Report: UTM Campus Affairs Committee - January 10, 2022

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Via Virtual Meeting room

REPORT NUMBER 50 OF THE CAMPUS AFFAIRS COMMITTEE

JANUARY 10, 2022

To the Campus Council,
University of Toronto Mississauga,

Your Committee reports that it held a meeting on January 10, 2022 at 3:10 p.m. via a Virtual Meeting.

Present:
Robert Gerlai (Chair), Rafael Chiuzi (Vice-Chair), Alexandra Gillespie (Vice-President & Principal), Rhonda McEwen (Vice-Principal Academic and Dean), Susan Senese (Interim Chief Administrative Officer), Mark Overton (Dean of Student Affairs), Nagham Abdalahad, Diana Aldaz, Layana Alnabhan, Esther Baffour, Lee Bailey, Jenny Cui, Dario Di Censo, Melissa Gniadek, Claudiu Gradinaru, Adriana Grimaldi, Jessica Hanley, Shelley Hawrychuk, Yuhong He, Sam Hosn, Pinar Kahraman, Ashley Monks, Hans van Monsjou, Jay Nirula, James Parker, Stephanie Santos, Jessica Silver, Laura Taylor, Fatima Yakubi

Non-Voting Assessors:
Luke Barber (Executive Director, I&ITS and FM&P), Andrea Carter (Assistant Dean, Student Wellness, Support & Success), Christine Esteban (Executive Director, Budget, planning & Finance)

Regrets:
Evan Silva

In Attendance:
Christine Burke (Assistant Vice President, University Planning, Operations and Real Estate Partnerships), Brian De Cunha (Acting Director, Student Housing & Residence Life), Megan Evans (Manager, Parking Services), Monika Farrell (Assistant Director, Planning & Design), Vicky Jezierski (Director, Hospitality & Retail Operations), Antonia Lo (Assistant Director, Student Services & Ancillaries), Lorretta Neebar (Registrar & Director of Enrolment Management), Chad Nuttall (Assistant Dean, Students and International Initiatives), Andrea de Vito (Assistant Director, Hospitality and Retail Operations)

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


  1. Chair’s Remarks

    The Chair welcomed members and guests to the meeting and provided an overview of the available governance positions for teaching staff, administrative staff and students on the Committee and reminded members that the nominations had opened on January 10, 2022 and would close on January 21, 2022.
  2. Enrolment Update

    The Chair invited Ms Lorretta Neebar, Registrar and Director of Enrolment Management to present. Ms Neebar referred to her PowerPoint presentation and discussed current overall enrolment and total headcount, with new, incoming students at 4473 for the fall of 2021 and returning students at 11675 for the same time period. She noted that UTM’s intake was somewhat higher than expected and what the campus had received over the last couple of years, while returning students were similar in numbers to recent years. With respect to overall enrollment, UTM had 4384 international and 11764 domestic students, which included Canadian citizens and permanent residents. With respect to new intake, these numbers were 1660 and 2813 respectively and Ms Neebar noted that there was a higher than expected update in international offers of admission, which has meant UTM’s international student numbers were higher than what UTM had experienced in the last several years. Ms Neebar reported that predicting enrolment trends during the pandemic has been very difficult. However, she noted that UTM was among the first to decide to be conducting remote learning in the fall, which likely had some bearing on international students deciding to study at UTM. Ms Neebar also noted that UTM had many successful virtual events, including a very popular virtual campus tour.

    Ms Neebar then discussed the new intake’s country of citizenship, admission averages, which had increased from the previous year, and age and gender distribution. She noted that UTM normally saw a much higher percentage of Ontario secondary school applicants in the overall applicant pool, but this year, UTM had an increase in applications from foreign secondary school students, going up from last year by approximately 7%. The remainder of the presentation focused on new intake by program and admission noting that UTM was now seeing Computer Science, Mathematics and Statistics form the largest part of the new intake of the campus.

    Ms Neebar concluded her presentation by reporting that numbers for November convocation were slightly down, a predictable outcome for a virtual ceremony. Speaking to the cumulative graduation rate, Ms Neebar noted that UTM had again made progress in bettering these rates through outreach programs to increase retention.

    In response to a member’s question about why the very high interest in the computer science, mathematics and statistics programs were not sustainable, Ms Neebar explained that demand in these programs far outweighed available space, especially in upper year courses.

