Report: Business Board - March 15, 2023

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

REPORT NUMBER 270 OF THE BUSINESS BOARD

MARCH 15, 2023


To the Governing Council,
University of Toronto.

Your Business Board reports that it held a meeting in the Council Chamber, Simcoe Hall, on Wednesday, March 15, 2023 at 5:00 p.m. with the following members:

In Attendance: Sandra Hanington (Chair), Rajiv Mathur (Vice-Chair), Heather Boon* (Acting Vice-President, People Strategy, Equity & Culture), Scott Mabury (Vice-President, Operations and Real Estate Partnerships), Trevor Rodgers (Chief Financial Officer), Glen Bandiera, Janet Cloud, Alicia Damley, Teo Dechev, K. Sonu Gaind, Indi Gopinathan, Sue Graham-Nutter, Maureen Harquail*, Paul Huyer, Sarosh Jamal, Kathryn Jenkins, Scott MacKendrick, David Regan, Ian Taylor*, Grace Westcott, Mary-Agnes Wilson*

Regrets: Heather Boon, Active Vice-President, People Strategy, Equity & Culture), Olenka Baron, Annabelle Dravid, Thomas Hofmann, Arman Rasekh, Danielle Skipp, Lara Zink

Secretariat: Timothy Harlick (Secretary)

Non-Voting Assessors:
Cheryl Regehr (Vice-President, Academic & Provost), David Palmer, Vice-President, Advancement), Jeff Lennon (Assistant Vice-President, Planning & Budget), Susan McCahan (Vice-Provost, Academic Programs and Vice-Provost, Innovations in Undergraduate Education), Deborah Brown (Chief Administrative Officer, UTM)

In Attendance:
Angelique Saweczko (University Registrar), Joyce Hahn (Chief Administrative Officer, Division of the Vice-President & Provost), Andrea Russell (Director, Academic Affairs), Elizabeth Cragg (Director, Office of the Vice President, Operations and Real Estate Partnerships), Alex Matos (Director of Internal Audit), Sanish Samuel (Controller and Director Financial Services), Anthony Tia (Director, Treasury & Investment Services), Marit Mitchell (Executive Director, Internal Communications, UTSC)

*Attended Remotely

ITEMS 3(a), 3(b) AND 4 WERE RECOMMENDED TO THE GOVERNING COUNCIL FOR APPROVAL. ITEMS 5(a) and 6; AND IN CAMERA ITEM 15 WERE APPROVED. ALL OTHER ITEMS ARE REPORTED TO THE GOVERNING COUNCIL FOR INFORMATION

Pursuant to section 33(i) of By-Law Number 2,
items 13 to 15 were considered in camera.


OPEN SESSION

  1. Chair’s Remarks


    The Chair welcomed members and guests.

  2. Reports of the Administrative Assessors


    There were no reports from the administrative assessors.

  3. Tuition Fees

    The Chair advised members that the main theme of the meeting was student fees and the budget. Ms Hanington referred to two background reports that had been provided: under Item 3(c) Annual Report on Student Financial Support; and Item 3(d) Enrolment Report. She also thanked those members who were able to attend the budget preview information session held on February 13, 2023.

    Professors Cheryl Regehr, Vice-President Academic & Provost, and Scott Mabury, Vice-President, Vice-President Operations and Real Estate Partnerships, and Mr. Jeff Lennon, Assistant Vice-President, Planning and Budget, reported on the Budget Report for 2023-2024 and the Long Range Budget Guidelines 2023-24 to 2027-28, as well as the tuition fee recommendations.

    Highlights of the budget presentation included the following:

