Report: UTSC Campus Council - October 7, 2020

Virtual Meeting Room



October 7, 2020

To the Governing Council,
University of Toronto

Your Campus Council reports that it met on Wednesday, October 7, 2020 at 4:10 p.m. virtually, with the following members present:

Present: Paul Kingston (Chair), Grace Westcott (Vice-Chair), Wisdom Tettey (Vice-President and Principal), William Gough (Vice-Principal, Academic & Dean), Andrew Arifuzzaman (CAO), George Cree, Tarun Dewan, Liben Gebremikael, Irmi Hutfless, Brenda Librecz, Dorinda So, Jason Glover, Elaine Khoo, Gillian Mason, Sonja Nikkila, Tayyab Rashid, Paulina Rousseau, Xiaoyu Yuan, Lara Zink

In Attendance: Desmond Pouyat (Dean, Student Experience & Wellbeing), Sarah Abdullahi (SCSU, President), Preet Banerjee, Lubaba Gemma (SCSU, Vice-President Academic & University Affairs), TJ Ho (SCSU, Vice-President Campus Life)

Secretariat: Sheree Drummond (Secretary of the Governing Council), Emma Thacker (UTSC Campus Council Secretary), David Walders

Regrets: Shadi Dalili, George Fadel, Daniel Lysak, Silma Roddau, Changmiao Yu


  1. Chair’s Remarks

The Chair welcomed members and guests to the first Council meeting of the governance year. Mr. Preet Banerjee was recognized for his dedicated service, leadership and contributions as Campus Council Vice-Chair (2017-2019) and Chair (2019-2020). A chair was presented to him as a token of appreciation. Wisdom Tettey, Vice-President and Principal also thanked Mr. Banerjee for all his contributions to UTSC and governance.

  1. Report of the Vice-President and Principal

The Chair invited Principal Tettey to provide his Report. Principal Tettey welcomed and introduced Ms Sarah Abdullahi, President of the Scarborough Campus Student Union (SCSU), Ms Lubaba Gemma (SCSU, Vice President Academic & University Affairs), and Mr. TJ Ho (SCSU, Vice President Campus Life). Ms. Abdullahi presented the 2020/2021 SCSU campaigns, virtual events and services. Principal Tettey thanked the SCSU Executive members for their work.

Returning to his Report, Principal Tettey thanked students, faculty and staff for their ongoing collaborative efforts in the community in response to the pandemic, and assured members that the University was positioned well to change course as needed and that trends were being monitored. He reported that UTSC had been approached by the Scarborough Health Network to provide a testing site as the colder winter months approached. Principal Tettey would keep members informed, and he noted that a balance of safety and support of the community would be considered. He reported that the UTSC Strategic Plan, Inspiring Inclusive Excellence: A Strategic Vision for the University of Toronto Scarborough, was now being implemented with support from executive sponsors and strategic direction leads. The National Dialogues and Action for Inclusive Higher Education and Communities, was a series of national forums, focused on addressing equity and inclusion. The first forum in the series occurred on October 1-2, 2020. Principal Tettey noted close to 3000 persons in attendance at a national level. A draft charter would be developed which would provide a framework of principles, actions and accountabilities to guide initiatives that confront anti-Black racism and advance Black inclusion. He noted that the dialogues were available online, and thanked members of the community for their engagement. He then invited several members of the leadership team to share updates from their portfolios.

Professor William A. Gough, Vice-Principal, Academic & Dean, thanked Principal Tettey for his leadership and shared his gratitude to the community. He then provided an update on academic matters for the fall session. He noted the remote guarantee to all students, with some on-campus offerings. He commented that should the University need to move courses completely online, instructors were prepared to do so. On campus computer and WIFI access would continue to be provided. Professor Gough reported that winter session offerings would be similar to fall, however would also include teaching labs. Graduation pathways to completion were also noted. Professor Gough reported that UTSC was continuing to actively hire Black and Indigenous faculty members. He also shared that Professor Katie Larson, Vice-Dean Teaching, Learning & Undergraduate Programs, was undertaking a curricular review to explore colonial, indigenous and anti-black racism as it relates to curriculum and pedagogy. A Working Circle and Terms of Reference were under development.

