MINUTES OF THE ACADEMIC
AFFAIRS COMMITTEE of Erindale College Council held on Tuesday, March 11,
2003 at 3:10 p.m., in Room 3129.
PRESENT: S. Aster (in the Chair), I. Orchard, R. Baker, M. Overton,
J. Poë, D. Crocker, J. Lester, I. Graham, S. Munro, B. Green, G.
Anderson, W. Ghobriel, M.L. Smith, W. Thompson, J. McCurdy-Myers, M. Massey,
C. Boyd, C. Ferencz Hammond
REGRETS: P. Donoghue, M. Lettieri, G. Crawford, M.A. Mavrinac
Adoption of the Agenda
The Agenda was approved, with the change that Cleo Boyd would follow
the presentation on "UTM and the Double Cohort" with her
talk on the Grade 12 Curriculum, followed by the report on departmental
planning by Vice-President and Principal Ian Orchard.
Minutes of the Previous Meeting
The minutes of the January 21, 2003 meeting of the Academic Affairs
Committee were approved with one change in the attendance section.
Business Arising from the Minutes
a) UTM and the Double Cohort M. Overton/D. Crocker
The Chair called on D. Crocker, Registrar and Director of Enrolment
Management and M. Overton, Dean of Student Affairs, to brief the committee
on the challenges facing UTM with the Double Cohort. A document detailing
the statistics was distributed to the Committee members. D. Crocker
drew the committees attention to the page detailing the monthly
application statistics of all Ontario universities from the Ontario
Universities Application Centre (O.U.A.C). She pointed out that the
total percent change in first choice applications in the Ontario system
(represents number of actual bodies) from February 2002 to February
2003 was 47.1%; for the University of Toronto this same statistic
was 36.6% and for UTM, it was 41% in terms of first choice applications.
She also noted that some of the smaller institutions show massive
increases in their first choice applications, but this may be due
to their small size and much increased efforts in recruitment. Referring
to the handout on program choices, she also remarked that the first
choice percentage change for new applicants in the subject of Mathematics
was at 4.4%. In addition, she commented that the average number of
choices students made was five, which has increased as compared to
past years. She also pointed out that it was somewhat difficult to
make statistical comparisons of choices, because this year was the
first year that students could consciously rank their choices. Referring
to the handout that details applications to UTM, D. Crocker stated
that applications from Ontario High Schools to high technology programs
have decreased. She stated that in general there are indications of
increases in the number of applications and in the number of students
who have picked more than three choices. More data from the application
centre would be received by the end of March.
D. Crocker pointed to statistics in the handouts that show total intake
projections (FTEs) and total head count for UTM, both from the base
year of 2000/01. At this point in the presentation, the Vice-President
and Principal was called upon to comment on UTMs planned enrolment.
He stated that a few months ago Presidents of Ontario Universities
signed off on an Enrolment Target Agreement with the government, which
sets enrolment targets for each university, subject to the conditions
of full average funding and SuperBuild funding. Recently, the government
of Ontario has asked the Presidents of Ontario Universities to agree
to take in more students for the year 2003/04, in particular, to accept
more of the so called 101 or direct entry students from
Ontario High Schools. Therefore, UTM will take in an additional 150
students in the year 2003/04. The Scarborough and St. George campuses
are also taking in more students at a differential level. I. Orchard
noted that there is discussion about balancing this intake by taking
in less so called 105 students (international, transfer
and out of province students) to accommodate 101 students.
In this way, total UTM intake projections reach a steady state in
the year 2006/07, where it plateaus. He also stated that there have
been and will continue to be increases in faculty and staff to accommodate
increases in student enrolment and observed that universities have
a responsibility to the citizens of Ontario to try and accommodate
these additional students.
D. Crocker announced that UTM was having a March Break Open House
on Saturday, March 15 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., which will feature
program information sessions, student service sessions and campus
and residence tours. Approximately 14,000 Ontario High School students
were invited, with 1000 being the attendance goal.
M. Overton explained that UTM is currently receiving applications
and will offer admission based on a three tier system. The first wave
of offers will see the offer of admission go out to top students in
early April. The second wave of offers is made at the end of April,
followed by the third wave in May. The fixed deadline for responses
is the beginning of June. Any fine tuning will be done between June
and August. The Chair opened the floor to questions.
