Report: Academic Board - January 26, 2023

Council Chamber, Simcoe Hall, 27 King's College Circle, 2nd floor


JANUARY 26, 2023

To the Governing Council,
University of Toronto,

Your Board reports that it met on January 26, 2023 at 3:10 p.m. in the Council Chamber, Simcoe Hall with the following members present:

PRESENT: Douglas McDougall (Chair), Ernest Lam (Vice Chair),  Cheryl Regehr (Vice President and Provost), Scott Mabury (Vice President, Operations & Real Estate Partnerships), Susan McCahan (Vice Provost, Academic Programs & Vice Provost, Innovations in Undergraduate Education), Ramona Alaggia, Larry Alford, Catherine Amara, Laura Anderson, Brinda Batra, Joshua Barker, Michael Chan, Catherine Chandler-Crichlow*, Marsha Chechik, Robert Cooper, Lorne Costello*, Amrita Daniere, James Davis, Raisa Deber*, Jennifer Dolman, Paul Downes, Annabelle Dravid*, Sheree Drummond, Markus Dubber, Jessica Eylon, Monique Flaccavento, Joseph Flessa*, Robert Gazzale, Robert Gibbs*, Emily Gilbert, Keevyn Hirschfield, Jason Harlow, Tony Harris, Walid Houry, Nadine Janes, Sarosh Jamal, Linda Johnston, Shone Joos*, Madeline Kalda, Rita Kandel*, Elaine Khoo, Lisa Kramer*, Brigitte Lavoie, Jan Mahrt-Smith*, Nicole Mideo, Eha Naylor, John Oesch, Fabian Parsch, Matt Ratto, Karen Reid, Sharon Switzer-McIntyre*, Steven Thorpe, Veronica Wadey, Charmaine Williams*, Melanie Woodin, Geeta Yadav,  David Zingg*, Daniel Zung

*participated remotely via Zoom

REGRETS: Areeb Ahmed, Aarthi Ashok, Adalsteinn (Steini) Brown, Jutta Brunnée, Christian Caron  Missy Chareka,  Carol Chin, Susan Christoffersen,  Leah Cowen, Nathalie Des Rosiers, Maryanna Diab, Lisa Dolovich, Juan Du, David Dubins, Wendy Duff, Darryl Edwards, Angela Esterhammer, Dickson Eyoh, Adam Fox, J. Roy Gillis, William Gough, Ellie Hisama, Charles Jia, Jessica Johnson, Gretchen Kerr, Grase Kim,  Jeannie Kim, Anil Kishen, Philip Kremer, Normand Labrie, Dveeta Lal, Sameer Lal, Hong Lu, Zhino Maanavi, Irene Morra, Amy Mullin, Nicole Novroski, Jesse Pasternak, Jennifer Purtle, Srilata Raman, Michael Ratcliffe, Rosa Saverino, Laura Simone, Jastaranpreet (Jasty) Singh, Markus Stock, Ali Syed, Laura Tam, Ryan Teschner, Nhung Tran, Justin Van Houten, Suzanne Wood, Christopher Yip, Trevor Young, Daniel Zimmerman

NON-VOTING ASSESSORS: Heather Boon (Acting Vice President, People Strategy, Equity and Culture)*, Dave Lehto (Chief of University Planning, Design and Construction), Wisdom Tettey (Vice President and Principal, UTSC)*

Tracey Gameiro, Secretary

Patricia Houston, Vice-Dean, Medical Education, Temerty Faculty of Medicine
Jamie Kellar, Associate Dean, Academic, Leslie Dan Faculty of Medicine
Liam Mitchell, Senior Project Manager, Strategic Initiatives, Office of the Dean, Temerty Faculty of Medicine
Archana Sridhar, Assistant Provost, Office of the Vice-President and Provost
Susan Mazza, Special Projects Officer, Office of the President


Pursuant to section 33(i) of By-Law Number 2,
Items 10-11 were considered in camera.


  1. Chair’s Remarks

    The Chair welcomed members and guests to the first meeting of the New Year.
  1. Report of the Vice-President and Provost

    The Chair invited Professor Cheryl Regehr, Vice-President and Provost to provide her report to the Board. The Provost offered brief remarks, noting that she did not have a formal report to make to the Board, but would contribute to presentations of items on the agenda. Professor Regehr announced that Dr. Irene Morra had been appointed Principal of St. Michael’s College; the first woman to hold the position. The Provost also reported that Professor Nathalie Des Rosier’s terms as Principal of Massey College had been renewed to June 30, 2027.

    There were no questions from members.  

