Meeting of Council

Thursday, March 3, 2016
3:00 p.m.
N940 Ross Building (Senate Chamber)

Present:M. Azadi, M. Biehl, S. Bisnath, N. Chestopalova, J. Coutinho, N. Couto, S. Datta (Chair), E. Dua, S. Elharar, S. Embleton, S. Frederiksen, G. Georgopoulos, J. Gilbert, E. Haque, S. Henry, L. Keyes, D. Khayatt, K. Kobold, G. Lavoie, R. Lenton, M.C. Leps, A. MacLennan, D. McArthur, M. Milo, H. Moore, W. Moir, A. Mukherjee-Reed, J. Naggar, A. Perry, F. Quadir, M. Rajabi Paak, P. Rezai, S. Rodrigues, M.M. Schiff (Recording Secretary), D. Scott, L. Sergio, M. Shoukri, B. Stutchbury, C. van Daalen-Smith, F. vanBreugel, C. Verheggen, R. Verley, M. Verrilli, C. Wall, S. Whitaker, W. Wong, A. Wong-Kee-You, M. Zabrocki (Vice-Chair), M. Zryd (Secretary)

Guests:T. Cercone, C. Haig-Brown, M. Thomas

Regrets:B. Balfour, E. Cohen, B. Crow, J. Farmer, C. Farrell, M. Constanza Guzman, A. Joshi, M. Kamstra, L. McCann, R. Moore, D. Palermo, J. Zemans

1. Welcome and Chair’s Remarks

Chair Suprakash Datta welcomed members of Council to the meeting, as well as those in attendance to celebrate the Faculty Teaching Awards.

2. Faculty of Graduate Studies' Faculty Teaching Awards

Nicholas Cercone (posthumously), Graduate Program in Computer Science & Engineering
Celia Haig-Brown, Graduate Programs in Education, Environmental Studies, Gender, Feminist & Women’s Studies, Humanities, and Social & Political Thought

Associate Dean Mike Zryd introduced the awards on behalf of Dean Barbara Crow who was travelling on Faculty of Graduate Studies’ business. Dean Crow, he stated, truly regretted not being able to attend since she always sees the celebration of excellence in graduate studies as “the best part of her job.”

Associate Dean Zryd reminded councillors about the award guidelines: “The Faculty of Graduate Studies' Teaching Award is bestowed annually on a member of the Faculty of Graduate Studies who has displayed substantial, significant and sustained excellence, commitment and enthusiasm to the multifaceted aspects of teaching at the graduate level at York. The award recognizes teaching and supervisory excellence. Other elements which are taken into consideration include scholarly, professional and teaching development and initiatives in graduate program and curriculum development. The nominator may be any member of the Faculty of Graduate Studies, including regular or adjunct faculty, graduate students or staff.”

President and Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri and Provost and Vice-President Academic Rhonda Lenton presented the Faculty of Graduate Studies’ Faculty Teaching Awards.

Presentation by Vice-President Academic and Provost Rhonda Lenton to Professor Celia Haig-Brown

“It is my great pleasure to present the first of this year’s Faculty of Graduate Studies Teaching Awards to Professor Celia Haig-Brown, appointed tothe Graduate Programs in Education; Environmental Studies; Gender, Feminist & Women’s Studies; Humanities; Interdisciplinary Studies; and Social & Political Thought.

“Celia’s extraordinary work in the classroom, on supervisory committees, as a mentor to students present and past, and finally as a guiding force in the many programs with which she is affiliated, all mark her an exemplary member of the graduate community at York. She has supervised the completion of 11 doctoral dissertations and over 30 Master’s theses, and has sat on over 30 PhD and over 70 Master’s committees across her career. Her expertise in curriculum and indigenous education has led to her being invited to serve as external examiner on over 15 dissertations from universities in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Her graduate courses include (de)Colonizing Research Methods; Theory & Research in Language, Culture, and Teaching; Decolonizing Environmental Education; and Adult & Community Education, alongside a dizzying array of Practicum Seminars and Directed Reading courses. Celia’s service at York is legendary, having served at Chair of Senate, on innumerable committees and task forces, and currently as Associate Vice-President Research in the office of the Vice-President Research & Innovation. She also served as graduate program director of the Graduate Program in Education: Language, Culture & Teaching program, and worked on the establishment of the York Centre for Education & Community. What is clear is that Celia’s sense of service extends beyond institutional roles to the educational needs of her individual students.
“The many students and alumni who wrote in support of Celia’s award consistently noted the transformational influence of her pedagogical approach. Celia’s nominator, Rashmee Karnad-Jani, a student in the Graduate Program in Education, writes that these letters ‘highlight the sterling qualities and a lived philosophy that Dr. Haig-Brown brings to every interaction through her authentic voice, her honest identification of critical issues surrounding marginalization and disenfranchisement of the Indigenous peoples of Canada and around the world as well as her ability to situate herself as an ally in the issues that affect all human beings.’ Celia openly extends her research into her teaching mission, as befits her discipline of education. Her students describe her as ‘exceptional,’‘insightful,’‘charismatic,’ and ultimately, ‘phenomenal.’

