As approved at the March 15, 2002, meeting of the Senate. Copies of Appendices not included herein are available from the University Secretariat, Room 290, Stevenson-Lawson Building.
The meeting was held at 1:30 p.m. in Room 1R40, Richard Ivey School of Business.
O. Abouali, S. Adams, D. Adkinson, P. Barker, D. Baxter, F. Berruti, R. Bohay, E. Cairns, T. Carmichael, M. Carroll, R. Corless, L. Dagnino, R. Darnell, P. Davenport, H. DeLasa, J. Doerksen, D. Dutrizac, A. Esterhammer, C. Farber, W. Flintoff, A. Garcia, J. Garland, S. Gibson, R. Graham, C. Hall, J. Hatch, J. Haywood-Farmer, I. Holloway, F. Irani, C. Iwasiw, A. Khan, W. Kennedy, G. Killan, D. Kneale, R. Kudar, A. Lee, F. Longstaffe, R. Lumpkin, S. Majhanovich, L. Mansinha, R. Martin, D. McCarthy, L. McKechnie, J. McMullin, P. Mercer, G. Moran, J. Morgan, S. Morgan, G. Nakhla, P. Neary, N. Nelson, K. Okruhlik, S. Osborn, R. Parks, A. Pearson, A. Percival-Smith, C. Piper, S. Rich, C. Ross, S. Siegner, E. Skarakis-Doyle, C. Smart, M. Speechley, E. Stewart, J. Thomas, C. Thomson, B. Timney, M. Timney, T. Topic, T. Tutkaluk, S. Usprich, D. Vaillancourt, J. Van Fleet, J. Wallace, B. Welling, P. Werstine, M. Workentin, B. Wood, P. Yeoman
Observers: B. Dominick, L. Gribbon, D. Jameson, D. Jorgensen, M. Lawless.
The minutes of the meeting of January 18, 2002, were approved as circulated.
Dr. Mercer recalled that at the last Senate meeting Professor Carroll raised a question about senior administrators' salaries and the difficulty experienced in extrapolating actual salaries from the income figures published in March 2001 under the Public Sector Salary Disclosure Act. Because of the timing of bargaining with the Faculty Association, the data for 2000 included some accumulated or deferred payments. The 2001 data to be published this March will not include retroactive payments. Dr. Mercer stated that he will provide Professor Carroll with the information when it becomes available, and invited other Senators who wish to have the information to contact him. He stated that in an environment where a certified bargaining agent acts for the faculty, any detailed discussion of salary matters should take place within the confines of the collective bargaining relationship.
The President reported on the increased cohort and provincial funding. Slides used to highlight his presentation are contained in Appendix 1.
In introducing the update on student aid, Dr. Moran stated that Western's goal is to attract the best students, and to do so the University must have available adequate and attractive sources of financial support. Western provides parallel programs of need-based student aid and entrance scholarships.
Recently the University of Toronto proposed a particular position on student aid and sought the endorsement of the other six most research-intensive Ontario universities, including Western. The University of Toronto proposal has the following key points: (1) financial need will not deter or end study; (2) financial aid should be designed to control debt; (3) major scholarships should be offered to select students; (4) where possible, calibrate the size of merit-based award to the student's need; and (5) eliminate entrance scholarships based on grades alone. Dr. Moran stated that Western does not support the elimination of entrance scholarships based on grades alone. Western began offering such scholarships in the mid-1990s and the program serves the University extremely well. In his view, offering a modest recognition of a student's academic accomplishment is entirely appropriate in a university environment: it recognizes academic excellence and achievement. Western's goal of attracting the best students is challenging; offering entrance scholarships based on grades serves to attract the best students, as demonstrated by the fact that the number of new full-time first year OAC students at Western with an entering average of 80% continues to climb.
Copies of slides used to highlight Dr. Moran's presentation are attached as Appendix 2.
Dean Neary commended Western's decision not to abandon merit scholarships by joining the University of Toronto's scheme. Dr. Moran noted that the University of Toronto does not offer the kind of entrance scholarships its proposal seeks to eliminate -- those based on grades and entrance averages. He clarified that scholarships funded by donations and endowments would be unaffected by the proposal.
Professor Garland asked about the availability of needs-based aid for students in professional graduate programs. Dr. Moran stated that a distinction exists in the way in which Western financially supports students in the professional programs and students in the PhD stream programs. On the needs-based side Western offers a program of financial aid to all students. There is an ongoing debate as to how large the needs-based fund should be because those students do not have access to GTA funds. Funding students in the PhD stream is a key priority because those students are at the University for a longer period of time, five to six years. Competition for the best students in PhD programs is fierce, therefore Western must be able to offer financial support programs that are competitive with other universities.
