Report: March 6, 2008


Report of the ERINDALE COLLEGE COUNCIL meeting held on Thursday, March 6, 2008 at 3:15 p.m. in the Council Chamber, Room 3130, South Building

Present: A. Wensley (in the Chair), I. Orchard, G. Averill, R. Reisz, A. Lange, J. Lim, R. deSouza, D. Crocker, M. Overton, K. Wilson, J. Sills, L. Wilson-Pauwels, G. Espie, G. Richter, C. Capewell, J. McCurdy-Myers, K. Duncliffe, D. Kreuger, B. McFadden, J. Stirling, J. Gillies, M. Price, A. Iwaniw, C. Bryson, L. Oliver, T. Luke-Gervais, I. Whyte, J. Szurmak, W. Khogali, W. Malik, A. Chauhan, I. Sharma, T. Billen, J. Santiago, A. Zaidi, V. Glevov, M. Jalland, I. Still, J. Delves, S. McCarthy, R. Da Silva, L. Robertson, H. Schepmyer, W. Edgar, K. Giuliani, K. Younger, S. Kirschner, S. Speller, M. Hashim, M. Al-Rawahi, M. Ali, J. Cruz, S. Farouk, D. Hassan, C. Irwin, M. Josifovska, A. Karim, S. Khwaja
Regrets: J. Prince, S. Al-Abdul Wahid, L. Gaspini, J. Poë, U. Krull, A. Vyas, T. Al-Sarraj, R. Beck, L. Collins, H. Hines, N. Basiliko, N. Iyer, C. Boyd

1. Approval of Minutes of Previous Meeting (January 24, 2008)

The minutes of the previous meeting were approved. (I. Orchard/W. Khogali)

2. Reports of Standing Committees and Officers

a) Academic Affairs Committee: Report of February 26, 2008 meeting – Prof. Angela Lange

Professor Lange reported that the committee met on February 26, 2008. Members of the Committee heard about revised guidelines for funded leaves from the Faculty of Arts and Science, presented for information by the Dean. Also for information were reports from the Library giving an annual report and from the Office of the Registrar on course information pages. There were also three proposals for approval for the members to consider related to changes to Late Withdrawal Rules, Grading Practices Policy and Courses Considered as “Extra”. Following a thorough discussion by the Committee, all three proposals were recommended for approval to Erindale College Council.

Professor Lange called on the Dean, Professor Gage Averill to introduce the item and then on the Registrar and Director of Enrolment Management, Ms. Diane Crocker to move the motion.

The proposals are attached hereto as Appendix A.

i. Proposed Changes to Late Withdrawal Rules, Grading Practices Policy and Courses Considered as “Extra” – Gage Averill, VP Academic and Dean and Diane Crocker, Registrar and Director of Enrolment Management (Brought forward on the recommendation of the Academic Affairs Committee)

Professor Averill reported that these proposals emerged from discussions at the tri-campus deans and the tri-campus undergraduate issues committees. He noted that with respect to the late withdrawal proposal, the proposal was amended to include a requirement for academic advising and to limit the number of times the rule could be used to three. He added that a similar proposal was also approved by the Faculty of Arts & Science and the University of Toronto at Scarborough. Professor Averill explained that the grading policy proposal allows students to make an informed decision since current language was inadequate and added that the Academic Affairs Committee changed the required percentage for half courses from 25% to 15%. Finally, he noted that the Chairs endorsed all three proposals.

Ms. Diane Crocker continued the presentation.

I. Late Withdrawal Proposal (LWD)

Ms. Crocker explained that this proposal is different from dropping a course before the last date allowed for withdrawals. The current proposal introduces the option of dropping a maximum of 3.0 FCE’s for students who are in some form of crisis especially early on in their academic career when they may not be aware of the relevant academic rules or when they may be overcome with something towards the end of an academic term. Ms. Crocker added that when students get to this point they still struggle on and request multiple deferred exams, which represent a substantial cost to both the university and students. She noted that students will not be able to apply for this option online, but will have to make an appointment with an academic counselor to discuss the ramifications of their decision before being allowed to proceed.

