Executive Committee Meeting 2020.01

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 2020.01

13:00 Jan 27, 2020, 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)
  • H. Howes (Manager of Development)
  • F. Bouchard (Manager of Outreach)
  • V. Samson (Manager of Marketing and Communications)


  • K. Bournes (Alumni Relations Officer)
  • L. Roy (Assistant to the Dean)

20.01.01 Approval of the Agenda

  • The agenda was approved.
  • Written reports were circulated from the Vice Deans of Research, Graduate Studies, Undergraduate Studies, and Governance as well as the Manager of Outreach, and the Chief Administrative Officer.

20.01.02 Minutes of the last meeting (December 2019)

The minutes of the previous meeting had been approved electronically.

20.01.03 Business arising

There were no items other than those to be discussed under later agenda items.

20.01.04 Update from the Dean

Health and Safety Update

A shop employee in the STEM building sustained a back injury.

Cybersecurity Update

  • There has been a notable interest from external companies following announcement of our collaboration with IBM.
  • The Canadian Centre for Cybersecurity is organizing Geek Week and are seeking our involvement.
  • We continue to be attacked. We are continuing to encourage professors to take the cybersecurity training.

Faculty Positions

The Dean discussed parameters for the positions that we would like to propose. There was discussion about positions in engineering education and cybersecurity.

Executive Retreat

Whether this will be in February or March is still not finalized. Executive members are asked to provide ideas for the retreat in IdeaScale.

Accreditation 2020

  • The out-of-faculty requests for course materials have been initiated.
  • A Microsoft Team is being used as a repository.
  • The CEAB Visit Chair has been appointed, and there will be a meeting with him on February 9.
  • The Vice Dean QATI is proposing an IQAP writing workshop, perhaps in reading week.

Other Matters

  • The How to Change the World workshop is 19th to 21st. There were several dozen applications.
  • There was a meeting regarding our enrollment targets. Meeting our targets is expected to facilitate funding of our Envelope 2.
  • We do not have pressure to increase student numbers, but we are experiencing a very large increase in applications to Computer Science, and particularly the AI and Data Science options.

20.01.05 Discussion on Uniweb

Michel Racine joined the meeting for this item. M. Dubé. T. Lethbridge, M. Racine, V. Samson and Maxime Gauthier-Kwan, had met prior to the Executive meeting to prepare plans for this matter.

M. Dubé discussed promoting Uniweb as the Faculty’s go-to CV tool and also for the default main webpage for each professor.

There was discussion of also enabling OpenScholar for additional web pages that some professors have been asking for, and which has been approved by IT for deployment. The Faculty would like to move forward on OpenScholar. M. Racine will follow up on whether the Uniweb committee can become the “Business Owner”.

It was agreed to roll out a program to encourage professors to populate their Uniweb sites. T. Lethbridge will run a workshop for professors regarding how to populate Uniweb, how to import and export to/from Canadian Common CV, and how to produce the uOCV format (OCGS-equivalent format generated by Uniweb) for use for annual reports. This workshop will be videotaped. IT will also run a later workshop for professors who need further help.

20.01.06 Faculty Strategic Plan (M. Dubé and L. Peyton)  

Two Vice Deans made presentations to set the stage for our Faculty Retreat.

Vice Dean Research

M. Dubé made a brief presentation about the current state of research in the Faculty, including the Research Action Plan and some benchmarking that had previously been presented. Key opportunities include partnerships with Kanata North, with government labs and with various international contacts, as well as the Indigenous Research Centre.

He discussed challenges related to NSERC Discovery Grant funding, uptake of grants beyond NSERC DG, taking advantage of industrial and government collaboration, and the state of the CBY building infrastructure. During discussion an issue raised was how we are doing in terms of the number of professors involved in NSERC committees. It was pointed out that our output, measured by h-index and other metrics would give us a much higher ranking than does our per-capita NSERC Discovery Grant rankings. It was suggested that this might indicate we are being efficient with NSERC money, even though we still need to increase our per-capita grants to ensure our rankings improve.

Vice Dean Graduate Studies

L.Peyton pointed out that students we attract from various countries depends on the rankings used in those countries. He pointed out that he is concerned about the quality of the students we are attracting to professional programs, which might improve if our rankings increased. He said our national reputation is based on industrial collaborations, and our local reputation is based on how we market our programs.

We have increased our number of graduate students, but we need to do a better job of getting uOttawa students to go to grad school here. We also need to attract Francophone students.

A significant number of PhD students have been here longer than an ideal amount of time. We are trying to reduce professor’s workload so they have more time to supervise PhD students. We have fewer PhD students graduating per professor compared to comparable universities. We might want to take actions such as enforcing comprehensive exam within two years, thesis proposal within 3 years, and completion within 6 years. Failing to achieve these would result in an automatic unsatisfactory indication on a student’s annual report. It was suggested in discussion that this might help supervisors, who are sometimes reluctant to write ‘unsatisfactory’ so as not to negatively affect their relations with their student.

The number of thesis students is relatively stable. A proposal under consideration is that a thesis students should be offered a mandatory minimum funding.
We have been continuing to increase our offerings of co-op education and internships.

L. Peyton discussed some new recent programs and options, such as the EMP program and the Digital Transformation and Innovation Program. They are looking at innovations such as an online EMP. He presented a list of GNG courses, all of which have enrolments of over 50 students. His office is working on micro-credentials. Entrepreneurship and Engineering Design and has been a success.

Several program changes passed Senate this month including the rebranded Digital Transformation and Innovation with concentrations in UX Design and Applied Data Science.

20.01.07 Questions relating to written reports

M. Labrosse presented the latest application statistics for September 2020.

The VIP recruitment event on January 31 is important.

F. Bouchard will discuss his annual report next meeting.

T. Lethbridge presented the status of IdeaScale. Campaigns are currently open for Executive members in order to brainstorm about ideas for the retreat and for other campaigns to run. Each campaign needs a defined target audience and a question to ask. We will start rolling out campaigns when IT enables targeting specific groups of students. It was suggested that we use IdeaScale to obtain feedback from graduates to provide information to accreditation.

20.01.08 Adjournment

The meeting ended at 15:44.

Timothy C. Lethbridge, Vice-Dean (Governance)

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