Report: Academic Board - January 27, 2022

Via Virtual Meeting room


January 27, 2022

To the Governing Council,
University of Toronto

Your Board reports that it met virtually on January 27, 2022 at 3:10 p.m. with the following members present:

Professor Salvatore M. Spadafora  (Chair), Professor Douglas E. McDougall (Vice Chair), Professor Meric Gertler, (President), Professor Cheryl Regehr (Vice President and Provost), Professor Scott  Mabury (Vice President, Operations and Real Estate Partnerships), Susan McCahan (Vice Provost, Academic Programs & Vice-Provost, Innovations in Undergraduate Education),  Leah Cowen (Vice-President, Research and Innovation, and Strategic Initiatives), Ms Bisma  Ali, Professor Catherine  Amara, Ms Laura  Anderson, Professor Aarthi  Ashok, Ms Samantha  Chang, Professor Carol C. Chin, Ms Rosa  Ciantar, Professor Ettore Vincenzo Damiano, Professor James  Davis, Professor Raisa B. Deber, Ms Teo  Dechev, Ms Maryanna  Diab, Ms Ana  Djapa, Professor Paul  Downes, Professor Juan  Du, Professor Markus D. Dubber, Professor David  Dubins, Professor Wendy M. Duff, Professor Darryl Raymond Edwards, Professor Angela  Esterhammer, Ms Monique  Flaccavento, Mr. Adam  Fox, Ms Susan Elizabeth Froom, Professor Meric S. Gertler, Professor Robert B. Gibbs, Professor Emily  Gilbert, Professor J. Roy  Gillis, , Ms Seema  Gupta, Professor Daniel A. Haas, Ms Sandra  Hanington, Professor Tony  Harris, Professor Ellie  Hisama, Professor Walid A. Houry, Mr. Sarosh  Jamal, Dr. Nadine  Janes, Professor Linda  Johnston, Professor William  Ju, Dr. Rita  Kandel, Professor Gretchen  Kerr, Dr. Grase  Kim, Professor Jeannie  Kim, Professor Anil  Kishen, Dr. Lisa  Kramer, Professor Ernest W.N. Lam, Professor Alexandra Elizabeth MacKay, Professor Jan K. Mahrt-Smith, Professor Susan  McCahan, Professor Rhonda  McEwen, Dr. Nicole  Mideo, Professor Amy  Mullin, Ms Mozynah  Nofal, Professor Nicole  Novroski, Professor Fabian  Parsch, Dr. Jesse  Pasternak, Dr. Rose M. Patten, Dr. Dana  Phillips, Professor Jennifer Gillian Purtle, Professor Michael J.H. Ratcliffe, Professor Matt  Ratto, Dr. Nicholas  Rule, Professor Leah Cowen, Dr. Rosa  Saverino, Dr. Michael  Shier, Ms Maureen L. Simpson, Dr. Eric  Stubbs, Dr. Sharon  Switzer-McIntyre, Mr. Evan  Tang, Professor Steven J. Thorpe, Mr. David  Tieu, Dr. Melanie A. Woodin

Ms Ashley Ahuja, Mr. Larry P. Alford, Professor Joshua Barker, Professor Nina Bascia, Mr. Harvey Thomas Botting Mr Professor Adalsteinn (Steini) I. D. Brown, Professor Jutta Brunnée, Professor Markus Bussmann Mr. Andrew Chen, Mr. Moses Cook, Dr. Catherine Chandler Crichlow, Professor Susan Christoffersen, Professor Shadi Dalili, Ms Nathalie Des Rosiers, Professor Lisa R. Dolovich, Professor Stark Draper, Professor William A. Gough, Ms Eloise Hirst, Professor Patricia Houston, Professor Linda Johnston, Professor Charlie Keil, Professor Philip Kremer, Professor Normand Labrie, Professor Brigitte Lavoie, Ms Natalie Lung, Ms Zhino Maanavi, Professor Lance T. McCready, Professor Bonnie S. McElhinny, Professor Mark McGowan, Professor Srilata Raman, Professor Jastaranpreet (Jasty)  Singh, Dr. Brenda Stein-Dzaldov, Professor Markus Stock, Mr. Ryan Teschner, Professor Nhung Tuyet Tran, Professor Charmaine Williams, Mr. Kenneth Javier Williams, Professor Patricia Windrim, Professor Christopher M. Yip

