Report: December 1, 2004


MINUTES OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEETING OF ERINDALE COLLEGE COUNCIL, held on Wednesday, December 1, 2004 at 12:10 p.m., in the Ante Chamber, Room 3129, South Building.

Present: R. Beck (in the Chair), I. Orchard, R. deSouza, A. Wensley, R. Baker, J. Lim, S. O’Connell

The Minutes of the previous meeting (October 28, 2004) were approved. (R. Baker / I. Orchard)

The Executive Committee met to set the agenda for the December 8, 2004 meeting of Erindale College Council. Professor Beck called on the chair of each standing committee to summarize recent business and identify items for possible inclusion on the Council meeting agenda.

Professor Anthony Wensley reported that at its November 23, 2004 meeting, the Academic Affairs Committee’s agenda was focused on the Curriculum reports. The Sciences and the Social Sciences Curriculum reports were fully endorsed by members of the Committee. However, in the case of the Humanities Curriculum report, with respect to the Diaspora Studies program, members were of the opinion that the Social Sciences Curriculum Committee (SSCC) should fully endorse the program before it could be recommended to Erindale College Council for approval. Because of the joint nature of the Diaspora Studies Program, it was agreed that Professor White would hold another meeting of the SSCC to formally canvass members for their level of support for this program. The Academic Affairs Committee endorsed the Humanities Curriculum Report pending the formal approval of the Diaspora Studies Program by the SSCC. Professor Wensley reported that this meeting had now been completed and that the SSCC gave its full support for the program in question. He added that the Humanities Curriculum Report could now be taken forward for approval to Erindale College Council. Professor Wensley also reported that a member of the Academic Affairs Committee raised a concern regarding the Rae Review and the University of Toronto’s support for increased accessibility to universities, which in the member’s opinion would result in a decrease in admission standards. The member wished to have a campus-wide discussion on this topic. After some discussion, members of the Executive Committee recommended that the member raise the issue under “Other Business” at a future meeting of the Academic Affairs Committee or Erindale College Council.

Professor Baker reported that the November 22, 2004 meeting of the Resource Planning and Priorities Committee heard an update of UTM’s long-term budget priorities and ways in which UTM is planning to generate funds to reduce mortgages on capital projects. He reported that the Vice-President and Principal spoke about building positive variance into the budget, from such sources as fundraising revenue and funds from the Academic Initiative Fund. With such projections built into the budget, UTM would be in a positive budgetary position by 2005/06. Although UTM is allowed to carry a cumulative deficit, long term plans allow it to go forward in a fiscally responsible way. Professor Baker reported that Committee members spoke in support of the direction and strategy laid out in the budget plans.

Mr. Lim reported on behalf of the Computing Committee, which met on November 24, 2004. Members received a report on a new service being introduced for Microsoft Critical Updates, which would allow for automatic updates to be done by Computer Services as opposed to users. It was also reported that Computing Services will be promoting the use of Spam Assassin in a more concerted way, to increase the use of this program in the reduction of spam emails. The Library’s Instructional Technology Liaison also provided information on the results of the Faculty Needs Assessment Survey, in which respondents indicated the need for instruction on web page creation software, graphics and art design, presentation skills and spreadsheets. Workshops on these topics are planned. The Committee also received a presentation that outlined the detailed site plan and planned technical specifications of the Hazel McCallion Academic Learning Centre.

The Chair went on to structure the agenda formally. The agenda would include reports from the Standing Committees on recent business and motions requiring approval as outlined above. The Vice-President and Principal stated that his report to Council would include a welcome to Mr. Ray deSouza, UTM’s new Chief Administrative Officer and to Ms. Jane Stirling, UTM’s new Marketing and Communications Manager. He would also discuss the Academic Initiatives Fund and advocacy efforts with respect to the Rae Review and the University of Toronto’s submission.

The Executive Committee meeting adjourned at 12:45 p.m. (I. Orchard / J. Lim)