Executive Committee Meeting 2015.08

Minutes of the Meeting held 08:00 September 23, 2015, in room STE 5084


C. Laguë (Dean), M. Dubé (Vice-Dean, Research) J. Zhang (Vice-Dean, International Affairs), I. Nistor (Vice-Dean Graduate Studies), M. Turcotte (Vice-Dean, Undergraduate Studies), T. Lethbridge (Vice-Dean, Governance), N. Baddour (Chair, MCG), C. Rennie (Chair, CVG), C. D’Amours, (Director, EECS), H. Viktor (EECS-CSI) V. Samson (Manager of Marketing and Communications), L. Roy (Assistant to the Dean), S. Gandolfini (Chief Administrative Officer), K. Bournes (Alumni Relations Officer), F. Van Gool (invited), A. Rabeau (invited), M. Poulin-Delisle (invited), S. Menard (invited - HR) S. Bali-Courtemanche (invited - HR)


D. Taylor (Chair, CHG)

15.08.01 Validation Session for the Organizational Review of the Central Services of the Faculty

Representatives of the external firm (Intersol) tasked with the performance review presented an overview of their project.

Some of their findings related to undergraduate studies included acknowledging that increased enrolment is stretching capacity and the introduction of the upcoming PeopleSoft SIS may have an impact. It was suggested that a career centre would offer synergies. Similar issues were raised regarding the graduate office; additionally the windup of the FGPS was acknowledged to be an issue.

They discussed various findings regarding topics such as development, external relations, marketing, communications and outreach.

There was discussion of whether the team has received all the information they would need to make the best possible recommendations. In particular it was pointed out that as it stands the team hasn’t specifically discussed research issues or the staff of the Dean’s Office.

The next steps include development and validation of criteria for organizational design, option selection, impact analysis, as well as selection of the proposed option.

The team circulated organizational charts and tables, comparing the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Ottawa to other engineering faculties at Western, Queens, McMaster, and Toronto. There was discussion of various differences between us and Engineering at these other universities.

It was agreed that Executive members would provide additional comments to the team by email.

After the team left, there was some additional discussion.

15.08.02 Approval of the Agenda

The agenda was approved with the addition of one item.

15.08.03 Minutes of the last meeting (Aug 31)

The minutes of the previous meeting were approved.

15.08.04 Business arising

The Dean had a few items in his written report.

The Dean reported on hiring for the faculty positions in Engineering Design and Technological Entrepreneurship.

15.08.05 Report of the Dean

5.1 The Dean submitted a written report

5.2 Assistant Dean – External Relations: Proposed description of the position

This position will be modelled after the similar position in Telfer. The task is to engage with external stakeholders. The title was chosen to ‘open doors’, in other words to make it clear to the stakeholders that this is a position of importance. There was discussion of related functions such as marketing, communications and the Faculty ambassadors. Fundraising will be central to this role. The Dean’s objective is that by the time he leaves, there will be a team of three people in the Faculty responsible for alumni relations and philanthropic fundraising.

5.3 New Faculty Awards for Entrepreneurial Professor (1) and Employee (1) of the Year: Draft statements of policy and procedures

There was general support for the awards. T. Lethbridge, J. Zhang and C. Rennie will work on the wording of the Entrepreneurial Professor award to ensure it emphasises that the extent of contribution to the University and its students will be central to the choice of the recipient, as opposed to contribution to outside enterprises.

5.4 Appointments to Associate Chair/Director positions

The Dean pointed out that appointments should be made in consultation with the Vice Deans of Undergraduate and Graduate studies, and should consider upcoming academic leaves.

5.5 Possibility of an additional APTPUO LTA position

One of the 24 LTA positions in the university as a whole has not been allocated. EECS has a position; MCG has next-highest number of courses taught by Part Time Professors. There was discussion of how to make a case to obtain a second position. It was agreed to work towards defining such a position.

There was discussion about PhD students teaching graduate-level courses.

5.6 Information

The Faculty is engaged with the Engineering Students’ Society in reviewing the terms of reference of the Engineering Endowment Fund. The plan is that there will be three application periods. There will also be a defined process for other groups of students to join. Such groups would have to hold a referendum, and would only have access to funds after a 2-year delay. Deadlines for other funds, such as the Entrepreneurship fund, are also to be aligned.

The Dean will be meeting with all academic and administrative units starting October 6th. Dr. Anis will be participating to give insights into her chair and the (CEED)2 initiative.

Next Monday (October 28, 2015) will be the Richard L’Abbé Makerspace naming event.

15.08.06 Report of the Vice-Dean (Research)

The Vice-Dean submitted a written report.

