Report: UTSC Campus Council - March 10, 2021

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Via Virtual Meeting

THE UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO SCARBOROUGH CAMPUS COUNCIL

REPORT NUMBER 46 OF THE CAMPUS COUNCIL

March 10, 2021

To the Governing Council,
University of Toronto
Your Campus Council reports that it met on Wednesday, March 10, 2021 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, Shadi Dalili, Tarun Dewan, Irmi Hutfless, Brenda Librecz, Jason Glover, Elaine Khoo, Daniel Lysak, Gillian Mason, Sonja Nikkila, Tayyab Rashid, Paulina Rousseau, Dorinda So, Lara Zink, Xiaoyu Yuan

In Attendance: Professor Cheryl Regehr (Provost), Jeff Lennon (Executive Director, Institutional Planning & Budget Administration), Desmond Pouyat (Dean, Student Experience & Wellbeing), Nadia Rosemond (Assistant Dean, Co-Curricular Engagement & Student Leadership), Helen Morissette (Director, Financial Services), Varsha Patel (Assistant Dean, Student Success), Tina Doyle (Director, AccessAbility Services) Greg Hum (Director, Housing & Residence Life), Fran Wdowczy (Director, Business Development), Philip August, Larry Whatmore, Ian Cole, Aileen Cabrera, Jennifer Curry, Tanya Poppleton, Josh Haas, Sheila John

Secretariat: Emma Thacker (UTSC Campus Council Secretary), Cindy Ferencz Hammond

Regrets: George Fadel, Liben Gebremikael, Silma Roddau, Changmiao Yu


OPEN SESSION

  1. Chair’s Remarks

    The Chair, Professor Paul Kingston, welcomed members and guests to the Campus Council meeting. He reported to members about the recent call for ‘Community Members Applications’ to the Campus Council for the upcoming governance year. He invited members to connect any interested and outstanding alumni members of the community with the Council Secretary, Emma Thacker.
  2. Report of the Vice-President and Principal

    The Chair invited Principal Tettey to provide his Report.
    1. Principal’s Report

      Principal Tettey acknowledged the passing of Associate Professor Waheed Hussain, Department of Philosophy on January 30th, 2021, commenting that Professor Hussain was a valued member of the University community. He was an engaging teacher, passionate educator and accomplished researcher. The University of Toronto flag was raised at half-mast on Friday, February 26th, 2021, at UTSC and St. George campus, in his honour. Principal Tettey attended the virtual memorial tribute held on Saturday, February 27th, 2021.

      Principal Tettey commented upon the President message of March 8, 2021, regarding the Fall 2021 session. He reported that the Administration was optimistic that the fall session would include some level of in-person teaching, and on-campus activities. He remarked that while the situation was still uncertain, some of the positive learnings of the past year would continue as appropriate, to maintain a level of productivity, while remaining safe and in compliance with public health measures.

      Principal Tettey reported on the first draft of the Scarborough National Charter, which was an outcome of the National Dialogues (October 2020) that focused on anti-Black racism and Black inclusion in Canadian higher education. The Scarborough National Charter was drafted in partnership with members of the Inter-Institutional Advisory Committee for the National Dialogues and Action (ND&A). The draft Charter was circulated to institutional partners and supporters for feedback.

      The reconstituted advisory group, the ‘Truth, Reconciliation, and Indigenous Initiatives Advisory Committee’ was launched and included significantly broader Indigenous representation. The mandate of the Committee is to serve as an advisory body to the Vice-President & Principal and the campus’ Executive Team as they undertake initiatives with respect to promoting, supporting and enhancing Indigenous presence in all facets of the UTSC mission. The committee held its first meeting in March, and they continue to discuss priorities such as placemaking and the renaming of some campus structures.

