Executive Committee Meeting 2017.02

Minutes of the Meeting held at 09:00 February 6, 2017, in room CBY 707


I. Nistor (Interim 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), S. Somé (EECS – CSI, acting), C. Rennie (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) D. Rodas-Wright (Development Officer), F. Bouchard (Manager of Outreach) V. Samson (Manager of Marketing and Communications)


Marc Villeneuve, Charles Filion, Joseph Kim, Claudia Décoeur, Vaeriu Jalbu


H. Viktor (EECS – CSI)

17.02.01 Presentation; Defy the Conventional: The Campaign for uOttawa

Marc Villeneuve. and C. Filion presented an update on university fund-raising and alumni interaction. They were joined in the discussion by many others present.

The alumni program follows an event-centric approach. 12000 people attended events last year, a substantial increase over the last few years. At every event, there are professors, deans or other senior university officials. Research and faculty member accomplishments are usually highlighted.

They discussed this year’s Alumni Week: On May 3 there will be a multi-faculty event “Innovative Solutions for Health Care”. On May 5 there will be the Faculty of Engineering Dean’s luncheon. There will also be another installment of the Alex Trebek Lecture Series, with Sheila Watt Cloutier as guest speaker.

A total of 1780 people participated in Faculty of Engineering events last year.

The global Campaign for uOttawa fund-raising objective is $400M; so far $218M has been raised. The Faculty of Engineering objective is $40M, and $9M has been raised so far. It was pointed out that there are interesting opportunities in Engineering, particularly related to the STEM building and seismic studies.

Overall university donations have been rising over the last few years.

One of the current fund-raising priorities is excellence scholarships; there is a goal for this to raise $500,000 before the end of fiscal year.

D Rodas-Wright reiterated the Faculty of Engineering objectives, which include lab and equipment renewal, student initiatives, the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Endowment Fund, and facilities expansion (originally focused on Colonel By Hall, but now on STEM). Our objective for STEM is to raise $10M by the time the university opens the building. He discussed some details regarding this project.

The impact of philanthropy was discussed: This includes student access to multiple facilities, and support for multiple student teams.

Students Joseph Kim, Claudia Décoeur discussed the concrete toboggan competition, which has been funded by philanthropic donations. This year the students will be travelling to Winnipeg for the event. They used crowdfunding, and raised over $10,000 which was matched by the Faculty. Through this event, students learn project management, hands-on techniques particularly related to concrete, design skills and much other knowledge.

K. Bournes highlighted Faculty of Engineering alumni programming for 2016. This includes uOttawa Innovates, and the Design Showcase, which has 200 registrants so far. Events are being held in Ottawa, Toronto, the Bay Area. For uOttawa Innovates in Toronto, there were 12000 web impressions. Over 100,000 people were reached on the Faculty Facebook page for another posting. One group of tweets reached over 60,000 people.

There was general discussion. It was pointed out that there is currently a focus on research when interacting with alumni and donors. It was suggested to focus also on teaching excellence, and the attractiveness of uOttawa to students. It was suggested to emphasize outstanding teachers, and innovations in our academic programs.

T. Lethbridge pointed out that staffing shortages are causing issues with student satisfaction that will likely have a negative impact on future fund-raising; he suggested the university ought to invest in staff to obtain a payback later in terms of greater donations.

There was discussion of UO2.0, which focuses on mentoring and career development, and is one approach to helping graduating students and young alumni feel more attached to the university.

There was discussion of approaches to assist students in their early years, to help them succeed, and hence in the long run become happy alumni.

The Interim Dean talked about the major differences between US and Canadian development approaches, which he had learned when attending a recent conference.

It was suggested that Faculty of Engineering fund-raising and development activities also pay attention to activities at Sports Services, and also promote our faculty to parents who send their children to our excellent summer camps.

17.02.02 Approval of the Agenda

The agenda was approved, with a minor addition ‘Role of the HR Generalist’.

17.02.03 Minutes of the last meeting (Jan 09)

The minutes of the previous meeting had been approved electronically.

17.02.04 Role of the HR Generalist

V. Jalbu, our newly hired HR Generalist, briefly described his role. He will be meeting with managers on topics such as setting performance objectives, and conducting performance appraisals.

17.02.05 Business arising

The draft workload was received by the Interim Dean last week. A few changes have been requested from chairs. The Dean asked that chairs reply by the end of the day. Once the academic units confirm the changes, the workload will be confirmed and sent to the Undergraduate Office and to professors.

17.02.06 Vice-Dean Governance

T. Lethbridge will be taking an Academic Leave from July 2017 to July 2018.

On a motion duly moved and seconded, it was unanimously approved to appoint Liam Peyton as Acting Vice-Dean Governance for the 2017-18 academic year. Hussein Al Osman would most likely continue as EBT Associate Director for one year, and Stephane Some is willing to continue as as SEG Associate Director.

On a motion duly moved and seconded, it was unanimously approved to appoint Timothy Lethbridge for a renewed term as Vice-Dean Governance for a five-year period from 2018-2023.

17.02.07 Report of the Interim Dean

The Dean reported on his experiences in the CODE (The Council of Deans of Engineering), and in particular on the planned Approaches to Advocacy document. He discussed various statistics regarding admission averages, graduation rates, employment rates, percentage of female undergraduates as compared with other Ontario universities.

Next meeting, the Vice-Dean will talk about international matters.

