Report: December 9, 2005



REPORT OF THE ERINDALE COLLEGE COUNCIL meeting held on Friday, December 9, 2005 at 3:15 p.m., in the Council Chamber, South Building, UTM.

PRESENT: R. Beck (in the Chair), I. Orchard, R. deSouza, C. Misak, J. Delves, R. Reisz, I. Still, A. Lange, S. Munro, S. Salih, L. El Gebali, S. Mason, P. Hannaford, Susan Russell, L. Thomson, G. White, K. Giuliani, M. Mavrinac, R. Gerlai, K. Duncliffe, A. Bellerby, B. Branfireun, J. McCurdy-Myers, T. Remmel, A. Mullin, A. Nicholson, L. Paris, I. Whyte, M. Lettieri, S. Abrahim, D. Aldouri, F. Ul-Haq, J. Lim, K. Chadder, S. Wahid, J. Stirling, T. Luke-Gervais, R. Arora, L. Gaspini, R. Carroll, B. Gupta, G. Didiano, A. Vyas, H. Gunz, W. Khogali, S. Foster, D. Crocker, M. Rennie, B. Louie, A. Wensley, A. Iwaniw, M. Jaime, D. Martins, B. Adeoye REGRETS: D. Hunter, U. Krull, M. Overton, S. McCarthy, L. Kramer, N. Khan

1. Adoption of Agenda

The Agenda was approved. (I. Orchard/C. Misak)

The Chair reported that a matter was brought to the attention of the Executive Committee from a member who wished to bring up an issue connected to tuition fee policy and asked whether the member was present to introduce the item under ‘Other Business.’ The member was not yet in attendance.

2. Minutes of Previous Meeting (November 10, 2005)

The report of the previous meeting was approved. (I. Orchard/G. White)

3. Business Arising from the Minutes

There was no business arising.

4. Reports of Standing Committees

a) Academic Affairs Committee – Anthony Wensley

Professor Wensley reported that the Academic Affairs Committee considered two major items of business at its last meeting. Members considered and approved the three curriculum reports and the creation of the Vice-Dean, Graduate position. He proceeded to call on the Chair of each curriculum committee for the presentation of the relevant changes.

i. Humanities Curriculum Report – Prof. Amy Mullin

Professor Mullin described some of the major changes brought forward in the Humanities Curriculum Report. She noted that with respect to program changes, the only major change was the deletion of the Canadian Studies Specialist and its replacement with a minor. She explained that this program had almost disappeared in recent years, with fewer than 20 students enrolled in the specialist or major. It is planned that the program will be revitalized, strengthened and more extensively promoted.

In the other program changes category, Professor Mullin summarized less significant changes. The course for beginners in Italian would no longer be counted towards the specialist or major program. In Religion, minor revisions were made to delete defunct courses and clarify requirements for students. Professor Mullin highlighted new courses. She noted that both Latin and Sanskrit courses were planned in order to revitalize the Classics program. She also explained that what may look like many additional French, German and Italian courses, simply represent offering the same topic course so that students are able to submit their assignments and write their exams in English. New courses were also being introduced as part of the Canadian Studies program.

It was duly moved and seconded,

THAT the sub-report of the Academic Affairs Committee on the Humanities Curriculum be approved. (A. Mullin/A. Lange) The motion was approved.

ii. Sciences Curriculum Report – Prof. Angela Lange

Professor Lange described some of the major changes brought forward in the Sciences Curriculum. She reported that three new programs were being introduced. The Information Security program is a new Specialist program involving interdisciplinary work in the various strengths within the Department of Mathematical and Computational Sciences and introduces a number of new courses.

She noted that a new Specialist program in Ecology and Evolution was being introduced to replace the two specialists of Ecology and Biodiversity and Evolutionary Diversity. These latter two programs are merged to form the new Ecology and Evolution specialist. The third new program of Behaviour, Genetics and Neurobiology is a Specialist that replaces the cancelled Animal Behaviour Program. It reflects current faculty interests and new developments in the field of biological basis of behaviour. This new program also represents a vital link to The Genes, Environment, Nervous System and Behaviour (GENAB) group, which is comprised of approximately 20 researchers in Psychology, Biology, and Chemistry at UTM and the St. George campus.

