REPORT NUMBER 242 OF THE ACADEMIC BOARD
NOVEMBER 17, 2022
To the Governing Council, University of Toronto,
Your Board reports that it held a meeting on November 17, 2022 at 3:10 p.m., in the Council Chamber, Simcoe Hall with the following members present:
PRESENT: Ernest Lam (Vice Chair), Cheryl Regehr (Vice President and Provost), Susan McCahan (Vice Provost, Academic Programs & Vice Provost, Innovations in Undergraduate Education), Areeb Ahmed, Catherine Amara, Laura Anderson, Brinda Batra*, Joshua Barker, Christian Caron*, Robert Cooper, James Davis, Jennifer Dolman, Markus Dubber, David Dubins, Wendy Duff, Angela Esterhammer, Jessica Eylon, Monique Flaccavento, Robert Gazzale, Robert Gibbs*, Emily Gilbert*, Jason Harlow, Tony Harris, Walid Houry, Sarosh Jamal, Nadine Janes Charles Jia, Jessica Johnson, Linda Johnston, Shone Joos, Madeline Kalda, Rita Kandel*, Elaine Khoo, Jan Mahrt-Smith, Nicole Mideo, Amy Mullin*, Eha Naylor, John Oesch, Jesse Pasternak, Srilata Raman*, Michael Ratcliffe, Matt Ratto, Rosa Saverino, Sharon Switzer-McIntyre*, Ali Syed, Laura Tam, Steven Thorpe, Nhung Tran, Justin Van Houten, Veronica Wadey, Suzanne Wood, Daniel Zung
*participated remotely via Zoom
REGRETS: Douglas McDougall (Chair), Scott Mabury (Vice President, Operations & Real Estate Partnerships), Leah Cowen (Vice President, Research and Innovation and Strategic initiatives), Ramona Alaggia, Larry Alford, Aarthi Ashok Adalsteinn Brown, Jutta Brunnée, Michael Chan, Catherine Chandler-Crichlow, Missy Chareka, Marsha Chechik, Carol Chin, Susan Christoffersen, Lorne Costello, Amrita Daniere, Raisa Deber, Nathalie Des Rosiers, Maryanna Diab, Lisa Dolovich, Paul Downes, Annabelle Dravid, Juan Du, Darryl Edwards, Dickson Eyoh, Joseph Flessa, Adam Fox, J. Roy Gillis, William Gough, Keevyn Hirschfield, Ellie Hisama, Gretchen Kerr, Grase Kim, Jeannie Kim, Anil Kishen, Lisa Kramer, Philip Kremer, Normand Labrie, Dveeta Lal, Sameer Lal, Brigitte Lavoie, Hong Lu, Zhino Maanavi, Nicole Novroski, Fabian Parsch, Jennifer Purtle, Karen Reid, Laura Simone, Jastaranpreet (Jasty) Singh, Markus Stock, Ryan Teschner, Charmaine Williams, Melanie Woodin, Geeta Yadav, Christopher Yip,Trevor Young, Daniel Zimmerman, David Zingg
NON-VOTING ASSESSORS: Heather Boon (Vice Provost, Faculty and Academic Life), Kelly Hannah-Moffat (Vice President, People Strategy, Equity and Culture), Joseph Wong (Vice President, International)
Tracey Gameiro, Secretary
Sandy Welsh (Vice-Provost, Students)
Alexis Archbold (Executive Director, Strategy, Programs & Operations, Office of the Vice-Provost, Students)
Leora Jackson (Legal Counsel, Office of the University Counsel)
Ihab Khalil, Chief Operations Officer, Office of the Vice-President, People Strategy, Equity & Culture
Alex Matos (Director, Internal Audit)
Andrea Russell, Acting Assistant Provost, Office of the Vice-President and Provost
Melinda Scott (Executive Director, Office of the Vice-Provost, Students)
Maëlis Barre (President, University of Toronto Mississauga Students’ Union)
Micah Kalisch, (Founder and Director, Prevention, Empowerment, Advocacy, Response, for Survivors Project - PEARS)
Jaime Kearns (President, Association of Part-time Undergraduate Students)
Reagan Roopnarine (Vice-President, Equity, University of Toronto Mississauga Students’ Union)
ITEM 6 IN CAMERA ITEM 13 WERE APPROVED. ALL OTHER ITEMS ARE REPORTED FOR INFORMATION.