It was duly moved and seconded,
THAT Students pursuing a degree at University of Toronto Mississauga may request to withdraw without petition from a total of no more than 3.0 FCEs in the 20.0 FCEs required for their degree, provided such a request is made by the last day of classes in the relevant course; and
THAT Such requests will be made through an academic advising appointment in the Office of the Registrar. The Associate Registrar, Student Records, will be granted the authority to approve these requests, only after the student has received advising and fully understands the implications of their actions. Guidelines for granting requests will be developed jointly between the Office of the Registrar and the Dean and VP Academic; and
THAT Withdrawals approved under this procedure will be noted on the academic record by the course status LWD (Late Withdrawal after the Drop Date). This course status will have no effect on the GPA or other elements of the academic record. (D. Crocker/A. Lange)

The Chair opened the floor to discussion on the motion.

A member asked whether if in the case of a student who had already used their one “free” late withdrawal, the limit of 3 late withdrawals specified in the proposal would still apply. The Registrar explained that the existence of one “free” late withdrawal per student was a rumour. She added that this 3.0 course late withdrawal policy would be reflected in the calendar.

A member spoke in favour of the motion and stated that it would be important to provide information and education on the policy after it had gone through governance. Ms. Crocker noted that information on the policy and related guidelines are going to be included in the UTM calendar.

Another member spoke in favour of the motion as a sensible and reasonable proposal.

The motion was carried.

II. Grading Practices Policy Change

It was duly moved and seconded,
THAT Instructors shall return by the deadline one or more marked assignments and/or term tests worth a combined total of at least 15% of the total course mark for H courses and 25% for Y courses; and
THAT The deadline for returning such marked work shall be the last regular class meeting prior to the Drop Date, with one exception: for courses that run the entire Fall/Winter Session (Y5Y or H5Y courses), the deadline shall be the last regular class meeting of the first week of classes in January. (D. Crocker/G. Averill)

The motion was carried.

III. Repeat One Course Only OTO as Extra

Ms. Crocker explained that this proposal concerned very few students, but that there were some students who wished to repeat a course that had already been successfully completed. Examples of this might be where a student requires a specific mark beyond passing to qualify for an external credential, or where a student whose circumstances have negatively impacted performance in a core course essential for future graduate study. The student would be able to take this singular opportunity to demonstrate a capacity to perform at the needed level without distorting their academic record. In the past UTM sent students in this situation to another university to re-take these courses, because the campus did not have a system to allow for course repeats. Students requesting such repeats will be required to attend an academic advising appointment in the Office of the Registrar where they will be advised as to the wisdom of the choice.

It was duly moved and seconded,
THAT A student may repeat 1.0 FCE (in which he or she has received a passing mark) for reasons other than to gain a required mark in a course required for a prerequisite or to qualify for entry into a Subject POSt; and
THAT Such a repeated course or courses will be designated as Extra and will appear on the academic record, but will be marked “Extra” and will not be included in GPA calculations or in the degree credit count; and
THAT Students requesting to repeat a course in this way must do so at the Office of the Registrar, where they will receive appropriate advising and will be enrolled, provided there is space available, only after other degree students have had an opportunity to enroll. (D. Crocker/W. Khogali)

The motion was carried.

b) Resource Planning and Priorities Committee: Report of February 25, 2008 meeting - Prof. Robert Reisz

Professor Reisz called on the Chief Administrative Officer to present his report on the South Building Master Plan.

i. Report from the Chief Administrative Officer, Mr. Ray deSouza on the South Building Master Plan

Mr. de Souza explained that the old library has been vacant for 18 months. Plans to renovate the space were put on hold because of delays related to the Academy of Medicine. He noted that the project is back on track, with governance approvals underway.

The Chief Administrative Officer summarized the plan for the so called South Building Master Plan in several phases as follows:

• Phase 1: renovation of the third floor of the old library to provide spaces for the departments of Sociology and Geography as well as administrative space for the offices of the Vice President & Principal, the Chief Administrative Officer, capital planning and Campus Police. The design and development phase will be complete by August 2008. In September, some departments will be moved during the construction phase, which is scheduled to begin in October of 2008. Tentative completion date for phase 1 is December 2009.

• Phase 2: renovation of the main floor of the old library to make it ready for a new student services space, to include the Office of the Registrar. He noted that there will be some elements of both student services and the Office of the Registrar that will not fit into this space (see phase 3). Construction on this phase will not begin until phase 1 has been completed.

• Phase 3: a longer term project that will locate those areas that could not be placed into the earlier phases of this project and renovating phases vacated by phases 1 and 2 such as Student Affairs, Office of the Registrar, and administrative and academic departments

• Future plans - Meeting Place renovation and beyond: this will include a long-term plan on an enhanced South Building entrance, patio spaces outside the meeting place, Kaneff entranceway, and a better link with the RAWC. He noted that the particulars of this phase are dependent on funding.

