Report: Academic Board - November 18, 2020

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Via Virtual Meeting

UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO
THE GOVERNING COUNCIL
REPORT NUMBER 230 OF THE ACADEMIC BOARD
Wednesday, November 18, 2020

To the Governing Council,
University of Toronto


Your Board reports that it held a virtual meeting on Wednesday, November 18, 2020 at 3:10 p.m., with the following members present:

PRESENT: Nicholas Terpstra, Chair; Douglas E. McDougall, Vice Chair; Brian Lawson, Vice-Chair, Governing Council; Cheryl Regehr, Vice-President and Provost; Scott Mabury, Vice-President, University Operations and Real Estate Partnerships; Mark Schmuckler, Acting Vice-Provost, Academic Programs & Vice-Provost, Innovations in Undergraduate Education; A'aishah Abdul Hameed; Larry P. Alford; Catherine Amara; Laura Anderson; Joshua Barker; Harvey Thomas Botting; Markus Bussmann; Christian Caron; Samantha Chang; Adanna Yvette Chigbo; Carol C. Chin; Rosa Ciantar; Ettore Vincenzo Damiano; Amrita G. Daniere; James Davis; Raisa B. Deber; Lisa Rebecca Dolovich; Paul Downes; Markus D. Dubber; David Dubins; Wendy M. Duff; Angela Esterhammer; Nicholas C. Everett; K. Sonu Gaind; Emily Gilbert; J. Roy Gillis; Janneka Guise; Daniel A. Haas; Tony Harris; Emily Hawes; Ira Jacobs; Sarosh Jamal; Nadine Janes; Linda Johnston; Glen A. Jones; Allan S. Kaplan; Grase Kim; Anil Kishen; Ronald H. Kluger; Daiana Kostova; Lisa Kramer; Ernest W.N. Lam; Brigitte Lavoie; Brian D. Lawson; Kevin (Jingzhi) Li; Jiazhen (Diana) Li; Zhiyuan (Annie) Lu; Maureen MacDonald; Alexandra MacKay; Jan K. Mahrt-Smith; Stephane Paul Martin Demers; Lance T. McCready; Don McLean; Nicole Mideo; Kent G.W. Moore; Amy Mullin; William Nguyen; Fabian Parsch; Lacra Pavel; Dana Phillips; Matt Ratto; Daniel Rozhko; Nicholas Rule; Michael Shier; Maureen L. Simpson; Markus Stock; Eric Stubbs; Evan Tang; Truc Tran; Dexter Voisin; Grace Ann Westcott; Melanie A. Woodin; Vishar Yaghoubian; L. Trevor Young

REGRETS: Aarthi Ashok, Nina Bascia, Adalsteinn (Steini) I. D. Brown, Caryl L. Clark, Weijia Chen, George Christakis, Kenneth S. Corts, Shadi Dalili, Luc F. De Nil, Nathalie Des Rosiers, Hanna Diress, Cathy (Hui Jie) Feng, Sol Goldberg, William A. Gough, Richard Hegele, Walid A. Houry, Edward M. Iacobucci, William Ju, Vishnu Katyal, Charlie Keil, Jeannie Kim, Philip Kremer, Bonnie S. McElhinny, Mark McGowan, Jennifer Gillian Purtle, Michael J.H. Ratcliffe, Rosa Saverino,Danielle Skipp,
Jastaranpreet (Jasty) Singh, Njoki Wane, Patricia Windrim, Robert M. Wright, Christopher M. Yip.

NON-VOTING ASSESSORS:
Heather S. Boon, Vice-Provost, Faculty and Academic Life; Christine E. Burke, Assistant Vice-President, University Planning; David Palmer, Vice-President, Advancement; Trevor Rodgers, Assistant Vice-President, Planning & Budget; Wisdom J. Tettey, Vice-President and Principal UTSC; Joseph Wong, Interim Vice-President, International