Pursuant to section 33(i) of By-Law Number 2,
Items 11-13 were considered in camera.
- Chair’s Remarks
Professor Ernest Lam, Vice-Chair of the Academic Board, welcomed members. It was noted for members that the Chair, Professor Douglas McDougall, had an unavoidable conflict, and as such Professor Lam would Chair the meeting.
The Vice-Chair shared information about the 2023 elections for Governing Council and its bodies and invited those ending their terms on June 30th and not planning on seeking re-election to encourage their peers to consider submitting a nomination.
The Vice-Chair noted that speaking requests from the following individuals had been received and granted, to speak to item 3, Revisions to the Policy on Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment:
- Omar Gharbiyeh (President, University of Toronto Students’ Union)
- Reagan Roopnarine, (Vice-President, Equity - UTM Students’ Union)
- Thai Dillon Higashihara, (Vice-President, External, Scarborough Campus Students’ Union)
- Micah Kalisch (Founder & Director, Prevention, Empowerment, Advocacy, Response, for Survivors Project)
- Report of the Vice-President and Provost
As part of her report, Professor Cheryl Regehr, Vice-President and Provost, reviewed the measures in place to safeguard the community in response to the rise of respiratory viruses. These included:
offering pop-up clinics across all three campuses to provide flu shots and COVID-19 vaccinations;
encouraging community members to remain at home when ill;
recommending that individuals wear masks in crowded indoor spaces;
continuing to have industry-leading ventilation standards in classrooms, improved ventilation and air filtration in all buildings, increased frequency of classroom cleaning and sanitizer wipes widely available.
With the Chair’s acknowledgement, Professor Kelly Hannah-Moffat, Vice-President, People Strategy, Equity & Culture, offered an update on potential strike action by CUPE 3261. Professor Hannah-Moffat reported that talks with the union were continuing and that parties had been working hard to avert a strike. She encouraged kindness and empathy towards colleagues on the picket line. Should a strike be called, Professor Hannah-Moffat indicated that class and work schedules would continue and that contingency plans had been made for cleaning and building opening.
A member asked whether there was any concern that CUPE 3261 might picket in support of education workers in school boards across the province who were also in a strike position.
Professor Hannah-Moffat indicated that such demonstrations were well within the rights of CUPE 3261, but reiterated that talks were ongoing, and parties were fully engaged in working towards reaching an agreement.
- Revisions to the Policy on Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment
The Chair invited the Provost to provide an overview of the revisions to the Policy on Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment (the Policy). The Provost explained that the Policy had taken effect on January 1, 2017, following a directive from the Ontario government that all Ontario post-secondary institutions must have a stand-alone policy on sexual violence, which must be reviewed every three years. The Policy had replaced the University’s previous Policy and Procedures on Sexual Harassment. The Provost noted that the first review of the Policy had been conducted in 2019. In December 2021, further minor amendments had been made to the Policy to ensure compliance with new requirements mandated by the provincial government. The second review of the Policy had taken place in the 2021-22 academic year, led by Professor Linda Johnston, Dean, Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, and Dr. Allison Burgess Director, Sexual & Gender Diversity Office. The Final Report of the 2022 Review of the Policy on Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment was released in July 2022. The Administration Response accepted all of the recommendations flowing from that review.
The revisions to the Policy fell into two categories:
Changes to reflect the recommendations made by the reviewers which included the requirement for a public annual report providing statistical information about sexual violence at the University; increased clarity on non-adjudicative processes; stronger language on no-tolerance for reprisals and retaliation; and formalization of information sharing with participants in the reporting process.
Changes to enhance the clarity of the Policy, such as alphabetization of the definitions section.
The Provost reported that just as these draft revisions to the Policy were finalized, the Ontario government announced new draft legislation, the Strengthening Post-Secondary Institutions and Students Act, to further address sexual violence in post-secondary institutions. It was determined that the proposed revisions, together with what was already in the Policy, reflected the policy requirements contained in the draft legislation. The University was also committed to implementing the procedural requirements of the new legislation including:
- deeming the discipline or termination of an employee for sexual violence “just cause”;
declining to enter into agreements that prohibited the disclosure of a finding of sexual violence made by a court or adjudicator; and
not re-employing anyone found by the University to have committed sexual violence.