    Also in response to a member’s question about whether the high level of international student admissions was advisable, Ms Neebar explained that this was not generally sustainable and UTM was implementing various strategies such as multi-year analyses, diversifying its international population and not relying on the same countries for this intake. She added that UTM was planning on returning to a 25-28% range of international students for its student population.
  3. Operating Plans: UTM Service Ancillaries for 2022-23

    The Chair invited Susan Senese, Interim Chief Administrative Officer, to introduce the item.

    Ms Senese thanked the directors of the ancillary departments for being flexible and being able to adjust their operations during the pandemic. She then invited Ms Antonia Lo, Assistant Director, Student Services & Ancillaries to discuss the financial standing of the ancillaries.

    In her presentation, Ms Lo expanded on the following points:
  • Addressing the Service Ancillary Review Guidelines (SARG), she pointed out that Student Housing and Residence Life and Hospitality Services would meet the first three SARG objectives and that Parking Services would not be able to meet any of these objectives as it was forecasting to have an unrestricted deficit balance at the end of the 2022-23 budget year due to the effects of the pandemic;
  • Referring to the statement of reserves, she noted that for the Residence operations, the 2020-21 actuals included a net operating loss before transfers of $2.6 million due to the loss in revenues largely from restrictions on international travel in response to the pandemic.
  • The $4.8 million transferred into the Residence ancillary represented funds from the UTM operating budget for the new residence construction project.
  • In the current year's forecasts, the ancillary anticipated the positive net operating results of $473,000 and for the 2022-23 budget, it was anticipating a $1.5 million net operating loss, which was primarily the result of the cost of a significant renovation of an existing residence facility.
  • Regarding Hospitality Services, the 2020-21 actuals included a net operating loss of $1.8 million due to the closure of the campus during the summer months a significant reduction of on campus population for the entire academic year and a reduction of food services offered to comply with public health guidelines.
  • The forecast for the ancillary is an anticipated loss although not as large as the previous year; for the 2022-23 budget, the ancillary was planning to return to between 75 to 90% of pre pandemic levels of revenues and projecting a net operating loss of $99,000.
  • Despite the significant negative financial impact due to the pandemic the construction reserves allowed for ongoing investments in the upkeep of existing operations and in sustainability projects going forward.
  • For Parking Services the 2020-21 actuals included a $2 million net operating loss before transfers as a result of a significant decline in demand for parking on campus due to the shift to work from home and hybrid learning arrangements.
  • In the current year, the ancillary was anticipating another significant loss of 1.5 million despite the return to some on campus activities in the fall term as parking demand was still significantly reduced.
  • Details were provided of revenues, expenditures and the capital budgets for each of the ancillaries, summarized in schedule 5.
  • For Residences, the 2022-23 budget was primarily comprised of project costs for the new residence building and furniture for the newly renovated McLuhan Court.
  • For Hospitality services, 2022-23 budget included the cost of construction and equipment for a food service outlet in the W. G. Davis Building
  • For Parking, the 2022-23 budget represented the cost of the virtual permit software and a new vehicle.
  • A list of the groups that had been involved in the consultative processes for the ancillaries prior to the operating plans being submitted to this Committee and their meeting dates was provided.

    The presentation was continued by Mr. Brian de Cunha, Acting Director, Student Housing & Residence Life, who highlighted the key components, and noted that the number one priority for the ancillary was renewing existing housing spaces in order to provide all students with renovated spaces. He pointed to the proposed increase in rates, which had been endorsed by the Student Housing Advisory Committee. Mr. de Cunha explained that the ancillary had used competitors in the community and other institutions to arrive at its rates and pointed out that the McLuhan Court residence had the highest proposed increase, which was due to its renovation.

    The presentation was continued by Ms Vicky Jezierski, Director of Hospitality & Retail Services. She reported that the completed ancillary budget was based on an inflation rate which was predicted at 2.1% at the time, but that the latest report in December of 2021 suggested that this number would between 5 and 7%. She noted however, that the ancillary was proposing a 3% price increase, both in its cash price increases as well as its meal plan increases. Ms Jezierski explained that there was an increase in Flex or the taxable portion of a meal plan, as requested by residence students to support an increase in spending on taxable iteMs Moving to Parking Services, Ms Jezierski noted the proposed increase of 3% for all permit types and no proposed increase in pay and display rates. She noted that next year, the parking ancillary would be focusing on implementing a plate recognition system to aid in the accurate management and sale of permits and moving to virtual permits, which would provide real-time information about parking usage.