Professor Heather S. Boon (Vice Provost, Faculty and Academic Life), Ms Christine E. Burke (Assistant Vice President, University Planning), Ms Kelly Hannah-Moffat (Vice President, People Strategy, Equity and Culture), Mr. Jeff Lennon (Executive Director, Institutional Planning and Budget Administration), Professor Wisdom J. Tettey (Vice President and Principal UTSC), Professor Joseph Wong, (Vice-President, International)

Tracey Gameiro, Secretary

Christine Allen, Associate Vice-President and Vice-Provost, Strategic Initiatives
Andrew Arifuzzaman, Chief Administrative Officer, UTSC
Luke Barber, Interim Executive Director, Information & Instructional Technology, UTM Facilities Management and Planning
Tad Brown, Counsel, Business Affairs and Advancement 
Elizabeth Cragg, Director, Office of the Vice-President, Operations & Real Estate Partnerships
Carlos Carillo Duran, Senior Planning, University Planning
Monika Farrell, Assistant Director, Planning & Design, UTM
Tony Gray, Director, Strategic Research
Vina Goghari, Acting Vice-Dean, Students, School of Graduate Studies
Daniella Mallinick, Director, Academic Programs, Planning & Quality Assurance, Office of the Vice-President, Academic Programs
Anne McIllroy, Principal, Brook, McIllroy
Kristin Musselman, Rehabilitation Sciences Centre, Temerty Faculty of Medicine
Justin Nodwell, Vice-Dean, Research & Health Education, Temerty Faculty of Medicine
Archana Sridhar, Assistant Provost, Office of the Vice-President and Provost
Susan Mazza, Special Projects Officer, Office of the President
Grace Westcott, Chair, UTSC Campus Council


Pursuant to section 33(i) of By-Law Number 2,
Item 11 was considered in camera.


  1. Chair’s Remarks

    The Chair welcomed members and guests. He introduced Professor Leah Cowen, as the Board’s newly appointed presidential (voting) assessor and congratulated her on her recent appointment as Vice-President, Research and Innovation, and Strategic Initiatives.  
  2. Report of the Vice-President and Provost

    Professor Cheryl Regehr, Vice-President and Provost, provided an update on the following:  

    Update on Winter Term Plans  
    With in-person exams and instruction having been shifted to online or other modes as of December 16, 2021, the Provost reiterated the University’s plans to increase in-person learning and activities across its campuses as of February 7, 2022, as it balanced the learning needs of students with ongoing efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19. Specific plans for the return to in-person learning would vary depending on the particular needs and considerations of campuses, divisions, and departments. The University believed that the continuation of all levels of education in person, from pre-school through post-secondary, was vital to students’ mental health, as had been noted by the Ontario Science Advisory Table.  Acknowledging there existed ongoing uncertainty and apprehension around in-person studies and work, Professor Regehr shared students’ reports of the importance of a physical presence on campus to both their academic work and mental wellbeing.

    Ongoing COVID-19 Measures
    The Provost reported that as of January 24, 2022, more than 110,000 people had uploaded their vaccination information to UCheck and 99% of community members were fully vaccinated. She noted that UCheck was being updated to allow individuals to voluntarily upload documentation related to booster vaccines.  The vaccination clinic had re-opened at the McCaul Street Exam Centre and The Discovery Pharmacy in the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy was also taking appointments.  In addition, the province’s GOVaxx bus had visited the UTM campus, and UTSC was once again partnering with the Scarborough Health Network and the Scarborough Ontario Health Team to host a COVID-19 Pop Up Vaccination Clinic on January 29-30, 2022. The use of medical grade masks was being recommended for all employees, students, and visitors in common use areas, and would be made available to community members as supplies allowed. 