“Many of the letters of support were from former students (many having received awards like the Governor-General’s Gold Medal and Trillium grants) who have gone on to fulfilling careers. Professor Karleen Pendleton Jiminez, Director of the Master of Education Program at Trent University, speaks of the quality of critical attention Celia offered, saying, ‘She would advise me, engage me, and fight for me.’ She concludes that Celia ‘embodies York’s commitment to critical and progressive thought, and to translating our scholarship into useful and responsible practices for communities.’ Professor Gordon Pon, at the School of Social Work at Ryerson University, after noting Celia’s ‘powerful intellect’ and ‘robust knowledge,’ says that ‘I have been able to successfully teach at Ryerson by using her pedagogy as a model for my own.’ Vanessa Pinto, a high school teacher in the Catholic School Board, was a member of the first ever Urban Aboriginal Education Cohort, co-directed by Celia; she says that, ‘beyond Celia’s outstanding abilities as an academic, professor, and teacher, I am most impressed with her ability to show humanity.’ As Rashmee, her nominator summarizes, ‘These letters speak of her kindness, and humanity, her unwavering dedication to inclusion, and of helping students work within and through moments of discomfort.’
“Prof Haig-Brown’s stellar record of teaching, mentorship and commitment to graduate education has influenced multiple cohorts of scholars and teachers, especially in relation to how, as her nominator states, ‘her teaching has transformed the way we engage with social justice as a lived path.’ It is my sincere pleasure to congratulate Celia on this award in recognition of her profound commitment to students and to graduate education at York University.”

Professor Celia Haig-Brown received the award, and addressed Faculty Council

“What an honour this is. I struggle for words to convey my feelings about what seems like an award on top of the on-going rewards of working with the stellar graduate students whose scholarly endeavours I have been privileged to engage with during my years at York: students in Education, Interdisciplinary Studies, Gender, Feminist & Women’s Studies, Environmental Studies, Social and Political Thought, Sociology, Equity Studies and now Humanities.

“For those I have supervised, their successes, achieved through their curiosity, focus and hard work has somehow become my success. Our time working together is some of the sweetest an academic can experience.

“The opportunity to continuously face the intelligence, originality and, yes, critique that these students’ brilliant minds have brought to my own research theorizing is unparalleled in any other context.

“Healthy skepticism, open-minded questioning; fresh perspectives based in an ever-shifting world.

“These become powerful locations of teaching and learning.

“Each and every one of my grad students has opened my eyes to new ways of taking up the work I love, especially in relation to respectful and responsible research methodologies and decolonizing knowledge production.

“Thank you to all the former and current students who wrote in support of the nomination.

“Thank you to the Grad Program Director, my colleague Jen Gilbert, and the staff in the Education grad office for their work on the nomination.

Thank you to the Faculty of Graduate Studies, the committee who reviewed the nomination and saw fit to make this award.

“And of course, I want to especially thank the nominator Rashmee Karnad-Jani, recent MEd grad on her way to PhD, event manager extraordinaire. She sparked the nomination. She then fanned the fires of support while experiencing a considerable hardship of her own.

“Ultimately, the award recognizes the great work of my students and the results of their work as much as it recognizes anything I have done. (I always hesitate with that possessive sounding word ‘my students’ even as it gives me such pleasure to associate myself with their scholarly work).

“Thank you to each of you here and elsewhere for: the conversations, the challenges, the celebrations, the tears, the laughter, the intensity and, most significant, the deep learning you have given me.”