    There were no questions from members.

    On motion duly moved, seconded, and carried YOUR COMMITTEE RESOLVED

    THAT Subject to Confirmation by the Executive Committee,

    THAT, the proposed 2022-23 Operating Plans and Budgets for the UTM Service Ancillaries, as summarized in Schedule 1, the service ancillary capital budgets as summarized in Schedule 5, and the rates and fees in Schedule 6, as recommended by Susan Senese, Interim Chief Administrative Officer, in the proposal dated December 3, 2021, be approved, effective May 1, 2022.
  1. UTM Master Plan

    The Chair invited Ms Susan Senese, Interim CAO, to introduce the item. Ms Senese invited Ms Christine Burke, Assistant Vice-President, University Planning, Operations and Real Estate Partnerships to speak to the master planning process as it related the recently approved Capital Planning and Capital Projects Policy. Ms Burke noted that the Policy stressed the importance of master plans which set the stage for capital projects on each of the three campuses. She explained that a master plan was a critically important framework document to guide future development and the evolution of a campus in a holistic and comprehensive manner. The overall vision, guiding principles and design framework of a master plan became the launchpad for how new capital projects both of the built form and public realm initiatives were envisaged and developed over the next 10 plus years. She noted that over the course of the development of this master plan, a significant amount of consultation had taken place, including from the University's own Design Review Committee (DRC), which was comprised of both internal and external highly respected design professionals. The DRC reviewed the master plan three times, to provide the right balance of flexibility and specific guidance to meet the needs of UTM’s evolving campus.

    Ms Senese continued the presentation by noting that the previous master plan was developed in June of 2011. The new UTM Master Plan’s development began in November of 2019 as a joint venture between University Planning and in 2020, the hiring of Brook McIlroy, who were selected to lead the project along with a team of consultants, including transportation, ecological servicing and storm water management experts, and heritage and sustainability experts. Ms Senese stated that the resulting document and plan provided UTM with a broad and flexible framework and overarching vision to guide future development decisions while supporting UTM’s academic mission. She called on Ms Monika Farrell, Assistant Director, Planning and Design in the Facilities Management and Planning Department, who had been a key part of the team supporting this master plan process to present the detailed plan.

    Ms Farrell began her presentation by explaining that the UTM Master Plan identified a series of principles, and organized them around the three common themes of Sustainability, Connection and Vitality. These series of principles included the following:
  • Campus ecology identifying different environmental categories within the campus, based on the significance and natural features of each area.
  • Cultural heritage landscape within the City of Mississauga.
  • Transportation - informed by the transportation report.
  • Open Space Framework demonstrated how future campus development and revitalization initiatives could better integrate and enhance the natural landscape and the design of the public realm.
  • Urban Design Framework established key ideas and recommendations to improve the public realm and urban design of the campus as it redeveloped over time.
  • Systems of the Plan – Land & Water: The UTM Campus was bounded by the Credit River to the north, east and south. The Riparian Ribbon, was an entire water-based linkage that started from the north end of Outer Circle Road, and moved south through the campus.
  • Ecology: The Forest Threshold consisted of mature trees that framed the campus along Mississauga Road. The Riparian Ribbon network would create a curated nature walk through the campus and contained a series of natural wetlands and stormwater management ponds.
  • Connections: An expanded circulation network would improve mobility throughout the campus with new connections and streetscape revitalization. Streets and connections should be lined by trees as feasible to create ‘fingers of green’ throughout the campus.
  • Open Spaces: An enhanced network of open spaces would create diverse outdoor space opportunities for active and passive uses.
  • Placemaking: Campus spaces should weave Indigenous narratives of sustainability, stewardship, and land-based learning through design elements that reflected Indigenous imagery, languages, and views.
  • Wayfinding and Identity: Wayfinding markers and interpretive signage should be incorporated along primary and secondary campus routes. Campus entryways should be reinforced with gateway signage and installations, paving and landscaping to enhance the sense of arrival and to improve the legibility of the campus frontage.
  • Built Form Infill: UTM contained numerous opportunities for future development within the 15 year time horizon of the Master Plan to the year 2036. The Master Plan reflected a holistic and comprehensive approach to campus planning, that considered the future potential and provided recommendations for the 15-year time horizon of the Plan and beyond to address space needs.
  • Campus Master Plan Concept: The Master Plan proposes a campus identification system that consists of a precinct code and site number. Future development sites were represented in red, open space in green and sites in planning or design phase, or under construction are in blue.
  • Potential Land Uses for Development Sites / Priorities for Phasing: Most of the immediate future development potential and academic uses were anticipated on lands within the Campus Core and Forest precincts. The ancillary and long-term development potential was along the outer edge of Outer Circle Road and Mississauga Road in the Campus Southwest and Campus South precincts, as well as CE-2.

