Report: Business Board - April 25, 2024

Council Chamber, Simcoe Hall


Thursday, April 25, 2024

To the Governing Council,
University of Toronto,

Your Board reports that it held a meeting in the Council Chamber, Simcoe Hall on April 25, 2024, at 5:00 p.m. with the following members present:

PRESENT: Rajiv Mathur (Chair), Mathangi Gopinathan (Vice-Chair)*, Scott Mabury (Vice-President, Operations & Real Estate Partnerships), Kelly Hannah-Moffat (Vice-President, People Strategy, Equity & Culture), Trevor Rodgers (Chief Financial Officer), Glen W Bandiera, Vikram Chadalawada, Janet Anne Cloud, Alicia Damley*, Maureen Harquail*, Paul Huyer, Thomas Hofmann, Kathryn Jenkins*, Scott MacKendrick, Brian Madden, Carmen Sebert, Ian Taylor, Veronica Wadey, Grace Westcott, Mary-Agnes Wilson*

REGRETS: Sharleen Ahmed, Annabelle Dravid, Kikelomo Lawal, Nelson Lee, Joseph Nkeng, Rima Ramchandani, David Regan

NON-VOTING ASSESSORS: Christine Szustaczek (Vice-President, Communications), Susan McCahan (Vice-Provost, Academic Programs and Vice-Provost, Innovations in Undergraduate Education), Jeff Lennon (Assistant Vice-President, Planning & Budget), Luke Barber (Executive Director, Digital & Physical Infrastructure), David Lehto (Chief of University Planning, Design & Construction), Sonya Tara Donovan (Managing Director, Real Estate Portfolio)

SECRETARIAT: Timothy Harlick (Secretary), Megann Davidson, Miranda Edwards

IN ATTENDANCE: Samuel Elfassy (LGIC Member of Governing Council), Archana Sridhar (Assistant Provost, Office of the Vice-President and Provost), Sandy Welsh (Vice-Provost, Students), Gwen Burrows (Assistant Vice-President, International Engagement & Impact), Chuck O’Reilly (President & Chief Investment Officer, UTAM), Lisa Becker (Chief Operating Officer, UTAM), Sanish Samuel (Controller & Director Financial Services), Anthony Tia (Director, Treasury and Investments), Ihab Khalil (Chief Operations Officer, PSEC), Raj Sharda (Chief Operating Officer, DUA) Alex Matos (Director, Internal Audit), Robyn Parr (Executive Director, OVPS), Angelique Saweczko (University Registrar), Mark Overton (Dean of Student Affairs and Assistant Principal, Student Services), Chad Nuttall (Assistant Dean, Students & International Initiatives, UTM), Brian Cunha (Director, Student Housing & Residence Life, UTM) Jessica Mosher, (President, University of Toronto Press), Ann Perry,(Senior Issues and Media Relations Strategist, University of Toronto Communications), Philippe Devos (Director, Media Relations), Helen Bao (Executive Finance Officer, OREP)

*attended remotely



Pursuant to section 38 of By-Law Number 2,
consideration of items 17 to 19 took place in camera.


  1. Chair’s Remarks

    The Chair welcomed members and guests to the meeting.
  2. Reports of the Administrative Assessors

    There were no reports from the administrative assessors.
  3. Annual Report: Vice-President, International

    Professor Joe Wong, Vice-President, International, presented the Annual Report: Vice-President, International.

    Highlights included:
  • The University remained committed to internationalization, a core priority supported by 34 staff members in the Office of the Vice-President, International, including staff in India and three African countries.
  • The University’s internationalization strategy was guided by a strategic plan that adapts to geopolitical challenges and emphasizes diversification.
  • The University had reduced its international student reliance on a single source country, China, from 71% in 2016 to 53% in 2023.
  • The University had been able to secure approximately 6,300 study permit applications through advocacy at both the federal and provincial levels, despite recently announced caps introduced on the number of international students coming into Canada.
  • International collaborations continued to thrive, with the percentage of papers published with an international collaborator increasing from 50% to 60% over the last ten years.
  • The University had been developing collaborative partnerships in the Global South through the Higher Education Collaborative, which included eight African universities and generating about $200M in grants.
  • The University of Toronto India Foundation which had established an office in Mumbai in partnership with the Tata Trust, had been engaged in urban research and smart cities.
  • International entrepreneurship had become a core feature of the university’s international strategic plan, with partnerships with the National University of Singapore and a university in Taiwan.
  • To simplify the entry point into the University for prospective corporate partners, a single entry or portal, known as the “Blue Door”, continued to prove itself very successful.


    The discussion focused on the global aspirations of the University, its strategy to broaden its presence, and deepen partnerships. Professor Wong noted the importance of international collaborations which not only increased publication and citation counts but also grew the University’s profile.