SECRETARIAT:
Tracey Gameiro, Secretary

IN ATTENDANCE:
Andrew Arifuzzaman, Chief Administrative Officer, UTSC; Roger Bulgin, Woodsworth College, Chief Administrative Officer; Ariana Bradford, Executive Director, Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy; Elizabeth Cragg, Director, Office of the Vice-President University Operations; Nora Gillespie, Senior Legal Counsel Offices of the Vice-President and Provost and Vice-President Human Resources and Equity; Christopher Lang, Director, Appeals, Discipline and Faculty Grievances;
David Lock, Coordinator, Academic Planning and Reviews, Office of the Vice- Provost, Academic Programs; Mary Lyne, Chief Administrative Officer, Rotman School of Management; Daniella Mallinick, Director, Academic Programs, Planning and Quality Assurance, Office of the Vice- Provost, Academic Programs; Susan McCahan, Vice-Provost, Academic Programs & Vice-Provost, Innovations in Undergraduate Education (on leave); Andrea Russell, Director, Academic Affairs, Office of the Vice-President and Provost; Michael Sabia, Director, Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy; Carmelle Salomon-Labbe, Associate Director, Appeals, Discipline and Faculty Grievances; Luis Seco, Director, Mathematical Finance Program, Department of Mathematics; Archana Sridhar, Assistant Provost, Office of the Vice-President and Provost; Vince Tropepe, Professor and Vice-Dean Research, Faculty of Arts & Science


ITEMS 3, 4, 14, 15 AND 16 ARE RECOMMENDED TO THE GOVERNING COUNCIL FOR APPROVAL. ITEMS 5, 7 AND 13 WERE APPROVED. ALL OTHER ITEMS ARE REPORTED FOR INFORMATION.

Pursuant to section 33(i) of By-Law Number 2,
Items 12 to 16 were considered in camera.


OPEN SESSION

  1. Chair’s Remarks

    The Chair welcomed members and guests. He congratulated newly elected teaching staff members, Professors Christian Caron and Philip Kremer who were appointed to the Board through the fall by-elections.
  2. Report of the Vice-President and Provost

    Professor Cheryl Regehr, Vice-President and Provost, provided an update as of November 18, 2020 on the University’s response to COVID-19.

    Highlights of the report included the following:
    • COVID-19 response practices and processes continued to be updated based on new public health guidance
    • In compliance with government-imposed restrictions and public health guidance, self-assessment was a prerequisite to coming on campus. This had been facilitated with the development of the UCheck self-assessment web portal.
    • The ‘Dashboard’ continued to be updated regularly to keep the community informed of confirmed COVID-19 cases on campus.
    • Four cases of COVID-19 had been linked to an informal, close-contact sports activity on the back campus field of the St. George campus. The activity was not organized or sanctioned by the University. Information gathered to date indicated that none of the individuals attended in-person classes and that all contact had taken place outdoors. Toronto Public Health determined that there was low risk to other members of the community.
    • U of T had been recognized by the federal government as a designated learning institution which, as of October 20, 2020, allowed international students with study permits to travel to Canada.
    • Programs to support students in quarantine on and off campus continued. As of November 2020, more than 1000 students had registered with quarantine program services.
    • The most recent “red-zone” restrictions had not required any immediate changes to research activities. Contingency plans had been put in place to enable on-campus lab research to continue should further provincial restrictions be mandated.
    • Many human-participant research studies had pivoted to an online-only format and as such would not be impacted by any further provincial restrictions.
    • Despite the significant uncertainty created by the pandemic, indications were that overall enrolment levels for the fall term were roughly in line with the previous year, with no significant reductions in overall operating revenue expected.
    • Emergency bursaries totalling $7.2M had been provided to more than 6,000 students over the previous few months.

      A member inquired whether consideration had been given to a reduction in tuition fees given the move to online learning. In response, the Provost noted that over the last several months, there had been significant cost increases as the University worked to address the challenges of COVID-19, including significant investments in instructional design and technology to meet the needs of students and to provide new kinds of approaches to education. She reported that while course delivery methods had changed and that these changes did present additional challenges, s, the overall quality of the educational experience, including with respect to engagement, had not been significantly diminished. The Provost assured members that the University would continue to work on investments to improve the student experience and create diverse learning opportunities.

      The Provost also informed members that a review of graduate student tuition fees, was part of the annual budget review process, which included close consultation with divisions and consideration of a number of different factors.

