Faculty of Engineering Faculty Council Meeting 2019.02
10:00 Apr 24, 2019, in room STE 5084
Officers of the Faculty
Jacques Beauvais, Marc Arnold Dube, Liam Peyton, Michel Labrosse, David Taylor, Timothy Lethbridge, Boguslaw Kruczek, Natalie Baddour, Colin Rennie, Carlisle Adams.
Jean-Philippe St-Pierre, Hassan Aoude, Beatriz Martin-Perez, Jules-Ange Infante Sedano, Roberto Narbaitz, Karin Hinzer, Diana Inkpen, Ksenia Dolgaleva, Jean-Lou De Carufel, Guy-Vincent Jourdan, Balbir Dhillon, Arnaud Weck, Isabelle Catelas, Muslim Majeed, Sawsan Abdul Majid.
Valérie Samson, Line Roy, Silvana Gandolfini, Francois Bouchard, Heather Howes.
Imad Alainachi, Vedashri Patil, Alexander Steeves, Namrata Bagaria, Yi Liu, Stephanie Knysh, Farhang Frank Amini, Alannah Gowling, Charbel Choueifaty, Gabriel Granata, Taha El-Helwani, Vladislav Jidkov.
Officers of the Faculty: Martin Bouchard, Claude D'Amours.
Professors: Elena Baranova, Benoit Lessard, Henry Schriemer, Jianping Yao, Francois Robitaille, Eric Lanteigne.
Students: Francis Lavergne, Oliver Benning.
Professors: Christopher Lan, Xudong Cao, Martin Noël, Hussein Al Osman, Sergei Loyka.
Students: Esther Raji.
19.02.01 Approval of the Agenda
The agenda was approved.
19.02.02 Minutes of the last meeting (February 2019)
The minutes had been approved electronically.
19.02.03 Matters arising from the minutes
There were none.
19.02.04 Report of the Dean
Health and Safety
There were a few minor accidents in labs. These were not the result of lack of training, nonetheless follow-up is being performed to reduce such incidents.
The incidents of shattering of glass in the STEM building have resulted in temporary closures, but no injuries. After the first failure some netting was set up; after the second failure stronger netting was applied. Full access to the building has now been restored.
Not all research labs have yet moved into the STEM building as there are construction details still remaining to complete.
The university strategic planning exercise is moving along well. The final plan should be unveiled in the coming weeks.
Promoting French-Language Studies
The Dean was invited to report to the Commission permanente des affaires francophones et des langues officielles. There has been an increase in the number of course sections we teach in French. Undergraduate recruitment of Francophones has declined slightly. Improvement of recruiting of strong international Francophone students will be a priority.
There has been a large increase in the number of outreach activities that reach Francophone students. Over 14,000 students have been reached, which is more than a 4000 increase from the year before. More than 32,000 students have been reached in total.
Language courses are now allowed as complementary studies for engineering accreditation.
Several student members indicated they would like easier paths to improve their French-language competence. There was a suggestion that special courses should be made available for graduate students. Currently they are told they can only register in first year undergraduate courses; graduate students indicated they feel uncomfortable doing this. The Dean will follow up with the Provost on ways to enable students to learn French.
19.02.05 Report of the Vice-Dean (Research)
The Vice-Dean provided a written report.
Out of 17 applications for NSERC RTI grants, there was only one winner. There will be a separate workshop for RTI grants this year, to hopefully enable us to raise our success rate.
For Discovery grants, 17 out of 26 applications were funded; this is in line with previous funding rates. Several professors who were not funded the year before received funding this year.
Applications need to be sent to the research facilitation team at least 2-3 weeks before deadlines so that there is time for the research facilitators to help improve applications.
Sawsan Abdul Majid is involved in the Association of Part Time Professors and will be working on a conference for part time professors who are conducting research.
19.02.06 Report of the Vice-Dean (Undergraduate Studies)
The Vice-Dean provided a written report.
There is progress on automating the process for pre-requisite waivers. There is a cut-off CGPA below which the application will not be accepted, although exceptions may be granted. Last season there were 700 requests for waivers; students are not happy with wait times. The Undergraduate Office has committed to reduce the turnaround time by 5 days.
There have been more than 16,000 applications from prospective students at all levels. We are 700 ahead of last year in terms of undergraduate offers. We are also above the number of confirmed students, as compared to last year. Our target is to stay at the same number of new students as compared to last year. SEG, CSI and MGB have already been closed to new applications.