      Principal Tettey reported on the ongoing discussions with the Scarborough Health Network (SHN) regarding the anticipated vaccination centres. Current plans favoured Highland Hall (HH) as the vaccination centre location. News regarding the vaccination centre was anticipated soon, which would determine next steps.
    2. Presentation: Supporting Academic Progress at UTSC

      Principal Tettey invited Varsha Patel (Assistant Dean, Student Success), and Tina Doyle (Director, AccessAbility Services), to share with members a presentation regarding how the Academic Advising & Career Centre had been supporting student success and progress throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The presentation provided the following highlights:

      Academic Advising and Career Centre
  • Orientation and retention initiatives (e.g., ArriveUTSC, 142 students completed the program)
  • Virtual study skills and support (e.g., workshops, panels, study sessions)\
  • Online resources to support students (e.g., tip sheets for study in the virtual environment)
  • Equity deserving students (e.g., Indigenous programming: networking, mentorship day, student check-ins, Indigenous academic study skills ambassador)
  • Career programs, services and resources (e.g., Summer job boot camp online module)
  • Supporting graduates (e.g., virtual job shadowing, Get Hired virtual conference)

    AccessAbility Services
  • Students who register: 8% international, 92% domestic
  • Number one disability type is mental health
  • Student engagement (e.g., revise academic accommodations to recognise remote learning, study skills videos for remote learning, mental health tip sheets for remote learning, online social events)
  • Faculty engagement (e.g., supporting inclusive instructional design, assistive technology consultant;
  • Tri campus continuity working groups (e.g., capacity building, infrastructure, tip sheets)
  • Policy advocacy
  • Provincial lessons learned (e.g., AODA Postsecondary Education Standard Development Committee)
  • Upcoming initiatives (e.g., Learning Strategist Accessibility Specialist)
  • 93% of students reported a positive overall experience with AccessAbility Services

A member asked about the anticipated impact of the Scarborough National Charter. Principal Tettey responded that the community wanted to move past narrative and platitudes, and that the Charter foregrounded a set of principles and included a set of actions that institutions were encouraged to pursue. He commented that institutions were at differing stages in the process, and implementing the actions will vary across institutions. Several of the partnering institutions had already developed task forces and were working towards the goal to eradicate anti-black racism and foster black inclusion. He explained that a University of Toronto Task Force report was planned for later in the Spring. Principal Tettey also pointed out that mechanisms for accountability were built into the Scarborough National Charter.

  1. Institutional Operating Budget 2021-22 and the Long Range Budget Guidelines to 2025-26

    The Chair informed members that the Budget Report was recommended for approval by the

    Planning & Budget Committee on February 22, 2021, and was presented today for information.

