Report: UTM Campus Council - April 19, 2021

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Via Virtual Meeting

REPORT NUMBER 47 OF THE UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO MISSISSAUGA CAMPUS COUNCIL

April 19, 2021

To the Governing Council,
University of Toronto

Your Council reports that it met on April 19, 2021 at 4:10 p.m. in a Virtual Meeting Room.

Present:
Samra Zafar (Chair), Shashi Kant (Vice-Chair), Rose Patten (Chancellor), Alexandra Gillespie (Vice-President & Principal), Sultan Akif, Hassaan Basit, Mitchell Bonney, Dario Di Censo, Bryan Du, Laura Cocuzzi, Ivana Di Millo, Sanja Hinic-Frlog, Robert Gerlai, Shelley Hawrychuk, Sameer Lal, Joseph Leydon, Jay Nirula, Laura Taylor, Kathleen Yu, Ziyaad Vahed, Ron Wener, Mitra Yakubi

Non-Voting Assessors:
Amrita Daniere (Vice-Principal, Academic & Dean), Saher Fazilat (Chief Administrative Officer), Mark Overton (Assistant Principal, Student Services & Dean of Student Affairs)

Regrets:
Imre Gams

In Attendance:
Tammy Cook (Executive Director, Facilities, Management & Planning), Christine Capewell (Executive Director, Financial & Budget Services), Anne McIlroy (Principal and Lead Architect, Brook McIlroy), Tneshia Pages (Associate and Project Manager, Brook McIlroy), Lorretta Neebar (Registrar and Director of Enrolment Management), Andrea Carter (Assistant Dean, Student Wellness, Support & Success), Kate Martin (Communications Writer, Office of the CAO)

Secretariat:
Cindy Ferencz Hammond (Assistant Secretary of the Governing Council), Tracey Gameiro (Assistant Secretary of the Governing Council)


  1. Chair’s Remarks

    The Chair welcomed members to the meeting. She also welcomed Dr. Rose Patten, the Chancellor to the meeting and invited her to offer some remarks. Dr. Patten thanked the Chair for the warm welcome and noted that she was looking forward to hearing about the exciting developments at UTM through the planned presentations.

    The Chair thanked Dr. Patten for her remarks and continued the meeting by announcing that the final governance election results had been made available on the Elections webpage of the Office of the Governing Council website. She also reminded returning members that the deadline for indicating their standing committee preferences for the 2021-22 governance year, was Monday, April 26, 2021.
  2. Report of the Vice-President and Principal

    In her report, Professor Gillespie expressed her gratitude and acknowledged people and accomplishments in the UTM community.

    Professor Gillespie began by highlighting the work of Jennifer Stellar, Assistant Professor in UTM’s Department of Psychology, who was an expert on the impact of prosocial emotions and member of the Department’s Health, Adaptation, and Wellbeing Research Cluster.

    She thanked UTM staff—in facilities, security, parking, finances, communications, human resources, IT, EHS—who continued to support the success of the COVID-19 vaccine clinic, hosted at UTM. In collaboration with partners at Trillium and Peel Health, the clinic had administered more than 70,000 vaccines. She also highlighted staff in Facilities Management who, while coordinating the master planning process, continued to lead the campus’s frontline operations and the team in Student Housing & Residence Life who had been creating the spaces for students to feel safe, engaged, and included. She next acknowledged the team in UTM’s Office of the Registrar who, on top of innovations in scheduling, planning, and student-facing support, had successfully launched a new Virtual Campus Tour and the team in UTM’s Library who had created new online programs to support the UTM community in teaching, learning, and researching.

    Professor Gillespie acknowledged the work of U of T’s Task Force on Anti-Black Racism, including the faculty, staff, student, and alumni consultants at UTM, which had now completed a Final Report with 56 recommendations, all accepted by the university’s senior administration. She noted that the report would enable systems-wide action in areas from leadership and governance to funding and advancement, from data collection and complaint investigation to anti-racism training and inclusive space design. She added that the report also complemented the Scarborough National Charter on Anti-Black Racism and Black Inclusion, which had united universities across Canada around a commitment to accountability, mutuality, black flourishing, and inclusive excellence.

