Report: November 23, 2004


REPORT OF THE ACADEMIC AFFARS COMMITTEE of Erindale College Council held on Tuesday, November 23, 2004 at 3:10 p.m., in Room 3129.

PRESENT: A. Wensley (in the Chair), C. Misak, U. Krull, D. Crocker, A. Lange, K. Blankstein, Y. Karshon, N. Copeland, P. Franks, S. Munro, C. Jones, I. Graham, D. Aldouri, A. Bhatti, S. Khan, M. Rennie, G. Anderson, L. Thomson, G. White, R. Baker
REGRETS: M.A. Mavrinac
In attendance: Shelley Hawrychuk (Library), Sal Bancheri, Mohamad Tavakoli-Targhi, Ian Graham
Note: Copies of the curriculum reports summarized here were available on the Erindale College Council web site and are attached hereto as Appendices.

1. Adoption of the Agenda

The agenda was approved. (G. Anderson / A. Lange )

2. Minutes of the Previous Meeting

The minutes of the previous meeting (October 26, 2004) were approved. (A. Lange / N. Copeland)

3. Business Arising from the Minutes.

There was no business arising from the minutes.

4. New Business: Reports of Divisional Curriculum Committees

a) Sciences – Professor Robert Baker

Professor Baker described some of the major changes brought forward in the Sciences Curriculum Report. He reported that the new program in Bioinformatics involves the computational analysis of gene and genome sequences as well as functional genomic data. He explained that the program is an interdisciplinary science requiring strong backgrounds in computer science and molecular biology and good knowledge of mathematics, chemistry, genetics, and evolutionary biology. The Specialist Program reflects the interdisciplinary nature of the field, and the courses draw from the offerings of Computer Science, Mathematics, Statistics, Biology and Chemistry.

Professor Baker reported that another major program being introduced is Health Sciences Communication (HSC), which is an interdisciplinary specialist program offered through Communication Culture and Information Technology. The HSC program begins in second year and focuses on health communication and explores the synergistic roles of visuals and text in print and new media. Through an understanding of theories of visual and written communication, students prepare health/medical/scientific communication material for the digital age by learning to develop visual and written instruments targeted to specific populations. Opportunities for students upon completion include working in: the health care industry, hospitals, non-profit organizations, pharmaceutical companies, public health, and media companies specializing in health sciences. Professor Baker further noted that students could also continue their studies in the MScBMC program or in education (OISE or teachers college) and added that there are a large number of new courses associated with the program.

Professor Baker also reported that there were many minor changes in Biology and in Mathematical and Computational Sciences, which were outlined in the report, noting that new courses Biology are attempting to highlight the implications of research in the field on society. In the Computer Science program, rather than continuing to offer only parts of three different programs, UTM proposes to drop the Software Engineering and the Information Systems Specialist options and rename the “Computer Science: Comprehensive Option” to simply “Computer Science.” Professor Baker explained that this deletion is an attempt to focus on just one specialist at UTM and make it so that virtually all courses can be completed at UTM, rather than at the St. George Campus. As a result, UTM will now have one specialist, called Computer Science. The Major Program will also be renamed from, “Computer Science: Comprehensive Option” to “Computer Science.” Courses that are part of this program are not new, having been previously offered at the St. George campus and at UTM.

Professor Baker continued his presentation with changes in Forensic Sciences, where four specialist areas in Anthropology, Biology, Chemistry, and Psychology are proposed in order to provide students with a more concentrated forensic science experience.

In response to a member’s comment about the broad and possibly confusing name of the Health Sciences Communication Program, Professor Baker explained that the naming had not been finalized as of yet, but that members of the department had in general agreed to the name in its current form.

He went on to describe a new course called Separations, Chromatography and Microfluidics, which represents a very important field dealing with separation science and building on a survey of fundamental physical principles to understand processes of extraction, and technologies such as solid phase microextraction, supercritical fluid extraction, immunoaffinity extraction and molecularly imprinted polymers. The course will explore new opportunities for chromatography and separations by movement to small scale size by focusing on microfluidics, electro-osmotic flow and chip based microdevice applications.

Professor Baker noted that Computer Science is proposing the addition of a large number of courses in order to offer flexibility by providing UTM students with courses that are tailored to the UTM specialist program. In the past, a large number of UTM students had to go to the St. George campus to complete such courses. There are up to six additional half-stipends required to mount advanced courses needed for this UTM-based program.

