Report: Business Board - November 23, 2022

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


NOVEMBER 23, 2022

To the Governing Council,
University of Toronto.


Your Business Board reports that it held a meeting in the Council Chamber, Simcoe Hall, on Wednesday, November 23, 2022 at 5:00 p.m. with the following members:

In Attendance: Sandra Hanington (Chair), Rajiv Mathur (Vice-Chair), Kelly Hannah-Moffat (Vice-President, People Strategy, Equity & Culture), Scott Mabury (Vice-President, Operations and Real Estate Partnerships), Trevor Rodgers (Chief Financial Officer), Glen Bandiera, Olenka Baron, Janet Cloud, Alicia Damley, Teo Dechev*, Annabelle Dravid*, Indi Gopinathan*, Maureen Harquail, Thomas Hofmann, Paul Huyer, Sarosh Jamal, Kathryn Jenkins, Scott MacKendrick, Arman Rasekh, David Regan, Ian Taylor, Grace Westcott*, Mary-Agnes Wilson

Regrets:  K. Sonu Gaind, Sue Graham-Nutter, Danielle Skipp, Lara Zink

Secretariat: Timothy Harlick (Secretary), Joanne Chou

Non-Voting Assessors:
Cheryl Regehr (Vice-President and Provost), David Palmer (Vice-President, Advancement and Interim Vice-President, Communications), Jeff Lennon (Assistant Vice-President, Planning and Budget), Anne MacDonald (Assistant Vice-President, Ancillary Services), Susan McCahan (Vice-Provost, Academic Programs and Vice-Provost, Innovations in Undergraduate Education), Joshua Mitchell (Director, Real Estate), Dave Lehto (Chief, University Planning, Design & Construction)

In Attendance:
Sandy Welsh (Vice-Provost, Students), Andrea Russell (Acting Assistant Provost), Catherine Riddell (Assistant Vice-President, Communications), Tanya Kreinin (Associate Vice-President, Brand Strategy & Integrated Marketing), Helen Bao (Executive Financial Officer, OREP), Ihab Khalil (Chief Operations Officer, People Services, Equity & Culture), Sanish Samuel (Controller and Director Financial Services), Alex Matos (Director, Internal Audit), Noreen Ahmed-Ullah (Director, Office of the VPC)  Owen McCartney (Director, Asset Management), Micah Kalisch (Founder and Director of PEARS)

*Attended remotely


Pursuant to section 33(i) of By-Law Number 2,
items 15-20 were considered in camera


  1.  Chair’s Remarks

    The Chair welcomed members and guests to the second meeting of the 2022-23 academic year.

  2.  Reports of the Administrative Assessors

    There were no reports from the Administrative Assessors.
  3. Policy on Transparency in Electronic Monitoring

    Professor Kelly Hannah-Moffat, Vice-President, People Strategy, Equity & Culture, reported that the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) had been amended in April 2022 to require organizations with 25 or more employees to have a written policy on the electronic monitoring of employees. She provided the following highlights as part of a presentation on the proposed Policy on Transparency in Electronic Monitoring:

  • It was applicable to all employees at the University.
  • There had been broad consultation with stakeholders across the University.
  • It was the University’s intention to engage in electronic monitoring, or use data collected through such monitoring, in limited situations, such as those involving:
    • health and safety concerns;
    • security of University property, including information technology devices and systems;
    • investigations;
    • when required by law (e.g., court order); and
    • in other situations, provided notice is given to employees (e.g., employees will be notified when a meeting is being recorded).
  • The University did not:
    • use system surveillance to monitor academic work or impose limitations on academic freedoms (e.g., accessing intellectual property or confidential research data);
    • use video surveillance in areas where privacy or comfort was expected (e.g., bathrooms, changerooms);
    • use devices such as keystroke counters to monitor typing or activity;
    • track how long employees are logged into University systems; or
    • use electronic monitoring for the purpose of measuring productivity.
  • The Policy would be reviewed annually to assess whether it continued to meet the University’s obligations.


In response to a member’s question, Professor Hannah-Moffat described the similarities and differences between this Policy and policies at other universities, in particular the use of active versus passive monitoring. She further noted that, due to the timing of additional guidance provided by the provincial government, policies at other universities had not been in effect long enough to appropriately determine key issues that might surface as they were implemented.

