Faculty Council Meeting 2015 | 01

Minutes of the meeting held 13:00 on February 11, 2015, in room CBY 707

PRESENT:
Officers of the Faculty

C. Laguë (Dean), H. Tezel (Vice-Dean Research), J. Zhang (Vice-Dean, International Affairs), M. Labrosse (Interim Vice-Dean Graduate Studies), M. Turcotte (Vice-Dean Undergraduate Studies), T. Lethbridge (Vice-Dean Governance), S. Vanapalli (CVG), N. Baddour (Chair, MCG), C. D’Amours (Director, EECS), S. Gandolfini (Chief Administrative Officer, non-voting), V. Samson (Marketing and Communications, non-voting), C. Blais (Development, non-voting), K. Bournes (Alumni Relations, non-voting)

Professors
S. Omelon, K. Kirkwood, B. Kruczek, C. Rennie, M. Fall, E. Petriu, E. Dubois, K. Dolgaleva, C. Adams, B. Dhillon, F. Robitaille, E. Lanteigne

Students
Md Mahmud Hasan (Graduate EECS), B. Bhushan Dash (Graduate EECS)

Invited
C. Detellier, R. Ouellette

EXCUSED:
Officers of the Faculty
D. Taylor (Chair, CHG), H. Viktor (Associate Director, CSI),

Professors
J. Lang, S. Shirmohammadi, M. Doumit, C. Mavriplis, I. Catelas, K. Hinzer, A. Tremblay.

ABSENT:
Professors
C. Lan, H. Aoude, M. Mohareb, J. Infante Sedano, A. Nayak, P. Galko, W. Gueaieb, M. Nganbe.

Students
J. Zhu

15.01.01 Presentation by the Vice President Academic and Provost

C. Detellier discussed how graduate studies might be managed on campus in the future. He noted that R. Ouellette, his chief of staff was also in attendance. He discussed the report of the Working Group studying the operations of the FGPS, and chaired by Vice President Mona Nemer; the report had been delivered last August.

He indicated that the report suggests that more decisional power regarding graduate studies should be devolved to the faculties, although there should remain a central authority, headed by a Vice Provost of Graduate Studies. There was also a minority report by Tim Stanley, suggesting various alternative approaches, including keeping the title of Dean. The reports had been discussed in the Council of the FGPS, where some issues proved controversial.

There was discussion of various issues arising from the reports, Resources were a major theme; concerns were expressed about ability of Faculties to handle extra load. C. Detellier pointed out that many years ago it was necessary to have a Faculty of Graduate Studies to ensure universal standards, but now there is a need to deal with duplication and reduce bureaucracy.

15.01.02 Approval of the Agenda

The agenda was approved.

15.01.03 Minutes of the last meeting (Dec. 2)

The minutes of the previous meeting had been approved electronically.

15.01.04 Matters arising from the minutes

We have not yet received the report from the CEAB arising from the recent visits, since the Executive Committee of the CEAB wants to ensure there is consistency in the way the new graduate attributes and continual improvement criteria are being handled by the Visiting Teams.

Mechanical Engineering received confirmation that their accreditation has been extended to 2018.

15.01.05 Report of the Dean

The Limited Licenses for teaching engineering will be eliminated effective July 1, 2015; the Dean encouraged eligible professors to apply while they are still available.

The Dean discussed demographic trends: the number of university-age individuals is decreasing in Ontario and in the rest of the country.  14% of Ontario high school students listed engineering as one of their choices (Fall 2013 admission): 25% of male and 5% of female applicants.

As a basis for discussion, the Dean proposed the following:

•  Expanding, improving, and diversifying design engineering education at the undergraduate level

•  Expanding and improving complementary studies education at the undergraduate and graduate levels

•  Expanding our role as a provider of knowledge of technology, to be required by other programs.

Faculty council discussed the above issues.

It was suggested that we should enable some professors to spend more of their time doing design, rather than publishing in traditional peer-reviewed venues.

There is a new second year Entrepreneurial Design course that will be starting next year. There was discussion about first-year design approaches at other universities. It was suggested that the much material could be taught in the context of design, instead of in the traditional ‘lectures, midterm and exam’ format. An obstacle to increased design content is the ability of students to understand and apply the mathematics. Another obstacle is the sheer number of design projects that need to be created, given our large enrolment.

15.01.06 Report of the Vice-Dean (Research)

We have a CRC Tier II in Engineered Advanced Materials; the Vice Dean is seeking candidates.

The Chair or Director is supposed to sign RE forms. It was suggested that for simpler grants not requiring resources, the professor could tick a box indicating this, and in that case the Chair or Director would not need to sign. The kind of grant also needs to be identified on the form (e.g. CRD, Engage).

40% overhead on the corporate component of CRD grants has been reinstated.

15.01.07 Report of the Vice-Dean (Undergraduate Studies)

The University is working on the UOSyllabus system. It will be online at http://uosyllabus.uottawa.ca

Candidates for Student Experience Officer are being interviewed.

We have over 1300 students registered in first year, which is more than double what it was in 2009. The pipeline is increasing enrolment in higher years too. The number of applications for September 2015 has increased yet again. We have been aggressively increasing the admission averages for the coming year to keep numbers at reasonable levels.

15.01.08 Report of the Vice Dean (Graduate Studies)

OGS Scholarship rankings have been completed. NSERC Rankings will be determined soon.

The graduate poster competition will be on March 31st.

Two GNG graduate courses have been approved by electronic vote of Faculty Council. It is hoped that the courses will be available by January 2016.

The FGPS is working on improving the graduate progress report.

The 10-hour rule for student work has been made more flexible.

FGPS will create a new graduate scholarship plan to help recruit students. Each Faculty is supposed to have its own recruitment strategy for Canadian students.

There was a suggestion to offer an Eng.D. program; such programs exist in the UK and California.

There was a successful Research@EECS event organized by the Computer Science Students Association and attended by many undergraduates; professors presented their research.

A comment was made that the process for communication of interested graduate students with prospective professors needs to be improved.

15.01.09 Report of the Vice-Dean (International Affairs)

The Vice-Dean discussed enrolment statistics for international students, but he expressed concern about the average GPA of international students.

Our university accepts about 1000 exchange students, but only sends out about 500.  In future we will ask partners to help address this imbalance so we aren’t negatively affected financially.

NSERC is considering the international experience of HQP when reviewing grants.

The Vice-Dean is working with the Centre for University Teaching and the Official Language and Bilingualism Institute to arrange training programs for Chinese professors, and to also fund our students to go abroad.

15.01.10 Other Business

There was no further business.

The meeting was adjourned at 15:14,

Timothy C. Lethbridge, Vice-Dean (Governance)

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