Report: Academic Board - March 09, 2023

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


MARCH 9, 2023

To the Governing Council,
University of Toronto

Your Board reports that held a meeting on March 9, 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), Meric Gertler (President), 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), Areeb Ahmed,  Larry Alford*, Catherine Amara, Laura Anderson*, Brinda Batra, Joshua Barker, Christian Caron*, Michael Chan, Catherine Chandler-Crichlow*, Marsha Chechik, Amrita Daniere, James Davis, Raisa Deber, Maryanna Diab*, Jennifer Dolman*, Lisa Dolovich Paul Downes, Sheree Drummond, Juan Du, Markus Dubber, , Wendy Duff*, Jessica Eylon, Monique Flaccavento, Joseph Flessa*, Adam Fox, Robert Gazzale, Robert Gibbs*, Ellie Hisama*, Walid Houry, Nadine Janes, Sarosh Jamal, Shone Joos, Madeline Kalda, Rita Kandel*, Lisa Kramer, Sameer Lal, Jan Mahrt-Smith, Nicole Mideo, Irene Morra*, Amy Mullin, Eha Naylor, Nicole Novroski*, John Oesch, Fabian Parsch, Michael Ratcliffe, Matt Ratto, Sharon Switzer-McIntyre*, Steven Thorpe, Veronica Wadey, Charmaine Williams, Suzanne Wood, Geeta Yadav*, David Zingg, Daniel Zung 

*participated remotely via Zoom 

REGRETS: Leah Cowen (Vice President, Research and Innovation and Strategic initiatives), Ramona Alaggia, Aarthi Ashok, Adalsteinn (Steini) Brown, Jutta Brunnée, Missy Chareka, Carol Chin, Susan Christoffersen, Robert Cooper, Lorne Costello, Nathalie Des Rosiers, Annabelle Dravid, David Dubins, Darryl Edwards, Angela Esterhammer, Dickson Eyoh, Emily Gilbert, J. Roy Gillis, William Gough, Jason Harlow, Tony Harris, Keevyn Hirschfield, Charles Jia, Jessica Johnson, Linda Johnston, Gretchen Kerr, Elaine Khoo, Grase Kim, Jeannie Kim, Anil Kishen, Philip Kremer, Normand Labrie, Dveeta Lal, Brigitte Lavoie, Hong Lu, Zhino Maanavi, Jesse Pasternak, Jennifer Purtle, Srilata Raman, Karen Reid,  Rosa Saverino, Laura Simone, Jastaranpreet (Jasty) Singh, Markus Stock, Ali Syed, Laura Tam,  Ryan Teschner, Nhung Tran, Justin Van Houten, Melanie Woodin, Christopher Yip, Trevor Young, Daniel Zimmerman 

NON-VOTING ASSESSORS: Jeff Lennon (Assistant Vice President, Planning and Budget), David Palmer (Vice President, Advancement), Wisdom Tettey (Vice President and Principal, UTSC)*

Tracey Gameiro, Secretary

Susan Bondy, (Academic Board Member-Elect) 
Audelyn Budihardjo, (Internal Audit Supervisor) 
Helen Huang, (CAO, OISE) 
Alex Matos, (Director, Internal Audit) 
Susan Mazza, (Special Projects Officer, Office of the President) 
Marit Mitchell, (Executive Director, Internal Communications) 
Archana Sridhar, (Assistant Provost, Office of the Vice-President and Provost) 
Helen Tewolde, (Director, Access Strategy & Partnerships) 


Pursuant to section 33(i) of By-Law Number 2,
Items 15-16 were considered in camera.


  1. Chair’s Remarks

    The Chair welcomed members and guests to the meeting. He also congratulated winners of the elections of the Teaching Staff seats of the Academic Board. The Chair thanked everyone for their contributions to governance of the University.

