Report: Business Board - October 05, 2021

Via Virtual Meeting room


Tuesday, October 5, 2021

To the Governing Council,
University of Toronto.

Your Business Board reports that it held a virtual meeting on Tuesday, October 5, 2021 at 5:00 p.m. with the following members present:

Anna Kennedy (Chair), Sandra Hanington (Vice-Chair), Scott Mabury, Vice-President, Operations and Real Estate Partnerships, Kelly Hannah-Moffat, Vice-President, People Strategy, Equity and Culture, Dr. Pierre Piché, Interim Chief Financial Officer, Olenka Baron, Harvey Botting, David Bowden, Janet Cloud, Alicia Damley, Teodora Dechev, Sue Graham-Nutter, K. Sonu Gaind, Maureen Harquail, Thomas Hofmann, Paul Huyer, Sarosh Jamal, Kathryn A. Jenkins, Joan Johnston, Amin Kamaleddin, Evan Kanter, Rajiv Mathur, Andrew Padmos, David Regan, Danielle Skipp, Ian Taylor, Nhung Tran, Geeta Yadav

Samra Zafar

Sheree Drummond, Secretary of the Governing Council, Patrick F. McNeill, Secretary

Non-Voting Assessors:
Trevor Young, Acting Vice-President and Provost, David Estok, Vice-President, Communications, David Palmer, Vice-President, Advancement, Joseph Wong, Vice-President, International, Trevor Rodgers, Assistant Vice-President, Planning and Budget, Andrew Arifuzzaman, Chief Administrative Officer, UTSC, Joshua Mitchell, Director, Real Estate, Ron Saporta, Chief Operating Officer, Property and Sustainability, Susan Senese, Interim Chief Administrative Officer, UTM

In Attendance:
Angela Hildyard, Special Advisor to the President, Tad Brown, Counsel, Business Affairs and Advancement, Barbara Dick, Assistant Vice-President, Alumni Relations, Christine Capewell, Executive Director, Financial Services & Budget, UTM, Elizabeth Cragg, Director, Office of the Vice President, Operations and Real Estate Partnerships, Ihab Khalil, Executive Director, Strategic Operations and Finance, People Strategy, Equity and Culture, Tanya Kreinin Assistant Vice President, Brand Strategy and Integrated Marketing Communications, Sonia Lizzi, Director, Finance Administrative Units, UTM, Beth McCarthy, Interim Assistant Vice-President, Divisional Relations, Mila Miller, Executive Director, Strategic Planning and Advancement Organizational Development, Gillian Morrison, Assistant Vice President, University Development, Chuck O'Reilly, President and Chief Investment Officer University of Toronto Asset Management Corporation (UTAM), Mark Overton, Dean, Student Affairs, UTM


Pursuant to section 33(i) of By-Law Number 2,
items 17-20 were considered in camera.


  1. Chair’s Remarks

    The Chair welcomed new and returning members and guests to the first meeting of the 2021-22 academic year. The Chair also introduced Vice-Chair, Sandra Hanington, and Board Secretary, Patrick McNeill.

    The Chair then introduced the Senior Assessor, Professor Scott Mabury, Vice-President, Operations and Real Estate Partnerships, the Voting Assessors, Professor Kelly Hannah-Moffat, Vice-President, People Strategy, Equity and Culture, and Dr. Pierre Piché, Interim Chief Financial Officer.
  2. Reports of the Administrative Assessors


    Professor Scott Mabury, Vice-President, Operations and Real Estate Partnerships provided an oral update on COVID-19 and its impact on financial-related and operational matters. The VP OREP stated that on August 31, the Ministry of Colleges and Universities clarified that Ontario universities had flexibility to deliver in-person teaching without physical distancing and capacity limits and that physical distancing requirements and capacity limits remain in place for non-instructional spaces, along with all other requirements at Step 3 of the province’s reopening plan. He added that the University’s 12 ways plan remained in place across all of the 3 campuses and properties. Professor Mabury noted that many students had shared how important being physically present on campus was to them for their studies and for their mental wellbeing.