Pointing to the ‘Other Changes’ section of the sciences curriculum report, Professor Lange stated that most of the changes represent a renumbering of courses. In the Biological Chemistry in Specialist program a change is recommended that will limit enrolment. Students who sustain a 70% average in second year chemistry courses and a CGP of 2.5 can then upgrade their program to the specialist program after the completion of 9 credits. This change allows the department to use limited resources especially in the third and fourth year laboratory courses for qualified and committed students.

Professor Lange explained that most new courses were a result of new hires. New Biophysics courses stem from UTM’s ‘Stepping Up’ document.

It was duly moved and seconded,

THAT the sub-report of the Academic Affairs Committee on the Sciences Curriculum be approved. (A. Lange/S. Munro) The motion was approved.

iii. Social Sciences Curriculum Report – Prof. Graham White

Professor White thanked colleagues and staff from the Office of the Registrar, for their work as part of the Social Sciences Curriculum Committee. He added his thanks to Ms. Norma Dotto for her invaluable administrative help and complimented the newly introduced web template for curriculum submissions.

Regarding new programs, Professor White reported that a proposed new minor in Biomedical Communications, has the goal of expanding students’ abilities to communicate their areas of study both visually and verbally. The proposed new Management specialist represents a re-packaging and new focus of existing courses. Similarly, courses in the new Financial Economics specialist have been assembled as a meaningful separate field of study with the goal of attracting students with a strong quantitative background. Professor White reported that there were no program deletions proposed, but a large number of program changes and new courses had been proposed as outlined in the report.

With respect to program changes, he noted that they were minor in scope, the majority relating to correcting calendar changes. He noted that new courses were being proposed in areas to respond to new hires and course deletions represent those courses that have not been offered in some time.

It was duly moved and seconded,

THAT the sub-report of the Academic Affairs Committee on the Social Sciences Curriculum be approved. (G. White/A. Mullin) The motion was approved.

Professor Wensley thanked everyone involved for the enormous amount of work that is involved throughout the curriculum development, consultation and approval process.

It was duly moved and seconded,

THAT the report of the Academic Affairs Committee be accepted. (A. Wensley/B. Branfireun) The motion was approved.

b) Resource Planning and Priorities Committee – Professor Robert Reisz

Professor Reisz pointed to the memorandum from the Vice-President and Principal and the Dean on the proposed creation of the position of Vice-Dean, Graduate. He explained that when UTM was restructured, it was envisioned that in addition to the Dean and Department Chairs, UTM would eventually create associate or vice deans. With the anticipated expansion of graduate programs at UTM and the devolution of much of the authority of the School of Graduate Studies to the division, the creation of this position was seen as a necessary step in enhancing the function of the Dean’s office. Professor Reisz reported that this proposal was considered and approved by both the Academic Affairs Committee and the Resource Planning and Priorities Committee and comes to Erindale College Council as a joint recommendation.

It was duly moved and seconded,

THAT the creation of a Vice-Dean position, as outlined in the memorandum from the Vice-President and Principal and Dean dated November 21, 2005, be recommended to Erindale College Council for approval. (joint recommendation with the Academic Affairs Committee) (R. Reisz/S. Wahid)

The Dean added that this position was created partly in response to requests by graduate students who stressed the need for a dedicated resource focused on graduate student interests. This position is also being proposed in response to the rapid expansion of graduate student enrolment and the University’s intention to permeate accountability for graduate matters throughout the university. She explained that the Vice-Dean, Graduate, will report to the Dean and will serve on the Tri-Campus Decanal Committee for Arts & Science, along with the Deans at all three campuses and the Vice-Deans of the Faculty of Arts & Science. This new position will be effective on July 1, 2006.

