Shaping Our Future: Academic Plan 2014 Report to Senate
Submitted on: May 26, 2014
Table of Contents
I. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 1
1. High‐quality, societally relevant programs 1
2. Student engagement, success and retention 2
3. SRC Activity 3
4. Learning and Teaching 4
5. Reputation 4
6. Future directions. 6
II. FACULTY AND UNIT REPORTS (SUBMITTED TO THE PROVOST) 7
A. Faculty of Arts 7
B. Faculty of Communication & Design 9
C. Faculty of Community Services 11
D. Faculty of Engineering and Architectural Science 13
E. Faculty of Science 15
F. Ted Rogers School of Management 17
G. The G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education 19
H. Yeates School of Graduate Studies 21
I. Ryerson University Library and Archives 23
J. Office of the Vice-Provost, Students 25
K. Learning and Teaching Office 27
III. THE VPRI ANNUAL REPORT TO SENATE 30
I. Executive Summary
Ryerson University’s five-year academic plan, Shaping Our Future, officially concluded in June 2013. A snapshot of the plan’s achievements in the five priority areas was submitted to Senate in October 2013. The snapshot along with a community consultation paper marked the beginning of the development of the university’s next academic plan.
During this year of transition to a new academic plan, each faculty and academic unit submitted a progress report to the Office of the Provost and Vice President Academic based upon their most recent individual academic plans and the five priorities of Shaping Our Future. This report captures the achievements and challenges of 2013-14. Progress within each of Ryerson’s faculties and academic units is detailed in Section II, while Section III comprises the VPRI annual report to Senate.
1. High‐quality, societally relevant programs
Several new undergraduate programs launched in fall 2013: Professional Communication, Creative Industries, Financial Mathematics, Philosophy and Biomedical Science. TRSM students entering first year were also provided the option to select a major in Real Estate for the first time. A bachelor’s in Sport Media is on stream for fall 2014. Many of the new programs experienced a high number of applicants, resulting in a higher than anticipated enrolment with high average admission grades. The launch of the School of Accounting and Finance attracted over 4,000 applicants for 300 entry positions.
In graduate programming, the Master of Digital Media was successfully launched in fall 2013. Graduate degree programs under development include master’s in Data Science and Analytics, Biomedical Engineering and a joint MFA with Sheridan College in Animation.
Ryerson’s newest credential, the professional master’s diploma (PMDip), continued to evolve with the approval of three PMDips in 2013: Aerospace Design Management, Dietetics and Enterprise Information Security, Privacy and Data Protection. Each has received the endorsement of Ontario’s Quality Council. In 2014 Senate approved Energy and Innovation. New PMDips under consideration include: Material Innovation in Design, Animation, Packaging, Big Data Analysis, Construction and others. The Foundation Program for International Students, a joint partnership between the Faculty of Arts and The Chang School, welcomed its first cohort in fall 2013. Additional cohorts and term options are being explored for 2014. Four new certificate programs were approved: Aboriginal Knowledges and Experiences, Entrepreneurship and Multiculturalism, Data Analytics, Big Data and Predictive Analytics, and Caribbean Studies.
Accreditation continued to be pursued in those programs and schools in which it is available with Ryerson often receiving the highest possible accreditation terms: social work, nursing, architecture, biomedical engineering, biomedical physics.
The School of Journalism marked its 60th anniversary, the School of Social Work and the Nursing program celebrated 50 years and the Midwifery Education Program reached its 20-year milestone.
New options, minors and co-op
An optional specialization in engineering innovation and entrepreneurship launched in May 2014, linking accredited engineering curricula to increasing demand from students considering entrepreneurship as a career option. Three new minors were approved in the Department of Geography to commence in 2014 – Geography, Geographic Analysis and Environment and Urban Sustainability. Senate also approved a new Architectural Science co-operative education internship that will enable 20 top third-year students to undertake paid work placements at architecture or construction firms.
New distinct courses
For the first time in summer 2014, students will be able to attend the “Jack Layton School for Social Activists” – a one week intensive course developed by the Department of Politics and Public Administration in collaboration with street nurse and Ryerson Distinguished Visiting Practitioner, Cathy Crowe. A one-of-a-kind, hybrid interdisciplinary “supercourse” called “From Code to Product: Product Development for Startups” was offered in winter 2014 to students entrepreneurs from four faculties. FCS offered the university’s first course in social innovation, developed and taught in partnership with TRSM.
Following the June 2013 approval of the optional specialization in zone learning, three pilot zones were launched in 2013/14 in design fabrication (a joint effort between the Schools of Architectural Science and Interior Design), fashion (the School of Fashion) and transmedia (The RTA School of Media). A pilot in the Faculty of Arts, the CivicVentures Zone, will pilot in 2014/15. The pilots build upon the success of the Digital Media Zone and Innovation Centre for Urban Energy (i-CUE); as of April 2014, the DMZ had fostered 137 startups and created 1,080 jobs. In the 2013/14 academic year, there were more than 450 students registered in zones.
This network of zones supports Ryerson students in developing their own ideas for new consumer products, social ventures, innovative spaces, and solutions and products for community, industry and government. A website was also launched to provide information for students on how to get involved in zone learning. In summer 2014, the director of Zone Learning will be founding a zone learning curriculum committee to enhance and develop new curricular opportunities for student innovators and entrepreneurs.
A proposed new curriculum framework
Finding comprehensive ways to enhance choice for undergraduate students also remains a priority. In 2013/14, the university piloted an open electives model successfully in two undergraduate programs and nearly 800 courses in the open electives category were categorized into proposed thematic areas to help in student decision making. The pilot is an outcome of the multi-year curriculum renewal initiative and will continue in 2014/15 with the anticipated formal introduction of the categorization scheme.
2. Student engagement, success and retention
Enhancing student engagement
Significant strides in enhancing the student experience were made during 2013/14. Ground was broken on construction of the eight-story Student Learning Centre (SLC). Renovations to the Library building occurred during summer 2013 to provide a bridge between the SLC and the Library when the SLC opens in 2014. In October 2013, the Paul H. Cocker Gallery opened in the Architecture Building providing space and opportunities for exhibiting student and faculty work.
At the faculty level, several popular initiatives were started or continued. In FCS, a popular Writing Skills Initiative continues to be delivered to enhance the development of academic writing skills. In FoS, a non-credit, certificate course for students interested in acquiring research experience was begun and the inaugural “Dean For A Day” program launched. TRSM’s Top 200 leadership program continued to expand with the first cohort graduating spring 2014. YSGS continues to nurture a strong sense of community for graduate students. Initiatives included the annual 3-Minute Thesis competition to showcase graduate student research, a student video competition focusing on YSGS themes of creative, connected and entrepreneurial, and Future Smart, a professional skill development program offered in collaboration with partners from across campus.
Ryerson’s unique Tri-Mentoring Program broadened its reach including a disability mentoring pilot in partnership with Access Ryerson and the School of Disability Studies. Recreational programs continued to grow across the RAC and MAC and the 2013/14 season was the best ever for a number of varsity teams. Student Affairs supported the second annual Blue and Gold Ball at the MAC and worked closely with students to develop Ryerson’s newest society for design and communication students. The Registrar’s Office has begun a significant strategic planning and transformation exercise with a focus on service to students, and has begun planning for the establishment of a One Stop Shop approach to the delivery of enrollment services for students.
Access and diversity
Transferability was enhanced by a partnership with York University that saw the launch of an online platform that gives students the ability to enroll in degree credit courses at either institution. The “Ryerson-York Exchange” provides students with a diverse list of about 40 courses that have been pre-approved for credit transfer.
Ryerson maintains its commitment to enhancing access through several initiatives, new and ongoing. Enrollment in The Chang School’s Spanning the Gaps program grew by nearly 50% and the Gateway for International Professionals programs continued to increase access to Canadian training and employment for immigrants and new Canadians.
Diversity issues, too, remain front and centre for the university. An exhibit on Aboriginal childbearing was mounted in collaboration with the Midwifery Education Program, and the School of Disability Studies Out from Under Exhibit will be housed at the new Canadian Museum for Human Rights, set to open in Winnipeg this September. The vice-provost, equity, diversity and inclusion continued to deliver a very popular conversation series called “Soup and Substance.”
3. SRC Activity
Scholarly research and creative activity (SRC) at Ryerson is distinguished by its significant real-world impact – on policy, on practice and on economic, social and cultural development. While research funding is only one of the indicators of research excellence at Ryerson, it is important to university rankings. Total research funding for 2013/14 exceeded $40 million for the first time in Ryerson’s history – an increase of 24% over 2012/13 placing Ryerson 11th among Canadian non-medical universities. As the reputation of the university continues to grow, Ryerson is a clear partner of choice for other universities as well as a diverse range of industry and community partners in Canada and abroad. Our scholarly, research and creative (SRC) activity continues to reflect our growing strength and the continued excellence of our researchers. A report to Senate from the vice-president, research and innovation on SRC accomplishments is included in Section III.
4. Learning and Teaching
Learning and teaching excellence is an academic priority that is pursued at the university and faculty level. Remarkable faculty were recognized at the annual Faculty Teaching Awards for their dedication and passion to teaching. The Learning and Teaching Office continued to foster a culture of best practice in teaching that is grounded in scholarship and to provide professional development in teaching for faculty at all stages of their careers. Attendance at the annual, one-day teaching conference surpassed 500 participants and over 80 workshops on topics as diverse as how to create online courses and everyday classroom management were offered. Maureen Reed who has served as director of the office for the past four years is returning to full-time teaching and research in the Department of Psychology this fall.