    He invited Provost Cheryl Regehr, and Mr. Jeff Lennon, Executive Director, Institutional Planning & Budget Administration, to address the Council. Highlights were provided as follows:
  • It was reported that while the University was in positive financial state overall despite the significant uncertainty created by the pandemic, resources continued to be directed toward addressing the ongoing challenges as a result of COVID-19;
  • The University of Toronto presented a balanced budget for every year of the five year plan, with the total budgeted operating revenue for 2021-22 of $3.12 billion was 4.4% higher than the 2020-21 budget;
  • The expense budget structure remained largely unchanged, with 57% of expenses related to faculty and staff compensation, 9% for student financial aid and 8% for capital projects;
  • Enrolment remained robust, with enrolment-related revenues projected to increase;
  • The shift in the balance of funding between tuition and provincial operating grants continued and each year it went down approximately 1%, with just 21% of the operating budget now supported by the Provincial government, down from 22% last year;
  • Spending was increased on financial aid, health and safety measures, and online teaching tools.
  • The impact of COVID-19 was particularly felt by ancillary services, which suffered significant adverse budgetary consequences and would likely require deficit spending over the next several years;
  • Projected revenue growth across the University was 4.4%, with UTSC’s figure at a 10.5% increase;
  • Bill 124 would restrict compensation increases for a 3-year period, excluding increases related to PTR, merit, and union grid steps;
  • Divisions had been asked to develop budgets assuming a freeze of domestic tuition for one additional year (2021-22) pending the announcement of a new Provincial tuition fee framework.
  • The University also received the lowest amount of per-student government funding among U15 peers;
  • The government had confirmed that no performance-based funding would be at risk until at least 2022-23;
  • Positive variance in enrollment was mainly due to retention of upper year students;
  • International student intake would move from around 28.5% this year up to just over 30% by the end of the five year period;
  • The University continued its commitment to providing financial aid, spending significantly more than required by the Province’s student access guarantee, and 58% more in financial aid per student than the average of other Ontario universities;
  • The student aid budget for 2021-22 would increase to $291 million, with 50 million of that coming from endowed funds and the rest from operating funds;
  • Divisions are earmarking 6% of international undergraduate tuition revenue to create scholarships to reduce the costs of tuition for top international applicants: the investments were being phased in beginning in 2020-21 with $15 million, and up to $84 million in additional funding by 2025-26.
  • The operating budget continued to prioritize investments related to the student experience, including: expanded mental health services, increased opportunities for experiential, work-integrated learning, and research experiences, improvements to both physical and IT infrastructure, and improving service delivery in the areas of academic advising and student success;
  • Five priority areas had been identified for the $27 million University Fund Allocation: Inclusive Excellence, Enriching Learning, Investing in Divisional Priorities, Advancing University Priorities, and Research Support;
  • The University had established a new infrastructure fund and at the end of 2020, divisions had set aside $429 million for major capital projects in the reserve fund.

A member asked about the increase in funding for international student scholarships. Mr. Lennon responded that the scholarships were a response to several items, such as an effort to have a broad representation of students from all over the world and to provide financial aid.

A member asked about the changes to the OSAP criteria in relation to the ongoing global pandemic. Provost Regehr clarified that the OSAP threshold was determined by the provincial government. She further noted that if family income had been reduced due to circumstances brought about by the pandemic, students may become eligible for OSAP. Students also had access to emergency grants.

  1. Operating Plans and Fees: UTSC Office of Student Experience and Wellbeing
    1. Advice from the Council on Student Services (CSS)

      The Chair invited Mr. Desmond Pouyat, Dean, Student Experience and Wellbeing, to introduce the item. Mr. Pouyat thanked the presenters, Varsha Patel (Assistant Dean, Student Success), and Tina Doyle, (Director, AccessAbility Services), for their presentation and their significant efforts to support student success and retention.

      He reported that at the pre-vote meeting, the Council on Student Services (CSS) considered fees for Health & Wellness Service, Athletics and Recreation, Career Services, Academic Support and Student Buildings. The fees were strongly endorsed by the CSS. He also shared with members some of the initiatives and equity hires to support the Black student community, noting that these initiatives were part of the fee increases.
    2. Operating Plans and Fees: Office of Student Experience and Wellbeing

      Mr. Pouyat invited Nadia Rosemond (Assistant Dean, Co-Curricular Engagement & Student Leadership), to present. Ms Rosemond provided an overview of the priorities and themes (e.g., online engagement and support, virtual campus life, student mental health, supporting Black students/community). She discussed the robust process to approve the operating plan, which was governed by the Protocol on Non-Tuition Fees. She reported a positive recommendation from the CSS and noted that all resolutions had passed. In closing, Ms Rosemond clarified that the Student Experience & Wellness operating plan posed no risk to UTSC’s operating budget or the university budget.

      Dr. Tayyab Rashid, Chair, Campus Affairs Committee (CAC) reported that at the CAC meeting of February 11, 2021, a member asked about the Athletics and Recreation fee, with regard to COVID-19. He reported that Mr. Pouyat and Principal Tettey responded to clarify about the current 40% fee reduction due to COVID-19 and remarked that fees for the upcoming year would receive consideration as well, if needed with respect to the pandemic. He noted that the item was recommended for approval to the Campus Council.

      Members had no questions.

