Executive Committee Meeting 2015.09

Minutes of the Meeting held 08:30 October 21, 2015, in room CBY 707


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), G. St-Pierre (Director of Co-Op and Career), B. Castilloux (Director of Career Services)


D. Taylor (Chair, CHG)

15.09.01 Presentation by G St-Pierre and B. Castilloux Co-op and Career Services

B. Castilloux discussed the work of the Career Development Centre (CDC). They offer a variety of services including career counselling, résumé critiques and mock interviews. Students are using résumé critiques a lot, but are not using the mock interview service very much even though employers have indicated that student preparedness for interviews needs improvement.

The CDC organizes employer fairs and “Career Talk” presentations every Wednesday. Seventeen of the latter have already been scheduled in the fields of engineering and IT. They host employer interviews. Last year they posted 420 job opportunities targeting engineering students. They have produced a manual for employers about how to prepare for a fair.

The CDC will be working in various ways to help students to prepare faster for the job market. The Office can now communicate directly with students. In other faculties they have introduced drop-in career consultation services every week locally in the faculty.  It is planned to start this in the Faculty of Engineering soon.

It was indicated that employers can contact the CDC when they have job opportunities, and professors can refer employers there.

There was discussion about the need to improve communication. Students and Executive members had not been aware of key aspects of their program such as the recent job fair.

The Co-op programs in Engineering have had an increase this year of 23.4% in placement, and the placement rate was 91.2%, which was down 1.5 percentage points from the year before. 14.5% of students go outside the NCR. 52.3% of jobs are in the private sector. There has been a 10% increase in recruiting organizations. International mobility has stayed the same. The number of students to place has increased dramatically over the last five years. The most difficult programs for placements currently are ELG and CHG; CSI and SEG have the best results. Employers are particularly looking for entry-level SEG students; Co-Op is now mandatory for SEG and 91% of the first-year students in that program were placed. Co-Op at the Masters level has a 100% placement rate; we are one of only a few universities with such programs.

There was discussion of opportunities to recruit employers from alumni, and the extent to which students are hired in their field. There was discussion about matching enrolment increase with placement rate in certain programs. The placement rate for international students is going down; steps are being taken to help such students.

We are the second-largest co-op program in Ontario, and our work term fee is also the second highest.

There was a question about whether graduate student supervisors are notified that one of their students is in co-op. This is currently not formalized.

There was discussion about entrepreneurial co-op: currently this option has not come into effect.

The co-op program is trying to promote 8-month and 12-month co-op work terms. Only one work-term report is now required in such a work-term. However, it can’t be made mandatory since only certain employers allow this.

Nov 9-13 will be Career Week.

The Dean had to leave at 9:05. M. Dubé took the chair.

15.09.02 Approval of the Agenda

The agenda was approved with the some rearrangement.

15.09.03 Minutes of the last meeting (Sep 23)

The minutes of the previous meeting were approved.

15.09.04 Business arising

It was noted that the wording on the Entrepreneurial Professor award was not reviewed as promised. T. Lethbridge, J. Zhang and C. Rennie will work on this after the meeting.

There was discussion of whether we can implement informal TA evaluation across the Faculty. It was suggested that this be discussed in the Faculty Curriculum Committee.

15.09.05 Report of the Alumni Relations Officer

K. Bournes briefly discussed the new Young Alumni Program.

The alumni event at the Panda Game was sold out. The game had over 17000 attendees with a majority of UOttawa students; this was a large increase from last year.

A Lunch and Learn session will be held this week.

K. Bournes and his team are working on the nominees for the Alumni Awards of Excellence.

The Alumni office is working on a presentation regarding the Light Rail project given by an alumnus.

At the Dean’s lunch the Dean will talk about the last 10 years and Richard L’Abbé will talk about the (CEED)2 initiatives.

15.09.06 Report of the Vice-Dean (Research)

The Vice-Dean had submitted a written report.

The Vice-Dean encouraged faculty members to assist each other regarding reviewing Discovery Grant applications.

The Research Info-Source report indicates that the amount of funds available to support research has dropped 7% for us. We are at number 6 in terms of research intensity in Ontario, while our goal is to be number 5. We are number 9 in Canada.

The Vice-Dean continues to work to enable the Faculty to have more Industrial Research Chairs.

It has been suggested that programs should have one-page descriptions of their research. It was agreed to proceed with this. They would be convenient to hand out at conferences and to companies.

15.09.07 Report of the Vice Dean (Graduate Studies)

Deadlines for scholarships are coming up. October 27 is the deadline for NSERC PhD scholarship applications and the OGS deadline is December 1.

The Vice-Dean is talking to all 4th year undergraduate students about graduate studies.

The Vice-Dean will be attending the China Scholarship Council fair in Beijing together with Stephane Drouin.

The Vice-Dean is working on an analysis of the ratio of graduate students to the personnel in the Graduate Office (especially the graduate assistants). Other faculties have over double the number of staff, with half the number of graduate students and/or applications/admissions.

The Vice-Dean discussed statistics regarding applications and registrations. He urged us to accept Canadian and Permanent Resident applicants into the graduate programs (MASc, MEng and particularly PhDs) since these bring in provincial government funding.