      In response to a member’s inquiry as to whether vaccination would be mandatory once available, the Provost stated that the University would continue to follow public health guidelines, and was relying on experts in its partner hospitals to make the most informed decisions in the best interest of the University community.

      Finally, in response to a member’s question about whether the government’s funding format had or was anticipated to change in the face of the pandemic, the Provost commented that there were no indications there would be increased funding. She remarked that the impact of performance-based funding would not hit the University in 2020-2021, and that discussions with government were ongoing.
  3. Capital Project: Report of the Project Planning Committee for the Academic Wood Tower (“the Tower”)

    Professor Scott Mabury, Vice-President, Operations and Real Estate Partnerships, and Christine Burke, Assistant Vice-President, University Planning, provided an overview of the capital project, highlighting the following main points:
    • The project would be situated between the Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy and the Goldring Centre for High Performance Sport.
    • The Tower would be the first tall wooden structure in Ontario and intended to become a prototype for the use of mass timber as a new environmentally sustainable building material, obviating the use of concrete and its higher carbon costs.
    • The project had been widely lauded, with strong support from the Design Review Committee.
    • Municipal approvals and further technical discussions with the City were ongoing.
    • The Tower would primarily accommodate Rotman’s research space and Executive Programs, KPE’s research activities and administration, FAS’ Masters of Mathematical Finance Program, and Munk’s graduate, teaching, research and faculty expansion.
    • Construction was anticipated to start in 2021.

      As part of the ensuing discussion, Professor Mabury reported that an immense amount of work and testing had been done and was ongoing with municipal building code inspectors and the Fire Services Department to ensure that the design was appropriate and would preclude the risk of fire.

      In response to members’ questions, Professor Mabury noted the following benefits of the project:
    • Significant cost savings would be realized by moving faculty offices and administrative functions out of approximately 120,000 gross feet of off campus rental space.
    • The project would advance the University towards its Carbon Reduction Action Plan of achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
    • Construction times were notably faster with the use of timber, resulting in lower costs.
    • Interest in wood as a building material would support scholarship and foster opportunities for active teaching and learning.

      On a motion duly moved, seconded, and carried

      YOUR BOARD RECOMMENDED

      THAT the Report of the Project Planning Committee for the Centre for the Academic Wood Tower dated September 18, 2020 (revised November 10, 2020), be approved in principle; and,

      THAT the project totaling 5,334 nasm (11,143 gross square metres (gsm)), be approved in principle, to be funded by Divisional Reserves, Operating Budget Contribution, Fundraising, Provostial Funds, Government Funding and Borrowing.
  4. Capital Project: Report of the Project Planning Committee for the New Woodsworth College Academic Building

    The Board received a presentation from Christine Burke, Vince Tropepe, Vice-Dean, Research (Faculty of Arts and Science), and Carol Chin, Principal Woodsworth College, which highlighted the following:
    • The development would replace and expand upon Kruger Hall’s function as an event space and academic/student life hub, and strengthen the sense of community between the College and its students.
    • The project would provide an additional two storeys of space below grade and six storeys above grade and address expanded office and classroom needs.

      Renovations of the Margaret Fletcher House would allow for continuous access between existing and new buildings.

      There were no questions from members.

      On a motion duly moved, seconded, and carried

      YOUR BOARD RECOMMENDED THAT

      THAT the Report of the Project Planning Committee for the New Woodsworth College Academic Building, dated September 17, 2020, be approved in principle; and,

      THAT the project totaling 2,399 net assignable square metres (nasm) (5,558 gross square metres (gsm)), be approved in principle, to be funded by Future Major Capital Project Reserves, Divisional & College Operating Reserves and Borrowing.
  5. Capital Project: Report of the Project Planning Committee for the Indigenous House at the University of Toronto Scarborough (“Indigenous House”)

    Prior to the introduction of the item, the Chair explained that as a Level 2 capital project, the Indigenous House would regularly appear on the Board’s Consent Agenda pursuant to the Policy on Capital Planning & Capital Projects. Given the significance of the project to the campus and its awe inspiring design, the Agenda Committee had recommended that the Board receive a brief presentation of the project.