    Professor Gillespie continued her report by referring to her priorities as detailed in her earlier reports, which included enabling excellence in student and faculty research; building inclusive communities and sustainable spaces; and inspiring academic innovation and student success and noting that by the end of 2021, her hope was that the entire UTM community could work together to revise these priorities into UTM’s first-ever campus-wide strategic plan.

    The Vice-President & Principal concluded her report by referring to a campus-wide message sent by her office on March 11, 2021 on the National Day of Observance on the impact of COVID-19. In the message, she had invited the UTM community to consider and reflect on what the pandemic had shown about what UTM did or could do better, to represent them. She noted that there would be further communication and invitations to various online forums in May, with open participation from students, staff, faculty, librarians, alumni, and community partners, where these views could be shared.

    Professor Gillespie then invited Shelley Hawrychuk, UTM’s Chief Librarian, to provide a presentation on library initiatives over the past year.

    During her presentation, Ms. Hawrychuk highlighted several changes the library had made over the past year to support the UTM community through COVID-19, including the following:
  • The UTM liaison librarian model whereby every program had a liaison librarian that supported them in collections, instruction, and research help, continued to expand.
  • To meet the student need for fast, easy access to course readings, the library introduced E-alternatives to print resources, purchased electronic materials, digitized when necessary and piloted a project for digitization of DVDs, and streaming more film/media.
  • Unique to UTM, the library instructional technology support team continued to manage Quercus, the online learning environment, but during the past year, had greatly increased support for faculty and students; in collaboration with UTM’s Information & Instructional Technology Services (I&ITS) and the Dean’s Office, new online support spaces were also created, including a “teach anywhere” Quercus course, webinars, and additional training.
  • The library supported remote learning plans, including providing safe access to library collections, finding alternatives to print resources, extending current loans, putting a freeze on print purchasing, exploring e-alternatives, offering curbside pickup and digitizing materials wherever possible.
  • The library joined the HathiTrust Emergency Temporary Access Service, which was a collection of millions of older digitized books.
  • In collaboration with I&ITS, the library negotiated remote access to software with vendors.
  • Moved research and information literacy instruction to students and faculty online and developed remote learning opportunities and created asynchronous content to supplement live instruction, including flexible scheduling and availability.
  • With respect to research assistance for students for their assignments, the primary mode of delivery was moved to Live Chat and a Zoom Reference or live help desk had also been introduced.
  • The library also supported students by developing remote wellness guides.
  1. Overview of the UTM Campus Operating Budget: 2021-22 (for information)