The Chair of the Resource Planning & Priorities Committee continued his report with summarizing the rest of the Committee meeting. He gave a short outline of the presentation of the Director of Business Services on how food and conference services attribute ancillary funds to residence.

Professor Reisz listed all the costs currently paid by conference services to residence, which include the three major categories of utilities, garbage and capital renewal. He noted that Conference Services pays all variable costs to residence; in addition it pays some fixed costs, and pays additional costs such as light bulb replacement, locksmith costs, appliance, electrical and plumbing maintenance directly.

Profess Reisz then continued with a brief explanation on attributions/transfers from Food Services and to Residence. Costs currently paid by Food Services to Residence, include utilities (approx. $55,000 annually for the kitchen, servery, and seating area of Colman Commons), cleaning/caretaking in Colman Commons and repairs and maintenance in Colman Commons. He noted that this was the financial model used to initiate the building of Oscar Peterson Hall in that the initial arrangement called for Food Services to contribute the cost of equipping the kitchen and servery only. With respect to the question of why Food Services does not pay for a portion of the mortgage related to the dining hall space, the following points were made at the Resource Planning & Priorities Committee meeting:

• When Oscar Peterson was designed, there were two options:
1. Without a dining hall: this would have cost approximately $80,000 per bed or $34M
2. With a dining hall: this would have cost approximately $63,000 per bed or $27M
Therefore the addition of a dining hall saved Residence about $17,000 per bed or $7M
Food Service could operate under this model only if its contribution was limited to $500,000 of equipping the kitchen and servery
• Food services operations at the University of Toronto and across the country use the same approach

It was explained that Food Services cannot pay for more costs because food services prices (meal plan and cash) must be at market rates and if the operation had to absorb more costs, they would either increase prices or reduce costs through reducing hours, reducing selection and quality and closing outlets or both.

The Chair of Council opened the floor to questions on both the Chief Administrative Officer’s and the rest of the Resource Planning & Priorities Committee’s reports.

A member asked whether the current use of the old library as an exam and term test space was taken into consideration when planning the renovation. The Chief Administrative Officer replied that this factor is currently under discussion with the Office of the Registrar; he added that some temporary measures will almost certainly have to be implemented in order to provide space for term tests.

In response to a member’s question about the establishment of a project planning committee for the library renovation project, the Chief Administrative Officer explained that the work of that committee had already been completed; a project implementation committee will be the next step in the process.

Also in response to a member’s question, Mr. deSouza explained that the resources currently in use in the Meeting Place such as a photocopier, would continue to be a part of any future development of the space.

c) Computing Committee: Report of the February 27, 2008 meeting – Joe Lim

Mr. Lim reported that at the February 27 meeting, a status report of UTORmail was provided to committee members. In late December and early January the campus experienced some very slow email delivery. This slowdown was a result of Internet Service Providers claiming that U of T was their single largest source of spam. Once the university investigated the problem, it was realized that invalid emails or ‘bounce backs’ were never deleted from the system and so U of T was sending emails to many non-existent accounts. These non-existent accounts have now been removed from the system.

The meeting also featured a report from the Manager of Computing Services on the Exchange Project, which will bring in Exchange as a replacement for the Oracle Calendar. In addition, part of UTORmail will be converted to Exchange mail. Migration is scheduled to start in December 2008 and is to be completed by February of 2009. The migration is a university wide initiated program and will be open to all Oracle calendar users and in the case of UTM, all faculty and staff.

The Chair opened the floor to questions.

In response to a member’s question, the CIO replied that the migration would not adversely affect access to historical calendar data.

The Registrar announced that since many students had not updated their email on ROSI to UTORmail, a note has been published in the registration guide that advises students that the university will only communicate with UTORmail addresses.

In response to a member’s question, Mr. Lim explained that graduate students will also be able to use Oracle.

A member commented that many students use their Gmail accounts and asked if there was a way for UTORmail to be forwarded to these Gmail accounts. The Registrar explained that this was possible, but could not recommend doing so, since many official university emails get moved into the junk mail folders of these accounts. The CIO concurred, noting that only UTORmail will guarantee delivery.

3. New Business:

a) University of Toronto Mississauga Student Union Constitutional Changes – Walied Khogali, President of UTMSU

Supporting documents in the form of a cover memorandum, the Constitution and the Referendum CRO report are attached hereto as Appendix B.