    Professor Mabury and Mr. Andrew Arifuzzaman, UTSC’s Chief Administrative Officer, shared the purpose of the Indigenous House with members, noting that the proposed building would be a visible signal in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. Mr. Arifuzzaman also discussed the broad consultation with the Indigenous community, proposed location and highlights of the building design.

    Addressing a member’s question regarding engagement, Professor Wisdom Tettey, Vice-President and Principal UTSC, stressed that the UTSC Indigenous House was a complimentary and not separate endeavour to existing campus activities celebrating Indigenous culture. The project was meant to be an augmentation of the University’s research, teaching and community engagement commitments. Principal Tettey also pointed out that the project would be an indication of the University’s commitment to ‘place’, and further UTSC’s strategic plan which spoke to inspiring inclusive excellence. To that end, the project would forge pathways and access opportunities for students and youth from Indigenous communities to ensure that the community found itself represented within the University and vice versa.

    On a motion duly moved, seconded, and carried

    YOUR BOARD APPROVED

    THAT subject to confirmation by the Executive Committee,

    THAT the Report of the Project Planning Committee for the Indigenous House at the University of Toronto Scarborough, dated September 18, 2020, be approved in principle; and,

    THAT the project totaling 481 net assignable square metres (nasm) and 962 gross square metres (gsm), be approved in principle, to be funded by UTSC Major Capital Project Reserve, the Major Capital Construction Account, and a fundraising campaign.
  6. Review of Academic Programs and Units – Part 1
    1. Follow-Up Report on Reviews

      Professor Ernest Lam, Chair of the Committee on Academic Policy and Programs (AP&P), provided an overview of the follow-up reports considered by the Committee. He reported that AP&P received three follow-up reports for information.
      1. Temerty Faculty of Medicine, MD Program (Provostial Review)
      2. Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy (Provostial Review)
      3. Health Studies Program (Faculty of Arts and Science)

        As part of his report, he provided an overview of the steps that were taken or were planned to address the concerns previously raised in the following areas:
  • The follow up for the review of the Temerty Faculty of Medicine, MD program reported on the Faculty’s progress in understanding and addressing the causes of student harassment.
  • The follow up for the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy addressed five issues: i) the recommendation concerning the length of practice experience rotations; ii) funding concerns related to the Centre for Pharmaceutical Oncology; iii) the issue of professional competencies for faculty with regular patient care responsibilities; iv) the recommendations contained in the Workplace Culture and Needs Assessment, and; v) the impact of the International Pharmacy Graduate (IPG) program on the faculty's future plans for the PharmD programs.
  • The follow up for the Health Studies program review reported on the status of relationships with cognate units and the efficacy of the Contractually-Limited Term Appointments (CLTAs) in creating a more sustainable offering.

    Professor Lam confirmed that AP&P was satisfied with the follow-up reports and determined that there were no specific issues of concern to be brought forward to the Academic Board

    There were no questions from members.
    1. Semi-Annual Report on the review of Academic Units and Programs, April – October, 2020

      Professor Mark Schmuckler, Acting Vice-Provost, Academic Programs & Vice-Provost, Innovations in Undergraduate Education first reported on the impacts of the pandemic on University of Toronto Quality Assurance Process (UTQAP) reviews of units and programs and highlighted some of the themes identified in the Semi-Annual Report:
  • The pandemic’s most direct impact was on in-person site visits; with all site visits since the start of the pandemic having been delayed, formally deferred, or reconfigured as virtual visits.
  • Two Provostial reviews had been rescheduled from Fall 2020 to Winter 2021. Seven Decanal reviews originally scheduled to take place during the early lockdown period had been formally deferred, while several others had been postponed in cases where a formal deferral was not required. All reviews, through at least as far as the spring of 2021, were planned to be held in a remote format.
  • Once a virtual site had taken place and the review report submitted, the review process would continue as per normal course.
  • Each of the ten reviews contained in the Compendium reflected the goals of obtaining expert advice from leaders in the field, measuring performance against leading international programs, and obtaining guidance and input from peers on key strategic directions.
  • Two key themes shared across the group of reviews were the ongoing commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion, and community engagement; and the innovative programs and ongoing curriculum development undertaken at the University.