  • the University continued to be in strong financial shape, but was entering a period of slowing revenue growth which would put pressure on expense plans;
  • demand for programs continued to be strong both domestically and internationally;
  • the Long Range Budget Guidelines planned for a balanced budget in each of the five coming years;
  • the total budgeted operating revenue for 2023-24 of $3.36 billion was an increase of $124 million over the previous year;
  • the share of the operating budget from Provincial operating grant funding continued to shift downward to 20% and is anticipated to further reduce to 18% of the budget by the end of the five-year plan;
  • the proportion of the budget supported by the provincial government continued to be significantly less than for peer institutions across the country;
  • an estimated $2.09 billion was projected for faculty and staff compensation in the years ahead;
  • enrolment-related revenues from student fees and operating grants were projected to increase by 3.3%, primarily driven by tuition revenue as a result of modest changes to domestic enrolment within the fixed Provincial funding envelope, a small increase in international enrolment, as well as a 2.3% average increase in international tuition fees;
  • the budget assumed that the provincial freeze on domestic tuition would continue for 2023-24, with the result that domestic tuition fees continued to be less than they were five years ago;
  • in preparation for the possibility that some flexibility on domestic tuition could be allowed, two tuition schedules were included – one with a 0% increase to domestic Ontario resident fees and the other with a proposed 3% increase to those fees;
  • a 3% tuition increase would provide approximately $15 million in additional revenue which would be allocated across the divisions to help meet inflationary pressures;
  • non-Ontario resident domestic fees were differentiated starting in 2022-2023 with a 3% increase versus the freeze on resident fees for undergraduate programs, this policy would be continued with a 5% increase for 2023-2024, consistent with the current provincial framework;
  • in addition, there may be a possibility from the Government for a special adjustment to domestic tuition in programs where the University’s fees are materially lower than a comparator group and the University was awaiting further details;
  • international tuition fee revenues made up 43% of the operating budget with a projected increase to 45% over the next five years;
  • the province’s performance-based funding framework which had been delayed because of potential Covid impacts would be phased in in 2023-2024, tying 10% of provincial funding to performance metrics;
  • total undergraduate enrolment in Fall 2022 increased slightly;
  • combined intake across all direct entry programs was lower than projected, with the majority of the variance being in international intakes, in part due to delays in international student study permit processing times;
  • domestic enrolment was slightly below planned but still within the enrolment corridor and did not pose a risk to operating grant funding;
  • the University planned to add approximately 3,700 domestic students across undergraduate programs including through the Scarborough Academy of Medicine and Integrated Health expansion;
  • international undergraduate enrolment was projected to increase from 30.9% to 31.5% by the end of the five-year planning period;
  • the UTAPS bursary program was under review to make it more responsive to student financial needs and less connected to the OSAP system;
  • total spending for student aid was projected at $365 million for 2023-24, with the greatest portion being derived from operating funds;
  • budget priorities included additional investments in information security, mental health services, equity, diversity & inclusion initiatives, student advising systems, research staffing to support scholars, faculty recruitment and services, funding to sustain library services and collections, and increased funding to address deferred maintenance and utilities infrastructure renewal; and
  • planned investments in 24 academic capital projects (with a total spend $4.0 billion) and 4 Four Corners capital projects ($1.2 billion) were projected over the five-year planning period.

    Discussion

    In the ensuing discussion, the Board was informed that:
  • there were ongoing strategic efforts to reduce divisional operating reserves to between 5-10% of their budgets. Divisional operating reserves were 11% for 2022 and excess funds were to be redistributed to other institutional priorities such as mental health.

  • the University negotiates transfer agreements with the Federated Colleges to pay them for the teaching that they undertake within our academic programs and services provided to our students, and those costs are reflected as an expense in the budget.
  • continuing education programs were reported in the budget both through the School of Continuing Studies and individually through various divisions. Prior to COVID-19, a Provostial Advisory Group had been struck to provide advice and make recommendations about lifelong learning opportunities at the University.
  • as part of the budget and tuition discussion last year, there had been an issue raised about the fee differential related to the Computer Science program in the Faculty of Arts and Science. The Provost advised that a separate degree was in development to further distinguish graduates in this program.
  1. Tuition Fee Schedule for Publicly-Funded Programs, 2023-24

    On motion duly moved, seconded, and carried

    YOUR BOARD RECOMMENDED

    THAT
  1. ​​​the 2023-24 tuition fees as described in Schedule 1 of the Tuition Fee Schedule for Publicly-Funded Programs 2023-24, be approved;
  2. the 2023-24 tuition fees as described in Schedule 2 of the Tuition Fee Schedule for Publicly-Funded Programs 2023-24, be approved;

    AND

  3. subject to the provisions in the Provincial Government’s Tuition Fee Framework, either Schedule 1 or Schedule 2 of the Tuition Fee Schedule for Publicly-Funded Programs 2023-24 be implemented.
  1. Tuition Fee Schedule for Self-Funded Programs, 2023-24

    On motion duly moved, seconded, and carried

    YOUR BOARD RECOMMENDED

    THAT the 2023-24 tuition fees as described in the Tuition Fee Schedule for Self-Funded Programs for 2023-24 be approved.

