Executive Committee Meeting 2017.04

Minutes of the Meeting held at 09:00 April 11, 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), D. Taylor (Vice Dean, Quality Assurance & Teaching Innovation), J. Zhang (Vice-Dean, International Affairs), T. Lethbridge (Vice-Dean, Governance), C. D’Amours, (Director, EECS), H. Viktor (EECS – CSI), C. Rennie (Chair, CVG), N. Baddour (Chair, MCG), B. Kruczek (Chair, CHG) S. Gandolfini (Chief Administrative Officer), K. Bournes (Alumni Relations Officer), F. Bouchard (Manager of Outreach), V. Samson (Manager of Marketing and Communications) D. Rodas-Wright (Manager of Development).


L. Roy (Assistant to the Dean),

17.04.01 Approval of the Agenda

The agenda was approved.

17.04.02 Presentation: Régine Legault-Bouchard and Nathalie Morris, International Office

Fifteen percent of students at uOttawa are now international students, about 25% of which are Francophone. The number of international students has risen over the last few years from about 2100 to about 5500 students this year.

There was discussion of factors influencing success of the students, particularly language ability. The percentage of undergraduates obtaining a GPA below 4.5 after the first year in the Faculty of Engineering has decreased recently.

There was discussion of interventions to help students in their first year, including various communications to the students and events organized for them. In particular, there is an airport welcoming program, which only occurs in late August, and only for flights arriving before 10 p.m. There are discussions with the City of Ottawa and Carleton University to have a co-ordinated program to welcome new international students whenever they arrive.

There was discussion of the orientation program in early September. There is also a condensed program for international students who arrive late.

There is a team of 14 international mentors. Currently any student who wants to see a mentor can see one, as demand for them is not high.

The International office this year arranged meetings in the second semester with first year students that have a GPA between 2.5 and 4.9 following December exams.

N. Morris discussed the sponsored student program. Most sponsors are embassies. Total revenue accounted for by these students is about $6M at the Faculty of Engineering.

The University goal is to have 1000 students involved in international mobility each year. Currently about 781 students are involved, but only 18 are from the Faculty of Engineering. This year 7 students from the Faculty of Engineering are planning to study abroad through this initiative. In a national survey, 14% of international outbound exchanges are in engineering.

There are several high-ranking international universities involved in exchange agreements with uOttawa.

There is now a program to send PhD students to teach abroad. In 2015, there were 15 such placements.

There is a new model for double degrees, in which students would obtain both a uOttawa degree and a degree at one of certain international universities.

17.04.03 Minutes of the last meeting (Mar 06)

The minutes of the previous meeting had been approved electronically.

17.04.04 Business arising

There was none.

17.04.05 Frank Giacobbi Award

On a motion duly moved and seconded, the Executive unanimously voted Mark Lapointe as the winner of the 2017 Frank Giacobbi award.

17.04.06 Report of the Interim Dean

The Dean provided a written report and related documentation.

Even with a 5% cut to our base operational budget, we may still be able to have a surplus next year, but this is only due to projected increasing enrolment. This is unsustainable in the long run because we lack staff to manage continually increasing enrolment.

The shadow budget committee has met. The plan is that there will be a hybrid responsibility model for financing. Details of this will be settled after the Strategic Mandate Agreement with the Province is finalized.

The STEM project is progressing; the Dean has had to put some pressure on the planning process to make sure our facilities are properly set up.

The two remaining faculty positions in materials are going to MCG and to CVG.

When retirements of faculty members occur, they will be able to be replaced.

The Dean thanked those involved in the Design Day and the Graduate Poster Competition.

The Dean reminded the Executive about Convocation.

The Dean recently returned from a recruitment mission in which he visited top high schools and two of the main Technical Universities in Romania with whom Memorandum of Cooperation were signed. He discussed proposals for exchange programs.

17.04.07 Reports of the Vice-Deans and Faculty Coordinators

7.1 Vice-Dean (Research)

The Vice-Dean provided a written report.

The Vice-Dean attended a recent meeting to choose LOIs for CREATE applicants that will progress to the next stage. All three applications led by the Faculty of Engineering were selected to move forward. Some of the other successful applications included Engineering Professors as co-applicants.

None of our 8 NSERC RTIs was successful.

Four of our 12 NSERC strategic grant LOIs are moving forward.

7.2 Vice-Dean (Undergraduate Studies)

The Vice-Dean circulated a written report.

He discussed admission statistics: The Business Intelligence system is not giving correct results nor a breakdown by program. However, we know we have offered roughly 37% more admissions and have received roughly an 18% increase in acceptances for September.

We will continue to have some flow-through of recent growth in EECS programs; as a result, the Faculty should continue to have overall growth next year.

There was discussion about attracting students. Science has a program where students with entrance averages above a certain GPA are invited to a reception. It was pointed out that in Engineering there is a scholarship reception coming up.

There was discussion of the Ottawa Regional Science Fair as a recruiting tool for both Science and Engineering. Recently Carleton have been running this and hence obtaining all the publicity and exposure to top students. It was suggested that we work to try to arrange for a 50/50 share in coming years with Carleton, but both uOttawa faculties would need to commit staff and faculty resources. It was suggested it should held in the new STEM Building using the multipurpose room and corridor space.

