Report: April 8, 2005


MINUTES OF THE ERINDALE COLLEGE COUNCIL meeting held on Friday, April 8, 2005 at 3:15 p.m., in the Council Chamber, South Building, UTM.

PRESENT: R. Beck (in the Chair), G. Richter, R. deSouza, D. Kreuger, J. Lim, L. Paris, S. Kessler, B. Louie, J. Sills, A. Vyas, N. Collins, M. Massey, C. Bryson, L. Gaspini, J. McCurdy-Myers, E. Kobluk, K. Krupica, J. Tran, S. Laughton, J. Ngobia, S. McCarthy, M. Rennie, B. Thompson, J. Stirling, D. Aldouri, V. TeBrugge, S. O’Connell, A. Iwaniw, H. Aboghodieh, R. Carroll, J. Linley, I. Whyte, H. Gunz, A. Wensley
Regrets: B. Branfireun, R. Reisz, D. Crocker, M.A. Mavrinac, I. Orchard, G. Anderson, J. Percy, I. Still

  1. Adoption of Agenda

The agenda was approved. (S. McCarthy/J. Lim)

  1. Minutes of Previous Meeting (March 10, 2005)

The report of the previous meeting was approved. (J. McCurdy-Myers / J. Lim )

  1. Business Arising from the Minutes.

There was no business arising from the minutes.

  1. Reports of Standing Committees
    1. Computing Committee – Joe Lim

    i) Demystifying IT Services at UTM: Issues with email, spam, storage, and more

    Mr. Lim reported that the Computing Committee met on March 23rd and received reports on the Academic Computing Advisory Committee and its plan to introduce learning management systems such as WebCT, Blackboard, and CCNet. Members also received information on a survey conducted to gather input from the UTM community on the types of services and response times that are expected from Computing Services (CC) and Micro Electronics (MED.) He reported that four UTM-developed applications would be presented to the university’s Tech_Know_File 2005 conference. It was also announced that the University of Toronto awarded tier one status for computer equipment contracts to both Dell and IBM.

    Mr. Lim began his presentation on UTM’s information technology services, by explaining that there would be a change in wireless authentication requirements. Currently, wireless authentication is done using the UTORdial account (library bar code and a password); starting in May, users would activate their wireless access with their UTORid and a password. He explained that UTORid is a unique identity for all faculty, staff and students and is used for all centrally provided services (Corporate Time, public computers in the library system, UTORmail and the Norton anti-virus program.) UTMid is UTM’s version of the UTORid, and provides access to UTM services only.

    Mr. Lim reported that there were two systems for mail, an inbox with a 15MB quota and network storage, with 650MB for staff and faculty and 30MB for students. He added that staff and faculty could request more storage through computing services and students through their course instructor for the duration of their course. A heuristic filter with two folders (spam and no-spam) filters messages on a per user basis, so that any known virus attachment is renamed to a “.bin” extension, preventing users from accidentally opening files with viruses.

    He proceeded to explain some policies regarding Movedmail and Webmail. The mail server checks everyone’s inbox daily at 2:00 a.m. and sends a warning to those users whose inbox sizes are between 10MB and 15MB. If a user’s inbox size is greater than 15MB, messages are moved to the “Moved mail” folder in web mail. He added that users would not be able to receive any attachments over 20MB in size.

    Mr. Lim described newly introduced applications and services, including:

    • UTORvpn: a St. George service that provides staff and faculty a UofT IP address at home
    • SMTPAuth: allows faculty to send and receive mail directly from the UTM mail server; this requires set up through Computing Services
    • UTMsubmit: web based application that allows students to submit their assignments electronically
    • UTMScan: a multiple choice exam scoring program, with student opinion survey analysis capability
    • MyAccount: allows user to perform all aspects of account management, including setting their password and vacation message.
    • ErinList: self-serve mailing list management, which allows for the creation of a class mailing list
    • UTMBlog: web blogger that allows for automatic class updates
    • MyFiles: self-storage with daily snapshots
    • ErinSupport: UTM’s trouble ticket system

    Details on these applications are available on the computing services web site.

    Mr. Lim continued his presentation by listing all the computer lab facilities, their locations and type of equipment.

    He concluded his presentation by discussing services that would be introduced in the near future:

    • UTMSubmit to incorporate
    • Access to Myfiles will be available from home through a web browser
    • UTMReserve – a self-serve resource booking application
    • Health Check - self-serve laptop virus/spybot repair facility

    The Chair opened the floor to discussion.

    A member commented that the University should develop its own database and system similar to instead of purchasing it from an outside provider. Regarding and UTMSubmit, a member commented that students must currently submit their assignments twice, once to each system because no link exists between the two. The Chair commented that there are policies for the use of on a course by course basis and that any linkage between the two systems would have to take these policies into account and would warrant further discussion.

    In response to a member’s question about network storage for graduate students, Mr. Lim explained that graduate students receive the same amount as faculty and staff (650MB.)

    Regarding the availability of UTORvpn to students, Mr. Lim reported that currently this service is only available to faculty and staff, but plans were under way to introduce it to students.

    A member pointed out that the main University of Toronto Web site had not as yet been structurally re-designed to include UTM web pages. The Chief Administrative Officer explained that the Director of Communications was aware of the problem and would be cooperating with groups on the St. George campus to develop a solution to this problem. He added these changes would be slow to implement due to the large number of related web pages.

    The Chair thanked Mr. Lim for this presentation.