    Highlights presented included the following:
  • Based on the most recent statistics from the Ontario University Applications Centre, domestic undergraduate enrolment across the province is stable year over year, while international enrolment has fallen amid the uncertainty of COVID-19 travel restrictions;
  • At UofT, there was strong demand and growth in domestic student confirmations, and an increase of more than 5% in international student confirmations – University would continue to provide flexibility to international students who were working to get to campus and complete quarantine periods where necessary;
  • Counting from July 1st, more than 4,500 international students had completed one of our quarantine programs – an additional 600 students to do so in the coming weeks;
  • As part of the proof of vaccination process, everyone coming to the campuses this fall must be fully vaccinated by October 29th (this requirement applied to all visitors and contractors as well;
  • As of October 1st, 81,000 individuals had submitted their vaccination status: 95% were fully vaccinated, 4% were partially vaccinated, and less than 1% were not vaccinated or exempt;
  • Regarding the Rapid Screening Program, UofT successfully piloted and launched an at home rapid screening program;
  • Since the start of the vaccination campaign, UofT had provided more than 300,000 vaccinations to its local communities in Toronto, Scarborough and Mississauga;
  • Successful Ucheck app for health screening remained in place – on a daily basis over 14k ucheck screens submitted; and
  • The University will be establishing a “Show your green” program, which will have roaming teams on campus supporting the community in completing green screens before entering buildings.

    Professor Kelly Hannah-Moffat, Vice-President, People Strategy, Equity and Culture, provided an update on human resource initiatives as it related to COVID-19. She highlighted the following with respect to resources and support for those staff members who had returned to work on campus and those who continued to work at home:
  • As part of the priorities guiding the transition to Fall 2021, throughout the summer and into the fall, UofT had communicated Fall planning updates with the university community – communication recognized that operational needs of divisions, units, and campuses would necessarily shape return-to-campus plans, preventing any “one-size-fits-all” approach;
  • All Divisions had created resources and guidelines to make the transition to more in-person activities happen safely, inclusively, and with compassion for employees, many of whom have experienced ongoing challenges as a result of the pandemic – additional guidelines were issued addressing specific concerns of faculty and librarians;
  • Regarding travel abroad on University business, University had expanded its contract with International SOS to provide all students, staff, faculty, and librarians with international health and emergency assistance; and
  • There were no reported outbreaks at UofT since the fall term, which was an indication that safety measures were working, however no place was entirely risk-free, but confidence that all the appropriate measures to create a safe environment had been undertaken.

    Professors Mabury and Hannah-Moffat and Professor Mabury and Professor Trevor Young, Acting Vice-President and Provost, jointly agreed from a community perspective, that they were extremely proud of the months of tireless work and collective effort that had gone into establishing a safe environment for tens of thousands of students, professors, researchers and employees – the University’s top priority was to get students back to in-person learning as safely and as soon as possible to support their academic and personal success.
  1. Annual Report: Vice-President, Advancement

    The Board received the Vice-President, Advancement’s (VPA) Annual Report entitled University Advancement Performance Indicators (FY 2020-2021) for information.

    David Palmer, Vice-President Advancement, began by thanking the Business Board for the opportunity to present on Advancement’s year end and what lies ahead for the new campaign. Mr. Palmer introduced the senior members of his team and thanked them and divisional advancement teams across the University for their many contributions to the fiscal year just past.

    Highlights presented included the following:
  • Against a backdrop of upheaval and uncertainty, due to the pandemic, loyal, supportive, and generous alumni and donors helped the University set new records for alumni engagement and fundraising results in FY 2020–21;
  • In total, $445 million was raised for critically important student, teaching, research, and capital needs across the three campuses, while 57,369 alumni from 84 countries were engaged in University events, volunteerism, mentorship, and giving;
  • Gifts included the historic Temerty Foundation donation of $250 million; and $20 million gift from Novo Nordisk to the University of Toronto Mississauga, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, and Temerty Faculty of Medicine; and many other donations;
  • University had set record for alumni engagement, this past year (57,369 engaged alumni, including 10,630 volunteers) – new digital offerings resulted in increased alumni engagement, which enabled 82% of divisions to achieve or exceed their engagement goals;
  • The creation of the Virtual Hub for U of T Alumni, a one-stop engagement portal for digital resources and programs, presented alumni with a wide range of diverse offerings from across the University; and
  • A co-creation of UofT Communications and University Advancement, Brand Hub was a relatively new portfolio that was responsible for marketing and communications strategies that lift the global profile, reputation, and relevance of the University to help secure engagement and philanthropic investment.

    In response to members’ questions, Mr. Palmer reported that for FY 2020–2021, University Advancement’s cost per dollar of funding raised was 9.1¢. Over the past 10 years, Advancement’s average cost per dollar raised had been 15.7¢. This average fell below the 35¢ threshold cost for registered charities recommended by the Canada Revenue Agency. It also fell well below the midpoint of the industrywide accepted range of 15¢ to 20¢ for large institutions in higher education.