M Dubé mentioned that the Faculty of Engineering has 40% of the International Students in the University, therefore this Faculty is important to the university’s international mission. Concerns have been expressed about international retention rates at the undergrad level; but at the graduate level international retention rates are good,

The Dean reminded everybody that the Iron Ring Ceremony is March 25th.

The Dean attended the CASE conference which focused on alumni-relations and fund-raising. He was the only dean from uOttawa.

The Faculty of Science offers paid research internships on a competitive basis to a few top incoming students. Students undertake these over the summer before they start first year and also in the summer after their first year. There was a suggestion to consider doing something similar in the Faculty of Engineering. It was pointed out, however, that we also have very competitive Dean’s Scholarships.

17.02.08 Reports of the Vice-Deans and Faculty Coordinators

8.1 Vice-Dean (Research)
The Vice-Dean circulated a written report.

He mentioned that there is a call for Letters of Intent for NSERC CREATE grants.

Last year we received the biggest SSHRC grant on campus; last Friday we submitted two grants.

Two CERC grants have been submitted; one is related to the Faculties of Science and Engineering, and is in the field of Photonics.

8.2 Vice-Dean (Undergraduate Studies)
The Vice-Dean attended a meeting to set admission averages. He discussed our plans for the ongoing admission process.

There was discussion of improving retention rates, and at least maintaining the portion of Francophone students. We are scoring much higher than in years past in terms of second-year retention rates.

There was discussion of the impact of enrollment on the Faculty’s financial situation. The Dean emphasized that the Faculty would not willingly contribute its surplus to help resolve the deficit situation of other faculties. The university did not help the Faculty of Engineering when it was in deficit.

8.3 Vice-Dean (Graduate Studies)
The Vice-Dean reported that he has a full agenda but has nothing specific to report.

8.4 Vice-Dean (International Affairs)
The Vice-Dean discussed the situation arising from the unfortunate death of the visiting professor from China that was reported at the last meeting.

He talked about interaction with several universities in Australia and New Zealand.

8.5 Vice-Dean (Quality Assurance and Teaching Innovation)
The Vice-Dean reported that he has a full agenda but has nothing specific to report.

8.6 Vice-Dean (Governance)
The Vice-Dean had distributed some suggestions for By-law updates that bring them up to date and reflect current practice. There was discussion of cancelation of committees that have not met, and it was generally agreed that the Library Committee, Calendar Committee, and uOttawa Day committee should be deleted from the By-Laws as management of these items is carried out by other means. It was also agreed that decisions regarding the Faculty Development Fund should be taken by the Executive, as has been recent practice. The Vice-Dean will update the draft By-Laws to reflect this, and asks Executive members to present any other suggested changes, including improvements to translations, prior to the next meeting.

17.02.09 Reports from Chairs/Directors

CHG: A short-term contract personnel member is helping with the Machine Shop. The Department will be searching for a permanent staff person for this role once the hiring freeze is lifted.

CVG: A temporary staff member is filling the environment officer position until the hiring freeze is lifted, and a search for a permanent staff member can be conducted.

MCG: The Department is still recruiting for the open tenure track position.

EECS: A faculty member position is still open in computer science. The School is examining applications from the 60 that have been received.

There was discussion of course reliefs for research. It was suggested that we move towards a baseline workload of 3.5.

Currently there are differences in how workload ‘reliefs’ are distributed from the current baseline of 4 courses. CVG is distributing them evenly so everybody gets them, for the sake of fairness. EECS uses a formula based on the number of published papers and graduated students, that results in the top researchers getting a relief every year. It was suggested to distribute the reliefs more evenly; it was suggested that rather than using the notion of reliefs, that instead the baseline be adjusted to 3.5.

The question was raised regarding whether someone could receive a relief administrative work at the same time as receiving a relief for research. There was disagreement about this.

The Interim Dean suggested that academic units should have the liberty of handing research reliefs establishing a 3.5 baseline as they please.

There was discussion of the teaching load for pre-tenure professors. They are generally asked to a lower number of courses. It was suggested that such professors should not be counted when computing the baseline or average load in an academic unit.

17.02.10 Report of the Chief Administrative Officer

S. Gandolfini indicated that there has not been an official response regarding PAPI funding. However, the University has approved the following Projects, but only if the Faculty pays 100%: Consolidation of academic offices, expansion in CHG, and EECS 5th floor student space.

If taking away study space when consolidating academic offices, we have been told we must replace it to ensure there remains enough student space. T. Lethbridge indicated that by walking around both buildings he has concluded that there is a considerable amount of under-utilized study space for undergraduates, and that this should be documented so we have evidence to present to the university, and that the availability of this space should also be advertised to students.

C08 and C010 will be re-opened with computer monitors and places for students to work.

It was suggested that we need an action plan for renovations; other faculties have such a plan.

It was agreed that we spend the money and do the approved renovations mentioned in the first paragraph.

17.02.11 Reports from Faculty Officers

11.1. Report of the Assistant to the Dean
There was none.

11.2 Manager of Marketing and Communications
V. Samson provided a written report, which included some important dates. The Quick Facts documents are finished.

11.3. Alumni Relations Officer
He reported in agenda item 1.

11.4. Development Officer
He reported in agenda item 1.

11.5. Manager of Outreach
He submitted a written report.

17.02.12 Other Business

The meeting ended at 11:20.

Timothy C. Lethbridge, Vice-Dean (Governance)

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