In response to a member’s question, Professor Misak noted that such positions did exist at other UofT divisions, including at Arts & Science and Medicine. A member communicated the positive response of graduate students to this proposal.

The motion was called to question. The motion was approved.

c) Computing Committee – Joe Lim

Mr. Lim reported that the Computing Committee received three reports at its November 30, 2005 meeting. The Committee discussed a draft plan for pandemic communications brought forward by Mr. Lim. He encouraged members to obtain a copy of the plan and provide feedback through the Secretary of Council. Members also received an update from the instructional technology liaison from the Library on results from a faculty and student instructional technology needs assessment survey.

The Committee also considered and approved the deletion of the old email addresses of ‘credit.erin’ and ‘mail.erin.’ He pointed to the memorandum on the proposed deletion and explained that these email addresses were introduced many years ago and are no longer in use with any frequency. They do however constitute 10% of the spam that UTM receives. He noted that their proposed deletion would therefore reduce the number of spam messages.

It was duly moved and seconded,

THAT Computing Services remove support for the names ‘credit.erin’ and ‘mail.erin’ on the UTM mail server as described in the memorandum from the Director of Computing Services, dated November 23, 2005, effective January 4, 2006. (J. Lim/ R. deSouza) The motion was approved.

5. Previous Notice of Motion: QSS terms of reference – Sameer Al-Abdul Wahid, Chair, QSS terms of reference review committee

The Chair called on Mr. Wahid, the Chair of the QSS terms of reference review committee to talk about the changes that are proposed. Mr. Wahid pointed to the revised terms of reference document, which was distributed to Council members and proceeded to highlight major changes therein.

He explained that the purpose, as well as the power and duties of QSS remain mostly unchanged, while minor to how the group operates, including giving itself the power to amend its own terms of reference with a two-thirds majority, are proposed. He reported that major changes are proposed to the group’s membership, which now stands at 17 with the following members: the Dean of Student Affairs, the Director of each campus student service (those with ancillary fees), the Vice-President and Principal, the Chief Administrative Officer and one representative from each of six student councils. QSS now also selects its own Chair, who is not a voting member, and has a secretary. It will also direct, via majority resolution, the vote of the QSS representative on the Council on Student Services (COSS) on the operating plans and budgets of UTM. He explained that another key change in the document was the way in which ancillary fees would be proposed, with the new system allowing for more student input earlier in the development stage. In addition, any new capital fees could not proceed without going to a student referendum. Mr. Wahid noted that there were other minor changes made to quorum and rules of order detailed in the document distributed to Council members.

It was duly moved and seconded,
THAT the revised terms of reference of the Quality of Service to Students group be approved. (S. Wahid/ W. Khogali)

The Chair opened the floor to questions.

A member commented that some of the mechanisms for increasing fees as described in the revised terms of reference of QSS are different from those in the University of Toronto’s long term protocol on compulsory non-tuition related fees, and asked whether any possible contradictions were discussed by the review committee. Mr. Wahid explained that this issue had been discussed and while some of the QSS mechanisms are stricter, none of the changes in the revised document contradict that of the aforementioned university policy.

Mr. Wahid thanked all members of QSS who participated in the long process of revising these terms of reference and Mark Overton, Dean of Student Affairs for his help throughout the year.

The motion was called to question. The motion was approved.

6. Vice President and Principal’s Report

Professor Orchard complimented the Chair and the Secretary of Council for organizing the two information sessions on the ancillary budgets and the curriculum before their progression through governance.

He announced that The University of Toronto at Mississauga's (UTM) master plan received the Award of Merit for Community Significance at the November 28 Urban Design Awards, held at Mississauga's Living Arts Centre. UTM’s Master Plan sets the direction for campus development, the location of building sites and urges the maintenance of green space. He added that many of UTM’s new buildings have received recognition for the way they are built to fit with the surrounding natural environment.