    In response to a question raised about the low alumni to enrolment ratio among students from China, Professor Wong attributed this to an undercount due to lack of addresses of alumni residing in China, which was how the University counted its alumni totals. Efforts were being made to reengage and increase presence in China to improve these totals.

    Professor Wong also commented that an important consideration for studying in Canada, particularly for international undergraduate students, was the pathway to the postgraduate work permit program. Many graduates continued to work in Canada, contributing to the economic impact of the University. He concluded by commenting that universities continued to be seen as an important source of talent to address the productivity and competitiveness gap in Canada.

    The Chair thanked Professor Wong for his presentation.
  1. Spaces & Experiences: Annual Report 2023-24 and Budget 2024-25

    Professor Scott Mabury, Vice-President, Operations and Real Estate Partnerships, commented that the University Development and Campus Services had been established as a business ancillary on June 18, 2020, and was subsequently renamed Spaces & Experiences (“S&E”) in December 2022.

    Ms Anne Macdonald, Assistant Vice-President, Spaces & Experiences, and Ms Sonya Donovan, Managing Director, Real Estate Portfolio, commented that the annual report highlighted the progress of the 4 Corners strategy projects, including the successful completion of Schwartz Reisman Innovation Campus (West), despite its early challenges. The report also outlined S&E’s first-year progress on its 5-year strategic plan, with key initiatives in organizational restructuring, technology investments, and equity, diversity & inclusion. Despite a modest overall loss due to start-up costs and wage increases, S&E had reported a net income of $2.1M for existing units and expected a return to an overall positive income for the portfolio in fiscal year 2025. The University’s budget had allowed for COVID-19 related deficits to be repaid over five years, with the Provost agreeing to provide 33% of the unrecoverable COVID-19 deficit, amounting to $8.122 million for S&E. The long-range financial outlook for S&E was positive and anticipated a net income of over $36 million in fiscal year 2029.


    In response several questions about rate setting, Ms Macdonald commented they were set based on each operation’s overall profit and loss statement, anticipated cost increases and an analysis of competitive market rates. The largest cost categories include labour, facility operating costs, and food, the latter of which had seen significant inflation-related increases. Buildings in the portfolio, especially older assets requiring significant capital investment, have found these projects subject to construction hyper-inflation in recent years. The highest rate increase proposed this year is for the Knox residence, which has historically had the lowest rates on campus. A further consideration was that the Knox building, a new addition to the portfolio, requires substantial renovation to meet maintenance standards. Ms Macdonald concluded by noting that a broad consultative approach is undertaken when determining rates which includes consultation with the residence advisory committees.

On motion duly moved, seconded, and carried


THAT the Business Board concur with the recommendation of the University Affairs Board’s approval of the S&E fees charged to students and the University community; and

THAT the proposed 2024-25 operating plans and budgets for Spaces & Experiences, as summarized in the S&E annual report Appendix A, and the St. George business ancillary rates as summarized in Appendix B, be approved effective May 1, 2024.

  1. Revisions to the University Funds Investment Policy

    Mr. Trevor Rodgers, Chief Financial Officer, introduced the proposed revisions to the University Funds Investment policy and commented that historically, the University utilized multiple pools for its investment funds, including LTCAP, EFIP, and specialized trust funds.  Each pool adhered to specific investment policies and, in the case of trust funds, sometimes had external restrictions. 

    The EFIP's Short-term Portfolio (“STP”) targeted a return linked to a 50/50 split between 1-month Canadian Bankers' Acceptances (“BA(s)”) and the FTSE Canada Short-term Universe Bond Index.  BAs relied on the Canadian Dollar Offered Rates (“CDOR”) for pricing, a benchmark scheduled for discontinuation in June 2024.  

    As no direct replacement for BAs existed, an adjustment to the STP target was necessary. Anticipated market shifts indicated Canadian floating rate pricing would transition from CDOR to the Canadian Overnight Repo Rate Average (“CORRA”), with an additional spread. Mr. Rodgers noted that analysis revealed a typical spread of 15 bps between 1-month BAs and CORRA, with CORRA usually exhibiting a slightly lower yield.  Therefore, a 10-bps spread above CORRA was recommended for the new STP target, reflecting a conservative approach and acknowledging potential market fluctuations.   

    Mr. Rodgers concluded his remarks noting that the Investment Committee had reviewed and approved this change at its recent March meeting and was now seeking approval from Business Board. 


    In response to a member’s question, Mr. Rodgers confirmed that there would be no impact to the way in which the University invested its short-term capital. as the cash component was accomplished through daily liquidity bank accounts which offered competitive returns and ease of administration. 

On motion duly moved, seconded, and carried


THAT the Business Board approve the University Funds Investment Policy, dated April 25, 2024, attached as Appendix B, replacing the University Funds Investment Policy dated October 7, 2019.   

