Report: UTM Campus Council - October 2, 2019

Council Chamber, Room 3130, William G. Davis Building, UTM


To the Governing Council,
University of Toronto

Your Council reports that it met on October 2, 2019 at 4:10 p.m. in the Council Chambers, William G. Davis Building, University of Toronto Mississauga.

Mohan Matthen (Chair), Samra Zafar (Vice-Chair), Ian Orchard (Acting Vice-President & Principal), Sultan Akif, Mitchell Bonney, Dario Di Censo, Ivana Di Millo, Imre Gams, Robert Gerlai, Joseph Leydon, Cesar Lozano, Jay Nirula, Steven Short, Kayla Sousa, Laura Taylor, Xing Wei

Non-Voting Assessors:
Amrita Daniere (Vice-Principal, Academic & Dean), Saher Fazilat (Chief Administrative Officer)

Hassaan Basit, Miguel Cabral, Shelley Hawrychuk, Teresa Lobalsamo, Lisa Petrelli, Ziyaad Vahed

In Attendance:
Lee Bailey (Associate Professor, Teaching Stream, Department of Economics), Luke Barber (Director, Information & Instructional Technology Services), Vicky Jezierski (Director, Hospitality & Retail Operations), Renu Kanga Fonseca (Associate Registrar & Director, Student Recruitment & Admissions), Antonia Lo (Assistant Director, Student Services & Ancillaries, Financial & Budget Services), Susan Mazza (Special Projects Officer, Office of the President), Lorretta Neebar (Registrar and Director of Enrolment Management), Brenda Slomka (Assistant Director Residence Administration, Student Housing & Residence Life), Mark Overton (Dean of Student Affairs), Kaveh Shahrooz (Director of Partnerships & Legal Counsel), Jessica Silver (Director, Student Engagement, Centre for Student Engagement), Isabela Simon (Director of Operations, Office of the Registrar), Jane Stirling (Executive Director, Communications), Mihkel Tombak (Professor, Department of Management), Veronica Vasquez (Acting Director, International Education Centre)

Sheree Drummond (Secretary of the Governing Council), Cindy Ferencz Hammond (Assistant Secretary of the Governing Council), Alexandra Di Blasio (Governance Coordinator, UTM)

The meeting began In Camera.

  1. Appointments to the 2019-20 UTM Nominating Committee
    On motion duly moved, seconded and carried


    THAT Cesar Lozano (student member of the Campus Council) and Professor Robert Gerlai (teaching staff member of the Campus Council) be appointed to serve on the Agenda Committee when the Committee serves as a Nominating Committee of the UTM Campus Council for 2019-20, effective October 3, 2019.

    The Council moved into open session.

  2. Chair’s Remarks
    The Chair welcomed members to the first meeting of the UTM Campus Council for the academic year. He introduced Ms Samra Zafar, Vice-Chair, Professor Emeritus Ian Orchard, Acting Vice-President & Principal, and the Council’s non-voting assessors, Professor Amrita Daniere, Vice-Principal, Academic & Dean, and Ms Saher Fazilat, Chief Administrative Officer. The Chair stated that the order of the agenda would be adjusted and would begin with the Report of the Acting Vice-President and Principal, which would address recent events on the St. George campus.

  3. Report of the Acting Vice-President & Principal
    Professor Orchard extended his warm thanks to Professor Daniere, who served as Acting Vice-President and Principal, UTM effective May 2, 2019 to September 3, 2019. Professor Krull had indicated that he will not be seeking a second term as Vice-President and Principal when his current term ended. Therefore, rather than proceeding in the fall with the review process, which normally preceded the conclusion of a Vice-Presidential term, the University would begin a comprehensive search process for a new Vice-President and Principal to take office July 1, 2020. A formal call for nominations for the Advisory Committee had recently been circulated.

    Professor Orchard addressed the tragic student death that recently occurred on the St. George campus and emphasized the importance of health and wellness resources across the UofT community, as well as the continued need to monitor University facilities. He expressed condolences to everyone affected by the tragedy, and reminded members that a range of supports were available to students, faculty and staff. The Student Mental Health Task Force, launched by the President and Provost, held consultations at UTM on September 19th, and would continue to seek input through an online form ( until October 15, 2019. The University continued to work with experts to identify hot-spots for high-risk behaviour and methods of risk mitigation.

    Professor Orchard then invited Mr. Mark Overton, Dean of Student Affairs & Vice-Principal, Student Services to contribute a report on health and wellness supports at UTM. Mr. Overton discussed the recent Be Well Fair at UTM, in which dozens of community agencies focused on mental health and wellness participated, and provided information to the approximately 2,000 students that visited. He referenced the Health and Well-being Resiliency resource card that had been distributed across campus and to Council members, which provided contact information for on and off-campus emergency and support services, and included 24-hour and multi-lingual support.