Presentation by President and Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri to Thanya Cercone, partner of the late Professor Nick Cercone

“It is with a bittersweet mixture of pride and sadness that we present the second of this year’s Faculty of Graduate Studies Teaching Awards to the late Professor Nick Cercone, appointed to the Graduate Program in Computer Science Engineering.

“Professor Cercone had a remarkable career, serving at a number of universities (Simon Fraser University, University of Regina, University of Waterloo, and Dalhousie University) before arriving at York in 2006 as Professor and Dean of the former Faculty of Science and Engineering. Nick held many administrative positions in his career, including a term as Dean of Graduate Studies at the University of Regina, yet he maintained a stellar research career as a pioneering scientist in computational linguistics, knowledge representation and data mining. But it is his devotion to graduate students that is remembered most fondly and with deep appreciation by the many students Nick supported—and over his career, Nick supervised to completion over 30 PhD students, and many, many other Master’s students and postdoctoral fellows.

“As ProfessorFranck van Breugel puts it in his nomination letter, ‘Current and former students mention time and time again his exemplary ability to teach.’ His courses at York, which included Introduction to Computational Linguistics, Introduction to Data Mining, and Soft Computing, were highly popular, with double the usual grad enrollments. Nick was especially cognizant of the challenges faced by international students in Canada, supporting them with dedicated mentorship, generous research funding—and arrangements for them to have Christmas dinners at his home. Nick’s extraordinary success with research grants—he received 21 at York alone for over 6.5 million dollars—directly benefitted his many students. For example, the Centre for Innovation in Information Visualization and Data Drive Design held a yearly Canadian Visual Analytics Summer School, which, as one student put it, ‘empowered’ students by integrating them as teachers and leaders of workshops, often for the industry networks that were involved in the school. At York alone, Nick helped his students to first author 22 journal articles, 6 book chapters, and 36 conference publications. As a supervisor, as Professor Vlado Keselj of Dalhousie University writes, there was a rumour that Nick was exceptional for ‘making’ his students complete their degrees on time: ‘The rumour was true, and also a mystery since his advising style was to treat students as friends and true colleagues, and to accommodate each student’s individual research style, pace, and approach.’

“Over the course of Nick’s teaching career, his former students have gone on to extraordinary success: they include a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair, two University Research Professors, achairperson of a Linguistics department, two Associate Deans, a Presidential Young Investigator, three industry Directors of Research, and an NSERC Accelerator awardee. Two of his former students founded companies, and 21 became university professors.

“Yet the key indicators of Nick’s teaching career come in the words of his former students. Martin Dimkovski, a PhD candidate at York, writes of ‘how much he enjoys creating opportunities for students, and how good he is at it.’ Bon Ryu, a current student at York writes that Nick ‘is truly the kindest, most hard working supervisor I have met.’ Finally, ProfessorYingwei Wang, at the University of Prince Edward Island, writes simply, ‘Wherever he goes, he is always loved by his students.’

“We are honoured to confer this award to Thanya Cercone in recognition of her partner Nick’s deep commitment to his graduate students at York University and to a career devoted to the extension of knowledge and graduate education.”

Thanya Cercone accepted the award on behalf of Professor Cercone.

3. Minutes of Previous Meeting (February 4, 2016) (.docx)

The minutes of the previous meeting were approved.

4. Business Arising from the Minutes

There was no business arising from the minutes.

5. Dean’s Remarks

There were no Dean’s remarks. Dean Barbara Crow was in Ottawa attending Canadian Association of Graduate Studies Board of Directors’ activities.

7. Changes in Degree Requirements

Approved by FGS Academic Planning & Policy Committee on February 24, 2016

* * * F o r A p p r o v a l * * *

Graduate Program in Theatre & Performance Studies

Changes to PhD comprehensive examinations (.docx)

Graduate program director Laura Levin introduced this item to Council. The proposal combines two comprehensive examinations, and is intended to improve times to completion. As well, students will have more time to write the examination. It was moved, seconded, and CARRIED, unanimously,

“that the changes in degree requirements proposed by the Graduate Program in Theatre & Performance Studies (Faculty of Graduate Studies) be APPROVED.”

