Report: UTSC Academic Affairs Committee - April 28, 2020

-
Via Virtual Meeting

REPORT NUMBER 44 OF THE UTSC ACADEMIC AFFAIRS COMMITTEE

April 28, 2020

To the Campus Council,
University of Toronto Scarborough

Your Committee reports that it met on April 28, 2020 at 4:10 p.m. in a virtual meeting, with the following members present:

Present: Elaine Khoo (Chair), Sonja Nikkila (Vice-Chair), William Gough (Vice-Principal Academic & Dean), Mark Schmuckler (Vice-Dean, Undergraduate), Heinz-Bernhard Kraatz (Vice-Principal, Research), Mary Silcox (Vice-Dean, Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies), Syed Ahmed, Sauliha Alli, Glenn Brauen, Shelley Brunt, Corinne Beauquis, Christine Bolus-Reichert, Radhapriya Chawla, Curtis Cole, Arda Erturk, George Fadel, Sarah Guay, Angela Hamilton, Alexander Irving, Jacob Koudys, Margaret Kohn, Christopher Kouyoumdjian, Lisa Labine, Gillian Mason, Mari Motrich, Juvenal Ndayiragije, Mahinda Samarakoon, Natalie Rothman, Annie Sahagian, Rania Salem, Larry Sawchuk, Dorinda So, Michael Souza, Liana Williams, David Zweig

Non-Voting Assessors: Annette Knott, Varsha Patel, Shelby Verboven

Regrets: Wisdom Tettey (Vice-President & Principal), George Arhonditsis, Sandra Bamford, Shadi Dalili, Suzanne Erb, Barry Freeman, Alen Hadzovic, Thembela Kepe, Patricia Landolt, Michael Lambek, Katherine Larson, Michael Molloy, Andrew Mason, Alfonso Manalo, Karen McCrindle, William Nelson, Sonia Sedivy, Grace Skogstad, Jessica Wilson

Secretariat: Emma Thacker (Secretary), Anwar Kazimi, Kristi Gourlay

In Attendance: Maydianne Andrade (Vice-Dean Faculty Affairs & Equity), Zahra Bhanji, Sarah Chaudhry, Jessica Fields, Doug Kong, Ron Shalev


OPEN SESSION

  1. Chair’s Remarks

    The Chair, Professor Elaine Khoo, welcomed members and guests to the virtual meeting.
  2. Proposal to Convert the Centre for French and Linguistics (EDU:A) to the Department of Language Studies

    Maydianne Andrade, Vice-Dean Faculty Affairs and Equity, presented the proposal to convert the Centre for French and Linguistics (EDU:A) to the Department of Language Studies. Professor Andrade explained the distinctions between an EDU:A and a department, and provided some of the history, including the growth of the Centre for French and Linguistics.

    Professor Andrade explained that the Centre for French and Linguistics was seeking departmental status as the unit was already functioning as a department. The unit had a strong common, scholarly focus on human languages, with the goal of understanding, analysing and interpreting human language, including its connections and manifestations in culture. She provided members with information regarding faculty appointments, student enrolment, budget, and other elements of the proposed department. In addition, it was clarified that there would be no staffing or program changes with the conversion. Members had no questions.

    On motion duly moved, seconded, and carried,

    YOUR COMMITTEE RECOMMENDED,

    THAT the Academic Affairs Committee concur with the prospective recommendation of the Campus Affairs Committee,

    THAT subject to approval by the Governing Council,

    THAT, the Centre for French and Linguistics (EDU:A) be converted to the Department of Language Studies, as described in the proposal recommended by the Vice-Principal Academic and Dean, Professor William Gough, and dated April 17, 2020, be approved to be effective as of July 1, 2020.
  3. Proposal to Convert the Interdisciplinary Centre for Health and Society (EDU:B) to the Department of Health and Society

    Maydianne Andrade, Vice-Dean Faculty Affairs and Equity, presented the proposal to convert the Interdisciplinary Centre for Health and Society (EDU:B) to the Department of Health and Society (provisional title). Professor Andrade explained the characteristics of an EDU:B in relation to a department, and provided some of the history and growth of the Interdisciplinary Centre for Health and Society.

    Professor Andrade explained that the Interdisciplinary Centre for Health and Society was seeking departmental status, and described the academic mission and aspirations of the unit. She stated that there was a distinct need for change in the organizational structure of the unit, to support degree programs and a robust research mission. The conversion to a department would allow faculty to hold primary appointments within the unit. In addition, it was clarified that there would be no staffing or program changes with the conversion. Members had no questions.

    On motion duly made, seconded, and carried,

    YOUR COMMITTEE RECOMMENDED,

    THAT the Academic Affairs Committee concur with the prospective recommendation of the Campus Affairs Committee,

    THAT subject to approval by the Governing Council,

    THAT, the Interdisciplinary Centre for Health and Society (EDU:B) be converted to the Department of Health and Society, as described in the proposal recommended by the Vice-Principal Academic and Dean, Professor William Gough, and dated April 17, 2020, be approved to be effective as of July 1, 2020.
  4. Major modification: New Combined Degree Programs: BBA (Specialist and Specialist Co-op programs in Management and Accounting) with MAccFin

    Mary Silcox, Vice-Dean, Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, presented the proposal for two Combined Degree Programs (CDP), for the Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) and the Master of Accounting and Finance (MAccFin). The CDPs were proposed by the Department of Management and the Graduate Department of Management. Professor Silcox explained three advantages to students for completing the CDP, including:
    • Opportunity to complete graduate level work as an undergraduate and reducing the number of graduate courses to complete while registered in the graduate program;
    • Early admission into the MAccFin, while registered in the undergraduate degree program; and
    • Movement through the programs as a cohort, providing synergies and a cohesive academic experience.

