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Faculty of Graduate Studies
Faculty of Graduate Studies
FGS Council

For information, members of Council may write to the Chair of Council, Asia Weiss, or the Secretary of Council, Associate Dean Gary Jarvis, or write or call the Assistant Secretary of Council, M. Michael Schiff [(416) 736-5481]. The Council office is located in the FGS suite within 283 York Lanes.

Minutes: April 6, 2006

Meeting of Council

Thursday, April 6, 2006
4:00 p.m.
N940 Ross Building (Senate Chamber)

Present: D. Brock, D. Callison, J. Campanelli (Student Affairs Officer), J. Carlson, J. Codd (Research & Policy Analyst), K. Dahlquist, J. Dwyer, S. Embleton, L. Fabian, N.S. Fisher-Stitt (Associate Dean), C. Fung, C. Gerritsen, S. Grace, I. Greene, P. Hajihosseini, D. Henriques, S. Horowitz, E. Lee-Ruff (Vice-Chair), B. Lightman, L. Lombardi, H.I. Macdonald, M. Martel, D. Mendelsohn, C. Oliver, R.E. Pearlman (Interim Dean), N. Razack, A. Rogalski, D. Scadding, M.M. Schiff (Assistant Secretary of Council), R. Schuller, J. Shore, K. Simpson, P. Taylor, N. Tenhaaf, V. Tzerpos, W. van Wijngaarden, A. Weiss (Chair), H.Q. Wen, M. Zryd

Regrets: S. Afriat, C. Archer, E. Batdorf, J. Breen, C. Carrenko, W. Cragg, B. Crow, R. Drummond, L. Fawcett, J. Gambarotto-McKay, C. Haig-Brown, R. Haigh, D. Hay, A. Hudson, E. Igobwa, L. Jacobs, G. Jarvis. K. Little, L.R. Marsden, K. McRoberts, F.B. Pilkington, B. Rahder, S. Shrivastava, P. Silver, S. Viswanathan, W. Westfall, G. Wu, Y. Wu, D. Yon, J. Zemans

Guests: E. Auster, C. Bouquet, J. Gillies, L. Higgins, C. Kan, D. Kennedy, J. Lennox, S. Weiss

1. Welcome and Chair's Remarks

Chair Asia Weiss remarked on the special presentations at this meeting, and the change in the usual order of Council's agenda.

2. Citations for Faculty of Graduate Studies' Teaching Awards
Recipients in 2005-2006: Professors Lesley Higgins, Graduate Programmes in English and Humanities, and Stephen Weiss, Graduate Programme in Business Administration

Interim Dean Ron Pearlman reminded councillors that this award is bestowed annually to up to two members of the Faculty of Graduate Studies who have displayed "substantial, significant and sustained excellence, commitment and enthusiasm to the multifaceted aspects of teaching at the graduate level at York University." He stated that this presentation marks an important and pleasurable part of Council's year. Dean Pearlman informed Council that President Lorna R. Marsden had intended to attend in honour of the teaching award presentations, but had to send regrets to attend an unexpected meeting with Ontario's Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities. Vice-President (Academic) Sheila Embleton was in attendance to honour the Teaching Award recipients.

Dean Pearlman invited Professor Lesley Higgins to stand with him at the podium while he read from her citation for excellence in teaching in the Faculty of Graduate Studies:

"The Faculty of Graduate Studies' Teaching Award is bestowed annually on a member or members of the Faculty of Graduate Studies who have displayed substantial, significant and sustained excellence, commitment and enthusiasm to the multifaceted aspects of teaching at the graduate level at York.

"Lesley Higgins, a graduate faculty member at York for over 15 years in the Graduate Programmes in English and Humanities, was described time and again in her letters of support for this nomination as ‘exceptional.'

"Students are first introduced to her through a requisite bibliography course, which is anticipated as a ‘dry requirement' but instead becomes a riveting and enlightening course, under her direction. Students regularly flock to her other course offerings and consistently request to work with her as either a supervisor or directed reading instructor.

"Her encyclopaedic knowledge is shared with her students in ways that are animated, inspiring and memorable. Students spoke of her teaching style as riveting and engaging, moving easily between formal and informal presentation methods. Allusions to contemporary popular culture, an appealing sense of humour, and the utilization of innovative teaching aids all contribute to providing her students with an exceptional learning environment.

"One of Professor Higgins' most valuable gifts is her generosity; she gives freely of her time, her resources and her expertise. Her eagle-eye approach to her students work is keen, intricate and thorough, described as an ‘eye-opening if rather gut-wrenching' experience. Nonetheless, all done with a sensitivity that strikes the delicate balance between allowing freedom, providing direction, and offering constructive encouragement.

"An exacting, empathetic and erudite individual, she works tirelessly for her students and treats her professorial duties with the same dedication and attention. Many of her former students attest that she has become the ideal to which they aspire.

"Professor Higgins is an exemplary role model for both graduate students and faculty and personifies the qualities which this award is meant to acknowledge and celebrate."

Professor Higgins then addressed Council, stating that she was very honoured by the appreciation of her peers, students and the Faculty for this award.

Then Dean Pearlman invited Professor Stephen Weiss to stand with him, and then read from Professor Weiss' citation:

"The Faculty of Graduate Studies' Teaching Award is bestowed annually on a member or members of the Faculty of Graduate Studies who have displayed substantial, significant and sustained excellence, commitment and enthusiasm to the multifaceted aspects of teaching at the graduate level at York.