    Mr. Overton stated that the student services area continued efforts to identify areas of stress faced by students and opportunities for intervention. A pilot project entitled “Refused from your program, now what?” encouraged students to think more broadly about their career options. The program had received positive feedback, and the Career Centre and Registrar’s Office would together explore the possibility of providing an online version of the program in the future.

    Lastly, Mr. Overton acknowledged that some students had pre-existing or more in-depth needs than were suitable for short-term, solution-focused counselling. For those at-risk students, a model would be implemented that featured specialists who would assist transitioning students to longer term, specialized care.

    A member inquired about privacy issues in relation to one’s ability to seek support on behalf of another individual. Mr. Overton explained that the need to protect an individual’s safety trumped privacy, and if there was cause for concern for an individual’s safety, the name of the individual of concern should be provided to support offices like Student Affairs and the Health & Counselling Centre, so that appropriate help could be offered or accessed more easily. He clarified however, that the University would not normally be able to report back to the reporting individual about status as that could constitute a privacy issue.

    A member inquired if the University had considered increased mental health support training for faculty and staff members, such as SafeTalk suicide awareness, so they would be better equipped to assist individuals in need. Ms Saher Fazilat, Chief Administrative Officer, indicated that Human Resources would focus on making training more accessible to a wider audience.

    A member referenced the Build Resilience resource card and commented that youth and young adults were less likely to make phone calls and inquired if there were alternative methods through which they could connect to support services, such as text messages. Mr. Overton stated that a relatively new Ontario text-based service would be included on the next version of the card. He noted some limitations of conversations via text in the provision of crisis support, but acknowledged that it could be a medium that encouraged otherwise reluctant individuals to seek help.

    A member inquired if students were included in the delivery of mental health and wellness outreach initiatives. Mr. Overton stated that the Health & Counselling Centre’s health education team included wellness-focused student ambassadors focused on students’ common health challenges and opportunities. He noted that a peer-delivered model was frequently the most effective way to initially connect students with important well-being messages.

    In response to a member’s question, Professor Orchard stated that the University exchanged information regarding best practices with other institutions, specifically the 21 institutions that comprised the Council of Ontario Universities. Mr. Overton added that UofT engaged with the Centre for Innovation and Campus Mental Health, which was an organization funded by the Provincial Government that enhanced institutions’ abilities to support student mental health and well-being through knowledge sharing.

    Professor Orchard additionally stated that the Office of the Vice-Principal, Academic & Dean worked with the Office of the Registrar to identify and address circumstances of particular stress in students’ academic experiences.

    Professor Orchard then provided an update on Fall 2019 enrolment, and reported that, while enrolment statistics would be considered in flux until November 1, to date, UTM had met both its international and domestic enrolment targets. He expressed the importance of educational diversity at the University, and noted the value added to academic settings when, for example, international students were able to provide a variety of perspectives based on their differing experiences. The University's consistently high global rankings meant that the UofT degree and research was recognized globally, opened doors world-wide, and resulted in the University being a university of choice for faculty, staff and students.

    Professor Orchard reminded members that Strategic Mandate Agreement 3 (SMA3) was under negotiation and would take effect from 2020-2025. The SMA3 would tie provincial funding to performance-based outcomes, which would be measured across ten metrics. The first year would tie 25% of funding to performance-based outcomes, which would steadily increase to 60% in 2024-25. Institutions would have the ability to assign differential weight across metrics in order to capitalize on institutional strengths, however, the methods by which the metrics would be measured had not yet been determined. The University was currently working with the Provincial government on these metrics.

    Professor Orchard reported that the Science Building had gone out for tender and construction would begin shortly. The Arts, Culture & Technology Building was still in the early planning stages and would likely receive governance consideration in the fall of 2020.

  4. Brief Overview of Governance at the University of Toronto and Practical Tips for Members
    The Chair, Professor Mohan Matthen, provided a brief overview of governance to members. The Chair explained that Council would oversee matters that directly related to Campus’ objectives and priorities, development of long-term and short-term plans and the effective use of resources in the course of these pursuits. He noted the difference between the role of the Administration and that of governance, and described the types of decisions that could be made by the Council. He noted that new members had had one-on-one in-depth orientation sessions with Ms Cindy Ferencz Hammond, Assistant Secretary of the Governing Council and encouraged returning members to contact her should they wish to schedule a refresher orientation session.

  5. Portfolio Overview
    At the invitation of the Chair, Professor Emeritus Ian Orchard, Acting Vice-President and Principal, Professor Amrita Daniere, Vice-Principal Academic and Dean, and Saher Fazilat, Chief Administrative Officer, provided overviews of their portfolios and their priorities for 2019-20. Professor Orchard described the senior administrative structure and emphasized the teamwork involved that ensured the smooth operation of all aspects of campus and academic life.