    Professor Regehr went on to address the particular challenges that international travel and local restrictions in parts of the world were creating for students, and advised that registrars were working with those students on a case-by-case basis. She noted that some divisions were offering online options until their reading week, and that those courses scheduled to be remote for the Winter term would continue as such. 

    Academic Disruptions
    The Provost reported that 270 academic disruptions had been declared across courses in the Faculty of Arts and Science, the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering, the Faculty of Music, the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, and the University of Toronto Mississauga. Disruptions requested in December 2021 had mainly allowed instructors to cancel examinations and reweigh assessments.  An additional program disruption had been declared in January 2022 in the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy’s Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) program, to allow greater flexibility around placement requirements. 

    The Provost then introduced Professors Heather Boon, (Vice-President, Faculty and Academic Life), and Christine Allen, (Associate Vice-President and Vice-Provost, Strategic Initiatives).

    Education Presentation: Impact of COVID-19 on Researchers and Research Productivity
    Professors Boon and Allen shared insights from their work on the heterogenous effects of COVID-19 on research productivity of faculty.

    The presentation highlighted the following:
  • the pandemic had amplified pre-existing inequities in academia, with women, parents of young children, and people of colour being most affected;
  • surveys of scientists had shown that women and young academics could face long-term career consequences as a result of pandemic-related disruptions;
  • there had been a significant decline in the initiation of new projects; 
  • recommendations for Federal Tri-Council granting agencies had included targeted support for those disproportionately impacted, re-assessment of grant funding application and adjudication processes during the pandemic, and review of the Canada Research Chair program to support researchers disproportionately impacted; and
  • a broad range of individualized and contextual supports were being offered to faculty, with COVID-specific supports being added.

    Further to the Provost’s report, a member sought clarification as to the requirements for those working remotely to upload their vaccination status. In response, the Provost stated that requirements varied depending on the constituency, noting that employees were expected to report their vaccination status, while students studying remotely were not. She clarified that staff at the Federated Colleges and the Toronto School of Theology were not considered employees of the University of Toronto. 

    A member inquired whether the ventilation and filtration units installed in classrooms as a result of COVID-19 would also be put in place in meeting rooms and other non-instructional spaces. The Provost reported that ventilation measures were implemented across the UofT campuses, in all buildings, and were routinely assessed. She advised members that a listing of all buildings across the St. George, UTM and UTSC campuses where ventilation had been assessed was available online, and contained information pertaining to general filtration type levels for buildings. As Special Advisor to the President  on COVID-19, the Chair, Professor Salvatore Spadafora, added that all non-instructional spaces continued to require two metres of physical distancing, but indicated that ventilation strategies for non-instructional spaces were routinely assessed against emerging public health evidence and industry guidelines.

    Professor Scott Mabury, Vice-President, Operations and Real Estate Partnerships, stated that the University’s approach to ventilation had been both successful and functional.  He remarked that throughout the pandemic, efforts had been made to ensure that all buildings were functioning as they were designed to and better still with the shift to MERV 13 filters. Professor Mabury indicated that ventilation in many meeting rooms would meet the recommended six air changes per hour.  He pointed out that for those rooms that did not, ventilation was only one of the 12 ways UofT was preparing for a safe return to in-person activity, and referenced vaccination mandates and masking policies. The University would continue to engage with experts to regularly appraise its approach. 

    In response to a question on the presentation on the impact of COVID-19 on research productivity, Professor Boon indicated that a number of faculty who had initially requested delays for tenure and continuing status reviews because the pandemic had significantly impacted their research and/or teaching, had since decided they no longer required an adjusted timeline.  She reported that a broad range of pedagogical, teaching, administrative, and technological supports were being offered to faculty, and stressed that the focus of these conversations with faculty was to be flexible and to provide advice on how best to utilize and maximize these supports in a contextualized and individualized way. 
  1. Capital Project: Report of the Project Planning Committee for the Retail and Parking Commons, University of Toronto Scarborough Parking Structure – Project Scope and Sources of Funding

    The Board received the Report of the Project Planning Committee for the Retail and Parking Commons at the University of Toronto Scarborough for recommendation. A comprehensive presentation was given by Professor Scott Mabury, (Vice-President, Operations and Real Estate Partnerships), and Mr. Andrew Arifuzzaman, (Chief Administrative Officer, UTSC).  

