Minutes: October 23, 2007


Minutes of the ACADEMIC AFFAIRS COMMITTEE meeting of Erindale College Council held on Tuesday, October 23, 2007 at 3:10 p.m. in the Ante Room, #3129, South Building.

Present: A. Wensley (in the Chair), I. Orchard, G. Averill, A. Lange, J. Sidnell, J. Poë, N. Copeland, D. Crocker, K. Rehner, N. Woolridge, K. Khanin, M. Lippincott, R. Gerlai, S. Baumann, J. McCurdy-Myers, J.P. Paluzzi, T. Al-Sarraj, H. Gunz, M.L. Smith
Regrets: S. Munro, U. Krull, B. Katz, L. Thomson, A. Bendlin
In Attendance: Ian Whyte, Devin Kreuger, Nathan Basiliko

The Chair welcomed new and returning members to the Committee.
1) Approval of Minutes of the Previous Meeting (October 24, 2006 and February 27, 2007)

The Chair noted that both documents were posted on the Council website and explained that if there was no objection, minutes would be approved by unanimous consent in the future. He added that this was the standard process for this kind of procedural matter and simply meant that no formal motion and vote would be taken unless anyone objected. Hearing no objection, the minutes of the October 24, 2006 and February 27, 2007 meetings were approved.
2) Election of New Chair

Professor Wensley announced that since at the last meeting of Council he was elected the Chair of Council and since he has finished serving his term as Chair of the Academic Affairs Committee, a new Chair should be elected. He noted that once a new Chair is elected, he or she would take over chairing the present meeting and that the position is for a two year term. He opened the floor to nominations for a new Chair.

Professor Angela Lange from the department of Biology was nominated to Chair the Academic Affairs Committee. There being no other nominations, Professor Lange was elected as Chair for a two-year term.

Professor Lange took the Chair.
3) Reports of Committees and Officers:

a) A Preliminary look at undergraduate curriculum: preparing for approvals at the next meeting - Lynn Snowden, Assistant Dean

The Chair called on Ms. Snowden to explain the curriculum preparation process and to highlight major changes, which would be presented to this committee at its next meeting.

Ms. Snowden noted that members would receive extensive curriculum report packages for the next meeting of the committee. She explained that by the end of September, each department will have met to review warranted changes such as deleting courses that have not been offered for a long period of time, course description changes, and adding new courses. The divisional curriculum committees (Humanities, Sciences and Social Sciences) meet throughout October and are composed of department chairs. They meet approximately 2 to 5 times, so that the materials are carefully scrutinized before they are submitted further through the governance process. Staff from the Office of the Registrar are also present at these meetings to ensure registrarial rules are observed. During this time it is required that chairs consult with colleagues at the other campuses. Finalized curriculum reports are then submitted to this committee, followed by Erindale College Council. Major changes are submitted to the Committee on Academic Policy & Programs of Governing Council and are also reported at a tri-campus deans' meeting and to the Provost's office.

Ms. Snowden summarized some of the major changes that members will see in more detail at the November meeting of the committee. In the department of Historical Studies, the program has been completely revamped, with a move to a large number of new half courses, considerably more than other humanities programs. In the sciences area, a new specialist program in Geocomputational Science has been created, which is a combination of analytical geography and computer science. Ms. Snowden explained that this program combines the strengths of the two departments into one formal degree in a way that allows students interested in geographic information systems, remote sensing, and computer science to pursue a specialist degree without having to acquire a double major in both fields. This program makes use of existing resources.

The Assistant Dean proceeded to discuss changes to the Concurrent Teacher Education Program (CTEP). The first class to the program was admitted in September 2007, and featured the six participating programs of French, Mathematics and Chemistry (anchor subjects) and Biology, Italian and English (second teachable subjects). The program did not achieve admission targets this year and feedback from students was that they would like a broader range of teachable subjects from which to choose. Therefore, it is proposed that the program be expanded to include Theatre, Drama and Performance Studies, Art/Art History, Geography, History and Physics, thus expanding the range of second teachable options to eight. These also seem to be subjects that are of interest to prospective CTEP teachers and are predicted to be areas of demand among employers.

Ms. Snowden discussed another major change, contained in the social science curriculum report. It is proposed that the Honours Bachelor of Arts designation for the Management Specialist program be changed to a Bachelor of Business Administration degree. The BBA is a widely used name for business and management degrees and provides more immediate recognition among potential students and employers. This change also provides an opportunity to increase enrollments by raising awareness and the profile of the program.

