Minutes of the Meeting held at 09:00 September 27, 2016, in room CBY A707
Officers of the Faculty
I. Nistor, M. Dubé, M. Labrosse, M. Turcotte, T. Lethbridge, B. Kruczek, C. D’Amours, N. Baddour, C. Rennie, S. Gandolfini K. Bournes, F. Bouchard.
S. Omelon, K. Kirkwood, A. Tremblay, B. Lessard , G-V. Jourdan, A. Zouaq, E. Petriu, H. Al-Osman, J. De Carufel, B. Dhillon, A. Weck, I. Catelas, E. Lanteigne, J. Infante Sedano.
G. Singh, C. Atallah, A. Griffin, N. Rastogi, C. Fliesser, K. Chu, A. Pawliszko, Z. Lin, R. Kanjani, F. Singerman, F. Gohier. EXCUSED Officers of the Faculty J. Zhang, D. Taylor, H. Viktor. Professors J. Yao, J. Lang, A. Jrade, B. Martin-Perez, R. Narbaitz, M. Noel, F. Robitaille, K. Dolgaleva, Students E. Zhou.
C. Lan, P. Galko, S. Loyka.
F. Ebrahimi Sourchani, K. Chernega, V. Carpani.
16.03.01 Approval of the Agenda
Members introduced themselves.
The agenda was approved, with the addition of a discussion item on library journal collections cuts.
16.03.02 Minutes of the last meeting (Apr 18, 2016)
The minutes had been approved electronically.
16.03.03 Matters arising from the minutes
There was none.
16.03.04 Faculty member on the Senate
On a motion duly moved and seconded Faculty Council approved the appointment of Dr. André Tremblay as a member of Senate for a three-year term.
16.03.05 Report of the Interim Dean
The Dean indicated that this year will be a hectic one. We have a new President; there will be a Town Hall session with him on October 18th for the Faculty of Engineering. There will be new senior managers (Vice Presidents, AVPs) and a new Dean of our Faculty starting next year.
The Dean pointed out that plans for the STEM building are moving fast, even though the government has not made the official announcement yet. We have to be prepared and very much involved.
The Dean discussed the following initiatives: 1) we intend to increase start-up funds for new professors. 2) We will set up a new transparent allocation system in support of CFI applications in the Faculty. The Dean will work with faculty leaders on this. 3) We will put in place an aggressive four-year fund-raising plan, associated with the STEM building planning process. We have agreed to raise $15M jointly with the Faculty of Science. 4) We will organize the physical reallocation of space so that the Undergraduate, Graduate, International and Quality Assurance offices of the Faculty are all located together on the first floor of the STE building.
It was suggested during general discussion that seeking opportunities for research chairs should also be a priority. Another suggestion was to create a common room for students. In response to this the Dean suggested that the new STEM building would have spaces for students to work together. The Dean also suggested that once the STEM building is built, there would be opportunities to repurpose existing space.
The Dean thanked people who have assisted in the process of moving Faculty of Science labs into temporary space in the STE building.
The Dean reminded members that the FGPS is being reformed. The new structure will be a lot leaner; a lot of the work in FGPS will take place in the individual faculties. The goal is to streamline processes; for example we plan to guarantee that it will not take 6 months from thesis submission to defence as it sometimes does now.
The Board of Governors approved some new financial arrangements, in particular allowing the university to have a deficit. Consultations on a new budget model will be taking place. Budget cuts are likely to come; however, given that we have a surplus and need more resources we are not likely to have cuts. Over the next four years the University needs 540 new students in Science and Engineering to help deal with financial pressures. The Vice-Dean Undergraduate noted that this amounts to 6 students per year per program.
There was discussion of the potential new budgeting model. It is not yet clear that it will be Responsibility Centred Budgeting, although this would benefit us. This year, we had some of our surplus taken as well as a 2% cut that everybody faced.
The Dean would like everybody to prepare questions for the President’s town hall visit.
Unofficially, the CVG and CHG programs have obtained accreditation for the next four years. The Dean thanked the VD Undergraduate Studies, the Chairs and professors of these departments.
The new PhD in biomedical engineering program is progressing well and the preliminary report is positive.
The library has announced cuts to Springer and Taylor and Francis collections of journals. The Dean will be discussing this at the Council of Deans in the afternoon. The Dean suggested that faculties may need to contribute funds to support the library. The Vice-Dean Governance suggested that the only way forward is in the short term to maintain our subscriptions, otherwise we will not be able to claim to be a research-intensive university. Students need to be able to browse and review whatever literature they find. In the slightly longer term he suggested that there is a need to have all Canadian (and indeed International) research-oriented universities to confront the publishers and demand that if staff are to perform free editorial and peer-review services, then the journals must be made available at a cost consistent with the cost of maintaining and managing a website (plus reasonable profit). The Dean indicated that many professors apparently did not complete the journal survey sent by the library in the spring; the Faculty has prepared its own list of journals that the Dean can use in discussions with the Library and the Council of Deans.
