Report: Business Board - June 17, 2021

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Via Virtual Meeting room

REPORT NUMBER 259 OF THE BUSINESS BOARD

Thursday, June 17, 2021

To the Governing Council,
University of Toronto.

Your Business Board reports that it held a virtual meeting on Thursday, June 17, 2021 at 5:00 p.m. with the following members:

Present:
Anna Kennedy (Chair), Bruce Winter (Vice-Chair), Claire Kennedy, Chair of the Governing Council, Brian Lawson, Vice-Chair of the Governing Council, Scott Mabury, Vice-President, Operations and Real Estate Partnerships, Kelly Hannah-Moffat, Vice-President, Human Resources and Equity, Sheila Brown, Chief Financial Officer, Robert G. Boeckner, Harvey Botting, David Bowden, Teodora Dechev, Janet Ecker, Sue Graham-Nutter, Sarosh Jamal, Kathryn A. Jenkins, Joan Johnston, Amin Kamaleddin Kikelomo Lawal, Jan K. Mahrt-Smith, Rajiv Mathur, Brian A. Miron, Andrew Padmos, David Regan, Susan Rodgers, Ian Taylor

Regrets:
K. Sonu Gaind, Danielle Skipp, Vishar Yaghoubian

Secretariat:
Sheree Drummond, Secretary of the Governing Council, Anwar Kazimi, Deputy-Secretary of the Governing Council, Patrick F. McNeill, Secretary

Non-Voting Assessors:
Cheryl Regehr, Vice-President and Provost
David Palmer, Vice-President, Advancement
Joseph Wong, Vice-President, International
Trevor Rodgers, Assistant Vice-President, Planning and Budget
Heather Boon, Vice-Provost, Faculty and Academic Life
Adrienne De Francesco, Executive Director, Capital Projects Group
Joshua Mitchell, Director, Real Estate

In Attendance:
Evan Kanter, Governor-Elect
Angela Hildyard, Special Advisor to the President
Helen Choy, Manager, Trust Accounting and Treasury
Elizabeth Cragg, Director, Office of the VPOREP
Rosalyn Figov, Chief Operations Officer, Office of the VPHRE
Jane E. Harrison, Director, Office of the Vice-Provost, Faculty & Academic Life
Owen McCartney, Development Finance Analyst


ITEMS 8(a) AND 9 WERE RECOMMENDED TO THE GOVERNING COUNCIL FOR CONFIRMATION. ITEM 11 AND IN CAMERA ITEMS 21 AND 22 WERE APPROVED. ALL OTHER ITEMS ARE REPORTED TO THE GOVERNING COUNCIL FOR INFORMATION.
Pursuant to section 33(i) of By-Law Number 2,
items 18-22 were considered in camera.

OPEN SESSION

  1. Chair’s Remarks

    The Chair welcomed members and guests to the final meeting of the governance year.

    Ms Anna Kennedy advised that she would recuse herself from any discussion and decision regarding a property matter under In Camera Item 22.
  2. Annual Report: Senior Appointments and Compensation Committee (SACC)

    Ms Claire Kennedy presented the SACC Annual Report covering the period May 1, 2020 to April 30, 2021. She noted that SACC was responsible for attesting to the Governing Council, through the Business Board, that compensation policies and programs for particular categories of employees were appropriate, and that decisions about the compensation of individuals had been made in accordance with established policy and practice.

    As part of its role, SACC reviewed the President’s Annual Activity Report for 2019-20, and considered the Chair of the Governing Council’s performance evaluation for the President – as well as the performance assessments of the Vice-Presidents prepared by the President. SACC had also reviewed the proposed compensation increases for Professional, Managerial and Confidential Staff, Advancement Professionals and Senior Research Associates/Research Associates and had previously recommended them for approval by the Business Board.