The Chair invited Mr. Andrew Arifuzzaman, Chief Administrative Officer, to present his report. Mr. Arifuzzaman reported that since March a COVID-19 emergency response team was activated which had continued to operate. He thanked the team for their continued efforts and dedication. He provided an overview of the cleaning protocols to reduce risk and respond to any concerns. Research activities and some student facing services had also resumed on campus. Some campus operations had been reduced to maintain financial viability. Mr. Arifuzzaman also reported on the CARES (Collective Action and Response for Everyone in Scarborough) initiative that was addressing food insecurity issues in the community during the pandemic. He also reported that the University was considering how to support COVID testing and flu vaccinations during the colder, winter weather.

The Chair invited Mr. Desmond Pouyat, Dean, Student Experience and Wellbeing to present his report. He expressed his gratitude to the community for rising to the occasion during the pandemic crisis. He reported that the Health & Wellness Centre, Career Centre and AccessAbility Services were continuing to offer services online, however the fall semester offered a blended model of these services. He noted that the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre had opened some of its facilities, however online fitness programs were also available. A small number of students were housed in residence, with several more expected to arrive for the winter session. Mr. Pouyat also noted the successful fall, virtual orientation and welcome programming, highlighting the sessions for international students and students identifying as Black. Further updates related to student initiatives and mental health were also shared.

Members had no questions.

3. Revisions to the UTSC Campus Council and Committees Terms of Reference

The Chair invited Sheree Drummond, Secretary of the Governing Council, to present. Ms Drummond provided an overview of changes to the Terms of Reference for the Council and Standing Committees as a result of recommendations from the Report of the 2020 Committee to Review the UTM and UTSC Campus Councils, which was approved by the Governing Council at its June 25, 2020 meeting.

Changes for the Campus Affairs Committee Terms of Reference included revisions to the governance pathway for the campus operating budget, which provided a local administrative process and allowed for increased engagement of the local community. There was also an adjustment to membership such that full-time and part-time undergraduate constituencies would be combined, with no change to the total number of seats. This would not preclude an outcome whereby there were students from each of these constituencies, but it was hoped that it would increase the likelihood that no student seats would go unfilled, which sometimes occurred within the part-time student constituency. This change would be reflected in the in the Election Guidelines 2021.

Changes to the Academic Affairs Committee Terms of Reference pertained to the Department of Health and Society, which became effective July 1, 2020. The conversion of this unit resulted in one additional ex officio Chair and one additional elected teaching staff member added to the membership of the Committee. In addition, given the internal focus of the AAC, the appointment of community members from the Campus Council to the AAC has been reduced by one, allowing for some flexibility in the assignments of Campus Council community members. The final revision was with regard to changes to the administrative structure of the UTSC Office of the Vice-Principal Academic & Dean and the Office of the Vice-Principal, Research, effective July 1, 2020. Two newly created positions, Associate Vice-Principal Research & Innovation and Vice-Dean, Recruitment, Enrolment & Student Success were added as ex officio members requiring a revision to section 1.1 of the UTSC AAC Membership Composition.

Members had no questions.

4. Report of the Previous Meeting: Report Number 42 – May 26, 2020

The report of the previous meeting was approved.

5. Business Arising from the Report of the Previous Meeting

There was no business arising from the report of the previous meeting.

6. Reports for Information

Members received the following reports for information.

a. Report Number 43 of the UTSC Agenda Committee (September 24, 2020)

b. Report Number 46 of the UTSC Academic Affairs Committee (September 14, 2020)

c. Report Number 39 of the UTSC Campus Affairs Committee (September 15, 2020)

7. Date of the Next Meeting – November 17, 2020 at 4:10 p.m.

The Chair advised members that the Council was scheduled to meet again on November 17, 2020 at 4:10 p.m.

8. Question Period

Members had no questions.

9. Other Business

No other business was raised.

The Council moved in camera.


10. Appointments: 2020-21 UTSC Campus Council Nominating Committee

On motion duly made, seconded, and carried,


THAT Professor George Cree (teaching staff member of the UTSC Campus Council) and Mr. Changmiao Yu (student member of the UTSC Campus Council) be appointed to serve on the UTSC Agenda Committee when the Committee serves as a nominating committee of the UTSC Campus Council for the 2020-21 governance year.

The Council returned to open session.

The meeting adjourned at 5:52 p.m.