    Professor Lam reported on the ten reports received by AP&P at its meeting on October 27th, 2020. Of these, two were commissioned by the Vice-President and Provost, and eight were UTQAP reviews commissioned by the Deans.

    Professor Lam noted that the reviews had been conducted appropriately and in accordance with the accepted review protocols. He reported that the Committee had a thorough discussion of each of the reviews, and that no follow-up reports had been requested.

    There were no questions from members.

OPEN SESSION CONSENT AGENDA

On a motion duly moved, seconded, and carried

YOUR BOARD APPROVED

THAT the consent agenda be adopted

  1. Report of the Previous Meeting: Report Number 229 – October 8, 2020

    Report Number 229, from the meeting of October 8, 2020 was approved.
  2. Business Arising from the Report of the Previous Meeting

    There was no business arising from the report of the previous meeting.
  3. Items for Information

    Members received the following reports for information:
    1. Provost’s Annual Report on Cases of Academic Discipline, 2019-2020
    2. Semi-Annual Report: Academic Appeals Committee, Individual Cases, Fall 2020
    3. Semi-Annual Report: University Tribunal, Individual Cases, Fall 2020
    4. Report Number 269 of the Agenda Committee – November 5, 2020
    5. Report Number 205 of the Committee on Academic Policy and Programs – October 28, 2020
    6. Report Number 195 of the Planning and Budget Committee – October 28, 2020
    7. Membership of the Advisory Committee on the University of Toronto Library System for 2020-2021


​​​​​​​END OF CONSENT AGENDA


  1. Date of the Next Meeting: Thursday, January 28, 2021, 3:10 – 5:10 p.m.

    The Chair reminded members that the next meeting, would be held on January 28, 2021 at 3:10 p.m.
  2. Other Business

    There were no matters of Other Business raised.

    THE BOARD MOVED IN CAMERA.


IN CAMERA CONSENT AGENDA

  1. Quarterly List of Donations of $250,000 or more to the University of Toronto August 1 to October 31, 2020

    The Board received for information the Quarterly Report on Donations for the period of August 1 to October 31, 2020.


IN CAMERA AGENDA

  1. Capital Project: Report of the Project Planning Committee for the Indigenous House at the University of Toronto Scarborough – Total Project Costs and Sources of Funding

    Given the decision to move the item to the regular agenda for discussion, the total project costs and sources of funding for this Level 2 capital project were presented to the Board.

    On a motion duly moved, seconded and carried

    YOUR BOARD APPROVED

    THAT subject to confirmation by the Executive Committee, 

    THAT the recommendation of the Acting Vice President, Operations & Acting Vice-Provost Academic Operations, as outlined in the memorandum dated November 11, 2019, be approved.
  2. Capital Project: Report of the Project Planning Committee for the Academic Wood Tower

    On motion duly moved, seconded and carried

    YOUR BOARD RECOMMENDED

    THAT the recommendation of the Vice President, Operations and Real Estate Partnerships, as outlined in the memorandum dated November 11, 2020, regarding the Report of the Project Planning Committee for the Academic Wood Tower be approved.
  3. Capital Project: Report of the Project Planning Committee for the New Woodsworth College Academic Building – Total Project Costs and Sources of Funding

    On motion duly moved, seconded and carried

    YOUR BOARD RECOMMENDED

    THAT the recommendation of the Vice President, Operations and Real Estate Partnerships, as outlined in the memorandum dated November 11, 2020, regarding the Report of the Project Planning Committee for the New Woodsworth College Academic Building be approved.
  4. Capital Project: Report of the Project Planning Committee for the Schwartz Reisman Innovation Centre West/Phase 1 – Further Revised Total Project Cost Increase and Sources of Funding

    On motion duly moved, seconded and carried

    YOUR BOARD RECOMMENDED

    THAT the recommendation of the Vice President, Operations and Real Estate Partnerships, as outlined in the memorandum dated November 11, 2020, regarding the Report of the Project Planning Committee for the Schwartz Reisman Innovation Centre (formerly “Partners in Innovation and Entrepreneurship (PIE)”) West/Phase 1 be approved.

    The Board returned to open session.

    The meeting adjourned at 5:03 p.m.


November 20, 2020