Report: Academic Board - January 30, 2020

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Simcoe Hall, 27 King’s College Circle, Governing Council Chamber 2nd Floor

REPORT NUMBER 225 OF THE ACADEMIC BOARD
Thursday, January 30, 2020

To the Governing Council,
University of Toronto

Your Board reports that it met on Thursday, January 30, 2020 at 4:10 p.m. in the Council Chamber, Simcoe Hall with the following members present:

PRESENT:
Nicholas Terpstra, Chair; Doug McDougall, Vice Chair; Cheryl Regehr, Vice-President and Provost; Scott Mabury, Vice-President, University Operations & Real Estate; Susan McCahan, Vice-Provost, Academic Programs; Nadia Al-Banna; Catherine Amara; Stephanie Anagnostou; Laura Anderson; Aarthi Ashok; Joshua Barker; Harvey T. Botting; Catherine Bragg; Markus Bussmann; Samantha Chang; Carol C. Chin; Caryl L. Clark; Ettore Vincenzo Damiano; Amrita G. Daniere; Jim Davis; Raisa B. Deber; Arda Erturk; Susan Froom; K. Sonu Gaind; Emily Gilbert; Vivek Goel; Gary D. Goldberg; Janneka Guise; Daniel A. Haas; Emily Hawes; Ira Jacobs; Sarosh Jamal; Oria James; William Ju; Allan S. Kaplan; Ronald H. Kluger; Daiana Kostova; Lisa Kramer; Cara Krmpotich; Angela B. Lange; Paul E. Lindblad; Siyi (Megan) Liu; Maureen MacDonald; Alexandra MacKay; Jan K. Mahrt-Smith; Don McLean; Kent G.W. Moore; Dana Phillips; Lewis Rose; Rosa Saverino; Jastaran Singh; Sal Spadafora; Patricia Windrim; Melanie A. Woodin; Christopher Yip

REGRETS:
Benjamin Alarie; Nina Bascia; Shauna Brail; Nicole Breakey; Jiayi (Caroline) Chen; George Christakis; Shadi Dalili; Luc F. De Nil; Paul Downes; David Dubins; Zhong-Ping Feng; Sol Goldberg; Tara Goldstein; Peter Gooch; J. Connie Guberman; Richard Hegele; Edsel Ing; Mallory Estelle Jackman; Amin Kamaleddin; Jeannie Kim; Anil Kishen; Ernest W.N. Lam; Ron Levi; Ben Liu; Fei-Fei Liu; Zhiyuan (Annie) Lu; Emmanuel Nikiema; Lacra Pavel; Mary Pugh; Jennifer Purtle; Nicholas Rule; Suzan Schneeweiss; Michael Shier; Anne Simmonds; Rozina Somani; James Stafford; Truc Tran; Njoki Wane; Rachel Zand

NON-VOTING ASSESSORS:
Heather S. Boon, Vice-Provost, Faculty and Academic Life; Christine E. Burke, Director, Campus and Facilities Planning; Kelly Hannah-Moffat, Vice-President, Human Resources and Equity; Ian Orchard, (Acting) Vice-President and Principal UTM; David Palmer, Vice-President, Advancement; Trevor Rodgers, Assistant Vice-President, Planning and Budget; Edward (Ted) H. Sargent, Vice-President, International; Wisdom J. Tettey, Vice-President and Principal UTSC

SECRETARIAT
Tracey Gameiro, Secretary
Kata Skoko, Governance Coordinator, Office of the Governing Council

IN ATTENDANCE:
Beth Ali, Executive Director of Co-Curricular Athletics and Physical Activity Programs, Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education; Nancy Baxter, Associate Dean, Academic Affairs, Dalla Lana School of Public Health; Althea Blackburn-Evans, Executive Director, Communications Partnerships; Robert Boeckner, Member, Business Board; Dwayne Benjamin, Vice Dean, Graduate Education, Faculty of Arts & Science; Steve Easterbrook, Director, School of the Environment, Faculty of Arts & Science; Pamela Couture, Director, Toronto School of Theology; Emma del Junco, Assistant Coordinator, Academic Planning and Reviews, Office of the Vice- Provost, Academic Programs; Jennifer Francisco, Coordinator, Academic Change, Office of the Vice- Provost, Academic Program; Nora Gillespie, Legal Counsel, Office of the Vice-President and Provost; Paul Handley, Chief Administrative Officer, Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education; Jaime Kearns, President, Association of Part-Time Undergraduate Student; Jeff Lennon, Executive Director, Institutional Planning & Budget Administration; Helen Lasthiotakis, Executive Director, Strategic Partnerships, Office of the Vice-President, Research & Innovation; David Lock, Coordinator, Academic Planning and Reviews, Office of the Vice- Provost, Academic Programs; Daniella Mallinick, Director, Academic Programs, Planning and Quality Assurance, Office of the Vice- Provost, Academic Programs; Doug Reeve, Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering; Anuar Rodrigues, Director, Academic Planning, Policy, and Research, Office of the Dean at the University of Toronto Mississauga; Colleen Shantz, Director, Graduate Centre for Theological Studies, Toronto School of Theology; Archana Sridhar, Assistant Provost, Office of the Vice-President and Provost; Cindy Sinclair, Academic Administrator, Communications & Technology Coordinator, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education; Ashley Stirling, Vice Dean, Academic Affairs, Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education