Mr. Walied Khogali talked about the lengthy review and approval process that the UTMSU Constitution had undergone, which included approval by the organization's Policy and Procedure committee, followed by the Board of Directors. Governance related changes took effect at the organization’s Annual General Meeting.

Mr. Khogali referred members to the cover memorandum that accompanied the revised UTMSU Constitution, which summarized the changes made to that document.

Under the section on membership UTMSU has through decision of a referendum and consent of the Erindale Part-time Undergraduate Students (EPUS) gained representation of all full-time and part-time undergraduate students on the UTM campus. As such, a new Vice President Part-time Affairs position has been added to the voting membership of the Board of Directors (BOD) as well as the Executive Committee.

Under the section on executive structure, the duties of the positions for Vice President Human Resources and Vice President Operations have been unified into the portfolio of the Vice President, Internal and Services.

Another change has been the addition of the Executive Director to the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee as a non-voting ex-officio member.

Finally, under the section on Ministries, the following ministries have been created and will report to the UTM Commission, which is a body equivalent to power given to a committee of the Board of Directors:

b. Education and Outreach,
c. Environment,
d. Equity,
e. International Student Issues,
f. Part time Affairs,
g. Social Justice,
h. Student Life,
i. University Affairs and Academics.

Mr. Khogali explained that the membership to the Commission or the Ministries is not limited to members of the Board of Directors. These will replace all ‘open committees’ of the previous constitution. He noted that the ministries are important for receiving input on various issues from students and that the commission is a way in which students can come together and make recommendations to the Board of Directors.

It was duly moved and seconded,
THAT ECC ratify the UTMSU constitution as amended. (W. Khogali/A. Lange)

The Chair opened the floor for discussion on the motion.

A member asked whether the relevant constitutional changes were also reflected in the University of Toronto Student Union (UTSU) constitution. Mr. Khogali explained that there were specific sections with the same language in the UTSU constitution as in the UTMSU constitution based on mutual agreement.

The Vice President & Principal congratulated Mr. Khogali on accomplishing the major revision of the UTMSU constitution, work that involved much negotiation and consultation.

A member inquired about how members are paid at UTMSU. Mr. Khogali explained that students in the Ministries are volunteers; board members are not paid and executives are given honoraria and have to work 25 hours per week.

The motion was carried.

4. Vice President & Principal’s Report – Professor Ian Orchard

The Vice President & Principal announced that Professor Vivek Goel, the current Vice-President and Provost, will be ending his term on June 30, 2008 to take on the position of Founding President and CEO of the newly created Ontario Agency for Health Protection and Promotion. As of July 1, 2008, Professor Cheryl Misak will take up the role of Interim Vice-President and Provost until June 30, 2009 or until a successor is appointed.

Professor Orchard reported that of the university’s total $20.5M infrastructure and renewal grant from the Provincial government, UTM’s share amounted to $3.5M. UTM is about to embark on approximately $50M worth of capital and renovation projects including the Academy of Medicine at a cost of $34M and the South Building renovation of the first two phases, at a cost of approximately $18M. In addition, a new childcare centre will open in September of 2008. Other additions include two new classrooms in the basement of the South Building and more study space.

Professor Orchard congratulated Mr. Chris McGrath, Assistant Dean and his staff and team of volunteers on the successful opening of Oscar Peterson Hall.

Lastly, the Vice President & Principal announced that UTM has received the Partnership Award of Excellence from the City of Mississauga related to the collaborative work on UPASS; he thanked the many students and staff who led the effort on this important initiative.

The Chair opened the floor to questions.

A member asked if there were any plans to expand the Athletics and Wellness Centre.

The Vice President & Principal responded that UTM is investigating options for a field house that would expand recreational opportunities and possibly aid in conducting large exams, continuing the campus' commitment to achieve additional recreation facilities without additional capital contributions by students. He noted that a prescribed burn is scheduled in the spring for the area abutting the proposed field house site and emphasized that the field house area would be protected.

5. Announcements:

The Chair read the following notice of motion: Changes to the UTMSU constitution necessitate changes to the ECC Constitution and By-laws; this will serve as notice that at the next meeting of Council changes to the ECC Constitution and By-laws will be presented. A detailed notice, including cross-out versions of both documents, will be made available to members two weeks prior to the next meeting.

The Registrar announced that UTM’s March Open House was taking place on Sunday, March 9, 2008; more information could be found on the UTM website.

6. Next Meeting – Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The meeting adjourned at 4:40 p.m. (D. Kreuger/W. Khogali)

Secretary ________________________________ Chair ___________________________________