A member asked for clarification on the admission requirement restrictions for the CDP. Professor Zweig explained that the MAccFin requirements were quite specialized, and so setting the restrictions allowed for students to complete the required courses needed to be successful in both programs. Current students may need to apply for the MAccFin in the traditional way should they be too far along in the undergraduate degree.

A member asked for clarification on CDP curricular pathways, and their interest and demand from students. Professor Silcox responded that other institutions offered these types of pathways, and that they were a recruitment tool. The CDP was proposed, in part, in response to student feedback as students see the value in a defined curricular and vocational pathway. This path provided an opportunity to complete requirements for a professional designation (i.e., CPA).

On motion duly made, seconded, and carried,

YOUR COMMITTEE APPROVED,

THAT the major modification to introduce 2 new Combined Degree Programs, as described in the proposal dated April 13, 2020 and recommended by the Vice-Principal Academic and Dean, Professor William Gough, be approved to be effective as of Fall 2020 for the 2020-21 academic year.

  1. Changes to Academic Regulations: Degree Requirements, including the 12.0 distinct credit rule

    Mark Schmuckler, Vice-Dean, Undergraduate, presented the proposal for changes to the UTSC Academic Regulations: Degree Requirements, including the 12.0 distinct credit rule. He noted that the proposed change would remind students that they were permitted to graduate with a maximum of 3 certified programs. In addition, the revised regulation would clarify for students that, while they must complete a minimum of one Specialist, two Majors, or one Major and two Minor programs, they could complete additional programs, subject to the restriction that students were permitted to graduate with a maximum of 3 certified programs. The goal of the 12.0 distinct credits rule was to limit the double-counting of courses, and in this way to support disciplinary integrity. The rule was not intended to function as an obstacle for students seeking to complete a program that is in addition to the minimums required for degree completion.

    A member asked for clarification about any advantage to the current regulation. Professor Schmuckler explained that the current regulation placed students at a disadvantage. The proposed change to the 12.0 distinct credits rule would benefit students since it made it possible for those who undertook the completion of two Majors and a Minor to calculate the 12.0 distinct credits across all three programs, and to have all three programs certified.

    On motion duly made, seconded, and carried,

    YOUR COMMITTEE RECOMMENDED,

    THAT subject to approval by the Committee on Academic Policy and Programs,

    THAT the changes to the HBA, HBSc and BBA degree requirements described in the proposal dated April 13, 2020 and recommended by the Vice-Principal Academic and Dean, Professor William Gough, be approved to be effective as of Fall 2020 for the 2020-21 academic year.
  2. Undergraduate Minor Curricular Modifications

    The Chair explained that Item number 6 was for information only, and included smaller routine curricular changes from the following departments: Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences, the Department of Human Geography, and the Department of Philosophy. The changes were effective for Fall 2020. Members had no questions.
  3. Report of the Presidential Assessors

    Vice-Principal Academic & Dean, William Gough acknowledged the time of uncertainty, and provided a reflection on the human response to COVID-19. He noted the changes to course delivery, grading options and exams in the Winter session, and noted the modified set of summer offerings. He recognised the challenges that the university community had faced, while fulfilling the University academic mandate.

    He explained that the University would continue to follow the advice of the municipal, provincial and federal government in response to COVID-19, and noted it was unclear at this time what mode of instruction would be offered for Fall 2020, but that all scenarios were being explored. Professor Gough assured members of his commitment to supporting students, faculty and staff, and the academic mission.

    A member asked about summer session ancillary fees. Professor Gough replied that ancillary fees related to courses with labs have had the fees cancelled/refunded. For tuition, the expense was related to faculty, instructors and teaching assistants. Dr. Curtis Cole, Registrar & Assistant Dean Enrollment Management, added that Desmond Pouyat, Dean, Student Affairs, had responded to the SCSU on the issue. He noted that the fees had been assessed and reduced where possible, with consideration for the resumption of activity on campus.

    A member asked about campus parking costs during the pandemic. Professor Gough responded that parking fees would be refunded on a monthly basis, as needed.

    A member asked about the availability of online course offerings for the Fall. Professor Gough explained that faculty were working with the Centre for Teaching and Learning to transition courses to remote access. However, at this time, it was unclear what would be permitted by public health officials. It was also clarified that remote courses continued to have enrolment limits, as there were limits to the number of students a faculty member could assess. He noted that the decision regarding fall course delivery mode of instruction would likely be made near the end of May, to provide instructors with adequate time to prepare.

    A member asked about remote delivery and students being located outside of the Toronto time zone. Professor Gough responded that courses may be delivered asynchronously or synchronously to accommodate time zone differences. Time zones were also being considered for exams. Students could expect details and expectations to be included the in course syllabus.

    A member commented about courses offered by the Department of Arts, Culture and Media and asked about the technical support for faculty. Professor Gough acknowledged that courses in some disciplines were more challenging to transition to an online format, and there was a working group to discuss how to move forward.
  4. Report of the Previous Meeting: Report Number 43 - Wednesday, March 25, 2020

    The report of the previous meeting was approved.
  5. Business Arising from the Report of the Previous Meeting

    There was no business arising from the report of the previous meeting.
  6. Date of Next Meeting - Wednesday, May 27, 2020 at 4:10 p.m.

    The Chair advised members that the Committee would meet again on Wednesday, May 27, 2020 at 4:10 p.m.
  7. Other Business

    No other business.

    The meeting adjourned at 6:15 p.m.


May 13, 2020