    Ms Farrell explained that the phasing strategy presented one approach to campus development, but could over time reflect evolving priorities, funding, and the need to accommodate impacts of individual projects.

    She then expanded on some of the key UTM Campus Master Plan proposals, as follows:
  • Identification of potential future development sites;
  • Creation of a landmark building and plaza adjacent to Student Centre on the existing Academic Annex site, framing Kaneff building and creating a campus gateway strategically aligned with heavy pedestrian connection via serpentine bridge from bus drop off;
  • Redevelopment and extension of Middle Road to become a formalized east-west pedestrian connection through the Campus Core;
  • Creation of a flexible outdoor campus commons - The Campus Core (Campus green);
  • Reinforcement of the Riparian Ribbon as a pedestrian connection through the campus that links existing ponds, wetlands, and natural areas through a series of pedestrian pathways and boardwalks;
  • Creation of an Academic Quad and Cultural Commons within the Campus Core to build out the campus’ open space network;
  • Expansion and consolidation of an athletic uses on the existing South Field to create an athletics hub;
  • Establishment of ‘shared streets’ along Residence Road and portions of Outer Circle Road to improve the public realm and the pedestrian experience; and
  • Incorporation of a new cycle track and cycling infrastructure.

    Ms Farrell concluded her presentation by showing an architectural rendering representing the full potential scope range of the UTM Master Plan as well as a 3D view.

    Members had no questions.

    On motion duly moved, seconded, and carried YOUR COMMITTEE RECOMMENDED

    THAT, the UTM Master Plan, dated November 18, 2021, be approved in principle.
  1. Reports of the Presidential Assessors

    The Chair invited Mr. Mark Overton, Dean of Student Affairs & Assistant Principal, Student Services to provide members with an update of items being considered by the CAC at its next meeting. Mr. Overton noted that at the Committee’s next meeting, he would be bringing forward the advice of UTM’s Quality Service to Students committee (QSS), which provided student governments with opportunities whether to support proposed increases to non-academic incidental fees that partially or fully funded student services, such as the Health & Counselling Centre, the Recreation, Athletics and Wellness Centre, the intercampus Shuttle Service, the Career Centre, the International Education Centre, the Centre for Student Engagement, and others. He explained that these consultation processes included multiple open advisory groups convened by each services’ directors and managers on what they offered and their impacts, what’s proposed for the coming year, and any related changes in fees.

    He showed a summary of the proposed fees to be brought forward at the next CAC meeting, which was maintaining Health Services, and Athletics & Recreation fees at their existing levels, and slightly increasing the Student Services Fee bundle, but below eligibility based on the University’s indexes for what might be reasonable. At CAC’s next meeting, he would share QSS votes that were occurring in the next two weeks as well as highlights from these services’ management reports, detailed budgets, and insights from the chair of the QSS committee on her insights.

    Concluding his report, and on a different topic, Mr. Overton shared that registration opened today for February’s Alternative Reading Week (ARW) student volunteer opportunities. ARW was a three-day initiative where students were given a chance to learn more about, and make a positive difference directly in Peel local communities. This year, small teams of student volunteers would be working with project leaders on STEM and STEAM initiatives, Big Brothers Big Sisters mentoring, BIPOC and Black History program development, and mental health support, among others.


    CONSENT AGENDA

    On motion duly moved, seconded, and carried YOUR COMMITTEE APPROVED

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

  2. Report on Capital Projects – as at November 30, 2021

  3. Report of the Previous Meeting: Report 49 – October 21, 2021 Report number 49, dated October 21, 2021, was approved.

  4. Business Arising from the Report of the Previous Meeting

  5. Date of Next Meeting – February 9, 2022 at 3:10 p.m.

  6. Other Business

    There was no other business.

The meeting was adjourned at 4:23 p.m.

January 11, 2022