    The report was received for information.
  3. Reports of the Administrative Assessors

    Professor Scott Mabury, Vice-President, Operations and Real Estate Partnerships (VPOREP) provided the following updates:


    COVID-19
  • re-entry planning for students and staff in September well underway;
  • University had arranged for 500 quarantined residential spaces – over 2,000 students accommodated in local hostels and student residences in recent months representing 28,000 room nights, which included meals and other COVID-related services; Food Services had prepared and delivered 84,000 meals to these students. This included 27,700 special meals accommodating for 691 students that had dietary requirements from plant-based, Halal, and Kosher, to severe allergies or intolerances;
  • COVID rapid testing (UCheck) plans in place for all student residences – requirement for full vaccination to reside in residence was implemented;
  • Tri-campus working group had been established to review types of spaces requirements, including classroom and workplace spaces and to develop guidelines and best practices that help direct the University in future decision-making on the type of new space(s) to build, renovate and rehabilitate that will be most beneficial to the broader institution. In the short-term, it would provide 2021-22 tri-campus guidance to space accommodation – this would be an experiment for a full academic year…and would need to be adjusted along the way.
  • Local adaptation and innovation were expected – working group members would share lessons learned: What works? What doesn’t? How can we improve and learn from each other, and be nimble? Ultimately, the working group would look to create a toolkit that imagined new permanent environments based on best forward-thinking practices to assist in the transition of various groups navigating into hybrid or fluid working environments, with differing specific needs, accommodations, and solutions.
  • University had implemented ventilation measures in numerous spaces across tri-campus including classrooms to improve air flow. HVAC assessments had been performed, including conducting air surveys, to determine air flow rates in classrooms and the tri-campus HVAC Strategy had been updated.; and
  • reduced number of students and staff on campus had presented opportunity to move up schedule (expedite) of several capital projects including the St, George campus Landmark project.


    Cyber Security Threats
  • ITS had implemented Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) solutions to better protect computer devices, protection of email and access to protected sites, including remote work authentication;
  • increased user awareness initiatives implemented regarding risk mitigation;
  • coordinated and community focused approaches to security threats were being developed in partnerships with schools in Canada and around the world;
  • UofT served as an administrative lead of the Canadian Shared Security Operations Centre (CanSSOC), which had piloted a threat feed to protect against suspicious activity and potential breaches; and
  • CanSOCC would be partnering with organizations in the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom to extend intelligence-sharing beyond Canadian borders.
  1. Annual Report: Vice President, Operations & Real Estate Partnerships

    Professor Scott Mabury, Vice-President, Operations and Real Estate Partnerships (VPOREP), presented an annual report for 2020. As part of the President’s three priorities, Professor Mabury stated that UofT had leveraged its urban location to the benefit of the university and the city through $2.15B of active capital projects in development, in design or under construction; through the Four Corners (4C’s) strategy and through a new business ancillary, University Development and Campus Services. OREP was also strengthening and deepening international partnerships through the UniForum Global Benchmarking initiative – it had joined 50 other universities in Canada, the UK, Australia and New Zealand in an annual study of its respective universities’ distribution of services and activities in support of our academic mission, and its respective resourcing.

    Professor Mabury added that the portfolio had re-imagined and re-invented undergraduate education through a monumental digital transformation and an acceleration of many ITS initiatives in support of all undergraduate and graduate education; through 4C’s provision of non-academic amenities such as additional food retail to compliment the academic experience of students; and through Ancillary Services’ initiatives such as student housing programming initiatives, food service improvements and a campus pedestrian safety working group. Finally, through Facilities & Services, Professor Mabury stated that OREP had continued to engage with various academics in support of a “living lab” paradigm.

    Professor Mabury highlighted key accomplishments as outlined in his presentation. He expressed his thanks to the numerous staff involved across the tri-campus for their hard work and commitment.

    There were no questions or comments by members. The report was received for information.
  2. Report on Capital Projects to May 30, 2021

    Ms Adrienne De Francesco, Executive Director, Capital Projects Group presented the Report on Capital Projects to May 30, 2021.

    There were no questions or comments by members. The report was received for information.
  3. Annual Report: Vice-President, Human Resources and Equity

    Professor Kelly Hannah-Moffat, Vice-President, Human Resources and Equity presented an annual report for 2020. She noted that the report detailed the activities and accomplishments of the Division of HR & Equity (HRE) between January 1 and December 31, 2020. When the COVID-19 pandemic emerged early in 2020, Professor Hannah-Moffat reported that the University had adopted a variety of measures to protect the health and safety of its community and the wider population, assisted students in completing their courses, and supported critical research focused on COVID-19. The Division of HR & Equity also played an essential role in this response while maintaining focus on HRE’s mission, vision, and values.