Finally, Ms. Snowden talked about a major change in the humanities area. It is proposed that the name of the French, German and Italian department be changed to the Department of Language Studies. The department's mandate will be expanded to include oversight of the delivery of a broader range of language courses that will support the academic mission of U of T Mississauga. In the model proposed, the Department of Language Studies will retain the core research strengths of the current department, but will be responsible for language teaching overall, including courses in Arabic, Persian, Latin, and Sanskrit.
4) New Business:
a) 2006-07 Research Report: Devin Kreuger, Manager of Research and Graduate Affairs

The 2006/07 Research Report was distributed to members and is attached hereto as Appendix A.

Mr. Kreuger noted that main goal of the 2006-07 research report was to discuss research revenue data, staff initiated research projects and showcase research anecdotes and stories. One of the emerging themes of the report was student engagement and how faculty incorporate undergraduate students into their research work. Other themes were leading edge innovation and the growth of a research culture.

Mr. Kreuger reported that in 1996/97, U of T Mississauga's research revenue dollars amounted to $2.7M, compared with $9.5 in 2006/07. These funds stem from the operating grants provided by the three granting councils, internal sources, other funders and the infrastructure funding provided through the Government Research Infrastructure Programs (GRIP). With respect to the trajectory of growth, a high point was reached in the year 2003/04 as a result of a substantial CFI grant. Mr. Kreuger reported that core funding was on the rise: NSERC Discovery, SSHRC Standard and CIHR operating grants were all on the increase.

The Chair opened the floor to questions.

A member asked whether the increase in NSERC funding can be attributed to increased numbers of faculty grants or increases in the amounts awarded. Mr. Kreuger answered that the amount of the grant is reported and that the increase is most likely attributable to a mix in both the numbers and the amounts of the grants.

In answer to a member's question, Mr. Kreuger explained that co-researchers who receive funding are not tracked and are therefore reflected in the ‘Other' category on the report's charts.
b) Report from the Coordinator of Public Services, Hazel McCallion Academic Learning Centre - Ian B. Whyte

Mr. Whyte talked about two satisfaction surveys: LibQUAL+® & LibSatTM Survey Results. He reported that LibQUAL has been running since 2001, but that this was the first year that all three campuses of U of T participated. Using 22 core items, the survey assessed affect of service or customer services aspects, information control or access to collections and library as a place for studying. A total of 276 surveys were returned, most of them from undergraduate students (156), followed by faculty (50), staff (36) and graduate students (33).

Overall, U of T Mississauga was rated higher than the average for all Associated Research Libraries (ARL) college and university library participants in terms of the three dimensions listed above. Mr. Whyte reported that for affect of service, U of T Mississauga was rated as slightly higher than ARL libraries, supported by a number of positive comments relating to staff service. Customer service ratings across user groups were mixed however, with ratings by undergraduates slightly below the ARL average. Information control has been identified as an area in need of attention for students and faculty. The average rating in this dimension is higher comparatively thank ARL libraries, but there is a problem because of a negative adequacy gap. Undergraduate ratings for printed library materials they needed for work were lower than minimum and graduate students' ratings for print and/or electronic journal collections required for their work, were lower than minimum. For library as place, U of T Mississauga rated below ARL libraries for undergraduate and graduate students, particularly with respect to noise. With respect to the LibQUAL comment analysis, there were many comments about noise and about print and electronic collections.

Mr. Whyte talked about the LibSat survey, accessible at utm.countingopinions.com. This survey allows for data collection in real time and is linked from the library home page. This survey is used to prioritize and improve the library's quality of service.

Mr. White noted that the LibQUAL survey report would be posted on the U of T libraries website and in February of 2008 action plans would be developed and communicated as part of the annual planning process based on these results.

The Chair opened the floor to questions.

In response to member's question about whether data was available that would break down satisfaction levels to various program areas, Mr. Whyte explained that this data was available and that he would need to do further analysis to cover that question. He added that because of the low response rate, there is a question about how representative this survey is. A member asked whether the survey assessed the skill levels of library users. Mr. Whyte noted that the survey does not measure how expert the users are in library searches, nor does it assess how aware of services they are.

Mr. Whyte went on to discuss the library code of conduct. He reported that the overwhelming response from students has been their desire to preserve library space as quiet study space. The library has therefore developed a marketing campaign, which includes posters and email messages that emphasizes courtesy and respect and discusses escalating consequences. The library code of conduct is posted on the web and in the library and sets out unacceptable behaviours that would be disturbing and disruptive, including harassment and smoking. The code of conduct will be enforced and the library has already contracted security services to do so. He added that the library was restricted to U of T Mississauga faculty, staff and students between the hours of 10 p.m. and 8 a.m. Mr. Whyte noted that the library has received a lot of positive feedback in response to the new code of conduct and noted that a zero tolerance approach has been adopted, which also means that police reports would be filed.

The next meeting was scheduled for Tuesday, November 27, 2007. The meeting was adjourned at 4:10 p.m.

Secretary ______________________________ Chair ______________________________________