    Members who would continue to serve on the Academic Board in the coming year were reminded to complete an online form indicating on which of the Board’s four standing committees they would like to serve next year. The Chair advised members that there were also opportunities to serve on the Discipline Appeals Board, which was the body that heard appeals of decisions of the University Tribunal Trial Division, and the Advisory Committee on the University of Toronto Library System. 
  2. Report of the Vice-President and Provost

    The Chair advised the Board that, while the Provost had no formal report to the Board beyond what would be reported as part of the presentation of the Budget, she invited questions from members.
  3. Budget Report 2023-24 and the Long Range Budget Guidelines 2023-24 to 2027-28

    The Chair informed the Board of the governance path for the Budget Report 2023-2024 and the Long Range Budget Guidelines 2023-2024 to 2027-28, noting that, on February 27, 2023, the Planning and Budget Committee had reviewed the Reports and recommended their approval to Academic Board. He further commented that, on March 15, 2023, the Business Board would review the Budget for concurrence with the Academic Board’s recommendation. It would then proceed to the Governing Council for approval on March 30, 2023.

    Professor Regehr, Professor Scott Mabury (Vice-President, University Operations & Real Estate Partnerships), and Mr. Jeff Lennon (Assistant Vice-President, Planning and Budget) gave a comprehensive presentation on the Budget. 

    As part of her introductory remarks, the Provost reported that the University continued to be in strong financial shape and that a balanced operating budget of $3.36 billion was projected for 2023-24. Future planning would, however, be constrained by slowing revenue growth and rising inflationary pressures. 

    The following matters were highlighted during the presentation:
  • Increased investments in student services and programming
  • Projected revenue growth rates
  • Employee compensation and the decreased pension risk contingency
  • Decreased provincial funding share of operating revenue
  • Student enrolment trends
  • Student aid and net tuition
  • University-wide costs and University Fund allocations
  • The impact of domestic tuition freezes

    Following the presentation, Professor Jan Mahrt-Smith, Chair of the Planning and Budget Committee, reported on the Committee’s review of the Budget and Enrolment Reports. He informed the Board that Committee members discussed planned resources for information technology supports, deferred maintenance allocations, differential impacts of changes to the OSAP structure, housing needs, and the effects of the tuition freeze.


    International Student Enrolment

    Regarding international student enrolment, the Provost stated that the University of Toronto viewed itself as an international university. She restated the richness international students brought to the University, and noted that planning in terms of international student enrolment was similar to other Canadian post-secondary universities and significantly lower than peer institutions in the United Kingdom and Australia. The Provost also reported that planned tuition increases for international students were considerably lower than peer institutions, and that while the percentage of international students had risen in recent years, levels were stabilizing as the University reached its international growth targets.  

    The President advised that the University had undertaken deliberate and intentional strategies to grow the sources of student intake from around the world as a way to mitigate any risk associated with reliance on a single source country. He reported that efforts to diversify the incoming class had been hugely successful. In conjunction with that, the University would continue to invest in scholarship support and bursaries for international students.

    The Vice-President, Operations and Real Estate Partnerships, reiterated the University’s global aspirations. Professor Mabury added that international recruitment strategies remained academically driven.     

    A member questioned whether international students remained in Canada post-graduation and whether the University’s international recruitment strategy risked the emigration of highly trained and educated people from their home countries. In reply, the Provost indicated that grants with the Mastercard Foundation were now focused on enhancing source regions and that the University of Toronto would be partnering to build capacity in African universities.

    In response to a member’s question about the possible risk to domestic student enrolment in light of increased international enrolment, the Provost explained that the number of domestic students was allocated by the Provincial government, not imposed by academic units. The President further noted that no domestic students were displaced by international students and that the question of how the province planned to create capacity given the increased demand for post-secondary education anticipated from rising immigration, was an issue to be raised with the Blue Ribbon Panel recently announced by the government, on the future of post secondary education. 

    Performance Metrics

    In response to a question about the metrics used for performance based provincial funding, the Provost clarified that although the province set the choice of metrics, the University had met or exceeded the targets set and continued to engage with the government on these targets, which aligned with many of its priorities. The President added that the Blue Ribbon Panel was commissioned to review excellence in the system and affordability. It was anticipated that the Panel’s recommendations would impact the Strategic Mandate Agreement process and the metrics used, and as such the University would continue to take a leading role in shaping those discussions.


    On a motion duly moved, seconded, and carried


    THAT the Budget Report, 2021-22 be approved, and

    THAT the Long Range Budget Guidelines 2021-2022 to 2025-26 be approved in principle.