6. New Dual Credential Master’s Degree

Approved by FGS Academic Planning & Policy Committee on October 21, 2015 and by Faculty Council December 3, 2015. Approved in revised format by FGS Academic Planning & Policy Committee on February 24, 2016

* * * F o r A p p r o v a l * * *

New Program Proposal for Expedited Approval

Graduate Program in Public & International Affairs
Re-submission of Major Modification proposal at the request of the Vice-Provost. New forms required.

Proposed Dual Credential Master’s Degree in Public & International Affairs (York University and Laval University)
Proposal (.doc) | Calendar copy (.docx) | Appendix I (.docx) | Appendix II (.xlsx) |Principal's letter (.pdf)

This proposal had previously met with Council’s approval, but given its complexity was adjusted for consideration by York’s Quality Assurance Procedures and resubmitted to the approval process. The reformatted proposal, with additional documentation, was considered. It was moved, seconded, and CARRIED, unanimously,

“that the new dual credential degree between York University and Laval University proposed by the Graduate Program in Public & International Affairs (Faculty of Graduate Studies) be APPROVED.”

7. Changes in Degree Requirements

Approved by FGS Academic Planning & Policy Committee on February 24, 2016

* * * F o r A p p r o v a l * * *

a) Graduate Program in Biology

Changes to transfer between Master’s and PhD
Changes to degree requirements (.doc)

Graduate program director Distinguished Research Professor Bridget Stutchbury introduced this item for approval. She explained the changes being made with respect to neuroscience. As well, doctoral students are not currently expected to complete coursework but may be asked to do so at the discretion of their supervisory committee depending on their field or specialization. As well, an internal promotion Master’s to PhD examination is being revised from 16 months to two years. It was moved, seconded, and CARRIED, unanimously,

“that the changes in degree requirements proposed by the Graduate Program in Biology (Faculty of Graduate Studies) be APPROVED.”

b) Graduate Program in Law

Part-Time LLM Specialising in International Business Law

Changes to course requirements
Changes to admissions requirements (.doc)

Megan Thomas, Director, International Programs, for the Part-Time LLM, addressed Council. She noted that the changes recognize that more domestic students are interested in this program of study; that intake should occur in the fall of each year as with other part-time LLMs; and that the program requirements should be more consistent with most other part-time LLMs.It was moved, seconded, and CARRIED, unanimously,

“that the changes in degree requirements proposed by the Graduate Program in Law—Part-Time LLM (Faculty of Graduate Studies) be APPROVED.”

c) Graduate Program in Philosophy

Changes to PhD logic examination (.doc)

Graduate program director Claudine Verheggen addressed the Committee. This change extends the timeframe for completion of the logic comprehensive examination requirement from one to two years. The change will not alter the substance of the examination, nor times to completion, she stated. In reply to a question, Professor Verheggen stated that the two-year timeframe was reasonable. She noted that students are provided with access to resources and materials as well as faculty member supervision. It was moved, seconded and CARRIED, with two abstentions,

“that the changes in degree requirements proposed by the Graduate Program in Philosophy (Faculty of Graduate Studies) be APPROVED.”

8. Changes in Diploma Requirements

Approved by FGS Academic Planning & Policy Committee on February 24, 2016

* * * F o r A p p r o v a l * * *

Graduate Diplomas in Education in New Urban Environments, Early Childhood Education, Language and Literacy, and Postsecondary Education

Changes in Course Requirements (.docx)

Graduate program director Jennifer Gilbert introduced the changes in the requirements for four graduate diplomas available to students in the Graduate Program in Education. The changes bring the requirements of the diplomas in line;and as well the changes distinguish between Master’s students in coursework only vs. major research paper and thesis options who undertake the diplomas where their major research papers and theses would be in the area of the graduate diploma. It was moved, seconded, and CARRIED, unanimously,

“that the changes in diploma requirements proposed by the Graduate Program in Education for the Graduate Diplomas in Education in New Urban Environments, Early Childhood Education, Language and Literacy, and Postsecondary Education (Faculty of Graduate Studies) be APPROVED.”

9. Senate Synopsis

Summary of Senate meeting of January 28, 2016 (.pdf)

The Senate summary was received for information.

10. Other Business

There was no other business

11. Adjournment

The meeting adjourned at 3:50 p.m.