A member asked about the significance of the first choice application
statistic of only a 4% increase for Mathematics. D. Crocker replied
that this low number is balanced by the increased interest in Chemistry,
Physics and Forensics. She also commented that there is still much
uncertainty about the application numbers as many High School students
in the new curriculum may not feel prepared to attend University and
in some cases are encouraged to remain in High School for another
A member asked about the budget availability for hiring teaching assistants
and the Universitys ability to hire them in light of the competitive
recruiting environment. I. Orchard replied that there has been much
discussion of strategies for recruiting teaching assistants. There
has also been ongoing discussion with the government over not only
funding increased undergraduate enrolment, but also future places
for these students in second entry professional faculties and graduate
b) Report on the Grade 12 Curriculum C. Boyd
The Chair called on Cleo Boyd, Director of the Academic Skills Centre,
to give her report on the Grade 12 Ontario High School curriculum,
focusing on the subjects of English and Mathematics. C. Boyd distributed
a handout to the committee that summarized course comparability between
new grade 12 and old OAC High School courses. She explained that the
content of the new grade 12 courses does not necessarily entirely
match the content of the old OAC courses. She informed the committee
that the new curriculums expectation of students is focused
on outcomes, which measures a series of skills and knowledge. This
is a change from the old OAC curriculum, which was process driven.
In reference to Mathematics, she stated that incoming new curriculum
students would be deficient in the areas of Algebra and Trigonometry.
These shortcomings are being attributed to teachers being rushed in
the assimilation and delivery of new course material. Grade 12 curriculum
mathematics students are said to be more prepared in the areas of
visualizing math problems, posing questions and application of knowledge.
Measurement of Mathematics skills occurs across four levels: knowledge
and understanding, thinking, inquiry/problem solving, communications,
and applications and making connections. C. Boyd encouraged faculty
whose first year courses contain a substantial amount of Mathematics,
to examine Grade 12 curriculum expectations of outcomes. She continued
her presentation with an analysis of new curriculum preparation for
She reported that since September of 2002 she had been collecting
and examining approximately 733 pieces of writing, 400 from Grade
12, the remaining 300 from OAC High School students. She studied each
student's ability to focus on what each identified as the topic of
a paper and their technical proficiency with the language. The objective
of her study was to determine whether there was a qualitative difference
in these skills between Grade 12 and OAC students. When taking into
account the three skills criteria of focus of attention, topic development
and expression of thought, she found no difference between Grade 12
and OAC students. The only real difference between these two groups
was in the assessment criteria of the two curriculums. As an example,
she pointed to a grade 12 curriculum marking sheet for Studies in
Literature, which was very formulaic in nature. In addition, she stated
her belief that there existed substantial grade inflation.
Details on the new curriculum could be found on the Ontario Ministry
of Education website at www.edu.gov.on.ca (under elementary and secondary
education) and was also available at UTMs Academic Skills Centre.
C. Boyd also pointed to information on this topic found in Redesigning
Higher Education: Producing Dramatic Gains in Student Learning by
Lion F. Gardiner.
The committee discussed the importance of communicating information
about the grade 12 curriculum and its expectations of students to
UTM faculty. There was a suggestion by a member that there should
be an organized faculty session to accomplish this.
It was duly moved and seconded,
THAT the office of the Vice Principal Academic direct appropriate
action so that UTM faculty are informed about the skill sets of incoming
High School students.
The motion was carried.
c) Update on Departmental Planning I. Orchard
The Vice-President and Principal reported that departmental plans
have been submitted and reviewed by an Advisory Group on Departmental
Planning, which consists of the following members: the three associate
deans, Professor Ulli Krull, Vice Principal Research, Professor Sidney
Aster, Chair of the Academic Affairs Committee, Professor David Cook,
Principal of Victoria College, and Professor Hugh Gunz. The Advisory
Group agreed that the Vice Principal Academic should be integrated
into this review process, and therefore the committee waited to finalize
a model until she commenced her tenure at UTM. Over the next three
weeks, Professor Misak will drive the review process by meeting with
all relevant departmental groups to discuss their plans and provide
feedback in consultation with the advisory group. I. Orchard remarked
that, since much discussion of departmental plans had previously occurred,
in the majority of the cases the plans were accepted. He added that
there were a small number of cases where the plans needed revision.
He stated that the number of departments would likely be between thirteen
and fifteen, and an Institute may also be created. He added that there
had also been ongoing discussion on how to create an environment and
structure in which interdisciplinary programs could flourish. The
Vice-President and Principal concluded his report by stating that
once the review process was complete, its results would be brought
to this Committee and the Resource Planning and Priorities Committee,
followed by College Council, Planning and Budget, Academic Board and
finally Governing Council for approval. Parallel to this process and
subject to Governing Council approval, chair searches would be conducted,
with the goal of having Chairs and Interim Chairs in place by July
of 2003. This would provide the structure needed for an appropriate
response to the White Paper, which is expected to be released in early
The Chair opened the floor to questions. In response to a members
query regarding departmental budgetary responsibility, I. Orchard
said that this would be discussed at a meeting of the Resource Planning
and Priorities Committee.
The next meeting of the Academic Affairs Committee has not been scheduled
as of yet. The committee will be notified of any future dates, anticipating
the need for meetings in April, May and possibly June due to the number
of projects underway as part of departmental planning.
The meeting was adjourned at 4:45 p.m.