Erindale College Council

The ACADEMIC AFFAIRS COMMITTEE met on October 8, 2002 in Room 3138.

The items of business were a follows:

  1. 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)

  2. 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).

  3. Enrolments:

    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.

  4. 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 committee membership.

  5. 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.

  6. 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 increase.

  7. CCIT Program:

    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.

  8. 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.

  9. The next meeting will be Tuesday, November 26, 2002.