On a motion duly moved, seconded, and carried,


THAT the proposed Policy on Transparent Electronic Monitoring be approved, to be effective November 23, 2022.

  1. Revisions to the Policy on Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment

    The Chair invited Professor Sandy Welsh, Vice-Provost, Students, to provide an overview of the revisions to the Policy on Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment.

    Professor Welsh commented on the history and rationale for the Policy noting that it had initially taken effect on January 1, 2017, following a directive from the provincial government; it replaced a previous policy on sexual harassment at the University. She further commented that the Policy must be reviewed every three years and that the first review had been conducted in 2019. In December 2021, further minor amendments had been made to ensure compliance with new requirements 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 had been released in July 2022. The Administration Response had accepted all of the recommendations from that review.

    The revisions to the Policy fell into two categories:
    1. 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; and stronger language on no-tolerance for reprisals and retaliation.
    2. Changes to enhance the clarity of the Policy, such as alphabetization of the definitions section.

Professor Welsh reported that after these revisions to the Policy had been finalized, the Ontario government had announced new draft legislation on October 27, the Strengthening Post-Secondary Institutions and Students Act, to further address sexual violence in post-secondary institutions.A review of the draft legislation had been undertaken, and it had been determined that the proposed revisions, together with existing content in the Policy, appropriately addressed the policy requirements contained in the draft legislation. She noted that 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.

    There were no questions from members.

    At the Chair’s invitation, Mx. Micah Kalisch, Founder and Director of The PEARS project addressed the Board. Mx. Kalisch referenced an open letter The PEARS project had recently released in response to an article published in the Varsity titled “UTM professor violated sexual harassment policy, failed to respect supervisory boundaries” and the community comments it had received. Mx. Kalisch also commented on the need for further revisions to include a trauma-informed approach and survivor-centric solutions.

    Professor Cheryl Regehr, Vice-President & Provost responded acknowledging Mx. Kalisch’s concerns, and thanked Mx. Kalisch, the PEARS project and all survivors for pushing the University to do better. She indicated that the administration had listened carefully to those who had shared their concerns at recent governance meetings, and that they continued to read the comments from members of the community in the open letter initiated by The PEARS Project.

    The Provost acknowledged that students in particular had not always been satisfied with the University’s attempts to balance transparency and openness against the privacy and confidentiality of parties to sexual violence investigations.

    She confirmed that the University had received formal complaints of harassment and inappropriate supervisory conduct against Professor Robert Reisz from two former students, that the University had retained an external party to investigate the complaints in a fact-finding investigation, and that the investigation found that a number of the allegations were factually substantiated. She indicated that the University determined that on a number of occasions Professor Reisz’s supervisory practices did not meet the standards expected of a University of Toronto faculty member and/or breached university policy. As a result, the University took corrective action to prevent similar experiences in the future for our students.

    The Provost also reiterated that section 85 of the revised Policy outlined the range of discipline, sanctions, or corrective action that could be taken to address breaches of the Policy. Among the range of possible sanctions that can be imposed on employees are reprimand, suspension, imposition of training, termination of an employee, or expulsion of a student. The Provost confirmed that the full range of penalties, including termination, had been used by the University in response to findings in cases involving faculty members.

    The Provost closed by indicating that the University was aware that it needed to continue to evolve processes under the Policy to meet the needs and expectations of its community.

    The Chair thanked Professor Welsh for her presentation and Mx. Kalisch and Professor Regehr for their thoughtful comments.
  1. Annual Report: Vice-President, Communications

    The Board received the Vice-President, Communication’s Annual Report (November 23, 2022) for information.

    Mr. David Palmer, Interim Vice-President, Communications, began by recognizing the senior members of his team and thanking them for their continued efforts and creative approach to developing the 2022 Communication Strategies and Plans.