At the faculty level, teaching at FCS will be profiled in an edited volume that is currently under review by Wilfred Laurier Press, and the faculty launched an online teaching development resource for faculty, TAs and CUPE instructors. In FEAS, a teaching fund supported 12 projects to increase faculty members’ capacity to develop, expand and implement new pedagogical innovations. The Early Learning Centre Lab School recognized as an exemplary model of early learning programs and child care celebrated its 50th anniversary, and the Interpersonal Skills Teaching Centre (ISTC) celebrated its 20th anniversary – in 2013, more than 16,000 on-campus and external clients developed communication, leadership and team-building skills through this experiential learning tool. The Library continues to evolve its tiered in-house support, embedding librarians in the curriculum via online course portals, and delivering on-demand online guidance in the form of virtual reference (chat services), research guides and tutorials. RUSearch, a writing and research help tool and online tutorial, was launched in collaboration with the Writing Centre. The One-Stop Course Reading service – a seamless approach to print and e-reserve handling and shared copyright permissions database – expanded exponentially in 2013 in partnership with the Bookstore, the DMP, CCS and The Chang School; it is recognized as best-in-class in the university sector.
Ryerson continued to build its academic reputation among prospective students, media, industry, government, within the GTA, across Canada and the world. Faculty and students garnered increased distinction by winning awards and competitions, publishing new works and mounting notable exhibits. Martin Antony, chair, the Department of Psychology, was elected as a fellow to the Royal Society of Canada, the highest honour awarded to Canadian scholars, and Lorraine Janzen Kooistra, professor, Department of English, received an OCUFA Teaching Award.
Ryerson was named the first university in Canada to be named a “Changemaker Campus” by the Ashoka Foundation, a global association that brings together the world’s leading social innovators, and the Digital Media Zone was ranked among the top 25 university-based incubators by the University Business Incubator (UBI) Index.
Leading researchers and experts
World-class experts continued to associate their names and bring their expertise to Ryerson. Faculties enhanced their teaching and research capacity through strategic hires, and since the last report, 20 leading Canadians were appointed distinguished visitors:
· Nadir Mohamed (2014) Distinguished CEO in Residence
· David Collenette (2014) Distinguished Visiting Fellow
· Seamus O'Regan (2014) Distinguished Visiting Innovator
· Ann Cavoukian (2013) Distinguished Visiting Professor
· Adel Sedra (2013) Distinguished Fellow
· Elizabeth Renzetti (2013) Distinguished Visiting Professor
· John Lorinc (2013) Distinguished Visiting Professor
· John Ralston Saul (2013) Distinguished Visiting Professor
· Phil Fontaine (2013) Distinguished Visiting Scholar
· Cathy Crowe (2013) Distinguished Visiting Practitioner
· Hershell Ezrin (2013) Distinguished Visiting Professor
· Omar Alghabra (2013) Distinguished Visiting Fellow
· Shafi Bhuiyan (2013) Distinguished Visiting Professor
· Henry Giroux (2013) Distinguished Visiting Scholar
· David E. Smith (2013) Distinguished Visiting Scholar
· Doina Popescu (2013) Distinguished Visiting Fellow
· Ric Young (2013) Distinguished Visiting Professor
· Rafik Loutfy (2013) Innovator-in-Residence
· Joe MacInnis (2013) Distinguished Visiting Professor
· Marzio Pozzuoli (2013) Entrepreneur-in-Residence
These appointments provide Ryerson with the unique opportunity to connect students, faculty and staff with highly regarded professionals from community, industry and government and distinguished scholars.
Partnerships and collaborations
Every faculty and academic unit continued to broaden its base of strategic partnerships. The Faculty of Arts led a successful bid with partner Tourism Toronto for Ryerson to host the 2017 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, Canada’s largest interdisciplinary conference for academic scholars. FCAD deepened more than 50 active partnerships with international institutions across the globe and developed about a dozen new ones. FCS’ relationships with a number of leading health institutions including the Hospital for Sick Children and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health remain strong. FEAS became an academic partner in the innovation and research group being established as part of the government funded relocation of Centennial College’s aviation programs to the former de Havilland aircraft manufacturing centre at Downsview Park, expanded its agreements with HsKA, Germany and WUT, Poland and expanded its partnership with Anna University in India. FoS has growing research collaborations in biomedical sciences and medical physics with St. Michael’s Hospital and Sunnybrook, and collaborated with a number of organizations such as Partners in Research, SpongeLab and Pathways to Education to extend its community engagement efforts. TRSM’s Career and Employer Partnership Centre continued to add to its strategic partners program with Loblaws and PwC coming on as sponsorship partners. The Chang School has partnered with 43 organizations.
At an institutional level, Ryerson announced a 20-year partnership with St. Michael’s Hospital on a new Institute for Biomedical Engineering and Science Technology (iBest). The initiative will include space for 15 Ryerson faculty and 40 students to be involved in ongoing healthcare research – from “bench –to-bedside” – and modeled on the success of the Digital Media Zone, an incubator that will specialize in the development and commercialization of biomedical products. Ryerson also initiated collaboration with the Bombay Stock Exchange Institute (BSEI) that is realizing an India-based incubator for entrepreneurs to fast-track their startups and build a new bridge between Canada and India that provides young entrepreneurs with unprecedented international opportunities.
6. Future directions
A number of initiatives were undertaken in 2013/14 that will have a significant effect on education at Ryerson in the decades to come.
2013 marked the beginning of the development of Ryerson’s next academic plan. The provost led a year-long community consultation process that involved 60 meetings with over 1,600 participants; a draft plan was submitted to Senate for their consideration in June 2014. The plan will provide the blueprint for moving the university forward over the next five years.
Part of the preparation of the draft academic plan included consideration of the recommendations of the Senate-appointed task force on interdisciplinary programs; the provost will officially respond to the task force’s report by October 2014. Senate named a new committee of students, faculty and staff as part of its review of Policy 60: The Student Code of Academic Conduct. The review committee submitted policy amendments to Senate for their consideration in June 2014. The amendments, which precede presentation of a fully revised policy to Senate, are intended to address the need, expressed by both students and faculty, for more appropriate penalties, as well as to add processes essential to dealing with research aspects of graduate education.
The provost also formed a task force on graduate education administration and delivery to promote the critical role played by graduate education in Ryerson’s growing reputation as a leading comprehensive innovation university. The outcomes of the task force are scheduled for announcement in late spring 2014.
Academic administrative changes
2013/14 marked the first year in office for Ryerson’s new provost and vice president academic, Mohamed Lachemi. Searches were also conducted for the next deans of FEAS and The Chang School; appointments were announced in spring 2014. Vice-Provost John Isbister, faculty affairs, announced he was stepping down and the search for his successor is currently underway.
The following academic administrative appointments also started in 2013/14:
· Steven Murphy, dean, Ted Rogers School of Management
· Paul Roth, director, Ryerson Image Centre
· Giselle Basanta, director, Academic Integrity Office
· Nancy Walton, director, e-Learning
· Randy Boyagoda, director, Zone Learning
II. Faculty and Unit Reports (Submitted to the Provost)
A. Faculty of Arts
The Faculty of Arts’ dynamic and diverse community of departments, programs, and centres accomplished a tremendous amount together in 2013/14. The faculty made great strides in raising its international profile, while continuing to contribute in a meaningful way to the vibrant city and region in which we live and work.
The continued commitment to the humanities and social sciences is evidenced by a myriad of initiatives: the introduction of Philosophy’s new BA program; the launch of three new minors expanded student choice; as well as the provision of over 25,000 student seats in liberal studies courses and an additional 33,000 student seats in required professionally-related courses. The faculty’s expanded partnership with The Chang School resulted in the very successful launch of the Ryerson University Foundations program for international ESL students.
The faculty continues to contribute to Ryerson’s increasingly vital research excellence. To date, 71 researchers have active research grants totaling $14.2 million (a 7% increase over last year; 172% increase over the five-year period of the last academic plan). Our researchers have won research funding from national programs including CFI, CIHR, CRC, NSERC, SSHRC; provincial agencies; US agencies; and international research consortiums. Researchers have also been awarded funding from the private sector, and from non-governmental organizations such as John Templeton Foundation, Parkinson Society Canada, Ontario HIV Treatment Network, The Law Foundation of Ontario, and The Ontario Mental Health Foundation. Recognizing the synergy between SRC and graduate training, Arts faculty have contributed to high level graduate training, with over 500 MA/PhD students taught, and experiential learning in our research centres, exhibition gallery, and labs.
Students, faculty and staff worked together to foster internal and external engagement, inclusion and interactions across the university and beyond our campus. Events such as Not Criminally Responsible, The Past and Future of the Humanities, the Jack Layton lecture series and the Community Resurgence Speaker Series (with the Ryerson Aboriginal Education Council and TD Bank) to name but a few, brought us together to exchange ideas, inspire us to action and heighten the reputation of Arts.
One of the faculty’s great accomplishments this year was winning the bid to host the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences in 2017. The Faculty of Arts played a leadership role in putting together the successful bid and will play a major role in helping to deliver a Congress that does things differently by disseminating research and dialogues proactively amongst ourselves while reaching a broader audience through digital media.