Professor Garland asked if the statement "no qualified student will be unable to attend Western or be required to withdraw from academic programs at Western for financial reasons" applies to both graduate and undergraduate students. Dr. Moran stated that the University does not want to be in a position where a claim is made or expectations raised beyond what can be offered, so the statement applies directly to undergraduate students.
Dean Neary stated university-based financial aid is a backward step for post-secondary education in Canada because it shifts the burden of accessibility from the general public where it rightfully belongs on to the backs of students who are paying higher fees. The 30% set aside is in reality a tax on students who are required to pay higher fees. Basically what the government says to students is "your fees are going up and not only are you going to pay higher fees, you are going to pay for the accessibility of other students who can't pay those fees." Dean Neary did not understand why it is the responsibility of students and their parents as opposed to the general population of Ontario and Canada which is where the responsibility used to be.
C. Ross, R. Corless, and M. Lennon were elected to the Selection Committee for the Vice-Provost (Policy, Planning & Faculty).
S. Anzini was elected to the Senate Review Board Academic (SRBA) to replace D. Mason who has resigned.
M. Groendyk (Sci.) was elected to the Senate Committee on Promotion and Tenure I to complete the term of M. Witen who has resigned (term to November 2002).
G. Paola (Arts) was elected to the Senate Committee on Promotion and Tenure II to complete the term of J. Richardson who has resigned (term to November 2002).
On behalf of the Senate Committee on Academic Policy and Awards, it was moved by B. Timney, seconded by P. Yeoman,
That a Post-Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE), detailed in Exhibit II, be introduced by the Faculty of Education to provide additional Professional Learning Courses for teachers, effective May 1, 2002.
S.02-037 Policy on English Language Proficiency for Admission
It was moved by B. Timney, seconded by T. Tutkaluk,
That all students applying for admission whose first language is not English be required to write one of the following:
a) Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) paper-based test with a minimum score of 580 and the Test of Written English (TWE) with a minimum score of 5.0; or Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) computer-based test with a minimum score of 237.
b) The Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB) test with a minimum overall score of 90 with no less than 80 in any section
c) The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) with a minimum overall score of 7.0 with no less than 6.0 in any section.
d) Canadian Academic English Language assessment (CAEL) a minimum score of 70.
Professor Timney explained that the proposal re-introduces cut-off values for the various tests of English language proficiency for admission to Western. The cut-off values were eliminated in 1995 but students continue to be required to take the tests. In the last year or so Western seems to receive a larger number of applications from students whose command of English is much less than what allows them to proceed satisfactorily in programs. Advertisements in newspapers in Korea, for example, say "Admission to a distinguished university in Canada ... it is 100% possible to be admitted to The University of Western Ontario without TOEFL scores. Students from The University of Western Ontario can transfer to Korean universities after two years of education." Although Western continues to research what might be the appropriate cut-off value, the primary rationale for this proposal is to present to the outside world the understanding that Western does not permit students to attend Western without an adequate command of the English language.
Professor McMullin acknowledged Western's problems relative to the growing lack in English language proficiency. She asked if standards other than those set at various universities were used to determine Western's cut-off scores, and if SCAPA reviewed the 1995 research conducted [by Professor M. Simner] on this issue when setting the 580 cut-off point for TOEFL. Professor Timney advised that SCAPA did not review other research on the cut-offs levels, however, SCAPA conferred with several individuals at Western who have experience with ESL students, including Professor M. Sider, Ms. T. Hyland and Ms. J. Weerasinghe-Seijts. The cut-off score of 580 is based on their knowledge of all the English language proficiency tests and their experience with the types of difficulties encountered by Western students whose first language is not English. Professor McMullin stated that the documentation Senate received in December 1995 suggests that with a 580 cut-off point, 42% of the rejected students would have had B-A+ averages if admitted. This research is based on students admitted to Western with TOEFL scores of between 550 and 580 and of those students who were admitted with a score of 550, 42% had B to A+ averages.
