Erindale College Council

REPORT OF THE ACADEMIC AFFARS COMMITTEE of Erindale College Council held on Tuesday, January 6, 2004 at 3:10 p.m., in Room 3129.

Erindale College Council


PRESENT: S. Aster (in the Chair), C. Misak, Y. Li, S. Kibria, N. Copeland, B. Thompson, U. Krull, R. McMillan, Y. Karshon, A. Lange, G. White, D. Crocker, M.A. Mavrinac, S. Knights, J. McCurdy Myers, R. Day, S. Munro
REGRETS: I. Orchard, M. Rennie, M. Glanzberg, M. Lord, K. Blankstein, T. Rogers, A. Mirza
Guests: L. Snowden, B. Murck, G. White, R. Cummins, J. Storer-Folt, S. Kamenetsky, C. Seguin, J. Percy, G. Allen, J. Sills

1. Adoption of the Agenda
The Agenda was approved. (Y. Karshon / A. Lange)

2. Minutes of the Previous Meeting
The report of the previous meeting was approved. (A. Lange / U. Krull)

3. Business Arising from the Minutes
a) Social Sciences Curriculum Report – Graham White
As Chair of the Social Science curriculum Committee, Prof. White reported that following governance approval of the social sciences curriculum report, two additional curricular changes have come to his attention and need the attention of the Academic Affairs Committee.

He noted that these changes are relatively minor and concern the department of Anthropology and Religion. The department proposes to create a half-year independent study course in Anthropology, in addition to already existing full-year independent study courses. The other proposal concerns the renumbering of a Religion course to a second year course. The rationale for this change is to create additional courses at the second year level as there are sufficient first-year offerings in Religion.

It was duly moved and seconded,
THAT the Academic Affairs Committee approve the addendum to the Social Sciences Curriculum report. (G. White / R. Day)

The motion was approved.

4. New Business

a) Guidelines for the evaluation of teaching – Cheryl Misak

Professor Misak noted that earlier in the Fall the Provost distributed a set of new guidelines for developing written assessments of effectiveness of teaching in promotion and tenure decisions. Each academic division was asked to adapt these in the development of its own guidelines for the evaluation of teaching, taking into account its own needs and culture. She explained that UTM’s response was the creation of a foundation document, Guidelines for the Evaluation of Teaching accompanied by three appendices, each of which is a procedural guide to be followed in the evaluation of teaching in three contexts: promotion to Full Professor, promotion to Senior Lecturer and tenure review. Professor Misak reported that UTM’s guidelines correspond very closely with those produced by the Provost, with the exception of a section dealing with the Evaluation of Continued Future Pedagogical / Professional Development (a requirement for promotion to Senior Lecturer), which UTM added in order to have a document that covers all contexts in which teaching is evaluated. The document is attached hereto as Appendix “A.”

It was duly moved and seconded,
THAT the Academic Affairs Committee approve the Guidelines for the Evaluation of Teaching. (C. Misak / A. Lange)

The Chair opened the floor to questions.

In response to a member’s question about the link between the current document and the, progress-through-the-ranks, (PTR) evaluation of teaching, Professor Misak explained that many of the principles are the same in both guidelines, although the present document will not be used specifically for PTR.

A member requested that further detail be provided on the preparation of the document, and on the differences between it and the Provostial version of the text. Professor Misak explained that the draft was first prepared by the Vice-President and Principal and the Office of the Vice-Principal, Academic, followed by distribution to all department Chairs for input. Minor revisions occurred as a result of comments from the Chairs. She noted that one major difference between the Provostial document and UTM’s version is that UTM added a section that speaks to the criteria for evaluation in the promotion to senior lecturer.

A member suggested that the letter soliciting student input should be reviewed to ensure that its language make clear reference to UTM department names.

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

b) UTM Internship Opportunities – Ray Cummins and Joan McCurdy-Myers

Professor Ray Cummins gave an update on what he termed the "UTM Academic Internship Working Group." Professor Cummins and others provided a survey of current internship programs, and their various issues and opportunities. He highlighted several of these, including the challenge of maintaining an academic standard that acknowledges differences among the disciplines and the opportunities for interdisciplinarity, which is an important part of the White Paper. Using the Forensic Science program as an example, Professor Cummins pointed out that internship programs offer the opportunity to enhance the credibility of participating departments and the campus and university as a whole.

He drew the Committee’s attention to four distinct programs: Early Teacher Program, Forensic Science, Environment, and Exceptionality in Human Learning, which are outlined in the handout provided to members. He also pointed to other programs that have shown interest in developing an internship component, such as Management, CCIT, and Computer Science. He also introduced Jennifer Storer-Folt, UTM’s internship support officer.

He noted that although such a collaborative effort is not inexpensive in terms of resources, the establishment of an internship working group has been of great value in advancing the individual participant goals. He expressed his hope that the Academic Affairs Committee would take an ongoing and more in depth interest in these matters. More specifically, he noted that he hoped the AAC would call upon the expertise of the Internship Working Group in curriculum development.

Professor Cummins called on Joan McCurdy-Myers, Director of the Career Centre, to continue the report on the reasons these initiatives are considered to be academic internships. She explained that internship programs are similar to the Research Opportunity Program (ROP) and fourth year project/thesis courses. Students are required to apply theoretical concepts, and progress from practical experience to increased theoretical knowledge and professional skills. The time commitment for these programs is similar to a credit at 200 hours. Students have an opportunity to do work independently and to compile and evaluate research. The faculty member does academic grading and the faculty member as well as the supervising professional provide feedback. Students are asked to prepare papers integrating skill based and theoretical learning, and deliver professional presentations.

Another member of the working group commented that the work of each of the participant program is centralized through the office of the internship support officer and allows for sharing of resources and expertise.

The Chair opened the floor to questions and comments from the Committee.

A member commented that a problem with internships in general is that students may find themselves doing menial work and asked how the working group addresses this problem. A member of the working group replied that this issue received extensive discussion and resulted in the conclusion that the best avenue for preventing such problems is to establish long-term relationships between UTM and internship placements, acknowledging that this effort can take a substantial amount of time.

In response to a member’s question about the possibility of expanding these types of programs into the Humanities and Social Sciences, the Vice-Principal Academic replied that some departments are already considering such initiatives as part of their current planning process.

The Chair thanked the working group for brining such an important initiative to the attention of the Academic Affairs Committee and shared his view that the Committee’s contribution may become more formal in the future.

A member asked for advice on how to develop an internship program. Professor Cummins replied that proposals should be submitted as part of departmental plans.

5. Other Business


6. Next Meeting
The next meeting of the Academic Affairs Committee will be on February 10, 2004.

7. Adjournment
The meeting was adjourned at 4:05 p.m. (B. Thompson / S. Kibria)