In addition to the Forensic Identification suite of courses, the Forensic Identification Field School course will take the theoretical aspects learned in the previous forensics identification courses and apply them in the context of a crime scene, working as a team, to provide a more realistic approach to forensic identification. The follow-up in-class component in this course will focus on communication of evidence with written reports, verbal presentations and a mock trial.

Professor Baker highlighted a very important change in Mathematics, which has taken MAT132 and split it into the two courses of MAT 134Y5 (a course in calculus in which the applications are predominantly in the life sciences) and 135Y5 (a course covering trigonometric functions, limits, continuity, review of differential calculus, applications, graphing, extreme values and optimization.)

Professor Baker noted that changes in Psychology reflect many new hires in the fields of Biopsychology of Sex and Animal Behaviour Genetics.

He went on to describe the Teaching Opportunity Program in the Sciences is an individual unpaid placement in which students integrate and apply their understanding of science and education by observing, actively participating in, and reflecting on the teaching and learning process in a specific undergraduate science course, under the supervision of an experienced instructor/mentor. This proposed course is an attempt to draw more senior undergraduate students to teaching.

Professor Baker highlighted the change in CHM140Y5, the Study of Matter and Its Transformations. The department has dropped the requirement for Grade 12 Geometry & Discrete Mathematics (MGA4U)/Grade 12 (4U) Physics) to be in line with the St. George campus and in order to attract students who were previously discouraged by this requirement. The detailed changes in the prerequisites are included in the Sciences Curriculum Report.

It was duly moved and seconded,
THAT the Sciences Curriculum report be approved by the Academic Affairs Committee. (R. Baker / K. Blankstein)

The Chair opened the floor to questions:

A representative from the Library commented that the Library would experience resource implications in an indirect way because of some of the above courses.

The Motion was called to question. The Motion was carried with one abstention.

b) Social Sciences – Professor Graham White

Professor White expressed his appreciation to Ms. Norma Dotto for compiling and organizing the Social Sciences Curriculum Report.

He reported that the creation of the new Management Specialist Program in Accounting will simply enable Bachelor of Commerce students who typically take a certain grouping of courses to receive a more formal recognition of their training in Accounting. This will be helpful as they seek employment in the field of accounting upon graduation.

Professor White reported that the joint Specialist Program in Economics, Philosophy, and Political Science was deleted with the agreement of all three sponsoring departments, because it has always had very low enrollment.

The department of Geography has proposed a few minor adjustments in their Specialist, Major, and Minor programs, which clarify different streams and make it more user friendly for students with respect to course progressions.

Minor changes in Economics include the updating of course prerequisites to reflect current courses and the addition of a writing component. In Anthropology, minor changes are proposed as a result of the Health Sciences Communication (HSC) Specialist Program in order to satisfy program requirements for Anthropology science courses.

Professor White presented the resource implications brought forward in the initiatives of the Geography submission. The Department is proposing to increase the role of field activities in both the human and physical streams as a component of the curriculum leading to convertible practical skills. He added that the Department has been heavily involved in collaborative efforts with Riverwood (with the City of Mississauga), in upgrading field equipment and in exploring collaborations with the St. George department as well as departments that have field sites (e.g., Calgary/Kananaskis).

Professor White continued his presentation by highlighting a number of proposed new courses. He reported that in Political Sciences, the new and revised 100-series courses reflect the culmination of a major revision of first-year Political Science designed to appeal to a wider range of students. These changes will also introduce students to the conceptual frameworks and approaches in Political Science, and provide a wider range of entry points to UTM Political Science than was possible when the only first-year gateway course was POL100Y (Canadian Politics). The revision also completes the move to half-year courses for first year students.

Professor White reported on the addition of a large number of courses for the CCIT program. These courses are designed to enrich an emerging stream within both the CCIT program and the Centre for Visual and Media Culture on sound as a central element of modern communications and media culture. He remarked that the large number of deleted courses in the social sciences is because many had not been offered in recent years or the related faculty have retired.

Professor White concluded his report by discussing some of the changes related to renumbering, title, and description adjustments and referred members to the entire report for the relevant details. He noted that the Committee discussed the Diaspora and Transnational Studies program and he would add his comments when the Humanities Curriculum Report was being presented.

It was duly moved and seconded,
THAT the Social Sciences Curriculum report be approved by the Academic Affairs Committee. (G. White / R. Baker)

The Chair opened the floor to questions.

In response to members’ comments about the organization and delivery of the Diaspora and Transnational Studies Program, the Dean commented it is the first truly, tri-campus program and is complex to organize. Therefore, the program requires fine-tuning, which is currently being addressed and such details would be available for presentation to Erindale College Council. Professor White added that in general members of the SSCC were enthusiastic about the program, but felt that they did not have enough detailed information to arrive at a decision.