It was pointed out that we need to ensure that we have control over the STEM space, and not be required to book space with central reservations. It was pointed out that FSS 4007 is under the control of Social Science, and rooms in DMS are under the control of Telfer.

7.3 Vice-Dean (Graduate Studies)

On a motion duly moved and seconded the Executive approved the new policy entitled Appointment and Reappointment of Adjunct Professors in the Faculty of Engineering.

The new joint facilities with the Undergraduate Office in the STE building are expected to be finished by the end of 2017.

Two prize nominations for theses are being prepared.

The number of graduate applications is up 71%. 420 offers have been made, which is more than last year.

There was extensive discussion of the issue of the large number of M.Eng. (non-thesis masters) students, and evidence that their academic ability is on average less than thesis students. They are putting a heavy load on graduate courses, but are an indispensable source of revenue.

It was pointed out by K. Bournes that there is a large and unmet industrial demand for software engineering graduates. There is an envelope for creating new programs; it was suggested that we consider leveraging this to help provide the graduates needed in industry. T. Lethbridge pointed out that in the late 1990s the Faculty participated in a program called OVitesse to help top graduates from non-computing programs, by routing them through series of undergraduate and graduate courses that would prepare them for industrial jobs in software development. This program involved industrial sponsorship and internships, as well as government support.

The Vice-Dean Discussed NSERC scholarship results.

7.4 Vice-Dean (Quality Assurance and Teaching Innovation)

The Vice-Dean gave an oral report, noting he will be meeting with Régine Legault-Bouchard of the International Office to discuss the new mobility initiative for students.

7.5 Vice-Dean (Governance)

The Vice-Dean pointed out that there was considerable discussion in Senate about the University’s upcoming Strategic Mandate Agreement (SMA) being negotiated with the Province. The new financing model will involve a corridor, so exceeding or dropping below planned enrollment will both have negative effects. As a result, the SMA commitments must be very carefully thought out. The President pointed out in Senate that placing focus on programs where there is industrial demand would be detrimental to the university’s overall mission.

The Vice-Dean also urged Executive to consider appointing another vice dean to Senate next time there is a vacancy from the Faculty of Engineering. The reason for this is to ensure that members of Senate have broad knowledge of matters discussed in the Faculty Executive and can raise them in Senate or report back from Senate to Executive. Having more academic leaders on Senate will also increase our chances of having someone from the Faculty on the Senate Executive.

7.6 Vice-Dean (International Affairs)

The Vice-Dean provided a written report.

17.04.08 Reports from Chairs/Directors

CHG: Clémence Fauteux-Lefebvre has accepted the offer of employment. She will start as an Assistant Professor on July 1st 2017. The desired background of the third Technical Officer has been identified, and the job description for the position is being prepared.

CVG: For materials, CVG is accepting applications until Friday. There was discussion of HR matters.

EECS: A shortlist of applications for the faculty position has been created. There was discussion of opportunities to approach companies who might become co-op employers.

17.04.09 Report of the Chief Administrative Officer

S. Gandolfini discussed budget issues and presented a chart showing the distribution of our budget. Aside from full-time staff, the TA budget is the biggest component, at about a third. Transfers to research funds to meet faculty commitments accounts for about a sixth. Factors accounting for about 1/12th each include construction/renovation, term support staff, term faculty and part time professors. There was discussion of how to be strategic and save on TA requirements. One strategy is to change the evaluation process in courses (i.e. marking of assignments) so it is less labour-intensive; another strategy might be to use more correctors instead of full TAs.

It was agreed that the deadline for Development Fund’s departmental/EECS submissions would be in mid-May.

The budget for next year accounts for the 5% cut imposed by the central administration, as well as 80% of the projected revenues from increased enrollment.

17.04.10 Reports from Faculty Officers

10.1 Alumni Relations Officer

Alumni week is coming up the first week of May. The Dean’s lunch is Friday May 5; the Alumni Advisory Committee meeting will be that afternoon. K. Bournes outlined other events for the week.

He discussed other planned events involving alumni. There will be a call for nominations for the Alumni Award of Excellence in May.

10.2 Manager of Marketing and Communications

V. Samson indicated that her team will be working on the Faculty Viewbook. They have recently conducted photography shoots to prepare for this.

She mentioned that when professors win awards, she should be informed.

The program and course catalog has been transferred to CourseLeaf.

She also discussed HR matters.

10.3 Manager of Outreach

We are finalizing the purchase of a second MakerMobile truck.

The Federal Government has just launched a fund to teach youth how to code. F. Bouchard suggested that we need to develop a strategy regarding this. The Dean suggested that Computer Science and Software Engineering consider it.

10.4 Manager of Outreach

He provided a written report.

17.04.11 Other Business

It was agreed to move the May 8th Meeting to May 24th at 1 p.m., in part to enable discussion of Faculty Development Fund applications, and to better distribute meetings.

The meeting ended at 11:32.

Timothy C. Lethbridge, Vice-Dean (Governance)

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