The ACADEMIC AFFAIRS
COMMITTEE met on October 8, 2002 in Room 3138.
The items of business were a follows:
Election of New Chair:
Professor Sidney Aster was proclaimed the Chair of the Committee.
A vote of thanks was given to Dr. Barry Green who had served as Chair
for several years while maintaining a busy teaching and counselling
schedule. (M. Overton/R. Baker)
Terms of Reference for the Library Subcommittee (two documents)
The Chief Librarian, Ms. Mavrinac, presented a brief history of the
Library Subcommittee and its function. In order to update the terms
of reference and transform it into a more meaningful group that deals
with Library concerns and makes recommendations, Ms. Mavrinac distributed
the Terms of the Reference. This Advisory Committee to the Library
seems to have been around, though the original motion to ECC seems
to be undated. Ms. Mavrinac and on behalf of her staff proposed a
new set of references to make the subcommittee more meaningful. Right
now a DR rep sits on the Committee but the representative seems to
attend erratically. There seems to be no focus in terms of membership.
We would like more meaningful comments from our community. The meetings
would be more of a town hall approach than getting into substantive
issues. The new terms of Reference are very similar to the former
terms. They are also modelled after the University of Toronto’s
Library Advisory Committee terms of Reference and M. Mavrinac’s
experience with Libraries and their functions. Consequently, the new
Terms of Reference include the older terms of reference, but are including
additional items. The membership, 2 faculty from each of the broad
disciplines, 2 Librarians (not every librarian) with student representation
of two undergraduate and one graduate student. The group should be
more efficient and able to advise the Library and also play an advocacy
at UTM. Professor Aster has been the Chair since 1999, but the subcommittee
will be seeking another Chair. It has been very difficult to call
meetings, because people have complicated schedules. Since the subcommittee
is small and only the members who are able to attend are there, the
group has been somewhat unwieldy and becomes an information session
based on topics introduced by those present. One member suggested
that a representative from Computing Services be a permanent member.
In response, Ms. Mavrinac commented that the Library works closely
with Computer Services on a daily basis. Consequently it is not critical
as if there is no computer specialist at a meeting.
Mrs. Poë expressed concern about the decreased membership and
the decimation of their deliberations. With only two disciplinary
representatives from three divisions, the risk is that people simply
will not be aware of decisions being made. The Chair stated that the
salient point is attendance, not membership. Having served years on
this committee, the difficulty is attendance, not membership. The
thrust is to try to obtain dedicated individuals who can take an active
and ongoing interest and thereby disclose information to the greater
population. The Advisory Committee to the UTM library is a subcommittee
of the Academic Affairs Committee and as such reports to that Standing
Committee, which in turn reports to ECC. Therefore, there is a method
of ensuring that the Subcommittee’s work is made known and published.
Ms Mavrinac commented that minutes and agenda would be posted on their
web site. With respect to the budget, the Library Subcommittee could
put forward concerns and recommendations that would be taken forward,
but it does not have budgetary responsibility. It is an advisory committee
to the Librarian. Whether or not to cease carrying a journal would
go through the departmental level first. To add a journal, the librarian
responsible for that area would be consulted. The matter would be
discussed with downtown. The Library is working on dealing with UTM
requests expeditiously. The Principal suggested that the document
be amended to read deans/chairs in view of the changes that will be
forthcoming with the By-laws and the administrative structure. Dean
Baker pointed out that deans should read “associate deans”.
In addition, the Committee agreed that there should be graduate student
representation that included doctoral stream students. The proposed
revised Terms of Reference for the Advisory Committee to the UTM Library
CARRIED as amended (R. Baker/M. Overton).
Mark Overton stated that the official count date is November 15, but
the numbers are counted as of November 1. As of September 26, 2002,
the total student population was 7, 129 undergraduates compared with
6, 344 last year (2001). That represents an increase of 785 students.
Of that increase, 375 are new students and the remainder can be considered
retention. That was the target for 30% expansion.
Appointment of Registrar:
Mark Overton provided an update. The position has been revised and
approved. It has been upgraded to a senior level position reporting
to the Vice President and Principal and the title is now - Registrar
and Director of Enrolment Management. The upgrade should attract good
candidates with experience in enrolment management. Next week at the
Principal’s Table meeting, Mr. Overton will propose a search
Three versus four year Degree:
Mr. Overton stated that there will be a serious evaluation of the
numerical impacts of the elimination of the three year degree. The
Planning Office will give UTM some idea about how UTM may be affected.
It is something that is pending depending on how things play out in
the near future. UTM has advertised that the incoming class of 2003
will not have the option of a three-year degree. Mr. Overton did not
anticipate that the change would affect recruitment or show rate.
Students seem to perceive a four-year degree as a regular degree.
If there is a retention change, we will probably see it in the third
year class. The St. George campus removed the option for the incoming
class of September of 2001. Consequently, they have not assessed the
impact of the transition. Students will follow the model under which
they were admitted.
Teaching Faculty, Course Offerings, etc.
Dean Baker, the only associate dean present, commented that he had
used fewer stipends because the Division has been able to hire faculty.
Dr. Green, sociology stated that his department had used fewer stipends
this year. Sociology has increased by 365 FTC and 550 actual people.
More resources have been devoted to additional sections as enrolments
Professor Bill Thompson, the director, was appointed in July and has
been working with colleagues at UTM and Sheridan College. There have
been meetings regarding budget sharing. At the moment, there is a
vision of what the CCIT program should be but work needs to be done
to put it into practice. The joint decision between Sheridan and UTM
using the two directors was to delay the implementation of the mobility
programme. UTM and Sheridan continue to discuss a better method of
providing laptop computers. This came about as a result of students’
requests regarding the additional money. Professor Thompson is designing
and receiving approval of the various curriculum committees of the
two specialist programs. There would still be a major in CCIT. Under
development is a specialist in CCIT and Human Communications which
links to Professor Schneider’s CFI proposal, Collaboration with
the Faculty of Management involved with IT and the digital enterprise.
The latter two programs are quite mature in their development and
may proceed through the approvals needed this year.
Without buildings to show students, the program went through slow
growth. It took in 100 students last year and another 100 students
this year and aims to take in 300 next year. It was a decision to
proceed slowly while programs were developed and buildings constructed.
The Committee agreed that Professor Bill Thompson should serve on
the Academic Affairs Committee. The VP and Principal agreed to approach
Professor Thompson. Dean Baker stated that the CCIT program has been
a recruiting tool for faculty who view the prospects with excitement.
Endorsement for Planning for Departments:
The Principal stated that the matter had been discussed at ECC and
that there was nothing further to report. Dean Baker stated that to
date there has been no official planning. People are discussing collaborations
at the “grass roots level”. There will need to be some
formal processing to coalesce groups. We will need to determine how
to structure the groups, what constitutes a critical mass.
The next meeting will be Tuesday, November 26, 2002.