    As part of a presentation, Professor Hannah-Moffat highlighted key accomplishments and initiatives of the portfolio – HRE had:
  • maintained its commitment to equity, excellence, innovation, and systemic change while responding successfully to the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • developed a new way of working by collecting detailed employee feedback, introducing flexible and telecommuting work arrangements, offering virtual professional development opportunities, and leading the implementation of UCheck to make campus a safe working environment;
  • supported the employee lifecycle by continuing the transition to the University Pension Plan, expanding mentorship opportunities, and using data analysis to improve recruitment equity and succession planning;
  • enhanced the employee experience and eased uncertainty caused by the pandemic through a cohesive, holistic approach to collective bargaining, financial and benefits support to mitigate temporary layoffs, paid wellness days, and new virtual wellness programming.
  • advanced an intentionally inclusive, diverse, and equitable culture by creating Anti-Racism Strategic Tables, introducing anti-racism and inclusivity workshops, creating new, trauma-informed training around sexual violence and emphasizing institutional accountability through the Office of Indigenous Initiatives’ U of T Calls to Action.

    Professor Hannah-Moffat recognized the efforts of her team on their excellent work on the many successful initiatives in the VPOREP portfolio especially during COVID-19 and the challenges it presented in the past year.

    There were no questions or comments by members. The report was received for information.
  1. Annual Report: 2020 Employment Equity Report

    Professor Kelly Hannah-Moffat presented the 2020 Employment Equity Report. She stated that the Employment Equity survey was a voluntary, confidential questionnaire open to all employees (appointed and non-appointed staff and appointed faculty and librarians). The survey allowed the University to analyze its workforce composition relative to the Canadian workforce, using the principles outlined in the Federal Contractors Program (FCP).

    Professor Hannah-Moffat noted that the Report marked the fourth analysis of workforce composition following an overhaul of the survey launched July 1, 2016 – the Report covered the reporting period of January 1 to December 31, 2020, and contained response data from the Employment Equity Survey and applicant information from the University’s applicant tracking system.

    Professor Hannah-Moffat’s presentation included the following highlights of the Report:
  • 89.5% response rate to Survey (a 2.4% increase from the previous reporting period, and the highest since the relaunch of the Employment Equity Survey in 2016);
  • questions captured data related to the following groups: Gender and Gender Identities, Racialized Persons or Persons of Colour, Ethnocultural Identity, Black, Indigenous or Aboriginal People of North America, Persons with Disabilities (visible & invisible), and Sexual Orientation;
  • respondents had chosen to answer all or select questions, could select more than one answer for each question, and may have updated their information at any time; and
  • references to representation increases or decreases year-over-year refer to information published in the 2020 Employment Equity Report; in some cases, changes in representation were the product of a clearer sample of an existing employee base or more substantive responses to the survey, rather than concrete changes in representation.

    Professor Hannah-Moffat stated that the Report included the following types of analysis:
  • representation analysis and intersectional identities of persons who self-identified as Black – the proportion of staff respondents that self-identified as Black increased from 6.1% in 2016-17 to 6.4% in 2017-18, 6.7% in 2019, and 7.2% in 2020;
  • internal and external workforce analysis of Women, Racialized Persons, Indigenous Persons, and Persons with Disabilities; the report also captured data with respect to those who identified as LGBQ2S+ (though there was no external comparative data);
  • analysis of intersectionality and overlap of identities; and analysis of tri-campus representation rates.

    Professor Hannah-Moffat remarked on the survey results based on the above-noted, as follows:
  • representation rates of staff who identified as Racialized Persons or Persons of Colour increased year-over-year;
  • recruitment and retention of diverse new hires was equal to or higher than the number of exits of staff who identified as Racialized Persons or Persons of Colour;
  • representation rates of faculty in continuing appointments (which included tenured/tenure stream faculty and teaching stream faculty in the continuing stream) were as or more diverse than faculty in contractually limited term appointments and part-time positions in either stream; and,
  • the number of faculty who self-identified as Indigenous/Aboriginal People of North America had increased over previous years both absolutely and relatively (from 9 (.61%) in 2017 to 25 (1.13%) in 2019 and 31 (1.3%) in 2020).