Led entirely by our students, the CivicVentures Zone is a new initiative that opens our educational space to student driven ideas allowing them to move their ideas to action. The CivicVentures Zone will focus on ideas and initiatives related to our citizens, the city, citizenship, or community affairs. It is an environment without boundaries that we hope will produce novel social and civic ventures and will provide students with skills complementary to their strong university education foundations to drive change in existing organizations.
Another Arts initiative that operates independently of boundaries is the CanadianCities pilot project. CanadianCities strives to solve pressing urban issues such as neighbourhood regeneration, urban sustainability and fragmented city systems, and will ultimately become a hub for interdisciplinary and urban education in Canada. This year’s partnership with the Toronto Public Library involved faculty and students from the disciplines of history, politics, English and library sciences in an effort to solve complex issues faced by our community libraries as a result of the changing face of demographics and digital media. Concordia University will join this partnership next year.
Arts Academic Plan:
Input from the Arts community is helping us build our next five-year academic plan that will reflect their needs and ambitions while at the same time supporting the university’s vision and strategic priorities. The plan – which is in the final stages of development – will reflect the unique nature of our faculty and highlight innovation, creativity, and academic excellence above all else.
Space is an omnipresent issue in our growing faculty, and one that affects everyday life. We received university support to reconfigure existing space to create a synergistic office and meeting environment that facilitates and supports interdisciplinary collaboration of faculty. We have also received funding to improve work and meeting space for our part-time faculty. Both spaces are currently under development and will help ease some of our office space pressures next year.
Positions and Recognition:
In 2013, we welcomed 11 new tenure-track faculty colleagues. We will continue to experience renewed energy and excitement with nine additional tenure-track colleagues joining us in fall 2014. We boast an impressive list of faculty award winners, and are supported by professional and dedicated staff, four of whom were acknowledged in this year’s inaugural staff recognition awards. These gestures ensure that we continue to build one of the most progressive Faculties of Arts in the region and the country.
B. Faculty of Communication & Design
The Faculty of Communication & Design continued to solidify and extend the considerable achievements made over the past few years. FCAD’s nine schools are national and international leaders in their respective disciplines and have made FCAD the premier faculty of and for the creative industries in Canada. In addition to attracting top-level students and highly respected scholars to the faculty, this has significantly increased research funding and enhanced FCAD’s opportunities for new research partnerships – locally, nationally and internationally. FCAD looks forward to aligning its own academic and pedagogical objectives with the university’s next academic plan and will continue to adapt creatively and responsibly to technological change, the innovation ecosystem, emerging pedagogies and continuing financial realities.
1. Curricular evolution and currency
Two new undergraduate programs (Professional Communication and Creative Industries) were launched in fall 2013 and a new undergraduate program in Sport Media was approved to launch in fall 2014. The new programs experienced an unusually high number of applicants, resulting in a higher than anticipated enrolment with average admission grades approaching 90%. While application numbers in ‘traditional’ FCAD programs have declined in tandem with similar reductions in fine arts-related disciplines across North America, admission grade averages continue to rise steadily in all FCAD programs, most notably in Creative Industries (92% in 2013/14).
During the past academic year all FCAD schools have either completed or are in the process of completing curriculum revisions – partly to align them with the university’s new curriculum model, and partly to be nimble enough to accommodate rapid changes in the field. FCAD has worked diligently to design curricula that meet the interests of prospective students, reflect the diversity of our student body, provide a framework that will be sustainable in spite of ongoing fiscal retraction, ensure a steady sequencing of skill-building and knowledge-building courses, and provide students with career-relevant learning outcomes. All of these initiatives were complemented by the appointment of six new faculty members with exceptional qualifications, including the first Canada Research Chair (CRC) at FCAD whose academic home is the RTA School of Media.
The LOIs for a joint MFA with Sheridan College in Animation and an MFA in Dramatic Writing were completed with approval pending. As well, an LOI for a master’s degree in Interior Design is at an advanced stage of development and an international master’s degree in packaging uniting Hochschule der Medien in Stuttgart, Germany, with FCAD’s Graphic Communications Management program is progressing well. Finally, four proposals to generate professional master’s diplomas in Material Design Studies, Animation, Graphic Design, and Packaging are also being developed.
FCAD also became home to three pilot zones developed outside the Digital Media Zone (DMZ). Specifically, these are the Fashion Zone, the Design Fabrication Zone (in partnership with the Department of Architectural Science), and the Transmedia Zone.
2. Operational sustainability and space
In a concerted effort to enhance space utilization, FCAD schools have upgraded and increased access to outdated or underutilized spaces. This includes new office spaces; a high-tech multi-purpose classroom; the creation of the open-concept Transmedia Zone; and the reconstruction of the central portion of the School of Journalism to a CNN-style open newsroom.
One of the most far-reaching changes was the implementation of a strategic technology plan in the Rogers Communication Centre that will ensure the currency and cost-effectiveness of our technology use in the long term.
3. Reputation enhancement and internationalization
FCAD deepened more than 50 active partnerships with international institutions across the globe and developed about a dozen new ones. These efforts resulted, for example, in four students from the Communication University of China spending several months at the DMZ and some 20 Chinese researchers attending the “Media City” conference and exhibition FCAD organized on behalf of MLeague—a partnership of some 56 international Media Studies Universities and research programs in 22 countries. Further international exchanges of note include the ongoing “Women and War” project in Greece, “RTA in LA” and the EU funded “Performigrations,” a seven-country project in which FCAD is a principal partner.
New distinguished visitors were attracted including former CAUT Executive Director James Turk, TV personality Seamus O’Regan, and radio lawyer Grant Buchanan. Hosting international conferences such as the aforementioned “Media City” forum and the “International Media Ecology” conference also brought global attention to FCAD.
Following up on the brand-positioning exercise conducted in 2012/13, FCAD will launch redesigned websites for the faculty and schools in the coming months. The faculty’s 2012/13 annual report TRANSFORM was recognized at the 28th International ARC Awards with three gold medals and a “Best of Show” award for Non-Traditional Annual Reports.
FCAD students continued to garner dozens of prizes at national and international competitions and events, including the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), the Munich International Festival of Film Schools, the RyeTAGA student chapter, and the 2013 Phoenix Challenge for flexographic printing. Various prestigious awards were also granted to FCAD faculty members, including a Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts.
4. SRC activities
FCAD continued to grow its research funds during the past year as a result of an unusually high number of grant authorization submissions (55), the number of applicants (32), and research account profiles awarded (26). Most notable among these achievements are a $470,000 SSHRC grant for Canada Research Chair Dr. Ali Mazalek (half of the Ryerson allocation) and two grants totaling more than $900,000 for Dr. Hossein Rahnama by the Ministry of Transportation for his work on Connected Vehicles and Smart Cars.
Under the effective stewardship of FCAD’s director of development, FCAD had a banner year, surpassing $2 million dollars in philanthropic donations for the first time. An additional $750,000 grant from Sportsnet was received to create the new Sportsnet/RTA Production Centre at the Mattamy Athletic Centre.
C. Faculty of Community Services
This report summarizes the progress achieved by the Faculty of Community Services in 2013/14.
Goal 1: Infrastructure and capacity building
Five new faculty members joined FCS this year, including a strategic position in urban development. To enhance student and administrative support, two learning strategists became exclusive to the faculty and a full-time lab technician was hired. FCS invested in two major renovation and renewal projects: (1) the expansion of FCS’ primary academic computer lab to add computers and work tables; and (2) labs for Occupational and Public Health, and Urban and Regional Planning were upgraded.
FCS introduced the “FCS Mentorship Circle” program to support new faculty in the first two years of employment at Ryerson. The program provides a network of collegial support and resources as they navigate their career.
FCS was awarded a grant under the provincial Productivity and Innovation (PIF) project to develop a web-based elective course search tool for students to use in designing concentrations in theme areas and finding courses that match their interests. The project was successful within FCS and will be released to the university community in the next academic year.
Goal 2: Strengthen and integrate undergraduate and graduate programs
Overall, application numbers continue to demonstrate great demand for FCS programs. Graduate directors at FCS have two meetings per year to discuss all graduate program issues with particular attention given to the course quality. Even though much of the curriculum is determined by accreditation requirements, each school ensures that curricula is responsive to disciplinary trends and societal need and most organize curriculum days
The School of Social Work received the highest CASWE certification for its MSW program (July 2013); its BSW program was previously accredited. The Daphne Cockwell School of Nursing received a seven-year accreditation of the school, faculty, university and a five-year accreditation of the Ryerson, Centennial, George Brown Collaborative Nursing Degree Program curriculum. The Collaborative program curriculum redevelopment is underway.
The Dean’s Office supported ongoing student engagement initiatives in all of the schools resulting in increased student engagement as well as graduate and undergraduate integration. The curriculum based Writing Skills Initiative continues to enhance the development of academic writing skills and the student engagement project “Making a Difference” was funded again.
The John C. Eaton Chair in Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship worked closely with faculty to integrate social innovation into FCS curricula. The first course in Social Innovation was jointly developed and taught by FCS and TRSM. A Social Innovation minor is currently in development. The Social Innovation website was launched this academic year. The establishment of a Community Transformation Café for FCS is in development.
The associate dean is chairing a committee to review the field placement processes and partnerships with the goal to enhance efficiency and integration.