  1. Semi-Annual Update on Investment Performance and Responsible Investing Activities to December 31, 2023

    Chuck O’Reilly, President and Chief Investment Officer (CIO), University of Toronto Asset Management Corporation (UTAM) presented the UTAM Semi-Annual Update on Investment Performance and Responsible Investing Activities to December 31, 2023. 

    Highlights of the presentation included: 

  • The LTCAP had a strong 10-year performance ending December 31st, 2023, with a 7.9% annual return, outperforming its target by 1.4%.  

  • While LTCAP’s 2023 return was below the return of the Reference Portfolio, its 10-year performance exceeded the Reference Portfolio , reflecting UTAM's successful active investment strategies. LTCAP also outperformed the university’s Target Return of 4%+CPI over the 10-year period. 

  • EFIP performed well in 2023, exceeding its target return by 1 percentage point. Over the 10-year period, EFIP exceeded its target return by 0.4 percentage points per annum. 

  • UTAM continued to make strides in responsible investing practices. Significant reductions were made in the LTCAP sub-portfolio's carbon footprint and absolute emissions between 2019 and 2023.  

  • Progress was also made in divesting from fossil fuel companies. 


    In response to a member’s question regarding LTCAP’s asset mix and UTAM’s value-add contribution by strategy over the 10-year period, and specifically about the Alternative Credit Program, Mr. O’Reilly commented that the Reference Portfolio was composed of three asset classes – Equities, Government Bonds and Corporate Bonds – and that the specific investment programs listed (Alternative Credit, Private Equity, etc.) were mapped back to their corresponding Reference Portfolio asset classes for presentation purposes. Mr. O’Reilly confirmed that the Alternative Credit Program was still active and that it was mapped into the credit component of the Reference Portfolio. Mr. O’Reilly further noted that this program comprised about 10% of total assets at year-end 2023, so it represented approximately half of the Reference Portfolio ’s target exposure to credit.  

    Turning to the attribution part of the member’s question, Mr. O’Reilly noted that the Alternative Credit Program was invested in higher risk types of credit strategies compared to the Reference Portfolio and that it was a contributor to LTCAP’s active risk budget. He further explained that the difference between “all effects” and “manager selection and style”  was that “all effects” included the difference between the performance of the Barclays high yield index (which was the style benchmark for the alternative credit program) and the Reference Portfolio benchmark for credit (which was Canadian investment grade) while “manager selection and style” focused on how much of the attribution was coming from manager selection (i.e. manager performance vs the style benchmark) as opposed to making the capital allocation decision. 

    The Chair thanked Mr. O’Reilly for his presentation. 

  1. Fighting Against Forced Labour and Child Labour in Canadian Supply Chains University of Toronto Annual Report 2024

    Mr. Rodgers commented that the federal government had recently enacted the Fighting Against Forced Labour and Child Labour in Canadian Supply Chains Act to combat labour exploitation and that the University, as an importer of goods, was subject to the Act's annual reporting requirements. 

    The University’s Report focused on the 2022-23 fiscal year, noting that imported goods represented a small portion of overall expenditures. While most imports originated from low-risk countries, the University had limited visibility into deeper supply chain tiers. The University identified no instances of forced or child labour requiring remediation. Over the next year, the University would be implementing staff training, external partnerships to guide risk mitigation strategies, strengthened purchase order terms, and establishing metrics to track progress on key objectives. 


    When asked about what constituted “minor dealings” under the legislation, Mr. Rodgers responded that it was not clearly defined and that the University had opted, as a conservative approach, to report. He commented that the University imported approximately $30M worth of goods every year, representing less than 1% of its total budget.  

    Mr. Rodgers further commented that the University’s obligation under this new legislation was limited to reporting on this data and the University’s existing risk mitigation efforts for transparency. The majority of the $30M in goods purchased was in the category of scientific equipment, and most imports originated from the United States. By way of comparison, Mr. Rodgers noted that approximately 86% of the University’s overall purchases were from businesses in Ontario. 

On motion duly moved, seconded, and carried


THAT the Fighting Against Forced Labour and Child Labour in Canadian Supply Chains: University of Toronto Annual Report 2024 as presented be approved; and 

THAT the Chair of the Business Board be authorized to attest to the Minister of Public Safety that, having exercised reasonable diligence, the information in the Report for the 2022-23 fiscal year is true, accurate and complete in all material aspects for the purposes of the Fighting Against Forced Labour and Child Labour in Supply Chains Act. 

  1. Annual Report: Vice-President, People Strategy, Equity & Culture

    Professor Kelly Hannah-Moffat, Vice-President, People Strategy, Equity & Culture, reported that the 2023 Report detailed the activities and accomplishments of the Division of People Strategy, Equity & Culture (“PSEC”) between January 1, and December 31, 2023.