In response to a member’s question, the Provost confirmed that while full reports of investigations were not released, summary information could be provided upon receipt of an appropriate request.
At the Chair’s invitation, the following speakers addressed the Board.
Speaking Request: University of Toronto Students’ Union (UTSU)
As Omar Gharbiyeh, (President, UTSU), was unable to be in attendance, the Chair granted Micah Kalisch’s request to address the Board in their capacity as Executive Assistant, Equity for UTSU.
Mx. Kalish expressed concern that many students had been unaware of the opportunities to provide feedback on the draft revisions to the Policy. In addition, students felt that trauma-informed and financial support were still lacking for victims, and that issues around timeliness had not been adequately addressed in the revised Policy. Mx. Kalish also voiced the UTSU’s concern that Non-Disclosure Agreements (“NDA”) continued to be used.
Speaking Request: University of Toronto Mississauga Students’ Union (UTMSU)
The second external speaker, Reagan Roopnarine (UTMSU), focused her comments on the pervasiveness of sexual violence and sexual harassment on campus and the need for a survivor-centric approach.
Speaking Request: Scarborough Campus Students’ Union (SCSU)
Representatives from the SCSU had been granted speaking privileges, but were unable to attend the meeting due to a last-minute conflict.
Speaking Request: Prevention, Empowerment, Advocacy, Response, for Survivors Project (PEARS)
Micah Kalisch then addressed the Board as founder and director of the PEARS project. Mx. Kalisch listed the efforts made by students to inform the draft revisions to the Policy and reiterated the concern that the proposed changes did not go far enough to rectify rape culture on campus. Mx. Kalish also called for a third-party external review of the Policy and stressed the need for trauma-informed and survivor-centric solutions.
The Chair thanked speakers for their remarks. He invited further comments from the Provost and members.
The Provost thanked the students for their comments and courage in sharing them with the Board. She agreed with the need to create a culture of consent and respect and noted her shared concern for support for survivors. The Provost reported that, to her knowledge, the University had not entered into any NDAs in the last decade.
In response to members’ comments and questions, the Provost clarified the following:
A summary of the investigation report was provided to the complainant, but the detailed report remained confidential because it contained highly sensitive information; where there had been a finding, the University would respond to inquiries about that finding;
Timeliness of the process remained a priority, but timelines were difficult to prescribe because of challenges related to the willingness of individuals to participate and legal counsel asking for continuances, which were outside of the control of the University;
While the review process had invited the community to share their experiences, feedback was welcomed at any time;
The Sexual Violence Prevention & Support Centre reported annually to the University Affairs Board on the number of requests for support received, and the number of reports received; this report was publicly available.
The Chair thanked the Provost and student speakers for their comments, and members for their engagement and thoughtful comments and questions.
Policy on Transparency in Electronic Monitoring
Professor Kelly Hannah-Moffat, (Vice-President, People Strategy, Equity & Culture), explained that the new Policy on Transparency in Electronic Monitoring was being introduced further to an amendment to the Employment Standards Act, 2000, which required employers to have a written policy for electronic monitoring in the workplace. She went on to provide an overview of the requirements of the legislation, what was meant by ‘electronic monitoring’, and possible types of electronic monitoring of employees.
Professor Hannah-Moffat noted that the Policy did not represent a change in practice, but rather made the current practice more transparent for employees. She went on to add the following:
While other Ontario universities had taken a more detailed approach, given the complexity of its labour relations environment, the University of Toronto had drafted its Policy to provide more high-level information regarding electronic monitoring as it applied across all employee groups.
With or without the Policy, the University had always upheld the protection of academic and personal freedoms as an institutional imperative and had never used system surveillance to monitor work.
The Policy affirmed that electronic monitoring of employees was limited to contexts and situations that ensured the protection, management, and security of the University’s digital and physical resources and the safety of the University community.
Consultations had been broad, engaging all three campuses and involving human resources managers and Chief Administrative offices, IT security, Data Governance, the Office of the Chief Information Officer, the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act Office, the Office of Safety and High Risk, and the Office of the Vice-President & Provost, including the Office of the Vice-Provost, Faculty & Academic Life.
A copy of the draft policy had been shared in advance with UTFA and unions.
Professor Hannah-Moffat concluded by stating that the Division of People Strategy, Equity & Culture would develop resources to assist managers and academic leaders in providing guidance to their employees.