The Scholarship of Teaching at FCS will be profiled in an edited volume on teaching that is currently under review by Wilfred Laurier Press, and the faculty launched an online teaching development resource for faculty, TAs and CUPE instructors entitled, The Learning and Teaching Exchange.
The dean and associate dean continue to meet with student course union representatives to promote and support faculty-wide activities. Outreach activities in relation to students’ mental health have also been put in place, and support is provided for student experiential courses.
Goal 3: Strengthen SRC activities
As a result of the supports described in previous annual updates, more faculty members have been active in applying for grants. Several faculty members were awarded SSHRC and CIHR funding this year, as well as from non-council funding agencies. Three faculty members in the DCSN were awarded the largest grant yet to be received by Ryerson (a $3-million grant from the Movember Foundation to study ways to reduce mental illness stigma among men in Asian communities). The Centre for Urban Research and Land Development was established with donations from the alumni of the School of Urban and Regional Planning. The Ontario Multicultural Health has completed its third year funding. Work with community partners to seek additional funding is underway.
Undergraduate and graduate students continued to access FCS student research and conference presentation funding. Development and expansion of the online FCS Knowledge Translation Portal for profiling faculty research is ongoing
Goal 4: Institutionalize IPE and IPC in teaching, SRC and practice
IP research and knowledge dissemination continues to be on the rise with the support of FCS internal grants and external funding awards. External funding for the IPE project, RU Interprofessional, ended in 2010-11. The faculty has continued to build on the achievements of the project. A number of interdisciplinary placements have been developed by a part-time temporary IPE Co-coordinator. RU Interprofessional has added new faculty and student development programming that engages many community partners.
Goal 5: Community building
Formal partnerships with the Hospital for Sick Children, St. Michael’s and CAMH remain strong and active. Schools hold educational workshops and social gatherings for field supervisors/preceptors, co-sponsor professional conferences to build relationships and some partnered with professional bodies to enhance the student experience. The Dean’s Office will host the inaugural faculty-wide Education Partners recognition event in June 2014. We actively promote our alumni awards and recommend significant individuals for honorary doctorate consideration.
Goal 6: Build and promote diversity in all activities of the faculty
There is tremendous interest to enhance diversity within the faculty. Several schools designed courses in diversity and Aboriginal studies. Internationalization of the curriculum as well as student experience is being pursued by a number of the schools with great success. Indigenous content has been infused into all the courses in the Midwifery Education Program; an exhibit on aboriginal childbearing was mounted in 2013. The School of Disability Studies Out from Under Exhibit will be housed at the new Canadian Museum for Human Rights, set to open in Winnipeg this September.
Goal 7: Communications and events
FCS published its first magazine, Imprint, this spring with distribution to donors and alumni, and is working upon a branding strategy to help identify and expand its reputation. The Schools of Social Work and Nursing, along with the Early Learning Centre celebrated their 50th anniversaries; The MEP celebrates its 20th anniversary. The third conference on Multicultural Mental Health was held.
Goal 8: Development
The Dean worked with David Amborski (School of Urban and Regional Planning) and alumni to raise $1.4 million to establish the Centre for Urban Research and Land Development.
D. Faculty of Engineering and Architectural Science
Highlights of this year’s progress in meeting the Faculty’s strategic goals as outlined in the 2009-2014 academic plan are provided below.
Goal 1: Achieving excellence in the quality of our undergraduate and graduate programs
· The mean entering average of new students in first year engineering admitted directly from Ontario secondary schools increased from 82.4% in 2011-2012 to 84.4% in 2013-14.
· In February 2014, launched the Dean’s Teaching Fund (DTF) to increase faculty members’ capacity to develop, expand, and ultimately implement promising pedagogical innovations, approaches and experiments. 12 projects out of 24 applications funded.
· In July 2013, appointed a teaching chair to cultivate and promote teaching excellence and to enhance the student learning experience. Workshops for faculty hosted include use of copyrighted materials in teaching, using research to complement teaching and enhance student engagement, and use of technology in the classroom.
· Ryerson’s professional architecture program, Master of Architecture received an accreditation term of six years in June 2013.
Goal 2: The development and the implementation of new societally relevant high-quality undergraduate and graduate programs
· Optional Specialization in Engineering Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OS_EIE) was approved by Senate in November 2013. The first cohort of students will be enrolled in May 2014.
· FEAS faculty-based committees have been developing several new master’s programs and professional master’s diplomas, including: Big Data Analysis, Engineering Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Construction, Facilities and Infrastructure Management, Biomedical Engineering, Energy and Innovation, and Aerospace Design Management.
Goal 3: Faculty restructuring
. Completed with the creation of the Faculty of Science in 2012.
Goal 4: Establishment of national and international partnerships
· As part of a 20-year partnership between Ryerson and St. Michael’s Hospital, FEAS will open the Institute for Biomedical Engineering and Science Technology (iBEST), a 22,000-square-foot facility to be housed in the Keenan Research Centre slated for occupancy in summer 2015.
· In 2013, renewed and expanded our dual-degree agreements with HsKA, Germany and WUT, Poland. Since the program’s inception, 25 Ryerson students have received dual degrees.
· Since 2013, FEAS has accepted 31 Science Without Borders students from Brazil to study in our engineering and architectural science programs and participate in industry and research placements.
· Our partnership with Anna University in India, the Urban Energy Centre (UEC), signed an agreement in summer 2013 with Indian provincial utility Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation, to undertake utility relevant research and development projects. As part of our UEC partnership, 20 students from Anna University formed CUE’s inaugural cohort of its two-year master’s program in Power Engineering and Management.
Goal 5: Enhancing and strengthening SRC activities and outcomes
· Played a leading role in the expansion of interdisciplinary innovation clusters at Ryerson. At present, each department within FEAS is connected to at least one of nine innovation clusters, including, iBEST, CUE, Ryerson Infrastructure Innovation Institute (RIII), Centre for Engineering Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CEIE), Ryerson Design Fabrication Zone (RDFZ), and Ryerson Institute for Aerospace Design and Innovation (RIADI).
· Received a half million-dollar donation of cloud computing equipment to increase our Computer Networks’ research and graduate program.
· Received significant ($3 million+) investments from industry partnerships to advance research in strategic areas, including Smart Grid, energy storage and energy conservation.
· Led two CFI submissions representing $2.7 million in funding.
· Distributed internal grants to faculty through the Dean’s Research Fund (DRF) to strengthen research activities. A new DRF-Tools fund was introduced this year to augment the existing DRF-booster, DRF-connector and DRF-travel programs.
· Two strategic hires in biomedical engineering joined FEAS and established their research labs.
· Our new CRC has established his Urban Transportation and Logistics Lab in CUE.
Goal 6: Enhancement of students’ and graduates’ engagement and satisfaction
· First Graduate Open House and Research Symposium held in November 2013 with participation from all departments.
· Through the Norman Esch Engineering Innovation and Entrepreneurship Awards, awarded over $500,000 to students to help them advance their innovative ideas from concept to market. In addition, FEAS supports these students by pairing them with business mentors and offering numerous workshops.
· Developed the brand and approach for WEMADEIT, a partnership with three universities and industry, to promote educational and engineering career paths for women and young girls. Organized a Youth Think Tank and also launched Feats of Engineering, through which high school girls and current female undergraduate engineering students are provided opportunities to experience leading engineering projects first-hand.
· The First Year Common Engineering Office (FYCEO) improved services by offering new initiatives like study halls led by course instructors and advising cafes led by the academic advisor.
· Eight Distinguished Visiting Fellows have provided strategic advice, brokered partnerships and provided helpful programming and support for FEAS students.
· Ryerson Engineering Student Society (RESS) held a successful referendum in November 2013 to increase student fees in order to provide more support for extra-curricular activities. As a result, over $100,000 in additional funding will be made available for Ryerson Engineering students. RESS was named #1 Student Society in Ontario by Engineering Student Societies' Council of Ontario (ESSCO), and appointed their first honourary president from industry.
· Retrofits to the Engineering Student Design Zone have provided improved working space for FEAS teams who have won an impressive number of international design competitions.
E. Faculty of Science
The academic year 2013/14 represents the first full academic year of existence (May – April) for the Faculty of Science. The faculty was created on July 1, 2012. Previous priorities for the new faculty in 2013/14 were as follows:
The core elements of the administrative structure of FOS are now in place. With HR, we identified gaps in structure and/or process with FOS. A number of interim leadership positions were filled following formal searches and some additional administrative staff added where appropriate. Continued review will lead to more appropriately aligned organizational structures and enhance supports at all levels. In addition, we are initiating leadership training modules and implementing formal mentoring systems to support development of our faculty members at all levels.
2) Development of branding, marketing and communication strategies
We completed a branding and marketing exercise “Connected Science” – our new brand identify – reflects our position within a dynamic nexus of science teaching, research and service that extends across the university, into our local community and around the world. “Connected Science” is now incorporated into our inaugural (PDF file) annual report, our outreach materials and other collateral. Our annual report highlighted the growth in undergraduate student enrollment (38%) graduate student enrolment (68%) and external research grants (87%) since 2008. A regular (PDF file) newsletter (external link) is being produced to highlight activities and events to our internal stakeholders. In addition, we have produced a number of videos and other outreach related materials, which have been well received. Taken together, we now have a substantial presence in the print and social media, which, we anticipate, will lead to enhanced profile and recruitment at all levels.