    Highlights of the presentation included the following:
  • In 2022, University of Toronto Communications tri-campus teams had received a record-breaking total of 41 awards (compared to 26 awards in 2021), including one grand gold, ten gold, seven silver, and six bronze from multiple associations including the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) and the Canadian Council for Advancement of Education (CCAE).
  • The Insulin 100 Campaign – the University’s first global reputation building campaign had celebrated 100 years of research and innovation by U of T and leading Toronto hospitals. It had reached a broad domestic and international audience and had established collaboration with Health Canada and other government agencies. The campaign had resulted in 21.1 million impressions and had received promotion from Prime Minister Trudeau.
  • A New York Times article written in March 2022, titled “Toronto, the Quietly Booming Tech Town”, had highlighted the University’s Schwartz Reisman Innovation Centre currently under construction that will house artificial intelligence and biotech companies.
  • The Defy Gravity brand had been extremely well received by the University community for the way in which it captures the University’s values and aspirations.
  • Groundbreakers had entered its second season and showcased leading University researchers in partnership with the Institutional Strategic Initiatives portfolio.
  • The launch of two new products:
    • The What Now? Series (July 2022) – A podcast hosted by English Professor and novelist Randy Boyagoda which was, with U of T experts, how global society was rebuilding post-pandemic.
    • Joe’s Basketball Diaries (teaser video in November 2022 and hosted by Joe Wong, Vice-President International.) – a video series that was bringing the U of T brand to life by reflecting the University’s global impact.
  • Sustainability remained a key theme – the University ranked 2nd in the world in the QS sustainability rankings.

    There were no questions from members.



On a motion duly moved, seconded and carried


THAT the consent agenda be adopted, and item 6 be approved.


  1. Report of the Previous Meeting, Report Number 267, September 28, 2022

    Report Number 267, from the meeting of September 28, 2022, 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. Report Number 149 of the Audit Committee, September 21, 2022
  4. Credit Rating Reports

    The Moody’s Investors Service – Credit Opinion dated October 19, 2022, and the S&P Global Ratings Report for the University of Toronto as of November 8, 2022, were received for information.
  5. Revisions to the Terms of Reference of the Audit Committee

    The proposed revisions to the Terms of Reference of the Audit Committee were received for information.
  6. Status Report on Debt to October 31, 2022

    Members received the Status Report on Debt to October 31, 2022, for information.
  7. Health and Safety: Quarterly Compliance Report (July 1 to September 30, 2022)

    The Health and Safety: Quarterly Compliance Report for the period July 1 to September 30, 2022, was received for information.


  1. Date of the Next Meeting

    The Chair advised Board members that the next meeting was scheduled for Wednesday, February 1, 2023, at 5:00 p.m.
  2. Other Business

    There was no other business.

    The Board moved In-camera.
  3. Quarterly Report on Gifts and Pledges over $250,000: February 1, 2022 to April 30, 2022

    The Quarterly Report was received by the Board for information.
  4. Memorandum of Agreement and Collective Agreement
    1. Memorandum of Agreement between the University of Toronto and the University of Toronto Faculty Association (UTFA) (July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2023)

      An update on the Memorandum of Agreement between the University of Toronto and the University of Toronto Faculty Association (UTFA) (July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2023), was received by the Board, for information.

    2. Collective Agreement between the University of Toronto and OPSEU Local 519 (July 1, 2021 – June 30, 2023)

      An update on the Collective Agreement between the University of Toronto and OPSEU Local 519 (July 1, 2021 – June 30, 2023), was received by the Board, for information.
  5. In Camera Reports of the Administrative Assessors (oral reports)

    Professor Hannah-Moffat provided an update on the status of recent and ongoing collective bargaining.
  6. Report on Capital Projects as of October 31, 2022

    The Board received the Report on Capital Projects as of October 31, 2022, for information.

    Professor Mabury and David Lehto, Chief, University Planning, Design & Construction, provided a summary overview and update of the capital projects underway this academic year.
  7. Confidential Real Estate Matter

On motion duly moved, seconded, and carried,


THAT the recommendation of Professor Scott Mabury, Vice-President, Operations and Real Estate Partnership, as outlined in the memorandum dated November 16, 2022, regarding a property/real estate matter, be approved.


  1. Business Board Striking Committee: 2022-23 Membership

    On motion duly moved, seconded, and carried,


    THAT the following be appointed to the Business Board Striking Committee to recommend appointments for 2022-2023:

    Mary-Agnes Wilson (Lieutenant-Governor-in-Council)
    Sarosh Jamal (Administrative Staff)
    Annabelle Dravid (Student)
    Glen Bandiera (Teaching Staff)
    Scott MacKendrick (Alumni)

The Board returned to Open Session.

The meeting adjourned at 7:14 p.m.

November 24, 2022