The Dean indicated that he now appreciates very much the work of Claude Laguë over the past ten years as Dean, and thanks him very much.
16.03.06 Report of the Vice-Dean (Research)
The Vice-Dean provided a written report and highlighted the items below:
There are two ongoing CFI applications: One from Dr. Hinzer ($8M to our Faculty) and one joint with the Faculty of Medicine and co-led by Dr. Jabbour and others ($20M, of which $13M would be to our Faculty).
NSERC Discovery grant applications are coming up. If applicants want Dr. McKenna or others to look over their proposals, then early submission to them is essential.
RTIs were all submitted yesterday; about 15 from Engineering. There is an internal competition; 24 of the 37 total applications across the university will be sent to NSERC; the decision will be based on likelihood of success at NSERC. Last year our success rate was higher than the national average. Our university’s allocation of RTIs is proportional to the portion of funds our university has received in other NSERC programs.
The Vice-Dean announced several successful funding applications.
We are seeking additional CRC and IRC chairs for the Faculty.
16.03.07 Report of the Vice-Dean (Undergraduate Studies)
The Vice-Dean circulated a written report.
The Ontario Government had a consultation last year on the possibility of expanding engineering programs. As a result of this, the Government has indicated it would welcome the creation of new programs. One suggestion is to create a program in sustainability engineering. Another is to create programs that would attract women.
The Vice Dean attended the Ontario Universities Fair (OUF). There is a great interest among students and parents in mechatronics. We also have strength in nanotechnology.
The Vice-Dean discussed progress in registration. 53% of entering students are from EECS.
We were projecting 15 students in the new Physics+ELG program; the actual number of new registrations is 16.
There will be a new Student Information System. Transition will occur November 4-7.
The Dean thanked staff and professors who organized and attended the Ontario Universities Fair.
16.03.08 Report of the Vice Dean (Graduate Studies)
The Vice-Dean had circulated statistics regarding registration. Our numbers match the record numbers from 2014.
We had 5 eligible Vanier Scholarship applicants; these were ranked and passed to FGPS for further ranking with applications from other Faculties.
Deadlines for graduate scholarships have been updated, except for OGS for which dates are not yet available.
There will be a welcome information session for Graduate Students this afternoon and Thursday and a Pizza lunch on Oct 15. The Graduate Excellence event will be on Nov. 15. On Oct 3, there will be a graduate recruitment event located here, attended by several Faculties of Engineering from other universities from Ontario. We will be attending a similar event in Toronto.
There will be many changes coming to the graduate office as we take over work from the FGPS. Some positions are to be redeployed to us, and we are creating a position to handle these.
On a motion duly moved and seconded Faculty Council approved to remove the Seminar Course requirement (CSI5902) from the OCICS Computer Science Masters program (2 abstentions, nobody opposed). During discussion, surprise was expressed about this since we need to demonstrate that students have developed communications skills. It was pointed out that all but two of the current OCICS graduate courses have seminars. There are plans in the future to add a research methods course. In at least one other programs a TA takes care of the current graduate course or it is a teaching duty; in OCICS it has been an administrative task for a professor. Current registration is about 50 in each semester. Feedback from industry is that students need more soft skills.
16.03.09 Other Business
Convocation is on Oct 23; the Dean urged all professors to register at http://www.registrar.uottawa.ca/Default.aspx?tabid=3633
The Dean thanked K. Bournes for the organizing an event hosted by Pivotal Labs in Toronto that involved reconnection with Alumni in that city. K. Bournes indicated that this event was a very effective reputation-building process. He pointed out that the MakerMobile spent a week in Toronto visiting Francophone schools, and that will be making the Faculty visible in other geographic areas, including Kanata.
On a motion duly moved and seconded, Faculty Council unanimously approved the following: Whereas the Faculty of Engineering have the largest number of graduate students in the University, who are dependent on the ability to freely browse the engineering and science literature: The Faculty of Engineering insists that the University maintain their full existing subscriptions to electronic journals and find cuts elsewhere if necessary.
Some points made in support of the above: Students will be deterred from coming here if broad access to journals is not available, and we will greatly lose in reputation. The meeting concluded at 10:45.
Timothy C. Lethbridge Vice-Dean (Governance)