3) Community-building and strategic planning activities
Building on the success of the branding exercise and OEE-led work around mission and mandate (e.g. faculty town halls, world cafes), FOS moved to strategic planning for the new faculty with a series of visioning exercises involving the leadership team, departmental chairs and other faculty members. Development of a clear vision provides a solid foundation for developing both short and long-term priorities as well as informing functional programming of a new science building (with the expectation that a new science building will exist at some point in the future).
4) Strengthening and enhancement of the research culture
The Science Research and Innovation Office (SRiO) has collated data and worked with both the OVPRI and the FOS community to promote and support research activities. Research highlights include receipt of the first National Institute of Health (NIH R01) grant awarded (external link) to a FOS researcher, Early Researcher Awards (external link) (ERA, prestigious awards administered by the province) to two faculty members, the graduation of our first PhD student in a FOS graduate program, the full accreditation of the Biomedical Physics graduate program from the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Physics Educational Programs (CAMPEP), the agreement (external link) with between St. Michael’s Hospital and Ryerson University for the creation of the i-Best institute with the participation of several FOS faculty members, the formation of the Ryerson Urban Water Centre which bring together a multi-disciplinary collective of researchers from across the university with a shared interest in promoting a healthy urban water cycle and The Institute for Privacy and Big Data to be led by Dr. Ann Cavoukian. Challenges around space and infrastructure support for research, particularly in the laboratory sciences, continue to be a major impediment to growth (and recruitment) and a variety of short-term and long-term strategies are being actively pursued to address the issue.
5) Development of new programming at all levels
In 2013, two new UG programs; Financial Mathematics and Biomedical Science, were launched. Financial Mathematics exceeded its intake target for fall 2013 and attained an applications-to-seats ratio of 6:1. Biomedical Science received 2365 applications for 145 seats (16:1 apps:seats). Biomedical Science met it target enrolment with the highest entering average for Ontario high school applicants (84.6%) to any Faculty of Science undergraduate program. Entering averages across FOS trended upwards in 2013-14 over the previous year. Contemporary Science was cancelled (last intake F2014) after the periodic program review. The program has not been a strong attractor of students and has had very low graduation rates since students tend to transfer to other science programs. New programming is in development.
Activities to support more experiential learning and career development for undergraduates include the initiation of (PDF file) RySciMatch, a non-credit, certificate course for students interested in acquiring research experience and series of alumni events, where Ryerson graduates from a variety of programs returned to campus to provide feedback, advice and networking opportunities to science students.
The Office of Science Outreach and Enrichment continues to be highly active and assisted in numerous outreach events to help raise FOS’ profile. These included (but are not limited to) Science Rendezvous, high-school visits, Ryerson Days of Science (a day at Ryerson for high-school students), Eureka! Summer Camps (three weeks, for children aged 8-13, with targeted support for 4 campers from Regent Park), Toronto Science Fair (FOS supports two awards and subsidizes travel of the winners to the Canada Wide Science Fair), Ryerson-Pathways initiative (our first initiative with Pathways to Education, organizing a group of 16 tutors in math and science for the Lawrence Heights and Regent Park centres), Science Café (FOS is supporting a public forum for science discussion presenting a public lecture at a site on Yonge Street on the topic of vaccination).
Other outreach activities included the inaugural Dean’s Lecture Series, Dean for a Day (external link) and contributions to the IFLS event at the Ontario Science Centre
F. Ted Rogers School of Management
Ted Rogers School of Management (TRSM) continued on a strong growth trajectory in 2013/14 across all areas of student engagement; experiential learning; teaching; research; development and reputation building. It was a year of significant change in programs and leadership and sets the faculty on a solid foundation for the transition to the new academic plan.
Academic programs and experiential learning
The launch of the School of Accounting and Finance, separate from the School of Business Management, attracted over 4,000 applicants for 300 entry positions; establishing a professional school with higher entrance standards and accreditation as an end goal. This is an important step toward building the quality of our program standards across all six schools and eleven degrees. Students entering first year in fall 2013 were also provided the option to select a major in Real Estate for the first time. With a focus on commercial and residential financial management, this program is expected to draw strong student interest within the heart of the Canadian real estate industry.
The Career and Employer Partnership Centre continued to grow in its second year of operation; expanding the program and consultation offerings to all TRSM students in both the undergraduate and graduate programs. The Top 200 Leadership Program continues to expand and will recognize the first cohort of graduates this spring.
Experiential learning, both curricular and co-curricular, continues to be built upon diverse and active student associations and faculty engaged in piloting new programs. A ‘flipped classroom’ pilot program is currently underway to expand and measure the effectiveness of this teaching method. Social Innovation as a joint course between faculty from FCS and TRSM was also piloted to explore new opportunities for student learning. Outside the classroom, student groups such as Enactus, DECA, JDC and many others continued to advance their learning through case competitions and contributions to societal innovation.
At the graduate level, the MBA program achieved ranking among the top 10 business schools in Canada for the first time (ranking fourth). This achievement reflects the commitment to growing the program steadily while improving standards for admissions and the quality of student experience and placement.
Faculty Recruitment and Teaching
TRSM continues to attract new hires that bring excellent research qualifications and a commitment to student engagement both in and outside of the classroom. Amongst the new hires The Loretta Rogers Research Chair, in its second five-year appointment, was awarded in the field of Sports Marketing. With potential collaboration across new programs and zones in other faculties this promises to advance multi-disciplinary curriculum and research in a burgeoning field.
TRSM continues to build its SRC activity through its three centres and 11 institutes and through support for individual research grants and publications. Over the year, 46 grants were held across a broad range of funding agencies and partnerships for a total value of $1.6 million. Faculty members continue to be recognized for the calibre of papers published and for their contribution to editorial boards. Dissemination of research findings and thought leadership is advanced through speaker series led by many of the TRSM centres and institutes. Ethical leadership, business and global human rights are just two examples of recent topics of investigation drawing participants from industry, government and academe. The faculty is committed to the further advancement of SRC activity through financial and mentoring support.
Reputation and development
A commitment was made in 2013/14 to fund marketing and communication expertise within the faculty. Recognizing the need for improved reputation building through websites, social media, public relations and communications, TRSM has undertaken initiatives in all areas as part of an overall strategy to strengthen our position amongst prospective students and multiple stakeholders. The entry of colleges in the four- year degree offerings and the presence of many Ontario MBA programs in downtown Toronto has created a level of competition for students and partnerships not seen before.
In 2013/14 TRSM raised $5,867,000 including a gift in kind of licenses for big data provided by Pitney Bowes and $180,000 raised in honour of Dr. Ken Jones at his retirement. The Career and Employer Partnerships Centre continues to add to its strategic partners program with the addition of two new sponsorship partnerships with Loblaw and PwC.
G. The G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education
The Chang School’s Academic Plan 2009–2013, approved in May 2009, identified six goals to support the University’s priorities identified in Shaping our Future: Academic Plan for 2008–2013. Since 2009, progress has been made on a number of the measures in the Academic Plan. The highlights for each goal for 2013 are as follows:
Goal 1: Prepare adult learners for the 21st century
New certificate and new graduate diploma development reflects The Chang School’s primary mechanism for establishing new academic curriculum and professional courses to meet the needs of adult learners within the context of the collaborative model. Since 2009, 36 new certificates were created and 27 were reviewed for curricular renewal. Four new certificate programs were approved in 2013/14: Certificate in Aboriginal Knowledges and Experiences, Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Multiculturalism, Data Analytics, Big Data and Predictive Analytics, and Caribbean Studies. Additionally, two certificate programs were reviewed in 2013: Certificate in Food Security and the Certificate in Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Management. The Chang School also developed over 10 new course series in 2013
The Chang School supported YSGS to develop proposals for Ryerson’s newest credential, the professional master’s diplomas (PMDips). Three were approved in 2013 in the areas of Aerospace Design Management, Dietetics and Enterprise Information Security, Privacy and Data Protection. Approval processes are currently underway for Energy and Innovation.
Enrolment data analysis shows that for 2009-2013, overall Chang School enrolment has remained relatively constant. While enrolment from continuing education (CNED) students show some decline, which is strictly attributed to a lower number of course enrolments from CNED students who are not registered in a certificate. In contrast, students registered in a certificate, has shown a considerable increase of over 30% from 2012 to 2013. If this trend sustains, the finding suggests value in certificate education and effective demand for new or renewed certificate offerings.
Student satisfaction with various aspect of the learning environment remains high. Our annual student survey conducted in fall 2013 revealed: i) 91% of respondents indicating they would definitely or probably recommend the school and register for more courses, ii) 87% of students selecting “very satisfied” or “satisfied” with their instructor and iii) over three quarters of learners agreed with the statement “academic standards were high”. In terms of the value proposition, nearly 70% of certificate students across both surveys (classroom and distance education) feel they have received value for the money invested in CE courses.
Goal 2: Maximize access
The Chang School continues to increase the number of students served by programs for 50+ and enrollment rates for Spanning the Gaps grew by 47 per cent. We continue to partner with community organizations to reach out to elders. The 50+ Festival, LIFE institute, ACT II Studio and Caring Clowns programs continues to draw media attention and a strong audience of seniors engaged in lifelong learning. Gateway for International Professionals programs has continued to increase access to Canadian training and employment for immigrants and new Canadians. We continue to explore opportunities to commercialize some of the initiatives, such as Workplace Communications Canada through a partnership with the Bombay Stock Exchange Institute. Recently, we met with the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Canada to discuss funding and budgeting for our programs on a go-forward basis.