The Vice-President and Principal announced that after serving four years, he would be taking an administrative leave of one year, starting in July of 2006 and then return to serve the remaining three years of his term. He noted that while on leave, he would be maintaining all duties associated with the external community, including receptions, and advancement activities. He was pleased to report that Academic Board approved the appointment of Dean Cheryl Misak, as Acting Principal of UTM from July 2006 until June 30, 2007. Governing Council would soon be considering her acting appointment as Vice-President. An Acting Dean to replace Professor Misak would also be appointed for the same term. He noted that the newly created position of Vice-Dean, Graduate will start in July of 2006 for a 5 year term and will help bridge these acting appointments. He thanked Professor Misak for taking on this responsibility.

The Chair added his congratulations to Dean Misak and wished Professor Orchard a productive administrative leave.

7. Other Business

a) A member announced that he wished to introduce a notice of motion to Council to be considered

at its next meeting and distributed a copy of the motion to members of Council. He stated that the motion is regarding a tuition fee freeze. The member also distributed a document commissioned by the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA) entitled “The Tuition Trap” and asked members to read the report in preparation of a debate on this proposed motion.

The Chair explained that the introduction of the motion was considered at the Executive Committee, which came to the conclusion that while this matter is a proper subject for debate, the motion itself was outside of the powers of Erindale College Council. He explained to members of Council that the motion concerned an extended tuition freeze, containing several ‘whereas’ clauses and resolutions that call on ECC first, to endorse a fully funded tuition fee freeze at the University of Toronto and in the Province of Ontario until at least September 2008; second, that ECC recommend to Governing Council that it also support a fully funded tuition fee freeze; and lastly, that the Chair of ECC write a letter to the Premier of Ontario, the Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities and the MPP of Mississauga Centre to request that the provincial government maintain a fully funded tuition fee freeze until the above stated date. The Chair explained that the Executive Committee ruled that the matter of tuition was a proper subject for discussion at ECC. However, the motion itself was not in order because the University of Toronto makes policies regarding tuition centrally. Divisions through their Councils are not in a position to engage on this issue directly with the government as this responsibility is beyond the delegated authority of Council. He added that this decision was related to the member, but that since new documentation had been received, he would re-submit the matter to the Executive Committee for consideration.

The member noted that the motion could be changed once it appears for discussion at Council and that members of Council should decide the appropriateness of the proposed motion. He noted that students had recently participated in a plebiscite and voted overwhelmingly to support an extended tuition fee freeze and added that he was mandated by his student union and constituency to bring this matter to Erindale College Council for consideration. He remarked that since this matter affects students he thought it an appropriate issue for discussion and noted that Ryerson University approved a similar motion at its Council.

The Chair explained that a full discussion of this issue is proper, but the proposed motion addresses matters that extend beyond the delegated authority of Erindale College Council. Another member agreed that there should be a full discussion of the matter, and suggested that the Executive Committee introduce a motion that would be consistent with the powers and duties of Council so that there could be a productive debate. The Chair thanked the member for his comment and noted that the Executive Committee would consider that suggestion.

b) A member remarked that the tri-campus committee of graduate student unions is drafting a document to address both the proposed Vice Dean positions at UTM and at Scarborough in order to encourage both campuses to coordinate their efforts so that governing bodies are consistent across campuses. The Dean explained that each of the Vice Deans will sit on the tri-campus decanal committee, which meets once a week, and serves this coordination and communication function.

8. Next Regularly Scheduled Meeting – Wednesday, February 1, 2006

The Chair reminded members that a special meeting of Council has been scheduled for Thursday, December 15, 2005 at 3:15 p.m., room 2150, in the CCIT building. In response to a member’s question as to the degree of consultation members can undertake in light of the confidentiality of the matter, the Vice-President and Principal encouraged a thorough discussion of the matter, but asked that the confidential document not be widely distributed.

9. Adjournment

The Chair thanked everyone for participating in a productive meeting and wished everyone a happy and safe holiday season. The meeting adjourned at 4:30 p.m. (G. Didiano/M. Jaime)

Secretary of Council ____________________________ Chair _________________________

January 24, 2006