  1. Enrolment Report, 2022-23

    The Enrolment Report, 2022-23, was received by the Board for information together with the Budget presentation, and member questions were also addressed at that time.
  2. Capital Project (Level 2): Report of the Project Planning Committee for the OISE Roof Community Garden & Indigenous Education Network (IEN) Social, Cultural Practice Space - Project Scope and Sources of Funding

    Following introductory remarks from Scott Mabury, Helen Huang (Chief Administrative Officer, OISE), provided an overview of the project’s vision and components. She explained how the fully accessible space would improve the student experience in the areas of well-being and mental health, indigenization and equity, diversity and inclusion, and noted these were three of the main themes of OISE’s 2017 Academic Plan. Dean Erica Walker was also present.

    Professor Mabury concluded the presentation by outlining the funding sources and construction timeline.  

    In response to members’ questions, Ms. Huang noted the following:
  • while the community garden would be closed during winter months, the south side was equipped with a snow melting function and would remain accessible year round;
  • given the pressing need for student space, the space would initially be open to members of the University of Toronto community, with planned future bookings by the general public;
  • maintenance was a significant consideration and budgetary allocations were made in consultation with experts and would be monitored and improved regularly as needed;
  • the terrace would be wrapped in cable wire instead of glass to prevent migrating birds from colliding with the building


    On a motion duly moved, seconded, and carried 


    THAT subject to confirmation by the Executive Committee,

    THAT the project scope of the OISE Roof Community Garden & Indigenous Education Network (IEN) Social, Cultural Practice Space as identified in the  Report of the Project Planning Committee for University of Toronto OISE Roof Community Garden & Indigenous Education Network (IEN) Social, Cultural Practice Space, dated December 13, 2022, be approved in principle; and,

    THAT the project totaling 108 net assignable square metres (nasm) and 1,150 square metres (sm) of outdoor terrace space, be approved in principle, to be funded by the OISE Future Major Capital Project Reserves.

  1. Academic Plan: Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy’s Emerge, Thrive and Lead Academic Plan 2022-2027

    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 plan was made to the Planning and Budget Committee on January 13, 2021 and that a summary of that presentation could be found in the minutes of that meeting (Report 206 of the Planning and Budget Committee – February 27, 2023). He noted there were no questions from Committee members regarding the Plan.

    Dean Lisa Dolovich was present to answer questions. There were no questions or comments from Board members.


On a motion duly moved, seconded, and carried


THAT the consent agenda be adopted.

  1. University of Toronto Discipline Appeals Board (Academic Board Side Only) Rules of Practice and Procedure

    The Discipline Appeals Board Rules of Practice and Procedure were received by the Board for information.
  2. Report of the Previous Meeting: Report Number 243 – January 26, 2023

    Report Number 243, from the meeting of January 26, 2023 was approved.
  3. Business Arising from the Report of the Previous Meeting

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

    Members received the following reports for information:
    1. Report Number 295 of the Agenda Committee – March 1, 2023
    2. Report Number 217 of the Committee on Academic Policy and Programs – February 16, 2023
    3. Report Number 208 of the Planning and Budget Committee – February 27, 2023
  5. Appointments: President’s Teaching Award Selection Committee

    The appointments to the President’s Teaching Award Selection Committee were provided to the Board for information.
  6. University Professors Selection Committee

    The membership of the University Professors Selection Committee was provided to members for information.


  1. Date of the Next Meeting: April 27, 2023, 3:10 – 5:10 p.m.

    The Chair reminded members that the next meeting, would be held on April 27, 2023 at 3:10 p.m.
  2. Other Business 

    There were no matters of Other Business raised.  




On a motion duly moved, seconded, and carried  


THAT the in camera consent agenda be adopted. 

  1. Quarterly List of Donations of $250,000 or more to the University of Toronto November 1, 2022 – January 31, 2023

    The Board received for information the Quarterly Report on Donations for the period November 1, 2022 to January 31, 2023.



  1. Capital Project: Report of the Project Planning Committee for OISE Roof Community Garden & Indigenous Education Network (IEN) Social, Cultural Practice Space – Total Project Costs and Sources of Funding

    On a motion duly moved, seconded, and carried  


    THAT subject to confirmation by the Executive Committee,  and 

    THAT the recommendation of the Vice-President, Operations and Real Estate Partnerships, regarding the Total Project Cost and Sources of Funding for the  OISE Roof Community Garden & Indigenous Education Network (IEN) Social, Cultural Practice Space  as outlined in the memorandum dated March 2, 2023, be approved in principle in principle.   


The meeting adjourned at 4:48 p.m.

March 13, 2023