Goal 3: Manage undergraduate demands for Chang School courses
As The Chang School continues to fulfill its important accessibility mandate, a new funding formula will be rolled out in 2014 to recognize the importance of program students in Chang School sections, while providing increased incentives for faculties to work with the school to increase CNED enrollment. The Chang School continues its efforts to manage course enrollment and undergraduate demands through tied sections with faculties, effectiveness of class sizes and sections. The Chang School’s Enrollment Management Committee closely monitors courses and sections, achieving optimized course scheduling decisions.
Goal 4: Foster partnerships
Four new partnerships were added in 2013, bringing the total to 43 partners for The Chang School. We played a key role in the partnership with the Law Society of Upper Canada to deliver the Law Practice Program. Our Digital Education Strategies team is currently working on developing online modules to support this innovative initiative to address the articling shortage across the province. We are also supporting the OneEleven partnership on big data as it pertains training and development. In Fall 2013, we welcomed the first cohort of the Ryerson University Foundation Program (RUFP), which offers students a conditional acceptance to degree programs at Ryerson upon successful completion of intensive English language instruction. We are exploring additional cohorts and term options in 2014. We continued to introduce courses in non-traditional formats with increasing number of distance education courses and intensive programs. Additionally we welcomed two new Distinguished Visiting Scholars Shafi Bhuyian and Hon. David Collenette. Since 2008 we have hosted seven distinguished visitors, contributing to dialogues centred on public policy, government business enterprises, international law, information technology, health policy and, transportation.
Goal 5: Foster organizational excellence
New organizational structures have been introduced to enhance productivity in areas such as the Dean’s Office administrative staff, Business Development and Strategic Planning. Client Service Principles were also developed and introduced with extensive input from staff to support stronger customer service for current and prospective students, alumni, internal and external clients. Several key initiatives focused on technology enabled change such as our eHire project to automate instructor hiring and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool to support marketing. In 2014, we will continue unit structure reviews in Client Support and Logistics. Program Support, Instructor Relations and Gateway.
Goal 6: Continue generating revenue
The RUFP program has proved to be profitable in 2013 and we expect similar results in 2014. We have also continued to generate excellent results beyond our targets to support university-wide initiatives. We continued to invest in operational improvements and we will reinvest in key strategic areas in 2014 such as our website replacement project. In 2013, there were approximately 7,000 Chang School students – a record number. Over the life of the academic plan, The Chang School has met all of its net contribution targets.
H. Yeates School of Graduate Studies
Graduate education continues to build momentum and contribute to Ryerson’s overall goal of becoming a leading comprehensive innovation university. The Yeates School of Graduate Studies made great strides in 2013-14 in engaging students, connecting with stakeholders and supporting academic success. The highlights are:
1. Program development and reviews
The Master of Digital Media program was successfully launched in fall 2013. Four new professional master’s diplomas are slated for September 2014, including: Dietetics; Aerospace Design Management; Enterprise Information Security, Privacy and Data Protection; and Energy and Innovation. Finally, periodic reviews for the MBA and MTI programs were completed, providing a roadmap for strengthening the programs and advancing the TRSM agenda. These programs support the rising profile of graduate studies at Ryerson.
2. Academic structures, governance and administration
With the introduction of Nolij, the admissions enterprise content management system, applications can now be reviewed electronically and work in Admissions is streamlined.
As a result of Policy 45’s adoption, 23 of 35 graduate programs have had their Graduate Program Council by-laws approved by Senate. The policy ensures that faculty/department/school matters are vetted and agreed to at the local level before being presented to YSGS Council or Senate.
3. Student engagement
Several initiatives were organized last year to engage graduate students. The annual 3-Minute Thesis competition showcased and celebrated the richness and diversity of graduate student research, and Ryerson’s winner brought esteem to the university by placing well in the provincials and earning the People’s Choice award. A student video competition invited students to submit concise videos focusing on the YSGS themes of creative, connected and entrepreneurial.
Designed to help graduate students develop and enhance in-demand professional skills, the Future Smart program continues to provide hands-on workshops and seminars in communication and personal effectiveness, teaching and presentation skills, and information management. The highly successful dissertation boot camp was introduced this year, a model of future support for graduate students.
GRADCafé engages graduate students in an informal social setting to discuss their experiences, address issues and propose solutions. The goal is to improve the graduate education experience while making students feel valued and productive.
4. Student funding
The RGS (Ryerson Graduate Scholarship) and RGA (Ryerson Graduate Award) funding programs have been replaced by the RGF (Ryerson Graduate Fellowship) program, with maximums for master’s and doctoral students increased to $12,000 and $16,000 respectively, placing Ryerson in line with the Ontario university average.
Fourth-year funding has been introduced as an incentive for doctoral students to complete their thesis within four years.
Downloading of the Ontario Graduate Scholarship and the master’s Canada Graduate Scholarship (SSHRC, NSERC, CHIR) programs required new systems, adjudicating applications and managing fund dispersal. Administration throughout YSGS made this a successful undertaking. As a testament to this, other universities are currently looking to adopt the Ryerson model. With the downloading, Ryerson was given 38 master’s Canada Graduate Scholarships to distribute for 2014 start, along with 142 OGS scholarships and 26 QEII-GSST scholarships for fall 2014 start.
For applications submitted to federal competitions this year (fall 2014 start), Ryerson had a 100 per cent success rate for SSHRC doctoral students (seven awards). Our students were also awarded two Vanier scholarships, three NSERC PhD scholarships and two CIHR PhD scholarships.
In April, Master of Digital Media students won $25,000 in the Slaight Business Plan Competition, organized by Enactus Ryerson. Their startup, Materialyze, enables 3-D designers to protect their work while safely selling their creations to 3-D printer users worldwide. In March, two MBA students placed first in Canada’s Next Top Ad Exec competition, earning $5,000 for the MBA program and a fully loaded 2014 Camaro each.
The new Board of Governors Student Leadership Award and Medal and Ryerson Gold Medals awarded at fall convocation celebrated the outstanding achievements of eight graduate students, while the new YSGS Outstanding Contribution to Graduate Education Award recognized the exceptional commitment and skilled attention of six faculty in developing the talents needed by graduate students to succeed in today’s world.
6. Year in Review
The first ever Year in Review was published in June 2014, profiling outstanding YSGS students, faculty, alumni and staff. The 24-page print and digital publication was distributed to key internal stakeholders to raise awareness and build support for YSGS. The publication also recognized long serving graduate studies staff members and their dedication to Ryerson.
I. Ryerson University Library and Archives
A feature of the library’s success this year has been collaboration with faculty, students and others in the university to create innovative services and technologies to benefit all users.
Goal 1: Build our space
Necessary renovations to prepare for the SLC connection were completed over the summer. Several committees are in place for operational readiness. Planning is well underway for repositioning our existing library security perimeters to ensure library collection security when the SLC opens.
Goal 2: Build our collections and access
We enhanced access to e-content via our demand driven acquisitions program, and enhanced access to Canadian scholarly material by implementing an e-preferred format where available. Our revised archives and special collections development policy will focus on Ryerson’s declared research interest areas.
Our collections are increasingly more accessible and AODA-compliant with the One-Stop Course Reading service and we are a leader in Ontario university video-captioning initiatives. We have also expanded our access to audiovisual content through site licenses and streaming.
Goal 3: Build our support of teaching, learning and SRC
The library’s student laptop loan survey showed that the laptop was rated as the most important tool/preferred technology in achieving student academic success. Planning for our mobile learning initiative is underway which will transform laptop lending into an eLearning portal, with customized desktop icons to important research tools, assignment help links and tutorials.
The One-Stop Course Reading service – a seamless approach to print and e-reserve handling and shared copyright permissions database – expanded exponentially in 2013 in partnership with the Bookstore, the DMP, CCS and The Chang School.
Our learning services continue to evolve with tiered in-house support, embedding librarians in the curriculum via online course portals, and delivering on-demand online guidance in the form of virtual reference (chat services), research guides and tutorials. RUSearch, a writing and research help tool and online tutorial, was launched in collaboration with the Writing Centre. The Library received an Aboriginal Education Council Grant to create the Aboriginal Research Guide for both students and faculty. A Learning & Teaching Education Enhancement Fund grant allowed the Library to investigate integrating library instruction into Blackboard.
The Research Help area recently opened for both drop-in assistance and appointments. This development takes our personalized approach to assisting students and faculty to a new level. Triaging software is currently under development to make appointments more responsive to student and faculty needs and staffing availability. The front facing services in the Ronald D. Besse Information and Learning Commons have undergone some changes with the addition of an iDesk to assist the community with directional inquiries and basic catalogue look-up assistance. A new Research Help lounge was established at the SLC bridge.
Through the Teaching Chairs initiative, the Library has been actively promoting best practices in teaching skills for librarians through participation in Instructional Skills Workshops and other professional development programs. Librarians have also been actively involved as members of the faculty Learning and Teaching Committees by providing support through workshops and consultations that foster and enhance information literacy and research skills in programs, courses and assignments.
The Library is also a collaborative partner in zone learning through the Digital Media Experience in the SLC and has developed its role in providing research support, space/facilities, and dissemination and preservation of works and projects created.
Goal 4: Build our technology infrastructure
The institutional repository was migrated from Digital Commons to Islandora, an open source product with increased functionality. We developed a way-finding kiosk for the Library and SLC, and instituted an electronic gateway for graduate students to submit their theses.
