Report: UTSC Campus Affairs Committee - October 20, 2021



October 20, 2021

To the Campus Council,
University of Toronto Scarborough,

Your Committee reports that it met on Wednesday, October 20, 2021 at 3:10 p.m., in a virtual meeting, with the following members present:

Tayyab Rashid (Chair), Tarun Dewan (Vice-Chair), Wisdom Tettey (Vice-President and Principal USTC), William A. Gough (Vice-Principal Academic & Dean), Andrew Arifuzzaman (Chief Administrative Officer), Desmond Pouyat (Dean, Student Experience & Wellbeing), Angela Abuel, Monisha Chawla, Dhra Chourey, Kyle Danielson, Jacqueline M. Deane, Jason Glover, David Kwasny, Daniel Lysak, Alice Maurice, Joseph Peter McNamara, Sylvia Mittler, Naureen Nizam, John Ramdeen, Andrew Tam, Jessica Urbach

Non-voting Assessors:
Jamie Donaldson, Sheila John, Helen Morissette, Jeff Miller, Nadia Rosemond

Emma Thacker (Secretary), Timothy Harlick


Philip August, Esma Boztas, Obidimma Ezezika, Mark Fitzpatrick, Brian Harrington, Alexander Irving, Sonja Nikkila, Nidhi Shah

Varsha Patel (Assistant Dean, Student Success and Career Support), Jennifer Davies (Manager, Career Development Services)


  1. Chair’s Remarks

The Chair, Dr. Tayyab Rashid, welcomed members and guests to the virtual meeting. He provided several reminders about virtual meeting protocols.

  1. Status Report on UTSC Campus Strategic Priorities

The Chair explained that this item reflected the first step in the governance process for consideration of budget matters. He invited Mr. Andrew Arifuzzaman, UTSC Chief Administrative Officer to present the status report. Mr. Arifuzzaman provided institutional context for the University budget, and then provided an overview of the UTSC budget planning process. The presentation provided members with information about the priorities going into the Academic Budget Review (ABR) process. Mr. Arifuzzaman reported the following priorities that were connected to the UTSC Strategic Plan - Inspiring Inclusive Excellence: A Strategic Vision for the UTSC:

  • Faculty Positions (Complement Plan);
  • Equity Diversity and Inclusion Investment;
  • Strategic Undergraduate Enrolment Management;
  • Expansion of Community Partnerships Office;
  • Research Excellence for Local and Global Impact;
  • Space and Capital Plan; and
  • COVID-19 Recovery Planning.

A member asked about international and domestic enrolment, noting a decrease in domestic tuition revenue. He also asked about a local transit link to UTSC. Mr. Arifuzzaman responded that the chart reflecting domestic tuition was University-wide and did not reflect the total number of students, and that the chart noted the proportion of revenue. He explained that the target was 30% for international students and 70% for domestic students. He also noted the University plan to diversify enrolment and have a wider representation of countries in the international student mix. Mr. Arifuzzaman also commented that a transit link would benefit those in Toronto who wanted to come to UTSC, however there was also interest to develop other transport links from around the province.

A member asked if enrolment targets were met, and also asked for an update on the Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI) Office. Mr. Arifuzzaman responded that the University would complete its annual enrolment count on November 1. It was anticipated that enrolment targets would be met, or very close. The Dean’s Office was focused on addressing various demographics for recruitment. With respect to the EDI Office, Mr. Arifuzzaman responded that additional resources had been added, and that evaluation and training for faculty and staff around EDI was underway. He concluded by noting the critical importance of the EDI Office, as UTSC and the University moved towards inclusive excellence.

  1. Presentation: Creating and Enhancing Programs to Facilitate Career Transitions, and Further Learning (Academic Advising & Career Centre)

The Chair invited Varsha Patel, Assistant Dean, Student Success and Career Support, and Jennifer Davies, Manager, Career Development Services, to share their presentation regarding Career Services. Highlights of the presentation included:

  • 5157 students participated in live and pre-recorded career related workshops in 2020/21;
  • 545 work-study positions at UTSC; 302 students joined 42 chats with professionals;
  • 114 virtual job shadowing placements in 2020-21; 100 + placements in October 2021;
  • 877 students participated in virtual networking opportunities;
  • ‘Get Hired’ Conference – April of 2021;
  • Launch of career management modules for graduates with disabilities;
  • Graduate Outcomes Survey indicated that 57.4% of students intended to pursue further education;
  • Career Strategist, EDI; Employer Engagement Coordinator, EDI;
  • Departmental partnerships: e.g., Sociology Launch Pad.

A member asked about supporting students/graduates for the longer term with career services. Ms Davies responded that students could receive career support services for two years after graduation, and that students like to feel the University’s confidence in them after graduation. Time management and transferable skills were important.

  1. Report of the Presidential Assessors

The Chair invited Professor William A. Gough, Vice-Principal Academic & Dean to present his Report. Professor Gough, provided an update on the upcoming Winter 2022 term, noting that UTSC was still planning for a largely in-person course delivery, and that while the Province would not require social distancing in the classroom, everyone must be masked in the classroom. Classrooms would be full capacity in the winter term. As per the Province’s direction, the University had imposed vaccine mandates, with a very high compliance rate. Courses with 200+ students would offer a web capture option. Labs and exams would be in-person. Should instructors become ill, procedures from pre-pandemic will guide options and process. Faculty continued to discuss and explore the use of Universal Design for Learning (UDL), for course design to optimize teaching and learning for students, especially those who could not attend in person. Those with an approved vaccine exemption were required to complete regular testing. UCheck was also required.

The Chair invited Desmond Pouyat, Dean, Student Experience & Wellbeing, to present his report. Dean Pouyat reported that all services were now providing some in-person options, with reduced staff. Services also continued to be offered virtually. The student residences were close to a typical capacity, and athletics programming was underway, which included the use of the PanAm Sports Centre. Tennis programs were highly successful this year. Recreational programs had been full although operating at a reduced capacity. Student group activity had also rebounded with currently over 170 recognized student groups. The Health & Wellness Centre was working to provide same day access to counselling services through the introduction of new model of care. In addition, a new tri-campus medical records system (EMR) was up and running. The Student Mental Health Advisory Committee meeting had been well attended, which had a focus on proactive listening to students, and receiving feedback and recommendations for student mental health needs.

A member asked about unique challenges for UTSC with COVID-19 compared to the other campuses. Professor Gough responded that it had been the case that there was a differential approach in September, reflective of the ways that COVID-19 had manifested across the GTA area. Many of those issues were now not very different from the other campuses, and as such the approach will be very similar to St. George in the winter term (2022).

6. Report of the Previous Meeting: Report Number 44 – September 14, 2021

The report of the previous meeting was approved.

7. Business Arising from the Report of the Previous Meeting

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

8. Date of Next Meeting – January 13, 2022 at 3:10 p.m.

The Chair advised members that the Committee would meet again on January 13, 2022 at 3:10 p.m.

9. Other Business

Members had no other business.

The meeting adjourned at 4:21 p.m.