    In her concluding remarks, Professor Hannah-Moffat stated that the Report was for internal use and informed recruitment practices designed to improve representation rates from underrepresented groups, retention programs designed to support and respond to the diverse needs of all employees, and inclusivity initiatives designed to enhance the employee experience. She recognized the efforts of HRE staff who were instrumental in carrying out the survey, undertaking the analysis and preparing the Report.

    There were no questions or comments by members. The report was received for information.
  1. Financial Statements (arising from the meeting of the Audit Committee, June 16, 2021)
    1. Audited Financial Statements for the Fiscal Year ended April 30, 2021

      In her introduction, Ms Sheila Brown, Chief Financial Officer (CFO), recognized the extraordinary efforts and exceptional job of those members from Financial Services, Internal Audit, University of Toronto Management Corporation and External Audit in the annual preparation of the audited statements, especially during COVID-19 and the challenges it presented.

      Ms Janet L. Ecker, Chair of the Audit Committee, reported that the Audit Committee had met with the external auditors. The Committee reviewed the audit plan at its December 1st, 2020 meeting and was satisfied with the areas of audit emphasis that included how the University records its revenues and accounts for its investments, employee future benefits and capital projects to name a few. There were no major deviations from the audit plan and scope during the execution of the audit.

      Ms Ecker stated that the auditors performed additional procedures to satisfy themselves of the authenticity of documentation provided since this year’s audit was performed remotely – procedures were also conducted to ensure that the disclosure of the impact of COVID-19 was appropriate. At its June 16th meeting, Ms Ecker reported that the Audit Committee was satisfied that the financial statements fairly represented the financial position of the University and its results for 2020-21 and had no concern that would call into question the integrity of the financial statements.

      Ms. Brown noted that the key themes of the Financial Statements were the higher than forecasted investment return (24.2%), the strong and ongoing focus on capital infrastructure, and the impact of COVID-19. The CFO then offered a presentation, which provided additional granularity in the following areas:
    • Revenue and Expenses
    • Assets, Liabilities and Net Assets
    • Net Assets
    • Endowments
    • Investment Performance of the Long-Term Capital Appreciation Pool
    • Endowment Cumulative Preservation of Capital compared to Cumulative Inflation
    • Outstanding Debt and Debt Policy Limit
    • Financial Results Compared to Forecast

      The Chair thanked Ms Brown for her detailed report and remarked on the excellent results in an unsettled and volatile year. Ms Kennedy extended congratulations to everyone involved with preparing the financial statements. She also thanked the members of the Audit Committee for their careful review of the statements.

      On motion duly made, seconded and carried,

      YOUR BOARD RECOMMENDED

      THAT the University of Toronto audited financial statements for the fiscal year ended

      April 30, 2021 be approved.
    1. Supplementary Report by Fund April 30, 2021

      The Supplementary Report was received by the Board for information.
  2. Appointment of the External Auditors (arising from the meeting of the Audit Committee, June 16, 2021)

    Ms Sheila Brown reminded members that Ernst & Young LLP had been re-appointed following a tendering process for the 2014-15 financial statements. The University continued to be very satisfied with the work performed by Ernst & Young LLP. The CFO noted that the Audit Committee and the administration had reviewed the performance of the auditors and that the review had been very favourable. Ms Brown expressed unqualified support for the re-appointment of the external auditors.

    Ms. Brown noted that unlike prior years there would be no recommendation with regards to the appointment of an external auditor of the pension plan as the University was moving to a jointly sponsored pension plan model.

    Ms Ecker reported that Ernst & Young LLP continued to perform well and were proactive in bringing issues and new developments forward. The firm had also met the University’s very tight deadlines and heavy workload requirements for the various audits.

    As Chair of the Audit Committee, Ms Ecker confirmed that at its meeting on June 16, 2021, the Audit Committee had recommended to the Business Board the re-appointment of Ernst & Young LLP. for the upcoming fiscal year 2021-22.

    On motion duly made, seconded and carried,

    YOUR BOARD RECOMMENDED

    THAT Ernst & Young LLP be re-appointed as external auditors of the University of Toronto for the fiscal year ending April 30, 2022.
  3. Debt Policy Limit, Debt Allocations, Outstanding Debt Issued and Status of the Long Term Borrowing Pool to April 30, 2021

    Ms Sheila Brown explained that the Report, which was an annual item presented to the Board for information, provided an update on the total debt policy limit; the debt burden ratio and the viability ratio; as well as an update of the status of the long-term borrowing pool. The Long Term Borrowing Pool was a self-imposed sinking fund in which the University was accumulating funds to repay debentures when they matured.