Professor Carroll stated that Professor Simner's report compared students whose TOEFL scores were above 580 with non-visa students whose TOEFL scores were 500-579 and compared their grades to those of first year Canadian students. The significant issue of Professor Simner's research is that the increase in TOEFL scores is a weak predictor of the likelihood of getting A's and B's. If Western establishes the 580 cut-off score for TOEFL, many students who would do well based on the data and would do better than Canadian students will not have access to education at this University. Professor Timney clarified that the Registrar's Office bases its admission on a whole set of information including students' OAC grades in English, their TOEFL scores and other information. The prime reason for setting the cut-off score at 580 is to convey to students that they do need to demonstrate some efficiency in the English language. Professor Dagnino suggested that scores between 560-580 be considered on an individual basis. Professor Timney suggested that a possible solution to address Senate's concerns would be to modify the wording of the recommendation by replacing "minimum" with "recommended" and replacing the phrase "the scores will not be waived" with "the scores will not be discounted."
Senate accepted as friendly amendments the suggestion that the word "recommended" be inserted before any reference to minimum score throughout the document and that in the calendar copy the word "waived" be replaced with "discounted" in the second sentence of the paragraph beginning with "Scores".
Professor Piper contended that adding the word "recommended" to the calendar copy does not address Senate's concerns and suggested that the cut-off score be revised from 580 to 500 given that admission is based on a number of criteria.
Professor Timney stated that the ESL specialists advised that 580 is a more appropriate cut-off score but reassured Senate that the issue will be monitored over the next while to determine if such is the case. The possibility exists that SCAPA could, in the future, recommend to Senate an alternative cut-off score for the Policy on English Language Proficiency for Admission, however, based on Senate's concerns, Professor Timney withdrew the recommendation on the Policy on English Language Proficiency for Admission pending further consideration by SCAPA.
It was moved by B. Timney, seconded by P. Yeoman,
That effective September 1, 2002, the program and courses in "Comparative Literature and Civilization" be renamed "Comparative Literature and Culture."
The Subcommittee on Teaching Awards (SUTA) has chosen the following faculty members as recipients of the Edward G. Pleva Award for Excellence in Teaching for 2001-2002:
• Donald Hair, Department of English, Faculty of Arts
• Stephen Hicock, Department of Earth Sciences, Faculty of Science
• John Howard, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry
• Mitchell McInnes, Faculty of Law
The Subcommittee on Teaching Awards (SUTA) has chosen the following faculty member as the recipient of The UWO Award for Excellence in Teaching by Part-Time Faculty:
• Mary Millard, Department of Statistical and Actuarial Science, Faculty of Science
The Subcommittee on Teaching Awards (SUTA) has chosen the following faculty member as the recipient of The Marilyn Robinson Award for Excellence in Teaching:
• Tom Stavraky, Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry
Senate received for information the Terms of Reference for the following new scholarships for recommendation to the Board of Governors through the Vice-Chancellor:
Announcements and Communications detailed in Exhibit IV, were received for information.
Dr. Moran gave a presentation on the preliminary recommendations on Faculty Budgets and Tuition Fees, 2002-03, detailed in Exhibit IV. The presentation included an update on the 2002-03 budget outlook, including federal funding for indirect costs of research, recommendations on tuition fees, recommendations on faculty budgets, multi-year budget planning and other budget-related issues. Slides used to highlight his presentation are contained in Appendix 3.
[Dean Pearson, Vice-Chair of Senate, presided during the discussion of the preliminary budget]
Senators engaged in a general discussion on the preliminary recommendations on faculty budgets and tuition fees, 2002-03. Topics discussed included: the unique character and quality of the HBA program; the overall university budget; multi-year budgeting; retirement and recruitment of faculty and multi-year tuition announcements. Dean Pearson reminded Senators that the University budget and tuition fees, 2002-03, will be debated fully at the April 19 Senate meeting.
[Dr. Davenport resumed the chair.]
On behalf of Senate, Dr. Davenport welcomed Mr. Stephen Adams, recently elected to the Senate by the Board of Governors, to his first Senate meeting.
Professor Piper asked if the University intends to propose regulations comparable to those recently introduced at the University of Guelph. At that university, smoking is banned within a certain distance of entrance ways. Dr. Mercer took the question under advisement and will report back to Senate.
Ms. Nelson asked for an update on the request to protect a student's personal information contained on the circulation record page on the library website. Ms. Kennedy reported that the Library continues to investigate the matter and asked that Ms. Nelson contact her directly.
Asked about the closure of the UWO bridge for repairs during the months of September and October, 2002, Dr. Mercer stated that the timing of the bridge repairs remains to be set and that the bridge would be closed to vehicular traffic, not pedestrian traffic, during the summer months. A report will be provided to Senate when the bridge repair plans are finalized.
The meeting adjourned at 4:00 p.m.
P. Davenport, Chair
J.K. Van Fleet, Secretary