ITEMS 17 AND 18 WERE CONSIDERED IN CAMERA. ITEMS 17 AND 18 ARE RECOMMENDED TO THE GOVERNING COUNCIL FOR APPROVAL. ITEMS 5, 6, 7, 8 and 12 WERE APPROVED. ALL OTHER ITEMS ARE REPORTED FOR INFORMATION.

Pursuant to section 33(i) of By-Law Number 2,
Items 17 and 18 considered in camera.

OPEN SESSION

  1. Chair’s Remarks

The Chair welcomed members and guests. He noted that there were six items for approval on the agenda and encouraged member participation in all discussions. The Chair advised members that one speaking request had been received to speak to item 3 on the Agenda, the Report of the Presidential & Provostial Task Force on Student Mental Health. That request, from the Association of Part-Time Undergraduate Students (APUS), had been granted.

Prior to moving on to the business the meeting, the Chair invited members to observe a moment of silence in memory of those who lost their lives aboard Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752, including eight members of the University of Toronto community.

  1. Report of the Vice-President and Provost

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

    Report on Librarians and Gender-Based Salary Equity

    As part of the administrative response to the Report on Faculty and Gender Pay Equity a commitment was made to conduct a similar analysis for librarians in continuing appointments. The Report found that on average, librarians who are women earned 3.9% less than their male counterparts. As a result of the findings, the University would increase the salaries of all female librarians by 3.9% retroactive to July 1, 2019. The total cost of the Gender Pay Equity for librarians would amount to $558,000 in fiscal year 2019-2020, and $670,000 on an annualized basis. As was the case with faculty gender-based salary equity, the Provost committed to fund the cost from University funding sources. The Provost also recommended that the University undertake periodic review and analysis to confirm that measures in place continue to support gender-based equity, and that gender-based pay gaps do not reappear over time.

Coronavirus

Following introductory remarks by the Provost, Professor Vivek Goel, Vice-President, Research and Innovation and Strategic Initiatives addressed the board. Professor Goel reported that the World Health Organization had declared a global health emergency of international concern. He advised the Board that the University was monitoring the situation regarding the Coronavirus carefully, and was in communication with faculty experts who worked in affiliated teaching hospitals and in the public health sector. Additional information, including an FAQ section, was available on the University’s homepage and updates would be provided as they became available. Professor Goel assured members that the risk of transmission in the University of Toronto community remained very low and emphasized that risk decisions were made based on exposure, travel history, and symptomology.

As part of the ensuing discussion, the Provost stated that working groups had been set up to coordinate response in specific areas such as communications, faculty and staff, students (including residences and Safety Abroad offices), as well as the University’s connections with health care institutions. She added that the Safety Abroad office had been working with students directly and has reached out to all students registered with Safety Abroad in China.

In response to a specific question about the impact on the Summer Abroad program, the Provost indicated the University regularly monitored areas to where students travelled and had mechanisms in place should the decision be made not to travel to areas of concern.

  1. Report of the Presidential and Provostial Task Force on Student Mental Health

    The Provost and Professor Joshua Barker, Vice-Provost Graduate Research and Education and Dean of the School of Graduate Studies, offered a joint presentation, which provided context to the Task Force on Student Mental Health as well as the Report, and the Administrative Response. The Task Force had made 21 recommendations, which were grouped into the following five mandate areas: Services; Coordination; Partnerships; Space; and Culture/Other. As outlined in the Administrative Response, all of the recommendations had been accepted by the University. The Provost described the steps that would be taken to address the recommendations and also highlighted a new partnership with the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), whose expertise would help guide the implementation of the recommendations.