    It was duly moved and seconded,
    THAT the report of the Computing Committee be accepted. (J. Lim/S.O’Connell) The motion was carried.

    1. Meeting of the Resource Planning and Priorities Committee – Ray deSouza (on behalf of the Chair, Professor Robert Reisz)

    Mr. deSouza reported that the Resource Planning and Priorities Committee met on March 21st and received two items for discussion. It was reported that the Space Planning and Management Committee (SPMC) met to review its terms of reference, to discuss its mandate and to plan for a comprehensive space inventory in the near future. The SPMC also discussed how space would be assessed using Council of Ontario Universities (COU) guidelines, how to make space allocations in a transparent way and how it would review requests for capital and renovation projects. The terms of reference of the (SPMC) was distributed to members of the RPPC.

    The Committee also heard that since its last meeting, at which the issue was approved, a problem had arisen regarding the planned parking garage and alternate delivery of parking services through Standard Parking. In transmitting the approvals through Business Board, Academic Board and Governing Council, UTM sought the advice of the Chief Financial Officer to ensure approval of the project and its financing. The original plan that was approved by the university’s Chief Financial Officer had called for a financing management and operations plan by the special purpose company. Since that time, major accounting changes by governing accounting bodies, such as the Canadian Institue of Chartered Accountants, have affected the ability of organizations to use this kind of arrangement. The University’s auditors did not agree with the position that the cost of the garage would be considered as "off-balance sheet financing," meaning that there would be no liability on the University's financial statements and hence no affect on the credit facility and borrowing capacity of the University. Mr. deSouza reported that a meeting between the university’s auditors and legal counsel, Standard Parking and university staff from the Office of the Vice-President, Business Affairs and UTM was scheduled to further consider the problem.

    It was duly moved and seconded,
    THAT the report of the Resource Planning and Priorities Committee be accepted. (R. deSouza/G. Richter.)

    The Chair opened the floor to discussion.

    In response to a member’s question about the status of the parking structure, the Chief Administrative Officer explained that the project still had to go through levels of approval at Governing Council and its boards and committees. He added that the project was detached from the university’s capital project budget.

    A member asked if is there was any consideration for revising the collection of parking fees to fund the parking garage and deferring them to a later date because of this unforeseen delay. Mr. deSouza pointed out that the parking rates that were recently approved by the University Affairs Board took into account the CCIT underground parking mortgage and did not reflect future borrowing, such as that associated with the parking garage. A member commented that parking fee increases approved this year were largely in response to the costs of previous construction and not the parking garage.

    In response to a member’s question, the CAO explained that if there were a setback in the approval process of the parking garage there would be provisions in place to ensure that existing parking spaces would not be lost due to construction delays. In addition, due to the many construction projects currently ongoing, elaborate plans already existed to deal with any disruptions to vehicular and pedestrian traffic and access to academic buildings.

    A member sought a resolution from Council that would ensure that the planned parking garage construction would be completed by September and would not interfere with the pressure on parking availability normally experienced during that month. The Chair explained that no resolution made by Council could ensure this, but noted that this potential problem had clearly been identified to members of the administration.

    In response to a member’s question, the CAO explained that the net increase of spaces provided by the proposed parking garage does not take into account the number of spots that could potentially be lost if temporary parking spaces were returned to their original state. He added that UTM has committed to returning temporary parking lots back to their natural state. The member suggested that the parking garage should be large enough to accommodate the potential loss of those temporary parking spaces.

    Mr. deSouza noted that during the construction phase of the proposed parking garage UTM would have to decide which lots would revert back to natural landscaping to ensure that plans were consistent with the UTM Master Plan.

    The motion was called to question and was carried.

    1. Academic Affairs Committee – Professor Anthony Wensley

    Professor Wensley reported that at its March 22nd meeting the Dean provided the Academic Affairs Committee with a snapshot of the Office of the Dean and its personnel, and gave an overview of the research opportunity program and the undergraduate advisory committee. She reported that the office oversees a wide range of responsibilities including, academic human resources (hiring, promotion, tenuring, performance evaluations, grievances, retention matters,) academic discipline, academic planning, curriculum development (overview and initial approval), and department reviews. Ultimate responsibility for the budgets of all academic departments and all teaching related matters also rest with the Office of the Dean.

    The Office of the Dean also oversees academic priorities and during the current year established the Undergraduate Advisory Committee, which spearheads teaching and educational reforms.

    The Committee also heard about some of the milestones reached by the Office of the Dean over the past several years including, the formation of the current departmental structure.

    Professor Misak also reported to the Committee on the Research Opportunities Program (ROP), which is designed to provide second year students with an opportunity to do intensive research work with a faculty. The program has grown from approximately 20 students (several years ago) to 62 last year, with places available for 130 students next year, which represents more spots than that of the Faculty of Arts & Science. She credited both Department Chairs and faculty for promoting the program and making these spaces available.

    It was duly moved and seconded,
    THAT the report of the Academic Affairs Committee be accepted. (A. Wensley/S. O’Connell) The motion was carried.

  2. Other Business

There was no other business.

The Chair reminded members that the next meeting of Council would be in the fall. He thanked the chairs of committees for their work and all Council members for participating in the governance process and invited members to attend the “end of term” reception to take place immediately following the Council meeting.

The meeting adjourned at 4:25 p.m. (S. O’Connell/R. deSouza)

Secretary of Council________________________ Chair__________________________________

May 30, 2005