Since some programs only consider admitting M.Eng students with an admission average of 8.0 or above, there have been situations where such students have applied and been admitted to the MA.Sc with a lower GPA, to only then switch to M.Eng., leaving their supervisor without a research student that has been often funded for the first year.

The issue of compulsory residency is currently a sticking point in discussions of updates of the FGPS regulations. Requiring a greater number of full-time residency semesters is being proposed; however current understanding is that if a student finishes in less than this prescribed amount of time, they would not have to pay for the remaining semesters of their required residency.

15.09.08 Reports of the Vice-Dean (Undergraduate Studies)

The Vice-Dean circulated a written report.

He has met with the Engineering Students Society. They are looking for guest speakers.

The Vice-Dean discussed the next admissions cycle and course scheduling. Documents have been uploaded to DocuShare to help prepare for workload, setting of admission averages and course scheduling.

We have controlled enrolment by raising admission averages, and making alternative offers. The Vice-Dean is investigating the extent to which students given alternative offers are succeeding.

The new SIS will be flexible and allow students in one program to take courses of another program; quotas will need to be in place to control this.

The Vice-Dean discussed how those in charge of programs will need to analyse the data to determine how to split courses into multiple sections. There was additional discussion of planning for workload.

The first scan for admissions will be mid-December. Those in charge of programs will need to plan admission averages. The Vice-Dean provided data regarding admissions per percentage-point increase in admission average.

There was discussion of various issues regarding course section planning. Issues include course sizes, sizes of courses taught in French and finding instructors with their P.Eng. It was pointed that CEPPC and CEAB feedback sometimes point in conflicting directions.

There was discussion of the relationship between numbers of students, section sizes and available budget. We need to increase by 150 students per year to break even.

15.09.09 Report of the Vice-Dean (International Affairs)

The Vice-Dean circulated a written report.

We are charging the 3+2 students the full amount of fees and then issuing refunds, but there have been issues with giving the refunds.

The program of professors visiting from China is working well

The Vice-Dean was in China from Oct 9-20. He discussed his various meetings and presentations.

The Dean returned at 10:41.

The Vice-Dean is also working on interaction with India

He will be visiting Texas-Tech University in December; they are interested in sending undergraduate students to us.

15.09.10 Report of the Dean

5.1 The Dean submitted a written report

5.2 Information items

The Faculty has received requests from 31 professors for academic leaves totalling 22.5 years. It will not be possible to accommodate all of them. The Dean requested that academic units do forward planning so that there can be a relatively constant number of academic leaves each year.

Last year’s continuing education offering did not work. We don’t currently have any plans for a new offering. The Dean asked whether we should engage in this further. If we do so, we would need to engage with the professional community about what their needs actually are.

The week of Nov 17 will be UOttawa Entrepreneurship Week. Various events are being planned; particularly an event on the evening of November 19th for the official announcement of our NSERC Chair in Entrepreneurial Engineering Design

There was further discussion about continued growth in student enrolment, and the limits to growth, as well as requiring longer co-op work terms.

15.09.11 Reports from the Chairs/Directors

There was discussion of human resources.

Jules Thibault will be serving as interim Chair of CHG for an indefinite period of time.

15.09.12 Reports of the Chief Administrative Officer

S. Gandolfini discussed various HR issues.

The deadline for renovations proposals is November 15th. S. Gandolfini will circulate the proposals from last year that have not yet been approved.

There will be a report from the consultant working on the Space Report next week

Moves to ARC have been completed. Moves into vacated spaces are still being worked on.

15.09.13 Report of the Assistant to the Dean

Academic Leave credits can only be accumulated for 8 years, but with permission the Dean can increase this to a maximum of 11.

15.09.14 Reports from the Director of Communications and Marketing

V. Samson attended the National Conference on Student Recruitment Marketing and Retention. Some of the key takeaways were:

  • She suggested improving academic program web pages to ensure that information is available that students really want as well as ‘calls to action’ such as having students visit campus.
  • She discussed how high school students search for programs. Links in emails are important, as are searches for the university as a whole, and the university plus a program name.
  • High school students are mostly looking for admissions and aid information, followed by degree details. They are also interested in job placement statistics, testimonials, videos, and graduate school placement statistics.
  • Students are most interested in aerial or campus photographs, rather than photographs of people on campus.
  • Mobile web usage is important for prospective students in tasks such as booking campus visits. YouTube and Facebook are the top social sites.
  • Use of text messaging to potential students is increasing, although for privacy reasons we could not do this in Canada without obtaining permission from students.

The TV monitor near Tim Hortons will be installed next week. There will be a weekly email newsletter sent to students.

V. Samson thanked everybody who attended the Ontario Universities Fair

A total of 138 girls attended the Go Eng Girl event.

Upcoming events include the UOttawa Open House on October 30 and 31.

The Excellence ceremony for undergraduates will be Nov 10 at 5:30 and the graduate ceremony will be Nov 17 at 8 a.m.

15.09.15 Other Business

The meeting adjourned at 11:45.

Timothy C. Lethbridge, Vice-Dean (Governance)

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