  2. Capital Project: Report of the Project Planning Committee for the Scarborough Academic of Medicine & Integrated Health (SAMIH) at the University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC) – Project Scope and Sources of Funding

    Scott Mabury, Vice-President, Operations & Real Estate Partnerships (“VPOREP”), and Andrew Arifuzzaman, Chief Administrative Officer, UTSC, (“CAO”) presented the proposal.

    Professor Mabury began the presentation noting the substantial unmet health needs of the Scarborough and Durham Region. He noted that the SAMIH project was strategically positioned to increase the number of health professionals able to meet these needs.

    During the course of the presentation, the following aspects of the project were highlighted:

  • Work had started in 2017 with the Ontario government to create a hub for health professional training at UTSC to support the growing population and the lack of health care resources in the region.
  • In early 2022, the provincial government announced funding for the project, along with confirmation that the University of Toronto would receive funding on an annual basis for 30 additional MD Program seats, 45 additional post-graduate medical training positions, 40 additional seats for the Physical Therapy program (MScPT) as well as more than 300 life science seats (BSc) as part of the SAMIH initiative.
  • The province would fund operating costs, but capital would be provided through the University and donors.  
  • The site would house classrooms, teaching labs, research labs, administrative offices, a food services outlet, study spaces, a student lounge, clinics, and student offices.
  • Occupants of SAMIH would be the Temerty Faculty of Medicine’s MD Program, Physical Therapy Program, and Physician Assistant Program; the Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing’s Nurse Practitioner program; the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy Experiential Learning program (Discovery Pharmacy); and, the UTSC Departments of Health & Society, and Psychology – Clinical Psychology Program.

    The Board then received a report of the UTSC Campus Council’s discussion of the project, delivered by Chair Grace Westcott.

    Following the presentation, the VPOREP and CAO, as well representatives from the internal faculty partners collaborating on the project, responded to members questions, clarifying the following:
  • Topics related to Indigenous health were already part of the MD Program’s curriculum, with electives available for students. Under the guidance of an Indigenous health lead, students were taught about both caring for Indigenous populations as well as methods and approaches to Indigenous health. The Temerty Faculty of Medicine had a close partnership with Women’s College Hospital’s Centre for Wise Practices in Indigenous Health and TAIBU Community Health Centre to ensure students had exposure to this area of practice.
  • A design-build project delivery approach had been adopted to mitigate risk, better navigate market volatility, and provide some budget certainty. This methodology had been used in the past with other large projects across the three campuses (e.g. Goldring Centre for High Performance Sport, UTSC’s Instructional Centre).
  • Input from builders and architects had been robust.

    In response to members’ questions and comments regarding the proposal’s emphasis on “integrated health,” opportunities for collaborations among the University’s degree programs and potential partners, and the education and coordination of health care providers, Mr. Arifuzzaman stated that the proposal was an opportunity for innovative new programs, with many synergies and interest for other potential partnerships both with the local community and other health care providers. 

    Professor Linda Johnston, (Dean, Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing) noted that the clinics within SAMIH that focused on interprofessional approaches to care of communities in the region would be one of the strongest aspects of the project. She reported that working groups were being established to investigate ways in which SAMIH could partner more broadly in areas such as knowledge translation in research and scholarship, academic programming, and outreach and admissions.

    Vice-President & Principal (UTSC), Wisdom Tettey, added that the mandate of ‘integrated health’ would extend beyond the health professions and into the larger ecosystem of programs at UTSC, such as the Health Humanities program, and studies in health policy and cultural determinants of health and access to care, as well as with UTSC research institutes, such as the newly established Institute for Inclusive Health and Well-Being.

    The Provost clarified that adding new student spaces in specific fields reflected the areas of greatest need as determined by the Ontario government. Other disciplines already a part of the health programming at UTSC, such as social work, would be integrated over time. 


    On motion duly moved, seconded and carried


    THAT the project scope of the Scarborough Academy of Medicine and Integrated Health (SAMIH) as identified in the Report of the Project Planning Committee for the Scarborough Academy of Medicine and Integrated Health (SAMIH) at the University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC), dated November 17, 2022, be approved in principle; and,

    THAT the project totaling 10,801.5 gross square metres (gsm), be approved in principle, to be funded through: the UTSC Infrastructure Fund; Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, Temerty Faculty of Medicine, Provostial Funding Sources, Donor and UTSC Financing. 

  1. Revisions to the University-Mandated Leave of Absence Policy

    The Provost introduced the item, thanking all those who contributed to the review process.     