Our collaboration with the Centre for Digital Humanities bore fruit in the Children’s Literature Archive, the Winnie the Bear project, Emily Holmes Coleman Diaries, and the Fashion Collection. We have expanded RULA Maps via the St Clair App, and plan further expansion.
Goal 5: Build our reputation
Librarians and staff presented at the national, provincial and international level, in some cases playing national leadership roles in training and technological innovation. The One Stop Course Readings service won the President’s Blue and Gold Award of Excellence in 2014. A value added service unique in Canadian universities, it has been selected for presentation at the 2014 World Library and Information Congress under the Hot Topics in Academic Libraries banner.
Our internationally used qualitative survey (libQUAL+) shows a marked improvement in 2013 when compared with 2009 and 2011 results: we have made significant progress in the areas of collections and access, and front-line service quality. We are still lag behind our comparators in Library as Space indicators, but as completion of the SLC is now within sight we expect this measure to move sharply upwards in future years.
J. Office of the Vice-Provost, Students
The Office of the Vice Provost, Students (OVPS) represents a large number of diverse units that provide front facing services to students, applicants, and other community members and provide support for the delivery of academic programs and university operations. Over 300 staff work in units that report to the OVPS including those in the following areas: Undergraduate Admissions and Recruitment, Registrarial Services, Student Affairs, and Athletics and Recreation. Below are some highlights of new activities in 2013 related to three of the OVPS goals developed in response to the academic plan.
Goal 1: Enhance opportunities for student engagement and the sense of community on campus
· Review and restructuring of the Tri-Mentoring Program to broaden its reach related to demographic of students served and services and programs offered.
· Brought Student Affairs units together to host “RUaLeader” – student leadership conference.
· Student affairs programs and initiatives were featured in the publications of the Education Advisory Board as best practices in a number of areas most notably social media.
· Work behind the scenes in the process required to deliver on the planned growth of Ryerson residence communities.
· Continued growth of recreational programs across two facilities – RAC and MAC.
· Continued improvement in the development and success of our interuniversity teams and support services for student athletes – at the end of the 2013/2014 season best ever record for Men’s Soccer, Men’s Basketball, Men’s Hockey, Women’s Volleyball and Figure Skating Teams.
· Provided organizational support for the second Blue and Gold Ball at the MAC.
· Worked closely with a team of students in the development and formal establishment of the Ryerson Design and Communication Society including the delivery of a successful referendum.
· Hosted the first annual Vice Provost, Students Faculty challenge hockey game allowing student societies to earn funds based on game attendance.
Goal 2: Improve communication, advising and “student centred” service to students across campus
· Hired a new registrar who has begun a significant strategic planning and transformation exercise with a focus on service to students.
· Hosted the first #Ryerson SA Conference for student affairs staff across the OVPS portfolio.
· Launch of the Student Affairs blog at Ryerson – www.ryersonstudentaffairs.com (external link) to inform community members inside and outside Ryerson about all the great work happening in student affairs.
· Development of a clear and accessible policy and process for student seeking to submit fee appeals.
· Developed and communicated with all academic departments a process for managing request from students for late drop or retroactive withdrawal from courses.
· Addition of an experienced case manager to assist with the triage and management of complex and challenging individual student issues.
· Initial planning begun for the establishment of a One Stop Shop approach to the delivery of enrollment services for students – target date September 2015.
· Begun work on the expansion of the “Ask Ryerson” intelli-response tool for current students and staff advising current students (currently only available for prospective students).
· Completed review of over 300 letters/e-mail templates/ and communications currently used in RO units, development of an RO style guide has begun and will result in more consistent messaging, look and tone.
· Implementation of NOLIJ document management system to streamline the sharing of documents to improve time to completion for processes such as transfer credit application assessments.
Goal 3: Develop effective partnerships within and outside the OVPS portfolio
· Engaged many community partners in a review of the Ryerson Career Centre.
· Development of a Student Employment Learning Outcomes pilot with the DMZ, Human Resources and DMP to develop specific learning outcomes for on-campus employment opportunities for students.
· The development of a Disability Mentoring Pilot in TMP in partnership with various on and off campus partners including Access Ryerson and the School of Disability Studies.
· Partnered with the University Planning Office and the established and pilot zones on campus to build an administrative support structure for zone learning.
· Worked with Human Resources and the Integrated Risk Management Office in the development of procedures and a team structure to deal with the management of student cases related to our responsibilities under Bill 168.
· Created an OVPS newsletter to advise partners in the Ryerson community about details of the work of OVPS units.
· University Scheduling partnered with CCS and academic departments in the development of new software to support teaching assignments.
K. Learning and Teaching Office
The Learning and Teaching Office’s (LTO) mandate is to foster a culture of best practice in teaching that is grounded in scholarship and to provide professional development in teaching for faculty at all stages of their careers. To achieve this, the LTO provides services and programs that are focused on improving student learning, addressing diversity through appropriate teaching methods, engaging faculty in interdisciplinary experiences, and strengthening the connection between teaching and research.
Goal 1: Provide services that are relevant to faculty and timely in their scheduling
Programming and resources that were timely and relevant to faculty continued to be developed and delivered. New resources were added to the website, including modules to assist faculty with hybrid course creation and universal design for learning. Workshops were redeveloped to meet faculty need around course management, assessment, group work, conflict resolution, experiential and active learning and teaching with technology, and a new series for new faculty on getting ready for the first day of class. In addition, we created a hybrid course for instructional design to better fit with faculty schedules, workshops that fit with part-time schedules and gave a workshop on teaching graduate students. Teaching Dossier workshops were adjusted to better fit with the needs faculty have in creating a dossier for their tenure binder and assisted part-time faculty with their dossier requirements around hiring. The teaching assistant/graduate assistant program was accredited and the LTO anticipates accrediting the university teaching development program next year. English language support for internationally trained faculty and graduate assistants expanded and conversation programs added that help faculty and graduate assistants to converse with students.
Goal 2: Provide opportunities for discussion about teaching at Ryerson
The vice-provost, academic met with faculty to learn of their-teaching related concerns around teaching at an informal luncheon and led a discussion around universal design for learning, elearning, the new academic plan and the teaching chair program at the Senate Learning and Teaching Committee. Social media including Twitter continues to be leveraged and the LTO blog was redesigned which has resulted in an increased readership. Teaching related materials such as the Best Practices newsletter and the Monthly Digest newsletter are available to faculty on Teachnet, rfanet and through other listservs and the up-take of these newsletters continues to grow (typically readership is between 300 and 500 per newsletter). Further, the LTO held a well-attended (511 attendees) faculty conference in May of 2013. The theme for the conference was online learning and through the key note speakers, workshops and the poster session, faculty learned about new and best practices in engaging students online and face to face.
Goal 3: Specific teaching-related goals
Provide skills for effective course management
Offered popular, well-attended workshops on:
· Effective course management
· Serious course management issues
· Everyday course management
· Dealing with conflict in groups
· Group management
· Faculty conflict resolution skills
· Diversity – teaching and discussing sensitive topics in class and using universal design to reduce stress in students.
The LTO also assisted faculty individually to deal with student conflict issues.
Assist faculty to create evaluations/assessments that are relevant to course goals
Offered workshops on: creating effective assessments and assessment practice. The LTO also acquired resources to assist faculty in the creation of tests and assignments that align with course goals.
Assist faculty to infuse appropriate technology into teaching to enhance outcomes
· Co-sponsored, with the Digital Media Project, a workshop series on using technology in the classroom and the appropriate use of these technologies
· Involved with the university-wide e-learning committee and the LMS review committee
· Creating several modules that help faculty to teach in online environments
· Continue to promote scholarly research and best practices in online education
· Ran a series of courses and workshops to assist faculty in creating and teaching online courses
Assist faculty to see the connection between the scholarship of teaching and teaching practice
· 300-500 faculty continue to read the Monthly Digest electronic publication series highlights current, interesting themes from teaching journals
· Continued to subscribe to Magna Online Seminars, which emphasize scholarly research around teaching all of which are available to Ryerson community members
· Continued to sponsor the Learning and Teaching Enhancement Fund, which is a grant that offers an opportunity for faculty to create innovation for their classrooms
· Added scholarly research to all workshops so as to model good practice to faculty
Assist faculty to teach to Ryerson's diverse population and model best practice
· Continued to sponsor the Teaching about Diversity Fund to assist faculty to infuse non-traditional topics into their curriculum
· Modeling best practice through its on-going Open Door Program
· Continued to chair the universal design for learning committee and many recommendations were implemented this year including:
o new workshop on diversity and universal design
o universal design included as a topic a new faculty orientation and
o increased resources around universal design and diversity
· Created an on-line module to assist faculty in adopting teaching practices that meet all students’ needs
Assist faculty to understand teaching data and how it relates to teaching practice
· Continued its teaching assessment program
· Created resources for self-evaluation of teaching (available online)
· LTO Director continued to meet faculty who were seeking assistance in understanding and improving their FCS scores
· Shared documentation for the teaching assessment program with faculties and departments upon request
Assist faculty to understand the difference between teaching and learning
· Ran a successful University Teaching Development Program which helps faculty in small groups to learn about how students learn and effective practices in teaching that contribute to this learning
· Eleven faculty completed the entire program (includes twelve week course, a three day instructional skills workshop and the creation of the teaching dossier)
· Sponsored two Instructional Skills workshops which assist faculty to review their own teaching styles in order to have a larger effect on student learning
· Created a hybrid instructional skills workshop to meet faculty demand and convenience
· Creating a new teaching dossier mentorship program
Assist faculty to understand the ways in which people learn; relate to the forms of delivery
· Delivery methods modelled at New Faculty Orientation, in workshops, through resources and publications, through the Open Door Program, Teaching Assessment Program, Instructional Skills Workshops, general workshops and at the University Teaching Development Program. This year, two workshops conducted by a psychologist were offered on how people learn and teaching practices that increase retention of information.