    Discussion

    Ms. Jaime Kearns, President of APUS then addressed the meeting. Ms. Kearns conveyed student support for the recommendations made, especially those surrounding increased diversity of health care provides and creating a culture of caring. Ms. Kearns expressed concern over Recommendation 18 which called for improved communications surrounding the University-Mandated Leave of Absence Policy (UMLAP). Specifically, Ms. Kearns felt that the report and response mischaracterized students’ view of the Policy as a result of miscommunication or misunderstanding of the Policy. She expressed concerns that the Policy would be interpreted differently and not applied consistently. In response, the Provost reassured members that the Policy could not be unilaterally invoked by faculty members, and that it only applied to a small number of cases after a large number of interventions had been undertaken in terms of student supports. She reiterated that misunderstanding of the Policy spoke to the nature of the kind of communication that was required. The Provost added that the Policy was reviewed on an annual basis with reporting requirements to Governing Council. She indicated that the advisory group struck to implement all of the recommendations would include student representation.

    In the discussion that ensued, members raised questions over the challenge presented when students did not live near the campus where they are registered. In response, the Provost reported that the University was committed to a process redesign of mental health services; by coordinating our services across the three campuses, students would have increased freedom to access services at the location most convenient to them. The Provost also clarified that the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), while located in Toronto, had a province-wide mandate, making its supports available to students of the Mississauga campus regardless of their being part of Peel region. She added that the University would also continue to utilize partnerships with other Toronto Academic Health Science Network (TAHSN) hospitals and with community-based services.

    The Chair thanked members for the robust discussion.
  1. Update on the Tri-Campus Review

    The Provost presented an overview of the Tri-Campus Review, which had begun in Spring 2018 and was nearing its conclusion. She shared that the Review was the latest phase in the University’s thinking about the relationship among the campuses, and followed the theme of “One University, Three Campuses” first introduced in the Toward 2030 Report (2008).

    It was reported that the Tri-Campus Review was guided by a steering committee and included five working groups, each with its own mandate:
    1. Academic Planning and Academic Change, which considered questions related to changing or creating new academic programs and units, as well as academic reviews and academic planning;
    2. Graduate Units, which considered questions related to graduate faculty memberships, faculty searches, the appointment of graduate chairs, and the structure of graduate units;
    3. Student Services, which considered questions related to tri-campus responsibilities in providing student services, modes of delivery for student services, and resourcing of student services;
    4. Administrative Structure, which considered questions related to tri-campus reporting lines and leadership; and
    5. Budget Relationships, which considered questions related to accounting for University-wise and campus-wide costs, the funding of tri-campus graduate units, and the annual budget review processes.

Each working group was proceeding along different timelines, with all of them close to completion. As of December, each working group had submitted final recommendations to the Tri-Campus Review Steering Committee, which would synthesize the recommendations into a final report that would be presented for information to governance at a later date.

There were no questions from members.

  1. New Graduate Program Proposal: Doctor of Public Health (DrPH), Dalla Lana School of Public Health

    The Chair reminded members that under the Academic Board’s Terms of Reference, the Board was responsible for approving proposals for the establishment and closure of graduate programs and degrees, subject to confirmation by the Executive Committee of Governing Council. Two new graduate programs were considered at the January 14, 2020 meeting of the Committee on Academic Policy and Programs (AP&P) and were brought forward to Academic Board for approval.

    Professor Aarthi Ashok, Vice-Chair of AP&P, reported on the Committee’s consideration of the new program for the Dalla Lana School of Public Health. She explained that the proposed program reflected the goal of the Faculty to provide full-scaled education to public health professionals and scholars in Canada. Is also represented an opportunity to develop public health leadership and change, and leverage relations with external agencies. Professor Ashok noted that the program would be scaffolded to allow students working full-time to complete the program. Greater focus would also be placed on international institutional partnerships

    There were no questions from members.

On a motion duly moved, seconded, and carried

YOUR BOARD APPROVED

THAT, subject to confirmation by the Executive Committee

THAT the proposed degree program, Doctor of Public Health (DrPH), as described in the proposal from the Dalla Lana School of Public Health dated November 28, 2019 be approved effective September 1, 2021.

  1. New Graduate Program Proposal: Master of Environment and Sustainability (MES), Faculty of Arts & Science

    Professor Ashok was invited to report on the discussion at AP&P of the proposed Master of Environment and Sustainability program. She reported that Teaching Assistant support would be available to meet the needs of students and that funding would be competitive relative to peer program.

    No questions were received from Academic Board members regarding the proposal.