A member questioned why the Policy did not more fully address the forms of electronic monitoring the University was practicing presently, and whether the data currently being collected could be used for a new purpose in the future such as research. In response, Professor Hannah-Moffat indicated that given the size and decentralized nature of the University, it was not practical to provide an exhaustive list of practices. She stated that the goal of the Policy was to provide transparency. Professor Hannah-Moffat clarified that should a request ever be made to use any data collected for research purposes, it would first need to be approved by the Provost and the Office of People Strategy, Equity & Culture through practices already in place.
Responding to a question regarding non-employee groups, Professor Hannah-Moffat clarified that non-employees did not have access to University assets the security of which electronic monitoring sought to protect. Professor Hannah-Moffat also explained that University employees working in different affiliated spaces such as hospitals, would be covered by the electronic monitoring policy of that organization.
Provost’s Annual Report on Cases of Academic Discipline, 2021-2022
Professor Boon, Vice-Provost, Faculty & Academic Life, was invited to provide comments on the Provost’s Annual Report on Cases of Academic Discipline, 2021-2022.
Professor Boon explained that the Report was retrospective, capturing data from the last academic year. She reported that the number of academic misconduct cases forwarded to the University Tribunal had increased during the pandemic, but that the overall number of cases was trending downward with the return to in-person assessments after pandemic lockdown periods. In particular, the number of offences resolved in three of the four largest academic divisions was down significantly compared to last year. The top two types of offences remained plagiarism and use of an unauthorized aid. Increased efforts were being made by Discipline Counsel to settle cases through Minutes of Settlement, which helped reduce the need for Tribunal hearings and increased the timeliness of sanctions/decisions.
In response to a comment regarding the impact of linguistic and cultural diversity on students’ understanding of academic misconduct, Professor Boon reiterated the importance placed on ongoing education throughout a student’s academic career at the University. She noted that many first-year courses included a module about what constitutes plagiarism in the Canadian context.
Professor Boon concluded her remarks by saying that efforts were being directed towards reducing the timeliness between date of offence and when a case was resolved, and that she expected to see a significant change in this metric as a result.
OPEN SESSION CONSENT AGENDA
The Board proceeded with the Consent Agenda.
On a motion duly moved, seconded, and carried
YOUR BOARD APPROVED
THAT the consent agenda be adopted.
Report of the Previous Meeting: Report Number 241 – October 6, 2022
Report Number 241, from the meeting of October 6, 2022, was approved.
Business Arising from the Report of the Previous Meeting
There was no business arising from the report of the previous meeting.
- Items for Information
Members received the following items for information:
Semi-Annual Report: Academic Appeals Committee, Individual Cases, Fall 2022
Semi-Annual Report: University Tribunal, Individual Cases, Fall 2022
Report Number 291 of the Agenda Committee – October 26, 2022 (Special Meeting)
Report Number 292 of the Agenda Committee – November 3, 2022
Report Number 216 of the Committee on Academic Policy and Programs – October 25, 2022
Membership of the Advisory Committee on the University of Toronto Library System for 2022-2023
END OF CONSENT AGENDA
Date of the Next Meeting: January 26, 2023, 3:10 – 5:10 p.m.
The Chair reminded members that the next meeting would be held on January 26, 2023, at 3:10 p.m.
There were no matters of Other Business raised.
THE BOARD MOVED IN CAMERA.
IN CAMERA CONSENT AGENDA
On a motion duly moved, seconded, and carried,
YOUR BOARD APPROVED THAT
the in camera consent agenda be adopted
Quarterly List of Donations of $250,000 or more to the University of Toronto August 1 to October 31, 2022
The Board received for information the Quarterly Report on Donations for the period of August 1 to October 31, 2022.
IN CAMERA AGENDA
In Camera Report of the Administrative Assessors
Professor Kelly Hannah-Moffat provided an update on a matter from her portfolio.
There were no other in camera reports from the Administrative Assessors.
Appointment of two Assistant Secretaries of the University Tribunal
On a motion duly moved, seconded, and carried,
YOUR BOARD APPROVED
THAT Ms. Nusaiba Khan be appointed Assistant Secretary of the University Tribunal effective November 17, 2022; and
THAT Ms. Samanthe Huang be appointed Assistant Secretary of the University Tribunal effective November 17, 2022.
The Board returned to open session.
The meeting adjourned at 4:48 p.m.
November 22, 2022