    Ms Fazilat stated that her office continued to prioritize safety and cleanliness on campus, and worked to increase sustainable initiatives at UTM. In terms of talent management, efforts continued to increase diversity of the staff and faculty complement. She noted that the Campus Master Plan was being updated and would be brought forward to this Committee in the near future, and discussed the construction of the new Science Building, which was expected to begin in Fall 2019, with completion in early 2023. Other capital construction projects that were in early planning stages included the Arts, Culture and Technology Building, a Robotics Lab, the Annex and a new student residence; members would be hearing more about these projects when appropriate. Ms Fazilat additionally noted some challenges faced by her office, which included the space shortage on campus, cyber security, and the need to rebrand Campus Police due to a change in legislation.

    Professor Daniere discussed the various portfolios within her office and the implementation of the Academic Plan. She reported that a dashboard had been created that tracked progress on the goals and objectives of the Academic Plan ( Professor Daniere noted that her office continued to make progress towards the planned writing and numeracy initiatives, which involved new faculty hires. The expansion of experiential learning opportunities were also a priority and UTM had received funding to assist with growth in this area. She further stated that UTM continued to increase sustainable practices and research on campus. The campus participated in the Global Climate Strike in September and would host an international sustainability conference in October. In addition, her office would develop a Sustainability Pathways Certificate. Lastly, Professor Daniere noted that faculty hiring continued, and would include an indigenous scholar in the Department of Historical Studies as well as one Robotics scholar.

    In response to a member’s question, Mr. Luke Barber, Director, Information & Instructional Technology Services, stated that cyber security continued to be prioritized by the University. He noted that, as the threat landscape continued to expand, the need to fill job positions in information technology outpaced the ability to produce qualified graduates. The University worked to recruit talent in this area and had recently hired the inaugural Chief Information Security Officer, Isaac Straley.

    In response to a member’s question about institutional cuts, Ms Fazilat explained that 50% of the tuition received for international students enrolled above the UTM enrolment targets for 2017-18 and 2018-19 was not transferred by the University to UTM.

  6. Current Year Operating Budget
    The Chair invited Ms Saher Fazilat, Chief Administrative Officer, to present. Ms Fazilat explained that the budget was determined based on academic and service priorities of the University, and was informed by external factors, such as Provincial policies. The presentation included the following key points:

  • A balanced budget was projected;

  • UTM net revenue was $274.4 million;

  • The largest source of revenue at UTM was from student fees, which comprised 78% of total revenue;

  • It was projected that enrolment targets would be met for domestic students in 2019-20 and that international student enrolment would be slightly under target;

  • University-Wide Cost allocations totalled $47 million;

  • UTM’s University Fund (UF) contribution totalled $35.7 million, created by a 10% deduction from gross revenues;

  • Allocations of the UF were redistributed by the Provost to divisions based on academic priorities; and

  • The majority of expenses were attributed to compensation, which accounted for 54.9% of total expenses.

    In response to a question about steady-state enrolment, Ms Fazilat explained that enrolment was capped relative to the Strategic Mandate Agreement between the University and the Provincial Government and the tri-campus enrolment plan.

    A member inquired how the campus was affected by the domestic tuition freeze imposed by the Provincial Government. Ms Fazilat stated that the effects would be apparent in the upcoming year, and that initial calculations projected a revenue shortfall.

  1. Student Choice Initiative
    The Chair invited Mr. Mark Overton, Dean of Student Affairs, to present. Mr. Overton discussed the new online opt-out process for some campus fees and student society fees that were previously mandatory but now deemed optional based on provincial guidelines. Options would be seen on students’ ACORN accounts, with a process by which students could opt-out of those select fees. The University managed 523 optional fees across the institution, and UTM had a total of 120 fees, and each student’s registration status determined the specific fees that pertained to them.

    He noted that the Student Choice Initiative proved challenging for student organizations’ and services’ budget projections because opt-outs occurred for funding just prior to the start of each term.

    In response to a member’s question about how students gained information on each fee, Mr. Overton explained that students were provided with service descriptions in the opt-out system. The opt-out data would be carefully analyzed to assist with future service plans.

    A member commented on the difficulty faced by student clubs and societies, and that these organizations needed to demonstrate their value through alternative mechanisms. The member suggested that the Alumni Association could be of assistance.

  2. Calendar of Business, 2019-20
    The Chair referred members to the Calendar of Business, and advised that the document would be updated on the Office of the Campus Council website every Friday; he encouraged members to review the Calendar on a regular basis and consult with the Secretariat if they had any questions about forthcoming items.


9. Report on UTM Capital Projects – as at August 31, 2019

10. Reports for Information

i) Report 37 of the Agenda Committee (September 24, 2019)
ii) Report 36 of the Campus Affairs Committee (September 12, 2019)
iii)Report 33 of the Academic Affairs Committee (September 11, 2019)

11. Report of the Previous Meeting
Report number 36, dated May 27, 2019, was approved.

12. Business Arising from the Report of the Previous Meeting

13. Date of the Next Meeting – Wednesday, November 20 at 4:10 p.m.

14. Question Period
There were no questions.

15. Other Business
There was no other business.

The meeting adjourned at 5:49 p.m.

October 4, 2019