On a motion duly moved, seconded, and carried

YOUR BOARD APPROVED

THAT, subject to confirmation by the Executive Committee

THAT the proposed degree program, Master of Environment and Sustainability (MES), as described in the proposal from the Faculty of Arts and Science dated December 4, 2019 be approved effective September 1, 2021.

  1. Program Closure: Conjoint Doctor of Theology, Toronto School of Theology

    Professor Ashok provided an overview of the proposal to close the Conjoint Doctor of Theology from the Toronto School of Theology, which was considered by AP&P on January 14, 2019. At the meeting it was reported that this was the last step in implementing the main recommendation of the 2011-2012 University of Toronto Quality Assurance Process review of the Toronto School of Theology conjoint programs. It was noted that many of the 39 lapsed students would likely choose not to return to complete their degree, though the timeline for the closure would allow them to do so if they wished. Professor Ashok reported that as part of the ensuing discussion at AP&P, members were advised that it was unlikely that the program closure would negatively impact job opportunities for students currently holding a ThD degree, as the primary focus for employers would be the university from which the degree was received and not the nomenclature of the degree.

    There were no questions from members.

On a motion duly moved, seconded, and carried

YOUR BOARD APPROVED

THAT subject to confirmation by the Executive Committee

THAT the proposed closure of the THAT the proposed closure of the conjoint Doctor of Theology (ThD), Toronto School of Theology dated August 29, 2019, to which admissions were administratively suspended in November 20, 2014, be approved with an anticipated program closure date of December 31, 2024.

  1. Program Closure: Bachelor of Physical and Health Education, Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education

    Professor Ashok noted that the closure of the Bachelor of Physical and Health Education program aligned with a movement in North America away from Bachelors of Physical Education and towards Bachelors of Kinesiology, which reflected kinesiology’s emergence as a broader field that encompasses the area of physical education.

    No questions were raised regarding the proposed program closure.

On a motion duly moved, seconded, and carried

YOUR BOARD APPROVED

THAT subject to confirmation by the Executive Committee

THAT the proposed closure of the Bachelor of Physical and Health Education (BPHE), Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education dated October 31, 2019, to which admissions were administratively suspended in March 2015, be approved with an anticipated program closure date of August 31, 2025.

  1. Academic Plan (Extension): Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education’s Creating Capacity, Cultivating Change: 2018-2022 Academic Plan Extension

    The Chair reminded members that while Board approval was not required for individual academic plans, under its Terms of Reference, the Board was asked to consider divisional academic plans for information and feedback.

    The Chair noted that a full presentation of the plans was made to the Planning and Budget Committee on January 9, 2020 and that a summary of that presentation could be found in the minutes of that meeting (Report 190 of the Planning and Budget Committee – January 9, 2020).

    Professor Jan Mahrt-Smith, Chair of the Planning and Budget Committee reported on the discussion at the Committee. He noted that Professor Ira Jacobs, Dean of the Faculty, provided an overview of the four strategic priorities and high-level goals for 2019-2024 and how progress towards each would be measured. It was reported that the Plan had received the unanimous support of Faculty Council and that this was in large part due to the extensive consultation undertaken.

    There were no questions or comments from members.
  1. Education Presentation: Experiential Learning Hub

    The Board received a presentation from Professor Susan McCahan, Vice-Provost, Academic Programs on the University’s Experiential Learning Hub (“EL Hub”).

    Highlights of the presentation included:
  • Launched in Fall 2019 as one of the major tri-campus initiatives, the EL Hub served as an entry point into experiential learning opportunities across the three campuses for students, faculty and staff, as well as external partners.
  • Those accessing the EL Hub could do so through and across four categories:
    • Explore – types of experiential learning opportunities
    • Find – for students to discover experiential learning opportunities at the University
    • Learn – resources and tools to support instructors in incorporating experiential learning into their pedagogy
    • Guide – guidelines and procedures to help navigate experiential learning opportunities
  • Live ‘Decision Trees’ prompt users with questions to allow them to find the right opportunity based on their needs.
  • Resources and learning modules had been developed for faculty and staff in consultation with a tri-campus working group.
  • Growing repository of examples of experiential learning opportunities profiled on the EL Hub.

    When asked whether there were more projects than student applicants or vice versa, Professor McCahan reported that there were in fact more opportunities available than there were students embarking on them.

    Members applauded the work being done in this area.

OPEN SESSION CONSENT AGENDA

The Chair notified the Board that the Secretary had received a request to remove item 11 from the Consent Agenda, the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering (FASE) Constitutional Amendments, to be discussed as part of the regular agenda. The Provost was invited to address this item.