A member commented that the MAT132 course is a prerequisite to a large number of courses, especially in the Economics Specialist and suggested that the appropriate changes be made to the Calendar.

The Motion was called to question. The Motion was approved.

c) Humanities – Professor Leslie Thomson

Prof. Thomson thanked Ms. Dianne Robertson for assembling the Humanities Curriculum submission. She then highlighted the major changes in the submission.

Professor Thomson described the Diaspora and Transnational Studies program as examining the historical and contemporary movements of peoples and the complex problems of identity and experience to which these movements give rise as well as the creative possibilities that flow from movement. The program is comparative and interdisciplinary, drawing from the social sciences, history, and the arts. Students are required to take two linked half-courses that offer an introduction to a broad array of themes and disciplinary methodologies. The program offers a wide selection of additional courses, giving students the opportunity to learn about a range of diasporic communities as well as key debates in the field. She added that courses would be offered on all three campuses at the same time as part of this program. Faculty would teach for a certain number of weeks on each campus of the University of Toronto. The program would have an enrolment of 50 for UTM and Scarborough and 100 for the St. George campus.

She reported that the Major program in German Cultural Studies, would have a broader focus than the former program in German, enabling the department to draw on its own expertise in language and cultural studies, as well as courses offered through cognate departments that would be both of interest to students and integral to the subject matter.

Professor Thomson noted that several Philosophy courses are proposed to accommodate new hires. The introduction of three-hour lectures to Drama courses would allow for practical components and the use of multimedia rooms in the CCIT building. Also in the Department of English and Drama, students applying to proceed to the second year of the Theatre and Drama Studies program must have a minimum CGPA of 2.0 (Effective September 2006) to assure a minimum level of academic competence and to conform to the standard imposed by Sheridan College.

A Major in Experimental Linguistics is proposed in response to existing and future faculty with special expertise in linguistics. This program is being mounted to draw on the specific strengths that such faculty will bring to the linguistics area at UTM, as well as utilizing the strengths of faculty across UTM’s three language groups.

With respect to the Department of Historical Studies, which includes Classics, History and Religion, she reported that the programs in each of these areas are being revised in response to the transfer of Religion from its one-year home within the Department of Anthropology and Religion to a new unit to be called “the Department of Historical Studies”. As a consequence, while no new programs are being proposed, the course offerings in each discipline represented within this department – History, Classics, and Religion, have been dramatically revamped. One major change across the three disciplines is the conversion of almost all “Y” courses to “H” courses. In Religion, new courses focusing on a broad range of religious traditions, including Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, and Christianity, as well as a focus on the historical roots and development of different religions.

She concluded the presentation by referring members to the full report of the Humanities Curriculum Committee for further details on course additions and deletions and other changes.

It was duly moved and seconded,

THAT the Humanities Curriculum report be approved by the Academic Affairs Committee. (L. Thomson / N. Copeland)

The Chair opened the floor to questions.

In response to a member’s question about adding courses to the Diaspora and Transnational Studies program, the Dean explained that a notice would be distributed to all Chairs in this regard.

With respect to the Diaspora and Transnational Studies program, a member asked how Scarborough would offer some of the planned 300/400 level courses in light of the fact that this level of designation does not exist on that campus. The Dean explained that this issue was discussed at the tri-campus committee resulting in a plan to compose appropriate language to describe what would be considered as 300/400 level courses.

The Registrar congratulated the Chairs of the Curriculum Committees in presenting such varied and attractive course and program offerings, which are sure to benefit recruitment.

She added that there would be a concentrated effort, in cooperation with tri-campus registrarial staff, to ensure that all of the details of these proposals are reflected accurately in the Calendar.

After a lengthy discussion, and with respect to the Diaspora and Transnational 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 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, given that further details could now be provided to them and given that they have already expressed their general support for this program.

The motion was called to question with the following amendment: THAT the report of the Humanities Curriculum Committee be approved pending the endorsement of the Diaspora and Transnational Studies Program by the Social Sciences Curriculum Committee. The motion was carried.

5. Other Business

There was no other business.

6. Next Meeting

The next meeting of the Academic Affairs Committee will be on Tuesday, January 11, 2005.

7. Adjournment

The meeting was adjourned at 4:50 p.m. (A. Lange / K. Blankstein)

Secretary of Council _______________________ Chair_______________________

January 3, 2005