It was pointed out that the website does not have many pictures of the STEM building. It was suggested that a virtual tour be placed on the web. Work on this is underway. Work is also underway to improve our social media presence. It was suggested that students be enticed to contribute to social media by setting up competitions, as has been done in the past.
There was good news from a survey of undergraduate students showing increasing satisfaction with the Undergraduate Office. All students provided with service are offered an opportunity to participate in the survey.
19.02.07 Report of the Vice Dean (Graduate Studies)
The Vice-Dean provided a written report.
The Entrepreneurial Engineering Design program is in the final stage of approval, with a site visit coming up.
We have 42 international admission scholarships to offer this year.
5500 applications for graduate studies have been processed, which is 60% more than last year. These have been processed twice as fast as last year. We are on track to admit the same number of students.
On a motion duly moved and seconded, Faculty Council approved 2019-GRAD-GENIE-CVG-02. This is mostly housekeeping, including topics course becoming regular courses, and other minor changes. Students will have the choice of the new Industry Internship project or the traditional research project.
On a motion duly moved and seconded, Faculty Council approved 2019-GRAD-GENIE-ELG-03. This reduces the number of courses for project-based Master’s degrees by one course. We are following what Carleton has already done. Other major universities still require even fewer courses. Two new graduate courses are being introduced. Students will have the choice of the new Industry Internship project or the traditional research project. There were also other minor housekeeping adjustments.
The Vice-Dean noted that it is possible for Master’s students to get project credit while on a co-op term. He noted that 6 units means 7 weeks full time, or 240 hours. Program co-ordinators must sign off on all projects.
There was discussion about the motivation for reducing the number of units for a course-based Master’s. We have to stay competitive, by not making Master’s programs too long, nor too short. The reduction in course count will not in general affect a students’ bottom-line.
On a motion duly moved and seconded, Faculty Council approved 2019-GRAD-GENIE-EMP-04. This involves minor adjustments to clean up the program.
On a motion duly moved and seconded, Faculty Council approved 2019-GRAD-GENIE-SYS-05, conditional on EECS approval. Students cannot currently see the available courses in uoCampus; this program officially lists courses so students can sign up automatically.
A request was made to email the SYS students the new list, until the changes become visible in uoCampus next May.
On a motion duly moved and seconded, Faculty Council approved in principle 2019-GRAD-GENIE-EBT-06, conditional on EECS approval. There was one abstention and one against. This motion has the nature of a letter of intent since some details have not been worked out with other faculties (Telfer and Arts). The motion will be brought back to Faculty Council, for a final vote after the details are worked out (the vote may be electronic). One big change is that the name of the program and degrees will tentatively change from ‘E-Business’ to ‘Digital Transformation and Innovation’. The course code prefix would also need to change.
Several companies wanted a program in User Experience design, which is being incorporated in EBT as a new concentration. Also incorporated will be a concentration in Advanced Data Science The motion also simplifies several aspects of the program and adds some new courses.
There was a suggestion that the Faculty of Medicine be included in the program, along with the existing faculties (Engineering, Business and Arts).
It was pointed out that the suggested new name might need to be adjusted if the other involved faculties push for changes.
There was discussion about whether this program accommodates students who have graduated from programs such as CVG and MCG.
19.02.08 Report of the Vice Dean (International)
The Vice-Dean International provided a written report.
C. Choueifaty indicated that there is some discouragement regarding how certain courses are being taught. The Vice-Dean undergraduate discussed the evaluation process for professors. The Vice-Dean Quality Assurance and Teaching Innovation also commented on teaching quality. He recommended that students encourage their peers to take the evaluations seriously; in particular to provide constructive suggestions to professors. He also commented on the possibility of having professors that focus on engineering pedagogy. It was pointed out that there is a Certificate in University Teaching available to PhD students.
C. Choueifaty suggested that professors should also emphasize the importance of evaluations when they ask students to do them. He also said that the Faculty needs to find a way to “do something about the bad apples.”. The Dean pointed out that Faculty Council is not the place to discuss collective agreements, but he will find a way to respond to the questions.
N. Baddour said that it is hard for her to know whether there is a “real problem” with professors; she suggested that students should approach their department chairs to discuss issues.
19.02.09 Other Business
The Vice Dean Quality Assurance and Teaching Innovation is looking for Volunteers for the Canadian Conference on Engineering Education, which will be held June 9-12.
The meeting concluded at 10:38.
Timothy C. Lethbridge, Vice-Dean (Governance)