Following comments by the Provost, a member sought clarification around the appointment process and the extent to which representative groups (student, labour and alumni associations) had been consulted. Questions were also raised around the proposed changes to the definition of undergraduate, graduate student, and administrative staff.

Professor Christopher Yip, Dean of FASE, noted that these definitional changes were minimal and made to align the Constitution with those of other faculties.

Addressing the consultation process, Professor Yip reiterated that consultations were comprehensive and included discussion at a Faculty Council meeting (prior to vote), an open town hall, and posting the revisions online for comment. Although there was no consultation with labour unions, representatives of the undergraduate and graduate student associations were on the task force, were very diligent and involved, and discussed the proposed revisions with their respective governing bodies (including the undergraduate Engineering Society, and the executives of the Faculty’s seven graduate student associations). Professor Doug Reeve, FASE Faculty Council Speaker and Chair of the Task Force to Review the FASE Constitution and Bylaws, reported that during the consultation process, the Engineering Society had asked that the process of selecting the undergraduate student members be changed to allow the Engineering Society to appoint them (with preference given to elected class representatives), whereas previously the elected class representatives were automatically named the Faculty Council representatives. This was requested because the Engineering Society felt that students who want to be class representatives may not necessarily also be interested in governance, and vice-versa.

The Board proceeded with the Consent Agenda.

On a motion duly moved, seconded, and carried

YOUR BOARD APPROVED THAT

the consent agenda be adopted

  1. Constitutional Amendments: Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering

On a motion duly moved, seconded, and carried

YOUR BOARD APPROVED

THAT subject to confirmation by the Executive Committee,

THAT the proposed amended Constitution of the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering Council, which was recommended for approval by the Council on October 31, 2019 be approved, effective July 1, 2020.

  1. Report of the Previous Meeting: Report 224 – November 21, 2019

Report 224, from the meeting of November 21, 2019 was approved.

  1. Business Arising from the Report of the Previous Meeting

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

Members received the following reports for information:

  1. Report Number 259 of the Agenda Committee – December 13, 2019
  2. Report Number 260 of the Agenda Committee – January 21, 2020
  3. Report Number 190 of the Planning and Budget Committee – January 9, 2020
  4. Report Number 200 of the Committee on Academic Policy and Programs – January 14, 2020


END OF CONSENT AGENDA

  1. Date of the Next Meeting: Thursday, March 12, 2020, 4:10 – 6:10 p.m.

    The Chair reminded members that the next meeting, would be held on March 12, 2020 at 4:10 p.m.
  1. Other Business

    A member inquired about the grading structure of a UTM instructor, which awarded participation marks to students for purchasing his book and following him on social media. Further, the member queried the policies surrounding the use of digital products that required paid-subscription (e.g. TopHat)

    In response, the Provost prefaced her comments by saying she was not at liberty to discuss the details of a specific case due to privacy rules related to personal information and personnel matters. The Provost confirmed that the University did have policies regarding grading and fees for course materials which set out that grades are a measure of a student’s performance and an indication of the student’s command of the content of the components of the academic program.

    Regarding digital learning materials, the Provost explained that instructors could choose to use these tools as an alternative to hardcopy textbooks. These could include digital assessment tools, both for self-assessment and to contribute to a course mark. While there were benefits to using digital learning materials, the administration recognized that the associated additional costs could be burdensome. The Provost noted that the University’s guidelines, which were in compliance with provincial regulations, stated that if the total cost of digital learning resources for assessment was more than $65 per half credit, the instructor was required to offer an alternative method of assessment.

THE BOARD MOVED IN CAMERA.

  1. Capital Project: Fitzgerald Building Revitalization located at 150 College Street – Revised Total Project Cost and Sources of Funding

On motion duly moved, seconded and carried

YOUR BOARD RECOMMENDED

THAT the Vice-President, Operations and Real Estate Partnerships’ recommendation regarding the Total Project Cost Increase and Sources of Funding for the FitzGerald Building Revitalization Project, located at 150 College Street, as outlined in the memorandum dated January 23, 2019, be approved.

  1. Capital Project: Science Building at the University of Toronto Mississauga – Revised Total Project Cost and Sources of Funding

On motion duly moved, seconded and carried

YOUR BOARD RECOMMENDED

THAT the Vice-President, Operations and Real Estate Partnerships’ recommendation regarding the Total Project Cost Increase and Sources of Funding for the FitzGerald Building Revitalization Project, located at 150 College Street, as outlined in the memorandum dated January 21, 2019, be approved.

THE BOARD RETURNED TO OPEN SESSION.

The meeting adjourned at 5:58 p.m.

February 3, 2020