on the state of post-secondary education in Canada.

c) Capital Projects Update

The Vice-President and Principal announced that since the last Council meeting, information was released about the second expansion of medical education in Ontario. He noted that UTM did receive, along with the Faculty of Medicine, a second expansion to the medical program such that in 2011 the campus will welcome an entry class of 54 medical students. The government also announced $15.6M in additional funding, which has allowed UTM to start building the Health Sciences Complex. UTM held an official groundbreaking for the HSC on October 23, 2009. The Instructional Centre had its official groundbreaking on October 2, 2009. Both buildings are scheduled for completion in March/April 2011, ready for the 2011-12 academic year.

Professor Orchard emphasized that both of these facilities very much improve UTM's space for instructional and faculty offices as well as science laboratories. He noted that the HSC was presented to a previous meeting of Council. He was pleased to introduce Andrew Frontini, of Shore Tilbe Irwin & Partners Architects to talk about the exciting design of the Instructional Centre.

i) Instructional Centre presentation: Andrew Frontini, Partner, Shore Tilbe Irwin & Partners

Mr. Frontini commented that the Instructional Centre (IC) was designed to complement the Hazel McCallion Academic Learning Centre, situated near it. The two buildings will be comparable in height and mass. A landscape path will connect the IC to the North Building.

He discussed program highlights. Regarding teaching space, the IC will feature the following: a 500 seat lecture hall, a 350 seat lecture hall, three 150 seat lecture halls, three 100 seat lecture halls, three 60 seat classrooms, two 50 seat classrooms, four 40 seat classrooms, and ten 30 seat classrooms. The facility will also house student study space, food service and seating, lounge space and a building support area.

Mr. Frontini emphasized that the IC has a sustainable design. It will have a LEED Silver designation, key components of which are geothermal heating and cooling, water conservation and sustainable transportation. He explained that geothermal cooling will provide 100% of the building's heating and cooling.

Mr. Frontini continued his presentation by showing architectural renderings of the IC building plans. He explained that the facility is divided into three connected teaching towers. Large classrooms will be located on the ground floor, then the building stacks upward to the study wing, which is acoustically separated from an atrium and features great views. Connecting hallways are planned to animate the building with circulation and bring activity around to the perimeter of the building.

He noted that the architectural team wanted to find a unique material to clad the IC, in order to complement the wood cladding of the HMALC. Copper, with its association to Canadian industry was chosen; it will result in a colour scheme of greens, blacks and browns for the building's principal cladding. The building exterior will also feature black granite.

Mr. Frontini closed his presentation by showing the layout of the second and third floors, with the former housing a dedicated acoustically separated study space and the latter featuring the smaller classrooms.

The Chair opened the floor to questions.

In answer to a member's question, Mr. Frontini confirmed that the IC would be fully accessible and will be proceeding through UTM's accessibility audit committee.

In response to a member's question about whether additional parking would be planned for the IC, the CAO answered that a small lot of 15 to 20 spots would be built, but no additional lots would be paved. He further explained that the university considered the possibility of adding a CCIT style underground parking garage to the IC facility, but the cost proved too prohibitive, at $35,000 per parking spot. In addition to the very high cost, because construction of the IC was on a fast track, there would have been no time to construct an underground parking garage.

In response to a member's question about the geothermal field, Mr. Donoghue explained that 350 portholes will be drilled at a depth of approximately 500 feet, which will all be connected to the IC building. This geothermal field will reduce the overall energy consumption of the building by over 50%, leading to an approximate $118,000 savings in operating costs per year. It is planned that the field will be restored by spring, even though construction of the IC would continue. The CAO noted that just this one feature of the building represents a very high standard in terms of sustainability. He added that once the geothermal field is finished, no parking lots can be constructed on top of it, which ensures that the green space will be protected permanently.

In response to a member's question, the CAO confirmed that food services at the IC will be provided by UTM's current food provider with various subcontractors, which have yet to be chosen. The food services space is planned to be approximately 3000 sq.ft.

A member raised the issue of sound transmission in the library and asked how this has been dealt with in the design of the IC. Mr. Frontini explained that having learned from the library experience, the IC space has been designed differently: the spaces in the IC are to be zoned as either loud or quiet, so that busy thorough fares like lounges and the atrium are zoned as loud, while those designated as quiet spaces, will be very well insulated acoustically. A sound isolating group wall is planned for each classroom. He added that if study spaces became noisy, they would be noisy within, but would be separated from other areas by acoustical insulation.

The Vice-President and Principal thanked the design project team and noted that the committee had the involvement of instructors with both small and large classroom teaching experience. In addition, the Office of the Registrar mapped future class size needs with a view towards likely additional enrolment in order to provide the programs offered in the building. Therefore, planned class sizes in the IC are based on accurate algorithms used for room bookings.

In response to a member's question, Mr. Frontini explained that the large lecture halls will feature two entry points from the back of the room on either side, through well insulated passages, muffling the noisy of entry.

He also explained that the IC will not have a separate vehicle drop off zone, because the building is very close to the outer circle road; he added that the current vehicle drop off area to the HMALC may be expanded.

The Chair announced that the next meeting of Council would be on Friday, December 4, 2009, when major curriculum changes will be considered for approval.

The meeting adjourned at 4:42 p.m. (R. Reisz/A. Lange)

Anthony Wensley

Cindy Ferencz Hammond
Director of Governance_______________________