      On motion duly made, seconded, and carried,

      YOUR COUNCIL APPROVED,

      THAT subject to confirmation of the Executive Committee,

      THAT, the 2021-22 operating plans and budgets for the UTSC Student Experience and Wellbeing (including the Health & Wellness Centre, Athletics & Recreation, Career Services, Academic Support, Student Buildings and Other Student Services), as presented in the documentation from Mr. Desmond Pouyat, Dean of Student Experience and Wellbeing, be approved; and

      THAT the sessional Health & Wellness Service Fee for a UTSC-registered or UTSC- affiliated full-time student be increased to $77.70 per full-time student per session ($15.54 per part-time student per session); which represents a year over year increase of 0.86 % ($0.66 for full-time student; $0.13 for part-time student);

      THAT the sessional Athletics and Recreation Fee for a UTSC-registered or UTSC- affiliated full-time student be increased to $147.29 per full-time student per session ( $29.46 per part-time student per session); which represents a year over year increase of 0% ($0 for full-time student; $0 for part-time student);

      THAT the sessional Career Services Fee for a UTSC-registered or UTSC- affiliated full-time student be increased to $89.12 per full-time student per session ($17.82 per part-time student per session); which represents a year over year increase of 0.54 % ($0.48 for full-time student; $0.10 for part-time student);

      THAT the sessional Academic Support Fee for a UTSC-registered or UTSC- affiliated full-time student be increased to $53.56 per full-time student per session ($10.71 per part-time student per session); which represents a year over year increase of 27.25 % ($11.47 for full-time student; $2.29 for part-time student);

      THAT the sessional Student Buildings Fee for a UTSC-registered or UTSC- affiliated full-time student be increased to $34.62 ($6.92 per part-time student per session); which represents a year over year increase of 3.5 % ($1.17 for full-time student; $0.23 for part-time student);

      THAT the sessional Other Student Services Fee for a UTSC-registered or UTSC- affiliated full- time student be increased to $20.22 ($4.04 per part-time student per session); which represents a year over year increase of 2.22 % ($0.44 for full-time student; $0.09 for part-time student).
  1. Operating Plans: UTSC Service Ancillaries

    The Chair invited Mr. Andrew Arifuzzaman, UTSC Chief Administrative Officer, to introduce the item. Mr Arifuzzaman reminded members of the University’s four financial objectives for service ancillaries – to operate without subsidy from the University’s operating budget; to provide for all costs of capital renewal including deferred maintenance; to create and maintain an operating reserve; and to contribute net revenues to the operating budget.

    Mr. Arifuzzaman invited Mr. Greg Hum (Director, Housing & Residence Life) to present. Mr. Hum highlighted several key accomplishments from the ‘Student Housing and Residence Life’ unit, which included: navigating the COVID-19 pandemic; revising the residence programming and residence conduct models; increased collaborations with campus departments to meet the COVID-19 challenges; and the completion of much-needed facilities work. He noted the proposed 5% increase for 2021-22.

    Mr. Arifuzzaman invited Ms Fran Wdowczyk (Director, Business Development & Special Advisor to the CAO Operations and Special Projects) to present. Ms Wdowczyk noted the irregular year with respect to COVID-19 and UTSC facility rentals and use. She highlighted several accomplishments from the ‘Retail and Conference Services’ unit which included the introduction of an online summer camp (in place of the on-campus camp), and the continuation of film, television, and commercial shoots on campus. Ms Wdowczyk also highlighted several key accomplishments and projects from the ‘Food and Beverage Services’ unit including: the introduction of an online food ordering app; the introduction of the ‘meal in a box’ program; enhancing student meal experiences through community partnerships; and new campus vending machine offerings. She reported that the Aramark (campus food service provider) agreement and partnership was renewed, and explained that the upcoming year would focus on capital renewal.