    At the invitation of the Chair, Ms Christine Capewell, Executive Director, Financial & Budget Services, gave a presentation outlining considerations and projections for the 2021-22 UTM Campus Operating Budget. She began her presentation by referring members to the background materials which were made available on the governance portal, such as the Long-Range Budget Guidelines, the Annual Report on Student Financial Report 2019-20, and the Enrolment Report for 2020-21. During her presentation, she highlighted the following points:
  • The total enrolment intake target would remain similar to the numbers of the past three years;
  • Actual results varied, as evidenced in 2020, where due to the pandemic, enrolment was under target by about 429 in total, 75 of these international students;
  • Focus this year will be on meeting intake enrolment target;
  • Total headcount predicted for 2021-22 was 15,202 undergraduates and 481 graduate students;
  • Although enrollment actuals for fall 2020 were lower than expected, retention was higher than expected;
  • Ongoing negative impact for at least the years 2022-23 to 2023-24;
  • Budget has been greatly influenced by the Provincial 10% cut in tuition in 2019-20 and the tuition freeze in 2020-21; the assumption is that tuition will remain frozen for 2021-22.
  • International tuition saw an increase of 2% in 2021-22 instead of the planned 4%, which resulted in a cost of $3-4 million annually;
  • As is the University’s practice, UTM has a balanced budget for 2021-22, with gross expense budget allocated to UTM of $348 million and the same amount allocated to individual UTM Budgets.
  • UTM’s revenues consisted of $423 million, with the sources of funds made up primarily of tuition (69%), followed by operating grants (14%), divisional revenue (9%), University Fund allocation (6%), and other revenue (2%).
  • Out of the $423 million, $53 million is allocated for University wide costs, such as the University library system and the pension plan; and $22 million is set aside for student aid, which includes the international scholarship program;
  • The remaining $348 million is made up of primarily compensation (58%), capital construction (14%), infrastructure renewal (17%), self-funded student services (6%) and other (5%), which includes equipment and other services;
  • Key spending priorities focused on students, the faculty and staff complement, COVID-19 related costs, mental health, and space;
  • New intake for 2021-22 is projected at 3842 and the international share of that intake at 30.7%;
  • International diversification efforts were underway, including through an international scholarship, to temper the 67% share from a single source home country;
  • UTM contributed a percentage of international tuition to scholarships, in 2023-24, this will be at 6%; in 2021-22, UTM expected to spend $7 million in this area;
  • $1.6 million was added to student awards in 2020 fall to bolster recruitment efforts and the same is planned for fall 2021, with two additional academic advising staff;
  • The current 2020-21 faculty search schedule included a total of 31 FTE’s, consisting of 17 replacements and 16 growth positions;
  • UTM participated in the U of T Diversity in Academic Hiring Fund and Indigenous Hiring Fund
  • Staff complement hires to include staff attached to the Academic Plan implementation and facilities staff to maintain the Science building and the proposed ACT building;
  • UTM mental health and Wellness saw a high level of engagement with online supports; plans were underway to add two nurses to Centre;
  • With respect to space, a substantial portion of the budget was set aside for state of good repair spending and capital construction projects, such as the ACT building and the Student Services Commons;
  • As previously reported, loss of revenue continued to impact UTM’s ancillary operations;
  • Tighter budget situation than in previous years due to COVID related costs, but UTM’s budget was in good standing to meet its stated goals and planned capital projects.

    The Chair thanked Ms Capewell for her presentation.
  1. UTM Master Plan (for information and feedback)

    Saher Fazilat, Chief Administrative Officer, began the presentation by explaining that a campus master plan outlined what was needed to realize a University’s strategic plan in a physical sense. Master plan design objectives guided an institution’s short term project support and work towards its long-term plans and goals. UTM’s Master Plan 2020, was an active process where campus priorities and goals were identified and would be used to inform future capital projects and initiatives, building on the framework set out in the campus’ 2011 master plan.

    Ms Fazilat noted that the 2020 plan was focused on the following objectives:
  • a stronger preservation and use of campus open spaces;
  • improved user mobility and safety within the UTM campus;
  • renewed and modernized transportation methods to campus
  • the creation and continuation of sustainably designed academic buildings and mixed-use spaces;
  • increased ability for all campus users to use outdoor spaces in all seasons;
  • increased campus awareness in and participation in cultural place making;
  • increased campus appeal from visual aesthetics and from a health and wellbeing perspective.

    The CAO noted that consultations on the plan had been ongoing since early 2020 and have continued via remote platforms. UTM had also updated the City of Mississauga on its plans and would be bringing final plans for governance approval starting in the fall of 2021. She then invited a presentation from Anne McIlroy, Principal and Lead Architect and Tneshia Pages, Associate and Project Manager, from Brook McIlroy. The CAO noted that there would be another town hall on the proposed Master Plan on Thursday, April 29, at 11:30 a.m., where the UTM community could provide additional feedback.

    Ms McIlroy and Ms Pages gave a comprehensive presentation, covering the following topics:
  • the design approach to future development;
  • campus wide guiding principles;
  • campus precincts and environmentally sensitive sites;
  • the campus commons and a consolidated sport complex;
  • spaces for indigenous place keeping and placemaking;
  • potential development sites and future nodes and connections.

