Executive Committee Meeting 2019.10

InformationThe minutes of the meetings will be bilingual in the sense that the interventions and proposals will be made in the language in which they were made.

Faculty of Engineering Executive Committee Meeting

2019.10 9 a.m., Dec 11, 2019, in room CBY 707


  • J. Beauvais (Dean)
  • M. Dubé (Vice-Dean, Research)
  • M. Labrosse (Vice-Dean, Undergraduate Studies)
  • L. Peyton (Vice-Dean, Graduate Studies)
  • J. Zhang (Vice Dean, International)
  • D. Taylor (Vice Dean, Quality Assurance & Teaching Innovation)
  • T. Lethbridge (Vice-Dean, Governance)
  • C. D’Amours, (Director, EECS)
  • C. Adams (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)
  • L. Roy (Assistant to the Dean)


  • H. Howes (Manager of Development)

19.10.01 Presentation by the Vice President, Research

Sylvain Charbonneau was accompanied by two leaders in his office, Martine Lagacé and Guy Levesque. He indicated to Executive members that the Strategic Plan, Action Plan and Strategic Areas of Research have been well received. The Strategic Mandate Agreement (SMA3) is being finalized. Future grants from the Province will be tagged to meeting metrics defined in SMA3. Research has an important role in the metrics. One of these is Tri-Council funding. Another is contracts from industry. A third is linkages to the community, particularly the Federal Government and industry in Kanata North; both of these are in need of talent. Another important metric is experiential learning. He indicated that AI will be an area of growth. There was discussion of experiential learning, and co-op in particular.

Regarding the metrics, Dr. Charbonneau indicated that we are comparing ourselves to the U6 from Ontario.
The Dean suggested that professors talk to MITACS business development staff and people at ISS so the professors can save themselves effort in making industrial contacts.

He said that the OVPR is open every day. We are in the nation’s capital, and close to Kanata North. We need to take advantage of that. M. Lagacé is responsible for many programs that affect our reputation, including centres and institutes. G. Levesque is responsible for core facilities; he discussed the importance of building collaborations on a many-to-many basis.

There was discussion of buildings and facilities. Finishing the 5th floor of STEM with wet labs would cost around $30M, including leveraging and equipment. There are several plans for this, depending on what funding might be received. There is an explicit plan for facilities development in Transformation 2030.

19.10.02 Approval of the Agenda

The agenda was approved.

Written reports were circulated from the Vice Deans of Research, Graduate Studies, Undergraduate Studies, Quality Assurance and Teaching Innovation as well as the Manager of Outreach, the Chief Administrative Officer, and the Alumni Relations Officer.

19.10.03 Minutes of the last meeting (November 2019)

The minutes of the previous meeting had been approved electronically.

19.10.04 Business arising

Yesterday 6 out of 11 items at Senate Executive involved our Faculty and were approved. Two of these need to move forward to Senate in January. In particular, the change from Electronic Business to Digital Transformation was approved

19.10.04 Update from the Dean

Health and Safety Update

There were several incidents. A student in the MakerSpace used a chair with wheels to reach something high up. A student in CBY D507 experienced a sodium hydroxide spill in a fume hood, although there was no health consequence. An employee experienced pain when lifting a heavy box. It was noted that a professor responsible for the lab in one incident (although not present) had not taken the safety training required by law.

Cybersecurity Update

The CIO reported some matters to the Dean. Somebody, not associated with our Faculty, left their unencrypted laptop in their car, and it was stolen. There was discussion of the regular discovery of vulnerabilities. A student committed fraud using a university account.

Accreditation 2020

D. Taylor discussed the accreditation timeline. Chairs need to be looking at the IQAP SWOT analyses and IRP self-study data. The faculty has hired a faculty Quality Assurance Officer, Aneta Traikova. She is not to be asked by individual professors to perform data entry. The CEAB will be meeting chairs on February 9th; chairs need to register formally for this event.

Concerns were raised at Engineering Deans Canada about the fact that Engineers Canada wants mental health and the 30-by-30 (increasing female participation in the profession) to be incorporated into accreditation. There was also some discussion in Engineers Canada about incorporating consideration of indigenous reconciliation, but that has been tabled for now. In the recent IQAP review, the visiting team did in fact raise the issue of reconciliation. Ethics and Equity are important in Engineering Design.The Dean said we will respect and try to surpass the indigenous action plan being prepared by the university, but that accreditation should not be predicated on this.

Other Matters

The Dean will be circulating to Executive members a draft document from Engineering Deans Canada about the Canadian Grand Engineering Challenges.

The Dean discussed How to Change the World, Canada, a short experiential education program in Toronto sponsored by OSPE and RBC. The Dean asked for feedback on whether to spend $10K to send a total of 10 students (upper undergraduate and graduate). It was suggested that we require our students to write a report on their experience, and to have our Communications office follow the students and publicise the results.

19.10.05 Questions relating to written reports

Next week there will be our annual breakfast to honor retirees. The Dean will be giving a status update to the entire Faculty.

S. Gandolfini pointed out that events funded from research accounts have to explain how they contribute to research. Standard renewal of software licenses are taking a long time, therefore it is important to provide lead time.

M. Labrosse discussed the possibility of supplemental exams from February being moved to the exam period in April. This is at the request of certain professors. Various arguments regarding this were presented, but that it would pose a barrier to students who need confirmation they are finished their degree. It was suggested that students failing Winter courses could, however, be reasonably expected to write supplementals with the Summer finals. It was pointed out that deferred and supplementary exams should normally be co-ordinated. It was agreed to keep the current practice regarding this.
There was discussion about having students take sexual violence prevention training. The Human Rights Office is preparing to propose a program at the request of our Undergraduate Office.

There was a discussion about the retention plan. It was suggested that we consider a study skills program for all incoming students. M. Labrosse said his office is currently researching the problem.

There was discussion of admission targets. There will be an event January 30th to reach out to top students from the region. There will be a staff member from admissions at the event who can enable on-the-spot acceptance of an offer. There are now different minimum required averages for local (Ottawa area) vs. non-local students. The inclusive admission process is continuing: This is for students who have life experiences that suggest they will be able to succeed despite perhaps not quite meeting required minimum admission averages.

There was a discussion of finding professors to chair defenses. The problem of lack of response from professors persists. From now on email will be sent just to individual professors (rather than several) asking for them to chair one of several defenses in the upcoming weeks. It was also suggested that the request letter include statistics highlighting the number of defenses typically chaired by the average professor. L. Peyton will take action on this issue.

We have many more international scholarships than in the past. There was general discussion of scholarships for graduate students.

19.10.06 Adjournment

The meeting ended at 11:12.

Timothy C. Lethbridge, Vice-Dean (Governance)

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