    Professor Mabury reported that a larger parking structure was required to facilitate the north campus development.  He noted that the project would be a mass timber construction, and added that a number of elements to adapt the project for future academic, residential, and office use, had been included in the project plans.

    Mr. Arifuzzaman stated that the proposed Retail and Parking Commons would centralize current parking needs for the north campus development in one building which would allow for the decommissioning of the existing surface parking lots for the development of new roads and institutional and ancillary uses.  The structure would add approximately 1,084 new parking spaces to meet the City of Toronto by-law requirements, and include 25 accessible spaces, 217 electric vehicle charging stations, and dedicated bicycle parking. In addition to parking, the facility would include a central loading dock; the UTSC book store; parking departmental offices; and mixed used communal spaces to support campus activities.

    At the invitation of the Chair, Ms. Grace Westcott, Chair of the UTSC Campus Council, reported on the Council’s discussion of the proposal.  Ms Westcott informed the Board that the administration had received questions from members regarding the sustainability of the wood building materials, and about the impact of parking spaces and future enrolment.  In response, Mr. Arifuzzaman had advised Council members that the materials were locally sourced, easier to maintain over time, and had a projected lifespan of 150 years. With regards to parking spaces and future enrolment, Mr. Arifuzzaman had reported that the parking structure addressed current and future anticipated parking needs, and that temporary parking had been allocated during the project construction. 

    In response to members’ questions Mr. Arifuzzaman stated the following:
  • snow removal would be much easier to manage in a structured parking lot than in surface parking lots;
  • infrastructure was in place to expand the facility to be 100% chargeable for electric cars;
  • indoor bicycle parking areas would accommodate the electrical charging of bicycles and scooters; 
  • the project would include a mix of charging stations, with some being dedicated to single model cars and others able to service multiple car models; 
  • some charge back for the use of electric car charging stations was anticipated; and
  • the photovoltaic arrays were tied into the structural grid of the building creating flexibility for various mounting and technology systems, and would be very adaptable for future systems.

On a motion duly moved, seconded, and carried


THAT the Report of the Project Planning Committee for the Retail and Parking Commons at the University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC), dated December 3, 2021, be approved in principle; and, 

THAT the project totaling 42,877 gross square metres (gsm), be approved in principle, to be funded through: the UTSC Parking Ancillary Capital Construction Reserve; UTSC Major Capital Project Reserves Fund; UTSC Reserves; and Financing. 

  1. Campus Master Plan: University of Toronto Mississauga

    The Chair welcomed Ms. Christine Burke, Assistant Vice-President, University Planning, to introduce the item.  Ms. Burke noted that the previous master plan had been developed in June 2011.  She then reviewed the master planning process as it related to the recently approved Capital Planning and Capital Projects Policy. Ms. Burke explained that the Policy stressed the importance of master plans which set the stage for capital projects on each of the three campuses. She noted 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 would be envisaged and developed over the next ten plus years. Ms. Burke added that over the course of the development of this master plan, a significant amount of consultation had taken place, including with the University's own Design Review Committee (DRC), which was comprised of both internal and external highly respected design professionals.  The DRC had 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. Burke concluded her remarks by stating that the resulting document and plan provided UTM with a broad and flexible framework and overarching vision to guide future capital projects while supporting UTM’s academic mission.  

    Ms. Monika Farrell, Assistant Director, Planning and Design in the Facilities Management and Planning Department, then presented the detailed plan.  Ms. Farrell began her presentation by explaining that the UTM Master Plan identified a series of principles, organized around the three common themes of sustainability, connection, and vitality.  She then expanded on some of the key UTM Campus Master Plan proposals, including:
  • identification of potential future development sites; 
  • creation of a landmark building and plaza;
  • 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;  
  • reinforcement of the Riparian Ribbon as a pedestrian connection through the campus linking existing ponds, wetlands, and nature areas; 
  • creation of an Academic Quad and Cultural Commons;  
  • expansion and consolidation of an athletic uses; 
  • establishment of ‘shared streets’ 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 comprehensive scope of action of the UTM Master Plan, which ranged from embracing ecology and strengthening community synergies, to enabling Indigenous placemaking and diversifying learning environments. 

