Executive Committee Meeting 2016.07

Minutes of the Meeting held at 09:00 August 30, 2016, in room CBY 707


I. Nistor (Acting Dean), M. Dubé (Vice-Dean, Research), M. Turcotte (Vice-Dean, Undergraduate Studies), M. Labrosse (Vice Dean, Graduate Studies) J. Zhang (Vice-Dean, International Affairs), D. Taylor (Vice Dean, Quality Assurance & Teaching Innovation), T. Lethbridge (Vice-Dean, Governance), C. D’Amours, (Director, EECS), H. Viktor (EECS-CSI), M. Fall (Acting Chair, CVG), N. Baddour (Chair, MCG), B. Kruczek (Chair, CHG), S. Gandolfini (Chief Administrative Officer), L. Roy (Assistant to the Dean), K. Bournes (Alumni Relations Officer), J. Adam (Acting Manager of Marketing and Communications) F. Bouchard (Manager of Outreach), M. Racine (invited)


C. Rennie (Chair, CVG), D. Rodas-Wright (Development Officer)

16.07.01 Approval of the Agenda

The agenda was approved.

16.07.02 Presentation by Michel Racine Regarding the Computing labs

M. Racine discussed a survey of students that had been conducted on the subject of the computing labs. He indicated that valuable feedback was received, including feedback that resulted in easy and immediate improvements to such matters as one lab being too dark. Students requested more power outlets for laptops and remote access to software on their laptops. Some of the changes described below address requests in the survey.

The labs have about 600 PCs, with 120 applications. 75% of the apps are freely available, and 30 have licenses requiring that they run on university computers.

He described the various changes: In room C08 there will be group work areas set up; in C10 there will be individual workspaces. Some rooms have changed roles; in particular, B109C is being changed to be used for the Entrepreneurship initiative.

The IT Team has set up RemoteApps.genie.uOttawa.ca. This allows students and professors to run many of the licensed apps on powerful servers that have been installed. People using Macs will have to download the latest Microsoft Remote Desktop app from the app store. Security of this initiative has been audited and approved, but there is still uncertainty about whether in fact performance will be adequate just before an assignment review.

The IT Team has overhauled the teaching lab podiums with new equipment, including projectors. The Multimedia Distribution Service helpdesk, reachable directly at 613 562-5900, can now help with A-V issues, in addition to the Engineering IT team.

The IT Team has been restructured; they are now using many of the recognized best practices for IT service desks; this includes a new ticketing system. IT Team members are also undergoing ITIL training, with the objective of improving service levels.

Lab documentation is being revamped, and should be ready by the start of the semester.

An analysis of STE0110 acoustics was performed, and reverberation was found to be unacceptable. The Faculty was able to secure $30,000 to install acoustic tiles. of which 1/3 was covered by central IT.

16.07.03 Minutes of the last meeting (June 22)

The minutes of the previous meeting had been approved electronically.

16.07.04 Business arising

The Dean had some items in his written report. The candidates for the Alumni Awards of Excellence have accepted their nominations. The Faculty is working on setting up times to give the awards, and is also preparing publicity about each recipient.

16.07.05 Member of Senate

Chairs and the EECS Director were asked by next Wednesday to approach Faculty Council members, and to nominate candidates.

16.07.06 Report of the Dean

6.1 Priorities for the 2016-2017 academic year and moving forward

The Interim Dean outlined his priorities for the 2015-2016 academic year.

Priority number 1 this year is the STEM building. There will be biweekly meetings of stakeholders within the Faculty and there are weekly meetings with the STEM Steering Committee of the University

Priority number 2 is alumni relationships and the fundraising campaign. The Faculty needs to raise $10M over the next 4 years.

Priority number 3 is increasing the clarity and transparency of the Dean’s office management system.

Priority number 4 is augmenting student experience. One step in this direction would be space co-ordination – to move the Graduate Office to be in the STE building alongside the Undergraduate Office.

6.2 Report on the STEM Building

The Dean discussed various aspects of the STEM building. He thanked those who have assisted with the planning of the moving operations of the Science labs into the Faculty of Engineering during the summer.

Planning is ongoing with a meeting this afternoon. The building is to be substantially complete by April 2018. The STEM building is being designed to include our entrepreneurship facilities, CVG Structural and Hydraulic Laboratories, Mechanical Engineering laboratories our machine shop, and the Brunsfield Centre.

There was discussion of various logistical details.

6.3 Report on Alumni and Donors meetings (TO and Ottawa)

This item was left for discussion by K. Bournes.

6.4 Report in the University Council of Deans meeting (August 23)

The Dean reported on various items from this meeting. There was extensive discussion on the university’s budgetary issues. A $15M deficit has been approved by the Board of Governors.

Progress is ongoing regarding transition of the FGPS. Allocation of resources is key and the Dean will meet with the representatives of FGPS next week.

6.5 Proposal on start-up grants for newly hired professors and CFI grants Faculty contributions

It was agreed to increase the startup funding for new professors.

At the next Faculty Executive, the Interim Dean will propose a model for funding for CFI applicants.

16.07.07 Reports of the Vice-Deans and Faculty Coordinators

7.1 Vice-Dean (Research)

The Vice-Dean departed at 10:30 but had provided a written report.

7.2 Vice-Dean (Undergraduate Studies)

On a motion duly moved and second, the Executive approved the following sanction in a fraud case: F in the course.

The Vice-Dean presented a business case for additional resources in the Undergraduate Office. Students often have extensive waits for meetings and responses to requests. The Undergraduate Office is under extreme stress due to a massive increase in numbers of students, but very little increase in staff. There were questions regarding causes of the large demand on staff time, and whether there are any partial solutions, such as streamlining to alleviate some of the pressure. There was extensive discussion. It was decided to incrementally approach hiring to increase resources in the Undergraduate Office.

7.3 Vice-Dean (Graduate Studies)

There was discussion about how to obtain chairs for defences. The problem of professors not responding to requests to chair defences persists. It was suggested to make data about who has chaired defences visible on the internal web, so everybody can see who is ‘pulling their weight’ and who is not. Opposition was expressed to the idea of automatically assigning professors, and having such assigned professors find their own substitutes.

7.4 Vice-Dean (International Affairs)

The Vice-Dean submitted a written report. He emphasized the importance to apply for International Experience Grants.

7.5 Vice-Dean (Quality Assurance and Teaching Innovation)

Time ran out for this and many subsequent agenda items.

16.07.08 Reports from Faculty Officers

8.1. Alumni Relations Officer

K. Bournes indicated he would like Chairs and the Director to help out with visits to alumni, some of which may be potential donors.

8.2. Director of Communications and Marketing

The STEM announcement will occur when the government is ready. Publicity is largely ready.

16.07.09 Other Business

The meeting ended at 12:05.

Timothy C. Lethbridge, Vice-Dean (Governance)

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