Erindale College Council

MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE RESOURCE PLANNING AND PRIORITIES COMMITTEE of Erindale College Council held on Monday, September 15, 2003 at 3:10 p.m., in the Alumni Lounge, room 3138, South Building.

PRESENT: G. Sprules (in the Chair), P. Donoghue, U. Krull, R. Baker, M. Overton, C. Capewell, P. Silcox, G. Anderson, B. Schneider, P. King, J. Poë
REGRETS: C. Misak, A. Mirza, A. Mullin, I. Orchard

1. Adoption of the Agenda

The agenda was approved. (R. Baker/U. Krull)

2. Minutes of the Previous Meeting (April 9, 2003)

The Minutes of the previous meeting were approved. (U. Krull/J. Poë)

3. Business Arising from the Minutes

a) The Canadian “Innovation Agenda” and the opportunity for creation of a Convergence Centre for sciences, health, management and policy at UTM Notice of Motion at April 9, 2003 meeting – U. Krull

Professor Krull repeated the motion he gave at the April 9th meeting of the Resource Planning and Priorities Committee:

It was duly moved and seconded,
THAT the Resource Planning and Priorities Committee approve the addition of the Convergence Centre to the overall strategic plan of the University of Toronto at Mississauga, Erindale College. (U. Krull / B. Schneider)

The Chair opened the floor to discussion of the topic. In response to a member’s request to update the committee on the project, Professor Krull explained that UTM had applied for funding to the Biotechnology Cluster Innovation Program (BCIP) in order to develop an incubator. He further added that the Ministry of Enterprise, Opportunity and Innovation indicated interest in UTM’s development of a Convergence Centre and that UTM was announced as one of eleven other clusters to potentially receive funding for this project, recognizing the western GTA as a fundamental unit for a funding opportunity.

Regarding the upfront costs to launch the project, UTM and other partners contributed approximately $25,000, which represents a 10% upfront contribution required by BCIP. This funding has been used to hire consultants and comes from the budget of the Vice-Principal Research. The completion of the business plan is projected for the end of January 2004. Potential collaborative partners within the University of Toronto include the Rotman School of Management and the Department of Management. This project hopes to build on UTM’s strength in the programmatic themes of entrepreneurial activities, educational platform, management and policy development. The goal of the endeavour is to attract funding to build educational resources, laboratory and classrooms space and renovate existing space for an incubator.

A member expressed support for the above project, stressed the importance of entrepreneurial development, and asked about UTM’s role in policy development. The Vice-Principal Research explained that UTM would have a ‘bridging’ role in this aspect, providing facts and research to questions that can often be much politicized. In response to a member’s question, Professor Krull stated that no entrepreneurial or commercial space would exist at UTM; this activity would be located off-site, while UTM would focus on delivery of the academic portion of the endeavour.

The Motion was called to question. The Motion was carried.

b) Update on departmental restructuring – P. Donoghue

Paul Donoghue reported that in response to the newly created departments and the subsequent establishment of the Chairs, UTM immediately moved into staffing and budget restructuring. On the staffing side, the restructuring involved twenty-three staff and after union consultation, twenty-eight new positions were created to accommodate the need for chair secretaries and undergraduate secretaries. All departmental accounts had to be restructured making decisions around the allocation of resources and cost structures much more efficient. He further stated that a final amount on departmental restructuring would be brought forward to this Committee.

The Chair opened the floor to discussion. A member stated her approval of the assistance the Chairs received regarding budget preparation. Another member expressed the opinion that some staff involved in the restructuring were unhappy with the handling of the process.

4. New Business

a) Update on parking – P. Donoghue

Mr. Donoghue presented an update on matters relating to the parking issue. He stated that underground parking is no longer planned as part of the Library and Athletics buildings. He added that after much discussion, it was decided to extend and pave the already developed space adjacent to Lot# 8, in favour of other locations on campus, which would not have been environmentally suitable. With this additional parking, UTM has been able to maintain its preferred 30% parking ratio. Regarding the financial model, he explained that since costs have to be expensed in the year they were incurred, the Lot #8 paving expense will be included in the model. He emphasized that several new initiatives were launched to ameliorate the parking shortages. The carpooling program and its related ridesharing program has enabled 55 out of a select, reserved 97 parking spots to be utilized. In addition new transit routes have been introduced, greatly enhancing convenience and user access. He also reported that the on-line sale of parking permits allowed for a more efficient operation, while a few technical problems had to be solved.

The Chair opened the floor to questions. In response to a member’s question about enrolment growth, Mr. Donoghue replied that one of the greatest changes that had occurred was an increase of 40% in the frequency with which UTM was selected as first choice by applicants. He also added that the pattern of growth was differentially higher in the western GTA versus other areas. In response to a question regarding traffic flow, P. Donoghue explained that the issue of the addition of left-turning lanes on Mississauga Road was being considered at the City of Mississauga and would shortly come to a vote there. UTM has tied the construction of The Collegeway entrance to the City’s agreement to institute left turning lanes on Mississauga Road.

b) Update on campus renovations – P. Donoghue

Paul Donoghue reported that there were thirty-two minor renovations over the summer. UTM undertook renovation of all large classrooms at a cost of $500,000, which included updating all of the audio visual equipment. Although some dislocation occurred, all new faculty were located.

Mr. Donoghue stated that UTM is currently tied into the Accommodations and Facilities Directorate at the Faculty of Arts & Science, through which all capital projects must be approved. This committee has the authority to approve projects between $30K and $2M, while projects above $2M have to go through the full governance process on the St. George campus. As a result, even projects that are minor renovations have to go through the approval process of the above committee. Mr. Donoghue proposed the establishment of a UTM version of this sub-committee, whose membership would be drawn from the office of the Vice-Principal Research in terms of research space, the Office of the Registrar and the Dean of Students office regarding issues of classroom space, the office of the CAO and other representative from existing standing committees. UTM is in the process of defining a job description and searching for an Assistant Director of Facilities who will be responsible for space planning and management. One of the key responsibilities of this new hire would be to be the liaison of this new sub-committee.

In response to a member’s question, Mr. Donoghue explained that this sub-committee would be extensively consulting regarding the medium to long-term occupancy plans caused by the secondary effects of the new Library and CCIT buildings. He stated that this sub-committee would establish an open and transparent process on space allocation issues and that its terms of reference would be brought forward to this Committee. Several members expressed support of the establishment of such a sub-committee.

5. Other Business

A member suggested that a sub-committee be formed to consider timetabling issues. A member commented that it would be useful to first hear from the Office of the Registrar and the Vice-Principal Academic regarding the handling of this issue, before a sub-committee is struck. It was agreed that the Committee would hear from these parties at the next meeting.

6. Next Meeting

The next meeting of the Resource Planning and Priorities Committee will be on October 20, 2003. (3138)

7. Adjournment

The meeting was adjourned at 4:30 p.m. (R. Baker/ U. Krull)