    Ms Pages noted that the campus transportation network had been an important focus of consideration for the master plan. She explained that a traffic study would be undertaken in the future to analyze issue related to the congestion entering and exiting the campus, particularly during peak hours. To date, analysis had shown that the middle campus entrance from Mississauga Rd had spare capacity.

    Another important transportation consideration for UTM included the creation of a complete street network along Outer Circle Road, with dedicated cycling lanes and generally improving access to infrastructure for cycling, walking and transit to promote multimodal opportunities. She added that the traffic study would be using existing 2016 and 2018 transportation data given that the pandemic had altered traffic patterns at UTM. The University had plans to conduct further transportation studies after the completion of the master plan once transportation patterns had returned to normal levels, which may result in further revisions to the master plan recommendations as part of phase two of the project. In the presentation, Ms Pages showed two options that aimed to improve traffic flow throughout the campus and to provide improved mobility options for pedestrians and cyclists. A decision on the final option will be informed by the final transportation study.

    In response to a member’s question about the impact of planned capital projects identified in the Master Plan on the Jefferson Salamander, which was an endangered species, Tammy Cook, Executive Director of Facilities Management & Planning explained that UTM had undertaken a process to verify the population and habitat of salamanders within the area in question and would fulfill its stewardship responsibilities and abide by the recommendations in that report. She added that this process was also part of the permit process for any of the planned capital projects in the affected area.

    A member asked about a key indicator for success of the master plan particularly when considering seasonal issues. Ms McIlroy noted that it had been critical to think through seasons when developing the plan. She explained that the plan had considered the integration of buildings with outdoor spaces through as many seasons as possible and would be designed to be porous, accessible, and useable through the seasons. She explained that visually, outdoor spaces would be designed to be beautiful, well-lit, and the furnishings would be robust. She added that the spaces would tell a story about the campus as a whole and how they fit within the ecological, indigenous place making, and the natural and cultural history of the campus.

    A member remarked that it was his hope that UTM would not just meet but exceed any requirements that arose as a result of the Jefferson Salamander study to meet its goal of dedication to sustainability. Another member echoed that remark and spoke about the creation of a values map for UTM that included ecological values. The Vice-President & Principal noted that there had been a robust conversation with Mark Johnson, and other faculty members from the Department of Biology, regarding ecological renewal across the campus and that these conversations would continue as an important part of the planning process.


CONSENT AGENDA

On motion duly moved, seconded, and carried

YOUR COUNCIL APPROVED

THAT the consent agenda be adopted and that Item 7 - Report of the Previous Meeting, be approved.

  1. Report on UTM Capital Projects – as at March 31, 2021
  2. Reports for Information
    1. Report 47 of the Agenda Committee (April 8, 2021)
    2. Report 46 of the Campus Affairs Committee (March 23, 2021)
  3. Report of the Previous Meeting: Report 46 – March 9, 2021

    Report number 46, dated March 9, 2021 was approved.
  4. Business Arising from the Report of the Previous Meeting
  5. Date of Next Meeting – Monday, April 19, 2021 at 4:10 p.m.

    The Chair reminded members that the next meeting of the UTM Campus Council was scheduled for Monday, April 19, 2021 at 4:10 p.m.
  6. Question Period

    There were no questions for the administration.
  7. Other Business

    There was no other business.

The Council moved In Camera.

  1. Appointments: 2021-22 Community Members of the University of Toronto Mississauga Campus Council

    On motion duly moved, seconded, and carried

    YOUR COUNCIL APPROVED,

    THAT the recommended appointments in the alumni/community estate to the UTM Campus Council, as recommended by the Nominating Committee, and as specified in the Memorandum dated April 12, 2021, be approved, for terms of three years, effective July 1, 2021.


The meeting was adjourned at 5:50 p.m.

April 22, 2021