The Academic Affairs Committee held their first meeting of the academic year last Wednesday, which reviewed the results of ten years of faculty data on the University of Toronto Mississauga campus, and the approval of a proposal for the new professional experience certificate in Digital Media, Communication and Technology.

An overview of the UTM faculty data gathered by the University of Toronto Human Resources Information System on the UTM showed a lack of geographical diversity in UTM’s faculty. In the 2017-2018 academic year, 41.95 per cent of UTM faculty members had earned their degrees in the U.S. and 42.20 per cent in Canada. Furthermore, 62.9 per cent of the UTM faculty is male.

“UTM is committed to hiring the best faculty and to increasing diversity within its community,” said Acting VP Academic and Dean Angela Lange.

Additionally, the proposal for the professional experience certificate in Digital Media, Communication and Technology, which consists of an eight-month long non-credit paid work term, was approved and will be effective on May 1st, 2020.

According to the proposal, “[The] certificate will provide the opportunity for students to engage in industry-based experience in digital technology and media fields that will be integrated into their undergraduate studies through concentrated paid work placements (work-integrated learning) in an immersive and authentic environment.”

The certificate is limited to students enrolled in the specialist program of Digital Enterprise Management, or are majoring in Communication, Culture, Information, and Technology, or the Professional Writing and Communications program. In addition to the two work terms, students will be required to complete 2.0 credits, including one required course, two professional practice courses, and a 400-level thesis course within their specific program.

Looking ahead, the Academic Affairs Committee is hoping to implement a new robotics major, design a new arts and culture building, and embed an experimental learning component to the current curriculum in the upcoming years.