Report: September 27, 2005


Erindale College Council


REPORT OF THE ACADEMIC AFFARS COMMITTEE of Erindale College Council held on Tuesday, September 27, 2005 at 3:10 p.m., in Room 3129.

PRESENT: A. Wensley (in the Chair), I. Orchard, M.A. Mavrinac, D. Crocker, A. Lange, D. Schulze, L. Thomson, M. Rennie, J. McCurdy-Myers, B. Khan, B. Thompson, N. Copeland
REGRETS: C. Misak, U. Krull, K. Blankstein, Y. Karshon, M. Lord, M. Kasturi, P. Franks, S. Munro, R. Day, C. Jones, G. White
In attendance: Devin Kreuger, Research Manager, Office of the Vice-Principal Research, Daniel Martins, The Medium

1. Adoption of the Agenda

The agenda was approved. (B. Thompson/D. Crocker)

2. Minutes of the Previous Meeting

The minutes of the previous meeting (March 22, 2005) were approved. (A. Lange/ M. A. Mavrinac )

3. Business Arising from the Minutes.

There was no business arising from the minutes.

4. New Business

a) Report from Office of the Registrar: new services for students, faculty and staff – Diane Crocker

Ms. Crocker reported that out of UTM’s current enrolment of 9500 registered students, 2800 are new students. New students are broken into several different categories as follows: 1800 are directly from Ontario high schools, 1000 are transfers from other colleges and universities and 254 are international students. Most of UTM’s international students come from China followed by Korea.

Ms. Crocker also reported that the office had expanded its counseling services by proactively identifying and inviting for counseling students experiencing academic difficulties. These students include those who have just returned from or are petitioning a suspension, are currently on probation, or have some other academic deficiency such as dropping a prerequisite for their program. This activity has meant that by mid-September, the office had seen more students for counseling than during the entire month of September 2004. During this process, in addition to academic counseling, students who have financial holds that prevent them from registering or have some other financial difficulty are being assisted in developing a viable financial plan so that they can continue their studies.

The Office of the Registrar also implemented a new electronic system to speed up the receipt of student loan documents. This new system virtually eliminated long line-ups and has allowed to faster service.

Another project currently being tested by the office is a new database for the collection of curriculum and calendar changes. The system will simplify and reduce the amount of data entry work on the part of academic administrators as they submit curriculum changes through the governance process and will also allow for the earlier publication of the academic calendar than in the past, during Reading Week. Academic administrators are currently being trained on using this new system.

Ms. Crocker reminded members that the exam timetable for December was due on Friday, October 7, 2005 and that UTM was now under a completely different timetable from that of the Faculty of Arts & Science. She noted that exams would run fours times a day at 8:00 a.m., followed by 12:00, 4:00, and 8:00 p.m. and on Saturdays. A plan was also being developed to hire Chief Presiding Officers (CPO’s) to help with the administration of exams. Ms. Crocker explained that CPO’s would not replace instructors, but would be present during exams for material delivery, washroom breaks and to handle identification issues. These jobs would be posted through the Career Centre. A member suggested that in addition to the Career Centre, these jobs be advertised through other means in order to reach a wider pool of applicants.

The Registrar described another new system designed to make academic audits for graduation requests more automated and easier to process. With this new system, all academic information is automatically collected from ROSI and the on-line calendar, then checked by a departmental representative and submitted the Office of the Registrar for a degree audit.

In answer to a member’s question about whether students receive a full refund when they drop course in a deregulated program, Ms. Crocker explained that is no single answer because such cases vary so widely. She suggested that students in this situation be referred to the Office of the Registrar for a complete analysis. In response to a member’s query, she added that deregulated programs included Commerce, CCIT and Computer Science.

The Registrar announced that the Metro Toronto Convention Centre was holding a major recruitment event on October 1 and 2 and that the UTM Fall Campus Day was scheduled for Sunday, November 6, 2005.

b) Undergraduate Ethics Review Committee – Devin Kreuger

Mr. Kreuger distributed the terms of reference of the Ethics Review Committee (ERC) and its membership for 2005-06. He explained that the committee was established in 2004 in response to the tri-campus policy on ethics. UTM was the first UofT unit to embark on process. According to the Tri-Council Policy Statement (TCPS), the University is responsible for reviewing all research activities involving its faculty and students. In the case of undergraduate research activities, the TCPS allows for ethical review to be conducted at the departmental or divisional level.

Consequently, in early 2003, Research Managers across the University of Toronto were asked by the Ethics Review Office (ERO) to establish undergraduate ethics review committees for the 2004-05 academic year. UTM and the St. George Sociology Department were the only two units able to put together ERCs according to the ERO’s schedule.

Over the course of the 2004-05 year, the ERC reviewed 31 protocol submissions. Thirty of the protocols were subject to expedited reviews, so the ERC only met once as a full group to discuss a protocol that potentially presented a greater than minimal risk to the project participants.

On September 7th, UTM hosted a workshop to explain the undergraduate ethics review process to interested course instructors. This workshop was attended by approximately 10 faculty and course instructors.

The Chair opened the floor to questions.

In response to a member’s question, Mr. Kreuger confirmed that different courses with similar interests could receive ethics committee approval for a joint study.

5. Other Business

A member commented on the difficulty experienced by several members of the UTM community on locating the course timetable on the Web site of the Office of the Registrar. He added that this was unrelated to server problems. Ms. Crocker explained that there was a decision by the web committee not to place these web pages directly on the home page because of a lack of space. She added that the Office of the Registrar could now be accessed through the main UTM home page.

6. Next Meeting:

The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, October 25, 2005.

The meeting was adjourned at 4:00 p.m. (M. Rennie/I. Orchard)

Secretary of Council _______________________ Chair_______________________

October 17, 2005