    Mr. Arifuzzaman highlighted the current objectives of the ‘Parking Services’ ancillaries unit. This included a goal to operate and maintain UTSC’s surface parking lots while building a capital reserve fund to help finance the construction of an aboveground parking structure. He noted that Ms Tanya Poppleton (Director, Campus Safety), attended to answer questions regarding Parking Services.

    Dr. Tayyab Rashid, Chair, CAC, reported that at the CAC meeting on February 11, 2021, a member raised a question about the parking facilities during the upcoming construction. Mr. Arifuzzaman responding by explaining the temporary parking arrangements. There was also a question about conference revenue for departments. It was explained that when the pandemic caused events to be cancelled, monies were refunded, and that previous quotes were honoured. The item was recommended for approval to the Campus Council.

    Members had no questions.

    On motion duly made, seconded, and carried,

    YOUR COUNCIL APPROVED,

    THAT subject to confirmation of the Executive Committee,

    THAT the 2021-22 operating plans and budgets for the UTSC Service Ancillary, as summarized in Schedule 1; the Service Ancillary capital budgets as summarized in Schedule 5; and the rates and fees in Schedule 6, as presented in the Service Ancillary Report on Operating Plans dated January 05, 2021, be approved effective May 1, 2021.
  2. Compulsory Non-Academic Incidental Fees - Student Society Fees: UTSC Student Society Proposals for Fee Increases

    The Chair invited Mr. Desmond Pouyat, Dean, Student Experience and Wellbeing to present the item. Mr. Pouyat explained the University’s assumed obligations to students and the oversight role of the Office of the Vice-Provost, Students. He reported that the fee changes requested by the Scarborough Campus Students’ Union (SCSU) were subject to the Policy for Compulsory Non-Academic Incidental Fees and the Policy on Ancillary Fees.

    Dr. Tayyab Rashid, CAC Chair, reported that at the CAC meeting on February 11, 2021, there were no member questions raised about the student fee increases. The proposal was recommended for approval to the Campus Council.

    Members had no questions regarding the student fee proposal.

    On motion duly made, seconded, and carried,

    YOUR COUNCIL APPROVED,

    THAT subject to confirmation of the Executive Committee,

    THAT beginning in the Summer 2021 session, the Scarborough Campus Students’ Union (SCSU) fee be modified as follows: (a) an increase of $7.09 per session ($1.42 part-time) in the UTSC Sports & Recreation Complex Levy portion of the fee;

    THAT beginning in the Fall 2021 session, the SCSU fee be modified as follows: (a) an increase of $0.06 per session (full-time only) in the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS) portion of the fee; (b) continuation of the WUSC Program portion of the fee through the 2021-22 academic period; and subject to confirmation of approval of the following fee increase proposals by the SCSU Board of Directors at its March 19, 2021 meeting,

    THAT beginning in the Fall 2021 session, the SCSU fee be modified as follows: (a) an increase of up to $8.23 per Fall and Winter sessions (full-time only) in the Health Plan portion of the fee; (b) an increase of up to $10.40 per Fall and Winter sessions (full-time only) in the Dental Plan portion of the fee.

    If approved, the total Fall/Winter SCSU fee will be up to $473.48 per session ($51.40 part-time), charged to all UTSC undergraduate students.
  3. Report of the Previous Meeting: Report Number 45 – January 27, 2021

    The report of the previous meeting was approved.
  4. Business Arising from the Report of the Previous Meeting

    There was no business arising from the report of the previous meeting.
  5. Reports for Information

    Members received the following reports for information.
    1. Report Number 45 of the UTSC Agenda Committee (March 1, 2021)
    2. Report Number 42 of the UTSC Campus Affairs Committee (February 11, 2021)
  6. Date of the Next Meeting – Wednesday, April 11, 2021 at 4:10 p.m.

    The Chair advised members that the Council was scheduled to meet again on April 11, 2021 at 4:10 p.m.
  7. Question Period

    Members had no questions.
  8. Other Business

    No other business was raised.


The meeting adjourned at 6:01 p.m.



March 16, 2021