The Vice-Dean discussed NSERC success rates for RTI. Approximately 35 DG applications are being prepared. Seven RTI applications from the Faculty of Engineering, out of a uOttawa total of 27, have been submitted – 20 is the university quota to go on to the next round at NSERC.

We have 7 Strategic Project Grants for which we are awaiting news.

We are also working on ORF grants.

The Vice-Dean is meeting with the councils of the academic units.

There will be training for the use of FAST that is aimed to new professors but is open to all.

A strategic network letter of intent has been accepted and is moving towards submission of a full application in March 2016 by Prof. El-Saddik.

15.08.07 Report of the Vice Dean (Graduate Studies)

The Vice-Dean submitted a written report.

The Vice-Dean discussed deadlines for NSERC and OGS scholarships, and our quotas. The Vice-Dean will be visiting all fourth-year undergraduate classes in our Faculty. The OGS formula accounts for the number of successful applicants in previous years as well as on the number of complete applications from the previous year, so it is important to encourage applications.

The Graduate Ceremony of Excellence will be held on Nov 17.

Four graduate motions related to EBT and EMP will be forwarded to Faculty Council.

Having PhD students teach graduate courses would have to be negotiated with FGPS.

There is an issue with the number of staff at the FGPS handing the PhD theses, hence the current long delays. It was also mentioned that FGPS requires support for having retired adjunct or emeritus professors to chair more PhD thesis defences.

The responsibility concerning the approval of external evaluators for the PhD thesis defences is will be soon transferred to the VD Graduate Studies.

Besides heading the QA for the graduate programs evaluation, Mrs. Jeela Jones is now the lead contact when preparing the documents for the development of new graduate programs. Those interested to do so are required to contact the VD Graduate Studies of our Faculty and Mrs. Jones.

There will be an HR plan with respect to the transfer of responsibilities from FGPS to our Faculty.

There are discussions towards having postdoctoral students  to be considered employees of the university.

The Dean discussed staff changes in the Graduate Office.

We now have the largest numbers of graduate students in the University in all categories (applications, offers, admissions and registrations), when comparing all Faculties.

The issue of professors teaching courses in the interdisciplinary EBT program was discussed. In spite of the relatively large number of professors who are part of this program, it is difficult to find professors to teach the graduate courses due to various commitments in their respective faculties

15.08.08 Reports of the Vice-Dean (Undergraduate Studies)

The Vice-Dean submitted a written report.

This summer we agreed to create a permanent Committee of Inquiry. The Vice-Dean is still seeking nominations from some units.

Health Services is working on a policy for medical certificates.

There was discussion about the number of accommodations being handled by SASS.

The Vice-Dean is preparing for the new wave of applicants who will start in September 2016. He is looking to analyse the success rate of students who are offered alternative programs

We have 3730 undergraduate and 1476 graduate students.

The Vice-Dean will be working on an improved process for scheduling courses. There was discussion of class sizes.

The Vice-Dean discussed HR changes.

There was discussion about preparing for the future, and any possible downturn.

15.08.09 Report of the Vice-Dean (International Affairs)

The Vice-Dean has spent most of his time working with the trainees from China. The process seems to be going well. We will be able to generate a significant number of scholarships for students to have international visits.

A professor from El Salvador will be participating in the Teaching Symposium, newly developed by our Faculty as an element of the program the Chinese professors.

15.08.10 Reports from the Chairs/Directors

C. Rennie asked about the status of the technical officer position; we have to create a formal request.

Work is progressing on the Engineer in Residence proposals.

It was pointed out that the TA database does not give information about the thesis supervisor of TAs, so it is hard to determine what their specialty is. There was considerable discussion of TA assignment.

15.08.11 Reports of the Chief Administrative Officer

S. Gandolfini is working on the planning for renovations.

The roofing work on CBY Hall is progressing; the need to remove asbestos was discovered. This has been taken care of.

15.08.12 Report of the Assistant to the Dean

The deadline for academic leave applications is Oct 1. There are a very large number, and some will have to be deferred. There was considerable discussion about this issue.

15.08.13 Report of the Alumni Relations Officer

K. Bournes provided a written report.

The uOttawa 2.0 Graduates of the Last Decade event was held last night; Frank Bouchard was one of the speakers. 330 people attended.

We need to start preparing nominations for the University-wide Alumni Awards of Excellence nominations. Deadline is October 31.

There are tickets for the Panda Game still available.

15.08.14 Reports from the Director of Communications and Marketing

This weekend (Friday to Sunday) is the Ontario University Fair. The donor event is coming up on Monday.

15.08.15 Other Business

The meeting adjourned at 11:36.

Timothy C. Lethbridge, Vice-Dean (Governance)

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