Executive Committee Meeting 2016.03

Minutes of the Meeting held at 13:30 Mar 24, 2016, in room CBY 707
C. Laguë (Dean), M. Dubé (Vice-Dean, Research), 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), D. Taylor (Chair, CHG), H. Viktor (EECS-CSI), L. Roy (Assistant to the Dean), S. Gandolfini (Chief Administrative Officer), K. Bournes (Alumni Relations Officer), D. Rodas-Wright, (Development Officer), M. Laurier (Vice-President Academic and Provost), M. Joyal (Vice-President Resources)
J. Zhang (Vice-Dean, International Affairs), C. D’Amours, (Director, EECS), V. Milo Gauthier (Acting Manager of Marketing and Communications)

16.03.01 Presentation by Michel Laurier, Vice-President Academic and Provost and Marc Joyal, Vice-President Resources

M. Laurier discussed the university’s financial situation. The proportion of funds received from the government has been reduced, and demographics are also negatively impacting the situation. An expected drop in enrolment of 300 students will cost the university approximately $3M this year. The initial deficit in the operating fund would be $1.9M.

To compensate, some steps have been taken. This includes suspending renovations that have not been started, and recuperation of some of the funds from faculty and service surpluses. Next year, there will be a 2% uniform budget cut, and other steps to cut costs and raise revenues.

M. Joyal discussed details of the university’s finances. Budgeting is on a cash basis; faculties and services manage their own budgets and are responsible for their own deficits. However, audited financial statements are prepared according to accounting rules, which are not on a cash basis.

There was discussion. It was suggested that any contribution of surplus from our Faculty be returned later on; however there are no plans to do this as things stand. We are jumping on the Federal budget announcement of additional infrastructure funds. The government is preparing a new funding regime; we have to be careful about what we ask for, however, since the government may ask questions about the marketability of graduates, for example.  

16.03.02 Approval of the Agenda

The agenda was approved.

16.03.03 Minutes of the last meeting (Feb 25)

The minutes of the previous meeting had been approved electronically

16.03.04 Business arising

The Dean had some items in his written report. The new position of Vice Dean (Quality Assurance and Teaching Innovation) was circulated; two potential candidates have expressed interest so far.

The Faculty of Engineering has made a request to be exempted from the across-the-board budget reduction. If we can generate 2% of extra revenues this could be sufficient. But there is the question of whether this would be gross or net revenue.

16.03.05 Frank Giacobbi Award

On a motion duly moved and seconded the Executive approved the selection of Mr. Michel Racine, Systems Manager of the Faculty, as the recipient of the 2016 Frank Giacobbi Award.

16.03.06 Report of the Dean

6.1 The Dean distributed a written report

The Dean updated the Executive on the projected revenues for 2015-16. They have increased by almost $9M. But the resulting adjustments to the Faculty’s Operating Fund amount to only $1.4M.

The Dean indicated he is disturbed that the unit value of revenues that come back to the Faculty has been decreasing steadily since 2008 – 2009.

6.2 2016 Canadian Engineering Education Association Conference

There is considerable interest this year. The Faculty will cover some costs.

6.3 Information items

Dr. Yao has been selected  for a prestigious appointment as a Distinguished University of Ottawa Professor.

A very high percentage of students are dissatisfied with their teaching assistants across all faculties on campus. While still disappointing, the numbers for the Faculty of Engineering are the best, in comparison to other faculties.

The Dean discussed a report about how to provide positive feedback to employees. Some of the items in the ‘Guide du gestionnaire pour la reconnaissance des employés’  cannot be implemented according to uOttawa regulations and procedures.

16.03.07 Report of the Vice-Dean (Research)

The Vice-Dean submitted a written report.

We have been given the right to go forward with two internal CFI applications and are participating in two based at other universities. Dr. El Saddik’s strategic network proposal has been submitted. There are several industrial visits coming up.

The Vice-Dean presented his Research Action Plan. He first showed comparisons with comparator universities. He concluded that our research performance is quite good. He outlined key elements of the SWOT analysis. A key strategic goal is to surpass the comparator universities.

It was suggested to change the list of strategic objectives to ‘strengths and opportunities’.

Formal presentation of the plan to the University of Ottawa Research Commission will take place on April 7.

16.03.08 Report of the Vice Dean (Graduate Studies)

The Vice-Dean submitted a written report.

NSERC PhD results have been very positive, with 9 successful. OGS results have also been received. NSERC Masters results will be coming later.

The Vice-Dean is counting on our support for the March 30 poster competition. Design day will be held the day before.

The Vice-Dean discussed staffing at the graduate office.

There is a 10% increase in the number of applications this year, and an increase in acceptances, too.

16.03.09 Reports of the Vice-Dean (Undergraduate Studies)

9.1 Fraud case

On a motion duly moved and seconded the Executive approved recommending the following sanction in a fraud case:

k) the inclusion of a statement on the student’s official transcript for a period of three years: Sanction pursuant to a contravention of the University regulation on fraud.

n) the student may not register for a program at the University of Ottawa, this sanction to remain in effect for an indefinite period of time.

9.2 Written report

The Vice-Dean circulated a written report.

There was extensive discussion of the following: If there are elements of a program that cannot be completed by people with certain limitations, then these should be determined and be listed in the program descriptions. There was extensive discussion. It was suggested that we look at the policy in the Faculty of Medicine, as well as PEO policies regarding requirements to obtain a license.

Our proposal to cancel supplemental exams has been slowed down at the Senate Executive level due to objections by students.

16.03.10 Report of the Vice-Dean (International Affairs)

The Vice-Dean was travelling.

16.03.11 Reports from the Chairs/Directors

N. Baddour invited the President of the APUO to a departmental meeting. The MCG department put pressure with the APUO on the topic of teaching-centred positioned. It was suggested that the other academic units also invite the APUO President to reinforce this.

CVG will have a banquet on May 5. There is a suggestion that there might be a Faculty Banquet in a coming year.

The Geotech lab PAPI funding is still uncertain.

The second structural lab technician and admin assistant positions in CVG still need to be posted..

16.03.12 Reports of the Chief Administrative Officer

The only new PAPI element funded will be the acoustics in the STE0110 lab. Funding for some moves to ARC approved last year will be spent this year.

There is about $560K in the pool for Faculty Development Fund proposals. The deadline was set for the end of May, with a meeting of June.

16.03.13 Report of the Assistant to the Dean (Human Resources)

The Dean mentioned that the immigration rules for hiring faculty members from outside Canada and the US have become more complex.

The requirements for bilingualism are being taken seriously at the time of tenure.

Some wording in the position descriptions and offers of employment regarding P.Eng. requirements has been changed, and circulated to the APUO.

16.03.14 Other Business

The meeting ended at 16:52.

Timothy C. Lethbridge, Vice-Dean (Governance)

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