    Professor Sandy Welsh, Vice-Provost, Students then provided the Board with an overview of the review process, highlighting the following:
  • Consultations included town halls, meetings with student societies and other student organizations, consultations with staff and faculty across all three campuses, consultation with the University Ombudsperson, and an online consultation site open to all members of the University community from March 1 to November 30, 2021.
  • The draft Policy revisions were shared with two external experts in Human Rights Law and Psychiatry, and their feedback incorporated into the revised Policy.
  • The University accepted all recommendations.
  • Recommendations were presented to governance in Fall 2021.
  • A further review of the Policy would be undertaken after three years.

    Professor Welsh stated that the Policy revisions included:
  • Renaming the Policy to more accurately reflect its purpose and the options contained therein.
  • Restricting mandated leaves only to those cases where a student posed harm to others or actively interfered with the educational experience of fellow students, and all other options for reasonable accommodations had been exhausted.
  • Reinforcing the compassionate intent of the Policy, and the University’s obligation to provide accommodations up to the point of undue hardship.
  • Better articulation of students’ rights and the University’s responsibilities and obligations.
  • Clarifying what actions on the part of the University were mandatory versus discretionary.

    As part of her concluding remarks, Professor Welsh advised the Board that all other recommendations made by the initial reviewers regarding the processes surrounding the Policy were in the process of being implemented. This included support for the establishment of divisional voluntary leave of absence policies, and creation of a companion guide to the revised Policy.

    In response to members’ questions and comments, Professor Welsh reiterated the following:
  • The companion guide would be in place by Fall 2023.
  • Disclosures of stress, anxiety, and other mental health issues made to U of T clinics or Accessibility Services would not invoke the Policy. The Policy was focused on behaviour that was of a dangerous and threatening nature or that interfered with the educational experience of peers, and that in other circumstances could give rise to charges under the Code of Student Conduct.
  • In alignment with feedback on the Policy and the review process from student societies and the Ontario Human Rights Commissioner, the administration consulted two external experts on a revised draft Policy. The feedback received from the consultants, based on their review of three cases, was that the referrals aligned with process, and communication with students was supportive and compassionate.
  • The Office of the Ombudsperson would review any cases falling under the revised Policy following its first year in practice.
  • Housing needs were part of the consideration and assessment process before a student is placed on leave.
  • Study visas of international students were not impacted as students placed on leave pursuant to the Policy continued to have a status and affiliation with the University.
  • Graduate student funding and emergency bursaries were available to supplement the income of research students and teaching assistants placed on leave. 
  • Part of the discussion with case managers when a student was placed on leave was consideration of what supports (financial, housing), a student might need while on leave.
  • There were no time limits in terms of duration of or return from a leave. Built into the review process were regular check points and contact with the case manager to determine when the student was ready to return.


    On a motion duly moved, seconded, and carried


    THAT the Academic Board concur with the recommendation of the University Affairs Board,

    THAT the proposed revisions to the University-Mandated Leave of Absence Policy, dated January 2, 2023, be approved, effective March 1, 2023.


On a motion duly moved, seconded, and carried


THAT the consent agenda be adopted

  1. Report of the Previous Meeting: Report 242 – November 17, 2022

    Report 242, from the meeting of November 17, 2022 was approved.
  2. Business Arising from the Report of the Previous Meeting

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

    Members received the following reports for information:
    1. Report Number 293 of the Agenda Committee – December 13, 2022
    2. Report Number 294 of the Agenda Committee – January 17, 2022


  1. Date of the Next Meeting: March 9, 2023, 3:10 – 5:10 p.m.

    The Chair reminded members that the next meeting, would be held on March 9, 2023 at 3:10 p.m.
  2. Other Business 

    There were no matters of Other Business raised.  



Capital Project (Level 3): Report of the Project Planning Committee for the Scarborough Academy of Medicine and Integrated Health (SAMIH) (UTSC) – Total Project Costs and Sources of Funding

On a motion duly moved, seconded, and carried


THAT the recommendation of the Vice-President, Operations and Real Estate Partnerships, as outlined in the memorandum dated January 19, 2023, regarding the Total Project Cost and Sources of Funding for the  Scarborough Academy of Medicine and Integrated Health (SAMIH) at the University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC), be approved in principle.

In Camera Report of the Administrative Assessors

Professor Scott Mabury, Vice-President, Operations & Real Estate  Partnerships, presented a high-level overview of the general direction of infrastructure development at the University to provide members with context for the capital projects expected to come forward in the 2022-2023 governance year.    



The meeting adjourned at 5:01 p.m.

January 30, 2023