    The report was received for information.


OPEN SESSION CONSENT AGENDA

On a motion duly moved, seconded and carried

IT WAS RESOLVED

THAT the consent agenda be adopted and items approved.

  1. Report of the Previous Meeting

    Report Number 258, from the meeting of April 27, 2021, was approved.
  2. Business Arising from the Report of the Previous Meeting

    There was no other business arising from the report of the previous meeting.
  3. Report Number 142 of the Audit Committee, April 26, 2021

    The Board received the report for information.
  4. Health and Safety Requirements – Quarterly Report on Compliance (April 1 – June 30, 2021)

    Members received the Quarterly Report on Compliance for information.
  5. Status Report on Debt to May 31, 2021

    Members received the status report on debt to May 31, 2021 for information.
  6. Date of the Next Meeting

    The Chair advised Board members that the next meeting was scheduled for Tuesday, October 5, 2021 at 5:00 p.m.
  7. Other Business

    There were no items of other business.

The Board Moved In Camera

In Camera Reports of the Administrative Assessors (oral reports)

Professor Angela Hildyard, Special Advisor to the President, provided an update on the University Pension Plan.

Professor Mabury presented an update on a property matter.

The were no other in camera reports from the Administrative Assessors.

  1. Quarterly Report on Gifts and Pledges over $250,000: February 1, 2021 to April 30, 2021

    The Quarterly Report was received by the Board for information.
  2. Collective Agreements: University of Toronto and Unifor, Local 2003

    The Collective Agreements: University of Toronto and Unifor, Local 2003 (May 1, 2021 – April 30, 2022) and University of Toronto and CUPE Local 2484 (July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021), were received by the Board for information.
  3. Report of the Striking Committee: Co-opted Membership of the Business Board and the Audit Committee for 2021-2022

    On motion duly made, seconded and carried

    IT WAS RESOLVED

    BUSINESS BOARD

    THAT Olenka Baron be appointed to the Business Board as a co-opted administrative staff member for a one-year term from July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022; and

    THAT Alicia Damley and Thomas Hofmann be appointed to the Business Board as co-opted lay members for three-year terms from July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2024.

    AUDIT COMMITTEE

    THAT the following be appointed as co-opted members of the Audit Committee for one-year terms from July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022:
  • Robert Boeckner (re-appointed)
  • Sue Graham-Nutter (re-appointed)
  • Rima Ramchandani (new appointment)

    THAT Joanne McNamara be appointed as Chair of the Audit Committee and Rajiv Mathur be appointed as Vice-Chair of the Audit Committee for one-year terms from July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022.

    The Chair moved into a virtual waiting room and the Vice-Chair took on the role as Acting Chair for consideration of In Camera Item 22.
  1. Property Matter

    On motion duly made, seconded and carried

    IT WAS RESOLVED

    THAT the recommendation of Professor Scott Mabury, Vice-President, Operations and Real Estate Partnership, as outlined in the memorandum dated June 7, 2021, regarding a property matter, be approved.

The Chair returned to the meeting.

The Board returned to Open Session.

Chair’s Closing Remarks

The Chair thanked members for their attendance, diligence and participation in the Board meetings, offering special thanks to the Vice-Chair, Senior Assessor, Voting Assessors, outgoing Board members and the Secretariat.

Recognition of Sheila Brown, Chief Financial Officer

The Chair expressed the special gratitude of the Board to Ms Sheila Brown, Chief Financial Officer, for the exceptional service and guidance she provided, as a Voting Assessor to the Board. The Chair further remarked that Ms Brown was one of the longest-serving CFOs at the University of Toronto – she had also contributed in other positions during her long service to the University – Ms Brown, along with a superb team always by her side, had amassed a truly successful track record in the finance portfolio. In addition, Ms Brown had earned a reputation for her understanding and appreciation of the financial complexities of UofT and its governance system – this is an achievement in its own right.

The Chair stated that the Board would miss her regular presence at meetings and spoke for all members in wishing Ms Brown the very best in her retirement.

The meeting adjourned at 7:12 p.m.


June 20, 2021