Report: UTM Academic Affairs Committee - September 11, 2019

Council Chamber, Room 3130, William G. Davis Building, UTM


To the Campus Council,
University of Toronto Mississauga

Your Committee reports that it held a meeting on September 11, 2019 at 4:10 p.m. in the Council Chambers, William G. Davis Building.

Steven Short (Chair), Laura Taylor (Vice-Chair), Amrita Daniere (Vice-Principal, Academic & Dean), Heather Miller, (Vice-Dean, Teaching & Learning), Sultan Akif, Andreas Bendlin, Randy Besco, Brett Beston, Patrick Braszak, Laura Brown, Marc Dryer, Ulrich Fekl, Amanda Facciol, Monika Havelka, Sanja Hinic-Frlog, Rosa Hong, Sebastian Malek, Diane Matias, Ashley Monks, Lorretta Neebar, Andrea Olive, Esteban Parra, Lindsay Schoenbohm, Andrew Sepielli, Adwet Sharma, Kayla Sousa, Alison Syme, Steve Szigeti, Mihkel Tombak, Xing Wei, Daniel White, Samra Zafar

Non-Voting Assessors:
Yen Du (Program and Curriculum Officer), Mark Overton (Dean of Student Affairs)

Ian Orchard (Acting Vice-President & Principal), Kent Moore (Vice-Principal, Research), James Allen, Mitchell Bonney, Alexandru Cioban, Miquel Faig, Sherry Fukuzawa, Shelley Hawrychuk, Nathan Innocente, Konstantin Khanin, Anna Korteweg, Teresa Lobalsamo, Sara Malhotra, Rhonda McEwan, Pascal Michelucci, Andrew Nicholson, Andreas Park, Diana Raffman, Chester Scoville, Meghan Sutherland, Mohamad Tavakoli-Targhi, Ziyaad Vahed, Rebecca Wittmann, Xiaodong Zhu

In Attendance:

Jackie Goodman (Manager, Orientation, Transition & Engagement, Centre for Student Engagement), Anuar Rodrigues (Director, Academic Planning, Policy, and Research), Sara da Silva (Senior Project Specialist, Academic Policy and Planning)

Cindy Ferencz Hammond (Assistant Secretary of the Governing Council), Alexandra Di Blasio (Governance Coordinator, UTM)

The meeting was held in open session.

  1. Chair’s Remarks
    The Chair welcomed members to the first meeting of the Academic Affairs Committee for the 2019-20 academic year. He introduced Professor Laura Taylor, Vice-Chair of the Committee; the Committee’s voting assessors, Professor Amrita Daniere, Vice-Principal Academic & Dean, Professor Heather Miller, Vice-Dean, Teaching & Learning, and Professor Kent Moore, Vice-Principal, Research (not in attendance). The Committee’s non-voting assessors were also introduced: Ms Yen Du, Program and Curriculum Officer and Mr. Mark Overton, Dean of Student Affairs.
  2. Brief Overview of Governance at the University of Toronto and Practical Tips for Members
    The Chair, Professor Steven Short, and Ms Alexandra Di Blasio, Governance Coordinator, provided an overview of governance, and members were directed to Orientation Resources available on the governance portal for more extensive orientation materials. The Chair explained that the Committee would oversee academic matters affecting the teaching, learning and research functions of the Campus. He also gave an overview of the difference between the roles of governance and administration, and discussed the types of decisions that would be made by the Committee.
  3. Portfolio Overview
    At the invitation of the Chair, Professor Amrita Daniere, Vice-Principal, Academic & Dean, and Professor Heather Miller, Vice-Dean, Teaching & Learning, provided overviews of their portfolios and their priorities for 2019-20. Professor Daniere discussed the various portfolios within her office and the implementation of the Academic Plan. She reported that a dashboard had been created that tracked progress on the goals and objectives of the Academic Plan ( Professor Daniere noted that her office continued to make progress towards the planned writing and numeracy initiatives, which involved new faculty hires. The expansion of experiential learning opportunities were also a priority and UTM had received funding to assist with growth in this area. She further stated that UTM continued to increase sustainable practices and research on campus. The campus would participate in the Global Climate Strike in September and would host an international sustainability conference in October. In addition, her office would develop a Sustainability Pathways Certificate. Lastly, Professor Daniere noted that faculty hiring continued, and would include an indigenous scholar in the Department of Historical Studies as well as one Robotics scholar.

    Professor Miller reported that her office monitored existing degree programs and ensured that they were updated to reflect new knowledge, trends and disciplines. She stated that faculty would be hired to support the foundational skills writing initiative and associated new courses would be created. Professor Miller noted that her office would support the creation of an EDU:A (Extra Departmental Unit: A) that would focus on university-level teaching and learning as a scholarly endeavor.
  4. Curriculum Committees in the Humanities, Sciences, and Social Sciences Terms of Reference
    The Chair invited Professor Heather Miller, Vice-Dean, Teaching & Learning, to present. Professor Miller stated that, annually, departments at UTM recommended curricular changes to one of three Curriculum Committees in the Humanities, Sciences, and Social Sciences. Each committee received proposals for minor modifications to existing undergraduate academic programs and advised on the content, quality, and feasibility of the proposed changes, and additionally ensured that the proposed changes aligned with the academic mission and goals of the University. Curriculum Committees met three times per year, and recommended curricular changes to the Academic Affairs Committee for approval.

    Professor Miller explained that no Terms of Reference had existed for these committees, and the Terms of Reference presented to members under this item formalized procedures that had been in practice.
  5. Minor Modification: Undergraduate Curriculum Changes: Humanities, Sciences and Social Sciences
    The Chair invited Professor Heather Miller, Vice-Dean, Teaching & Learning, to present the item. Professor Miller provided a summary of proposed changes in the Humanities, Sciences, and Social Sciences. Changes in the Humanities included removing courses that no longer existed and adding new courses and specialties. She reported that in the Sciences, new courses were introduced in Anthropology, Forensic Science, and Mathematical and Computational Sciences, which reflected changing student interest. Lastly, changes in the Social Sciences related to new course titles, and she noted that some departments had introduced special topics courses as a means to test new courses prior to making submissions to the curriculum committees.

    On motion duly made, seconded and carried,


    THAT the proposed Humanities undergraduate curriculum changes for the 2020-21 academic year, as detailed in the respective curriculum reports, be approved.

    THAT the proposed Sciences undergraduate curriculum changes for the 2020-21 academic year, as detailed in the respective curriculum reports, be approved.

    THAT the proposed Social Sciences undergraduate curriculum changes for the 2020-21 academic year, as detailed in the respective curriculum reports, be approved.
  6. Calendar of Business, 2019-20
    The Chair referred members to the Calendar of Business, and advised that the document would be updated on the Office of the Governing Council website every Friday; he encouraged members to review the Calendar on a regular basis and consult with the Secretariat if they had any questions about forthcoming items.
  7. Other Business
    There was no other business.
  8. Report of the Previous Meeting: Report 32 – May 6, 2019
    Report number 32, from the meeting of May 6, 2019 was approved.
  9. Business Arising from the Report of the Previous Meeting
    There was no business arising from the report of the previous meeting.
  10. Date of the Next Meeting – Monday, October 28, 2019 at 4:10 p.m.

The meeting adjourned at 5:10 p.m.

September 17, 2019