  2. Annual Report on Student Financial Support, 2021-22

    The Chair noted that the Report was intended as background to the tuition fee schedule.

  3. Enrolment Report, 2022-23

    The Chair noted that the Report was intended as background to the Budget Report and Long Range Budget Guidelines.

  1. Institutional Operating Budget Report 2023-24 and Long Range Budget Guidelines 2023-24 to 2027-28.

    The Chair reminded members that the Business Board, as the source of advice about financial matters and public accountability, was being asked to concur with the recommendation of the Academic Board that the Budget be approved. It was the Board’s duty to satisfy itself that the proposal was financially responsible, that the budget assumptions were realistic, and that the level of risk in the budget was acceptable.

    On motion duly moved, seconded, and carried

    YOUR BOARD RECOMMENDED

    THAT the Business Board concur with the recommendation of the Academic Board,

    THAT the Budget Report 2023-24 be approved, and

    THAT the Long Range Budget Guidelines 2023-24 to 2027-28 be approved in principle.

    1. New Administrative User Fees and Fines (Category 6 Ancillary Fees), 2023-2024

      Professor Mabury highlighted that there were 15 fees proposed to be added and 12 fees proposed to be removed from the Schedule in 2023-24. The new fees proposed for 2023-24 had been reviewed and complied with Ministry of Colleges and Universities Guidelines and University policy.

      On motion duly moved, seconded and carried

      YOUR BOARD APPROVED

      THAT the fees listed in Table 1 of the Report entitled Schedule of Ancillary Fees (Categories 5 and 6) 2023-24 be added to the Administrative User Fees and Fines Schedule for 2023-24; and

      THAT the fees listed in Table 2 of the Report entitled Schedule of Ancillary Fees (Categories 5 and 6) 2023-24 be removed from the Administrative User Fees and Fines Schedule for 2023-24.
    2. Category 5 Cost-Recovery Ancillary Fees, 2023-24 and Category 6, Administrative User Fees and Fines, 2023-24

      The Report was received by the Board for information.


OPEN SESSION CONSENT AGENDA

On motion duly moved, seconded, and carried,

YOUR BOARD APPROVED

THAT the consent agenda be adopted.

  1. Report of the Previous Meeting

    Report Number 269 of the Business Board, February 1, 2023 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. Service Ancillaries Operating Plans, 2023-2024

    The Service Ancillaries Operating Plans, 2023-2024 was received for information.

  4. Status Report on Debt to February 28, 2023

    The Status Report on Debt to February 28, 2023, was received for information.

  5. Report of the Audit Committee: Report Number 151, March 13, 2023

    Report Number 151, March 13, 2023, of the Audit Committee was received for information.

  6. Date of the Next Meeting – Tuesday, April 26, 2022

    The Chair advised members that the next meeting would be Wednesday, April 26, 2023 at 5:00 p.m.


CLOSING ADMINISTRATIVE MATTERS

  1. Other Business


    There were no items of other business.


    On motion duly made, seconded and carried,

    THE BOARD MOVED IN CAMERA

  2. In Camera Reports of the Administrative Assessors

    The Vice-President, Vice-President Operations and Real Estate Partnerships reported on a property matter.

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

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

  4. Capital Project: Report of the Project Planning Committee for OISE Roof Community Garden & Indigenous Education Network (IEN) Social, Cultural Practice Space – Execution of the Project

    On motion duly made, seconded and carried

    YOUR BOARD APPROVED

    THAT the recommendation of Professor Scott Mabury, Vice-President, Operations and Real Estate Partnership, as outlined in the memorandum dated March 6, 2023, regarding the execution of the the OISE Roof Community Garden & Education Network (IEN) Social, Cultural Practice capital project, be approved.

    On motion duly made, seconded and carried,

    THE BOARD RETURNED TO OPEN SESSION.

    The Chair thanked members for their attendance and participation in the Board meeting.

The meeting adjourned at 7:03 p.m.

March 21, 2023