"A faculty member in the Graduate Programme in Business Administration in the Schulich School of Business, Stephen Weiss brings to his teaching a unique passion demonstrated by remarkable dedication, extra effort and sustained excellence in the classroom.

"Professor Weiss is one of the finest and most respected teachers at Schulich, consistently receiving above-average evaluative ratings of more than 6 on a 7 point scale. Students selected him to receive the Schulich Teaching Award in 2000. They were consistent in their praise that he is a teacher who stands out from all the others and who leaves a lasting impression.

"A constant theme from all who commented on Professor Weiss' worthiness for this award is the infectious passion and enthusiasm for his subject matter that he imparts within the classroom. They comment on his ability to use relevant current affairs within business issues to make his courses come alive, and to construct a positive interactive environment that is most conducive to learning. He is always well-prepared, professional and dynamic in his teaching style

"Professor Weiss has been described as extremely approachable and generous with his time. He sets the bar high for himself and, by providing individual attention and fair support, he pushes his students outside of their comfort zone and in return gets the best from them.

"He has been described as a wonderful citizen for the school as demonstrated by his enthusiastic willingness to share his knowledge and to initiate innovation in pedagogy. He is recognized internationally as a leader in both theory development and pedagogy.

"He has transformed people's skills, going above and beyond to help his students in their interpersonal relationships, careers and their studies.

"Professor Weiss is an outstanding example of the reason the Faculty of Graduate Studies presents this award."

Professor Weiss addressed Council, stating that the award means a great deal to him. He noted the presence of individuals from Schulich, who he thanked in turn. Professor Weiss said that he would look back on this day with high regard.

3. Canadian Federation for the Social Sciences & Humanities Congress 2006
Guests: Professor John Lennox, Academic Convenor; Marla Chodak, Academic Policy Analyst, Office of the Vice-President (Academic)

Former Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies John Lennox addressed Council in his current role as Academic Convenor of the 75th meetings of the Canadian Federation for the Social Sciences and Humanities. More than 70 learned societies will meet at York May 22 to June 3, 2006, bringing together thousands of faculty members, graduate students and practitioners, who meet each year at a Canadian university campus to give and attend lectures, presentations and honours and to socialize. This year, the Congress' theme is "The City: A Festival of Knowledge." Professor Lennox delineated some of the immense preparation for the meetings, and reviewed the benefits that they would provide to the university, as the best opportunity to showcase York to this many people. In reply to a question, Professor Lennox evaluated how York's graduate programmes would be promoted during the Congress. He also spoke about the varied slate of cultural events. Professor Lennox thanked the Chair and Dean for the opportunity to present this information to Council.

4. Minutes of Previous Meeting (March 2, 2006)

The minutes were approved.

5. Business Arising from the Minutes

There was no business arising from the minutes.

6. Dean's Remarks


Interim Dean Ron Pearlman spoke about funding issues, noting that increased funding to graduate studies through growth represents the only new money coming from the province to the post-secondary sector this year, meaning that the only way universities can attend to their needs is by accessing these funds, which are tied to increased enrolment at the graduate level. At York, the University's Academic Plan has long included the recommendation that graduate studies here should expand. Dean Pearlman reminded councillors that 21appointments for graduate growth were undertaken in the last year, stressing how important graduate enrolment growth is to the university.

7. New Graduate Programme Degree
Approved at the March 15, 2006, meeting of FGS Academic Planning & Policy Committee

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

Proposed Graduate Programme in Dance Degree: Master of Fine Arts

Graduate Programme Director Darcey Callison introduced this item to Council. He noted that this new degree offering in the Graduate Programme in Dance will be comprised of contemporary choreographic and dance dramaturgy streams. Dean Pearlman noted that the proposal received the close scrutiny and strong approval of the FGS Academic Planning & Policy Committee, and that the Dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts, Phillip Silver, although unable to attend, passed on his strong support for the proposal. It was moved, seconded and CARRIED, unanimously,

"that the new Master of Fine Arts degree proposed by the Graduate Programme in Dance (Faculty of Graduate Studies) be APPROVED."

8. Senate Synopsis
Summary of Senate meeting of February 23, 2006
For information

The Senate synopsis was received for information.

9. Curricular Changes
Approved at the March 1, 2006, meeting of FGS Academic Planning & Policy Committee's Academic Affairs Subcommittee, and received for information at the March 15, 2006, meeting of FGS Academic Planning & Policy Committee
For information

These documents were circulated with the agenda package with the proposal arising from the Graduate Programme in Dance. The items were received for information.

Graduate Programme in Dance
New Course Proposals
Dance 5350 3.0: "Theory and Practice in Dance Dramaturgy"/Prerequisites: Dance 5300 3.0: "Methods and Materials of Movement Observation" and Dance 5325 3.0: "Creative Studies and Performing Arts"
Dance 5501 3.0: "Initiating, Forming and Performing Choreography"/Co-requisites: Dance 5300 3.0: "Methods and Materials of Movement Observation" and Dance 5350 3.0: "Theory and Practice in Dance Dramaturgy"
Dance 5601 0.0: "Dance Colloquia/Workshops"
Dance 5602 0.0: "Dance Production"
Dance 6001 3.0: "Choreography Thesis"
Dance 6002 3.0: "Dance Dramaturgy Thesis"

10. Other Business

There was no other business.

11. Adjournment

The meeting adjourned at 5:02 p.m.