    In response to a member’s question, Ms. Anne McIlroy, Principal of Brook McIlroy, (the firm engaged to consult on the plan), stated that the implications of ecology and topography were central to the Master Plan in controlling building scale and how campus streets and the adjacent forest and valley were knitted back into campus, to strengthen natural areas through new priority pedestrian connections.

    With regards to the use of space during the winter months, Ms. McIlroy indicated that the design of the buildings would provide sheltered spaces.  She explained that the built form and ability for buildings to have a porous and connected environment would allow for more comfortable movement through the buildings to the outdoors and for outdoor spaces to be used functionally during colder temperatures. 
  1. Program Closure: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) & Master's of Science (MSc) in Speech-Language Pathology 

    Professor Susan McCahan, Vice-Provost, Academic Programs and Vice-Provost, Innovations in Undergraduate Education, provided an overview of the proposal to close the PhD and MSc in Speech-Language Pathology, Temerty Faculty of Medicine, which had been considered by the Committee on Academic Policy and Programs (“AP&P”), on January 11, 2022.  She noted that the proposed closure reflected a component of a broader curriculum review and restructuring of the programs offered by the Rehabilitation Sciences Institute (“RSI”). It was noted that the academic content of the MSc and PhD Speech-Language Pathology programs remained available within a new field titled Speech-language Pathology in the existing MSc and PhD programs in Rehabilitation Sciences.

    Professor Lam, Chair of the AP&P, reported on the Committee’s discussion of the proposal.  Professor Justin Nodwell, Vice Dean, Research & Health Science Education from the Temerty Faculty of Medicine, and Professor Kristin Musselman from the Rehabilitation Sciences Institute (“RSI”), had joined Professor McCahan to answer questions. At the meeting, Professor McCahan had advised the Committee that the proposed program closure had been an outcome of a recent curricular review of all programs offered by the Rehabilitation Sciences Institute. In response to a  question from the Committee regarding any potential important changes to course offerings that would result from the program closure, Professor Musselman had advised that the academic content and course offerings of the MSc and PhD SLP programs would remain available to future students through the existing RSI programs. There had been no further questions from members.

    On a motion duly moved, seconded, and carried


THAT subject to confirmation by the Executive Committee

THAT the proposed closure of the MSc and PhD in Speech-Language Pathology, Temerty Faculty of Medicine, dated August 12, 2021, to which admissions were administratively suspended in January 2021, be approved with an anticipated program closure date of August 31, 2027.  

There were no questions or comments from members.


 On a motion duly moved, seconded, and carried


THAT the consent agenda be adopted.

  1. Report of the Previous Meeting: Report 236 – November 17, 2021

    Report 236, from the meeting of November 17, 2021 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 282 of the Agenda Committee – December 13, 2021
    2. Report Number 283 of the Agenda Committee – January 18, 2022
    3. Report Number 211 of the Committee on Academic Policy and Programs – January 11, 2022


  1. Date of the Next Meeting: Thursday, March 10, 2022, 3:10 – 6:10 p.m.

    The Chair reminded members that the next meeting, would be held on March 10, 2022 at 3:10 p.m., and noted that the meeting would be extended by an hour to 6:10 p.m. 
  2. Other Business

    There were no matters of Other Business raised.



  1. Capital Projects: Report of the Project Planning Committee for the Retail and Parking Commons at the University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC) - Total Project  Cost and Sources of Funding

    On a motion duly moved, seconded, and carried


    THAT the recommendation of the Vice-President, Operations & Real Estate Partnerships regarding the Total Project Costs and Sources of Funding for the Retail and Parking Commons at the University of Toronto Scarborough, as outlined in the memorandum dated January 20, 2022 be approved in principle.


The meeting adjourned at 5:10 p.m.


January 31, 2022