    The Report emphasized the Division’s shift to a strategic and proactive approach, guided by community collaboration and consultation. The Division’s newly formed principles, including “Invest in People” and “Prioritize Employee Wellness,” shaped its activities and achievements. In 2023, the Division launched programs to support employees, foster a sense of belonging, and prepare the community for change.

    It also acted on recommendations from various reports, including the 2022 Review of the Policy on Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment. The Division expanded employee benefits, developed wellness programs, and improved services to promote a healthy workplace culture. It also enhanced safety resources to boost institutional and community preparedness. Looking ahead to 2024, the Division planned to remain responsive to external challenges and opportunities, including global crises, financial uncertainties, and the rise of AI technologies, while continuing to support the community.


    In response to a member’s questions about employee retention, Professor Hannah-Moffat responded that the University was doing well in terms of both recruitment and retention.

    In response to a member’s question about emergency preparedness, Professor Hannah-Moffat and Professor Mabury commented that the University had a crisis framework in place for various emergencies, from global crises like COVID-19 to building-specific incidents. Routine emergencies, such as fires, were handled by trained personnel with immediate response times. The University was working on educating the University community on how to respond to different emergencies. In particular, the UofT Safety App to connect people with campus safety quickly, as well as to other safety-related resources, as well as to other safety-related resources, was highlighted.

    The University’s crisis management framework involved coordination with campus safety partners and the Office of High Risk. In emergencies, people were encouraged to call campus safety, which then triggered a response from institutional crisis managers. However, it was acknowledged that emergencies were not always predictable, so planning and education was an important component of crisis management.

    It was also noted that had detailed business continuity plans had been developed for all shared services and most academic units at the University, which had been a focus over the past five years.
  2. Collective Agreement Updates:
    1. July 1, 2023 – June 30, 2026, Collective Agreement between the University of Toronto and USW Local 1998-Casuals
    2. January 1, 2024 – December 31, 2026 Collective Agreement between the University of Toronto and CUPE 3902 Unit 1
    3. January 1, 2023 – December 31, 2025 Collective Agreement between the University of Toronto and CUPE 3902 Unit 5
    4. January 1, 2024 – December 31, 2026 Collective Agreement between the University of Toronto and CUPE Local 3261 – 89 Chestnut
    5. July 1, 2023 to June 30, 2026 Collective Agreement between the University of Toronto and CUPE 3261 Casuals
    6. July 1, 2023, to June 30, 2026, Collective Agreement between the University of Toronto and CUPE 3261 Full Time/Part Time

​​​​​The Board received a brief update on recently ratified collective agreements.


Members inquired on the potential impact of compensation settlements that had recently occurred at other universities in Ontario on future collective agreements and Professor Hannah-Moffat confirmed that some settlements had been higher and that that may play a role in future negotiations.


On motion duly moved, seconded, and carried


THAT the consent agenda be adopted and that Item 12, the Report of the Previous Meeting, be approved.

  1. Status Report on Debt to March 31, 2024

    Members received the Status Report on Debt to March 31, 2024, for information.
  2. Health and Safety Requirements: Quarterly Report on Compliance

    Members received the Health and Safety Requirements – Quarterly Report on Compliance for January 1 to March 31, 2024, for information.
  3. Report of the Previous Meeting: Report Number 277, March 13, 2024

    Report Number 277, from the meeting of March 13, 2024, was approved.
  4. Business Arising from the Report of the Previous Meeting

    There was no business arising from the report of the previous meeting.
  5. Report Number 157 of the Audit Committee, April 17, 2024

    Report number 157 of the Audit Committee, April 17, 2024, was received for information.
  6. Date of Next Meeting – Wednesday, June 19, 2024, at 5:00 p.m.

    The Board was informed that the next meeting was scheduled for Wednesday, June 19, 2024, at 5:00 p.m.

  1. Other Business

    No other business was raised by members.

The Board moved In-Camera.


  1. In Camera Reports of the Administrative Assessors

    Professor Mabury provided information on an information security matter.
  2. Report on Capital Projects as of March 31, 2024

    Professor Mabury and Mr. David Lehto, Chief, University Planning, Design & Construction, presented the Capital Projects Report for the period ending March 31, 2024. The report included a comprehensive list of capital projects under construction and in design.

  3. Capital Project (Level 3): Report of the Project Planning Committee for University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM) Residence (Phase IX)

    1. Financing Requirements (for approval)+

      The Board approved a motion that the recommendation of the Vice-President, Operations and Real Estate Partnerships, as outlined in the memorandum dated April 18, 2024, be approved.

    2. Execution of Project (for approval)+

      The Board approved a motion that the recommendation of the Vice-President, Operations and Real Estate Partnerships, as outlined in the memorandum dated April 18, 2024, be approved.

The Board returned to Open Session.

The meeting adjourned at 7:31 p.m.

May 2, 2024