Continuation of the English Language Support Service: The LTO offered faculty, who requested assistance in English, pronunciation for classroom teaching with our EAL specialist. The service is voluntary and confidential. Writing for Faculty was a new popular offering. While the target is to assist faculty with writing required in teaching, the service is offered to any faculty member who desires some assistance in basic writing skills. In addition, the LTO created conversation classes for faculty and graduate assistants to practice their conversation skills as related to teaching.
Continued development of the TA/GA certificate program: This three-level certificate program offers development in teaching related skills and a certificate of completion to graduate students and teaching assistants. Successful participants receive a TA/GA seminar series on their transcript. This year, LTO began the process of accrediting this program through SEDA, an academic accrediting body.
The May Faculty Conference: Approximately 500 faculty attended the conference with over 90 abstract submissions from across all faculties being received.
Teaching Chairs Program: Reviewed and redesigned the program. Conducted more training and increased reporting requirements. There was an increase in professional activities in faculties put on by the teaching chairs and their faculty teaching committees.
Chang School Initiatives: The LTO has increased workshops for Chang School Instructors and this year chose a teaching chair from the Chang School. As a result, there has been an increase in interest in teaching related professional development by the part-time instructors as evidenced by attendance at LTO events.
Online Education: The LTO is participating in the operations committee and LMS committees for online initiatives. Increased materials for faculty and created a module to assist faculty in using best practice in facilitating an online course. The LTO has provided a course and resources for faculty wishing to create online courses or increase their knowledge of online resources.
III. The VPRI Annual Report to Senate
Excellence, Intensity and Impact
Ryerson faculty across disciplines continued to receive accolades and awards as well as recognition nationally and even internationally. While research funding is only one of the indicators of research excellence at Ryerson, it is important to university rankings. Total research funding for 2013/14 exceeded $40 million for the first time in Ryerson’s history – an increase of 24% over 2012/13 placing us 11th among Canadian non-medical universities.
Tri-Council funding for Ryerson continued to grow, accounting for 35% of the total research funds received. Our achievements were recognized by the awarding of several additional Canada Research Chairs. However, the unprecedented increase in SRC funding was driven by support from non-Tri-Council sources – government, industry partnerships, foundations and community partners. Funding from Businesses, Not-for-Profit Organizations (NPOs) and Foundations more than doubled between 2012/13 and 2013/14. This increase was largely driven by the three-year, $3-million grant received from the Movember Foundation. Our research intensity has also grown from an average of $41,000 per faculty member to $50,000. However, this remains low compared to other institutions and there is more to be done. As competition for Tri-Council funding increases, Ryerson must continue to encourage more faculty members to apply for grants and support the quality of grant applications, while continuing to explore new sources of funding.
Ryerson is a leader in applied research with industry and community partners and we have continued to focus on building collaborations. Our commitment to developing these research partnerships is paying off. A focus on building larger grants in FOS and FEAS resulted in an increase in multi-year, longer term grants including an increase in NSERC Collaborative Research and Development grants from three in 2012/13 (fiscal year) totaling $800,802 (including the industry contributions) to seven so far in 2013/14 (fiscal year) totaling over $2,734,000. Collaboration with University Advancement and Deans has allowed us to leverage relationships across the portfolios and resulted in successes such as a $1.7-million investment (over seven years) from Royal Bank of Canada to support research on immigration, diversity and inclusion. In recognition of our commitment to mainstreaming innovation across the university as well as our particular strength in social innovation, Ryerson was named Canada’s first Ashoka Changemaker Campus and continued to broaden and deepen participation in the university’s social innovation strategy.
OVPRI has actively grown Ryerson’s reputation on and off campus, driving opportunities for collaboration and partnership and increasing Ryerson’s research and innovation productivity. Effective research communication is essential to attract partners and knowledge mobilization is now a key requirement of grants. We collaborated with Tri-council and other partners on public relations, events and advertising. For example, OVPRI continues to be involved in the planning activities of Research Matters, a public outreach initiative that connects university research with everyday life, work, and play. OVPRI has developed a series of nine videos and articles in collaboration with the Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI), promoting various researchers at Ryerson. We have raised the profile of Ryerson research and researchers by extending our social media campaign, distributing a bi-monthly newsletters to more than 1,500 external stakeholders and creating materials to highlight Ryerson’s cross-disciplinary research in various areas such biomedical research, aerospace, financial services, and social innovation. We also offered more than 100 personalized tours and presentations for industry partners, government official, potential institutional partnerships and key stakeholders to showcase our researchers and the impact of their work. OVPRI collaborated with University Advancement on several advertisements on key themes such as big data, health, and innovation.
Research and the Student Experience
The OVPRI has continued to support initiatives that engage students in the research enterprise, helping to provide outstanding hands-on experiential learning opportunities as well as internships and on-the-job training. Almost 50% of all research funding supports opportunities for students and post doctoral fellows. In addition, in 2013/14, we facilitated the placement of 160 recent graduates in company internships through the FedDev funded Graduate Enterprise Internships (GEI) program as well as strengthening relationships with Mitacs and Connect Canada. We have also continued to help support student entrepreneurship and innovation with $976,500 through FedDev’s Scientists and Engineers in Business (SEB) program to support student and graduate commercialization activities. A total of 33 commercialization grants were awarded including four Social Venture Fellowships valued at $30,000. Funding from the Ministry of Economic Development and Innovation (MEDI) to deliver their Summer Company program, provided seed funding for 20 students to start a business and was so successful our allotment for 2014/15 was doubled. We also received targeted funding for unique programs such as the Advanced Digital and Professional Training in the Information and Communications Technology sector (ADaPT-ICT) coupled with paid internships to help strengthen employment opportunities for social sciences and humanities graduates.
Stronger Focus and Coherence Around Research Themes
We have continued to promote cross faculty interdisciplinary research efforts around our major themes – Digital Media, Energy and Sustainability, Health and Wellbeing, Innovation, Civil Society, Design, Creativity and Culture, Learning and Teaching – to build capacity and align with government, industry and community priorities. We have increased focus and deepened collaboration around the themes by creating inventories of researchers across faculties working on themes, organizing themed workshops and events, and developing themed collateral (presentations, brochures, web materials), supporting development of institutes and centres. Significant progress was made in laying the groundwork for major initiatives including:
- Advanced Digital and Professional Training (ADaPT)
- Institute for Biomedical Engineering and Science Technology (iBEST) with St. Michael’s Hospital
- Social Innovation Strategy with the Ashoka, the McConnell Foundation, Government of Ontario and many other partners
- Canadian Accelerator and Incubator Program (CAIP) with Simon Fraser University and the University of Ontario Institute of Technology on digital and gaming technology and green tech
- Campus-Linked Accelerator (CLA)
- Diversity and Inclusion Initiative with RBC
- The Ryerson Centre for Cloud and Context-Aware Computing (RC4) and new nodes - Transmedia Centre Node (RCC) 3D Printing, Design and Advanced Manufacturing Nodes (Bell Trinity)
- Big Data Initiative with projects across the university
- Collaborating on three successful Networks of Centres of Excellence Calls
More Focused and Deeper Internationalization
Emphasis has been on building collaborations in targeted countries, particularly Brazil, India, China, South Africa, Turkey, and Israel. Executive missions have been well-received in destination countries and have served to engage local media. New academic partnerships have been put in place with institutions that are increasingly research-focused and recognized internationally (in the THES 2013 rankings). New partners include:
· Indian Institute of Management-Calcutta — one of the top 3 management schools in India
· Queensland University of Technology — among top 10 universities in Australia
· Koc University (Istanbul, Turkey)
· Kyoto University — ranked 2nd in Japan, 7th in Asia, and 52nd worldwide
· Radboud University (Nijmegen, Netherlands)
Infrastructure and Support for Faculty Members
The successful collaboration with Financial Services and Human Resources led to the creation of the Researchers’ Portal to assist researchers in managing financial information and accessing various supports. OVPRI also hosted over 20 faculty and graduate skills development workshops on topics such as Research Methods, Getting Published, Developing your Grant Program, Leveraging R&D spending, and conducted several knowledge mobilization sessions including Working With Media, Using Social Media to get your Message out, Perfecting your Pitch to Non-Academic Partners, and Engaging Partners in your Research. In addition OVPRI worked with faculties to create partnerships as well as opportunities for researchers to connect with industry, government and community organizations.
Improved Tracking and Accountability Systems
SRC-related data and statistical analyses were provided to support formulation of strategies and tactics to advance research. In the Research Information System (RIS), new fields to capture “industry partners” and “country of collaboration” have been created to improve tracking of partnerships and stakeholder relations that is required to develop large-scale grants and international connections.
We have made excellent progress in working together to support overall strategic university goals. We worked closely with diverse stakeholders and the provost in the development of the university’s next five-year academic plan and research strategy and are looking forward to another productive year.