Report: February 28, 2006

MINUTES OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEETING OF ERINDALE COLLEGE COUNCIL, held on Tuesday, February 28, 2006 at 12:00 p.m. in room 3135, South Building.

Present: R. Beck (in the Chair), I. Orchard, A. Wensley, J. Lim, R. deSouza, R. Reisz
Regrets: R. Carroll, R. deSouza

The Executive Committee met to set the agenda for the March 8, 2006 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 next ECC agenda.

The minutes of the previous two meetings were approved.

The Secretary of Council updated members on the progress of the work of the Constitutional Review Committee[1], which was struck in response to graduate governance changes and their effect on the ECC Constitution and By-laws. She reported that the Committee has met to review the “Proposal for changes to Governance Routing with Respect to Graduate Programs” document by the Governance Working Group and the Graduate Education Coordinating Committee, and has proceeded to discuss the changes that are needed in UTM’s governance in light of the recommendations therein. This document, and the accompanying ‘cross out’ revised versions of UTM’s Constitution and By-laws were distributed to members and are attached to this report as Appendices A and B, respectively.

Ms. Ferencz Hammond summarized changes to the Constitution and Bylaws of ECC stemming from the recommendations of the Task Force on Graduate Education as follows: (see cross out versions attached for detailed changes)

  • Revised definitions of what constitutes a graduate student, alumni and teaching staff
  • The move of the definition/interpretation section from the by-laws to the Constitution as per legal recommendation
  • Clarification of Council’s authority on approving academic programs
  • Change of the length of term of graduate student members of Council from two years to one year (same change for the Academic Affairs Committee)
  • Addition of the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies and the Vice-Dean, Graduate, UTM to the membership of Council, the Academic Affairs Committee and the proposed Graduate Curriculum Subcommittee (CGS)
  • Change the selection of graduate students to ECC from appointed to elected
  • Increase membership of graduate students to the Academic Affairs Committee from one to two and change their selection mode from appointed to elected (AAC)
  • Create a new subcommittee of the AAC, the Graduate Curriculum Subcommittee (GCS)

She noted that some of the above changes also stem from a general review of all divisional and faculty constitutions by the Provost’s Office, Governing Council and the University of Toronto legal department, to ensure that they comply with generally accepted principals. The draft ‘cross out’ versions of the Constitution and the by-laws, along with an administrative cover document that outlines the resulting governance process, would be sent to the Governance Working Group and the Office of the Provost for review and feedback, before being submitted for approval to both the Academic Affairs Committee and ECC. The Secretary of Council would have the final versions of the documents for the Executive Committee at its next meeting, following consideration and approval by the Constitutional Review Committee. The approval of the new subcommittee would be considered at the March 28 meeting of the Academic Affairs Committee and the changes to the Constitution and By-laws would be submitted to the April 12 meeting of Erindale College Council for approval, with the constitutional changes going to Governing Council for further approval.

The Chair proceeded to discuss the agenda of the upcoming March 8 meeting of Council. He noted that since the February 1st meeting was adjourned before all the business on the agenda could be completed, the March 8 meeting would continue with that unfinished business. He brought to the attention of members a motion submitted by ECC members Vladimir Glebov and Shawn Abrahim as follows:

Whereas tuition fees are a form of barrier to post secondary education; and
Whereas the university is committed to providing an accessible, quality education, and removing barriers to accessing and completing higher education; and
Whereas, according to the Students' Administrative Council, 99% of students that participated in a plebiscite are in favor of a tuition fee reduction or freeze; therefore
BIRT, Erindale College Council recommends to the Vice-President and Principal, UTM, that he/she advocate through the governing council of University of Toronto that tuition fees should either be frozen or reduced; and
BIFRT, Erindale College Council recommends to the Vice-President and Principal, UTM, that he/she includes updates on tuition fees at UTM as changes occur, in the Vice-President and Principal’s (UTM) Report; and
BIFRT, Erindale College Council recommends to the Vice-President and Principal, UTM, that he/she includes updates in the Vice-President and Principal’s (UTM) Report on advocacy progress as outlined in the first clause of this motion after each governing council meeting where matters relating to tuition fees where mentioned.

The Chair noted that the above motion was order with respect to the delegated authority of Council to make recommendations to the Vice-President and Principal. Following discussion by members, it was agreed that this motion would be placed on the agenda.

A member pointed out that Council members should be reminded of the proper conduct and speaking protocol as required in the by-laws and in Robert’s Rules of Order, in light of the behaviour in breach of these rules by some members at recent meetings. The Chair stated that although it would not be productive to become mired in procedural matters at the cost of focusing on important issues, he would enforce such procedural rules more often in the future.

On behalf of the Resource Planning and Priorities Committee, Professor Reisz reported that at its last meeting on February 27, 2006 the committee received four reports, all for information. Members received a report on behalf of the Grounds Monitoring Subcommittee, on the activities of the UTM/Evergreen Naturalization Steering Committee and received the outline of a plan on the management of the old field habitat at UTM. Members also heard about much needed infrastructure updates to the campus, including the replacement and upgrade of the electrical supply, sanitary sewer diversion and the implementation of the storm water management pond. The committee also discussed the executive summary of the parking strategy report by Lea Consulting and received a presentation from the Office of Advancement on the fundraising progress for capital projects. It was announced that the Hazel McCallion Academic Learning Centre was fully funded and may extend its funding goal.

On behalf of the Computing Committee, Mr. Lim reported that the committee will meet on March 1st with planned reports for information on the following items: an update on the Learning Management System and the Blackboard Transaction System and a detailed presentation on the requirements of the Freedom of Information, Privacy Protection Act, which will now apply to universities.

The Vice-President and Principal noted that he would proceed with the items of business stemming from the last meeting under his report.

The Executive Committee meeting adjourned at 12:50 p.m. (J. Lim/A. Wensley)

[1] Roger Beck, Charles Jones, Anthony Wensley, Sameer Wahid, Ryan Carroll, Cindy Ferencz Hammond