    The Chair thanked Mr. Palmer for his report.
  1. Bicentennial Campaign Priorities & Campaign Plans

    The Chair invited Mr. David Palmer, Vice-President, Advancement, and Professor Trevor Young, Acting Vice-President and Provost, to present the item for information.

    In his introductory remarks, Professor Trevor Young spoke to the academic planning and approved academic priorities for the new campaign the University was to embark on.

    Mr. Palmer made a detailed presentation on the Campaign. The presentation discussed the framework for gifts and donations at the University in the context of academic priorities and the Provostial Guidelines on Donations (updated in 2021). The central administration had worked closely with divisions to identify the Campaign Priorities. Each division had played a critical role in setting individual priorities, in order of importance and magnitude, which were submitted to the Office of the Vice-President and Provost, and these were being presented for governance approval. Mr. Palmer also shared with members the planning and consultation process and reviewed the benefits and opportunities of a campaign.

    Mr. Palmer stated that seven themes underscored the campaign’s platform to advance the University’s commitment to inclusive excellence: Next Generation, Healthy Lives, Sustainable Future, Equitable Cities & Societies, Creativity & Culture, Vanguard of Discovery, and Bold Innovation.

    The presentation offered the following highlights:
  • The campaign would advance a wide range of priorities for equity, diversity & inclusion, and transformational capital projects and research priorities;
  • At its public launch this year, the campaign would support the implementation of 84 marquee and institutional strategic initiatives that had been identified to date;
  • The campaign had two main goals: 1 million instances of alumni engagement from 225,000 unique alumni; and $4 billion in donations which would be achieved across two phases (quiet and public); and
  • A virtual launch was planned for late fall 2021.

    In closing, Mr. Palmer stated that the fundamental commitments underlying the University’s approach and narrative for the new campaign were based on principles of inclusive excellence, access and a caring, inclusive community.

    In response to members’ questions regarding mental health issues, particularly for students, as part of the campaign, Mr. Palmer and Professor Young outlined a series of important initiatives identified and developed by Divisions – in addition, the campaign prioritized support for Divisional and University-wide initiatives for equity, diversity and inclusion.

    On a motion duly moved, seconded and carried


    THAT (i) the “Overview of Campaign Plans” and (ii) the “Campaign Priorities Summary as of August 20, 2021”, copies of which are included in Appendices A and B hereto, be approved as the planning framework for the University’s fundraising campaign, subject to the concurrence of Academic Board.
  1. Revisions: University of Toronto Policy on Capital Planning and Capital Projects

    The Chair stated that the revised Policy was the culmination of the review of a Working Group, which had been tasked by the former Chair of Governing Council to enhance governance oversight of capital projects with the goal of giving the administration the necessary flexibility to plan and execute capital projects on an expeditious and commercially effective basis – while at the same time providing members of the respective governance bodies with the necessary information, opportunities for discussion, and approval capabilities to ensure that they can fulfill their fiduciary obligations.

    Professor Mabury added that the review of the Policy was undertaken in light of how the types and worth of capital projects across all three campuses had developed over the years. This had resulted in the proposed revisions regarding definitions of different types of capital projects, threshold changes in “total project costs” (TPC); and the related governance paths for approval for Level 1, 2 and 3 capital projects; as well as related financing and execution.

    In response to a member’s question, Professor Mabury explained that the University ensured that the execution of projects involved a competitive tender process for vendors, as per University policies, procedures and practices; and as required by Provincial regulations for tendering and procurement initiatives undertaken by public institutions.

    On a motion duly moved, seconded and carried


    THAT the Policy on Capital Planning and Capital Projects dated September 1, 2021 be approved, to be effective October 28, 2021.
  2. Revisions: Business Board Terms of Reference

    The Chair stated that the Governing Council had established Boards and Committees and assigned responsibilities among those bodies through their terms of reference. The Governing Council had periodically approved changes in Board and Committee terms of reference to respond to changing circumstances and expectations of governance.

    Ms Kennedy advised that the proposed revisions to the Business Board Terms of Reference were a consequence of the revised Policy on Capital Planning and Capital Projects. The item was received for information.
  3. Investments: Semi-Annual Update on Investment Performance to June 30, 2021

    The Board received the Semi-Annual Update on Investment Performance to June 30, 2021, for information.

    Dr. Pierre Piché, Interim Chief Financial Officer reported that there were three pools of funds that UTAM managed: the expendable funds investment pool (EFIP) which included operating, ancillary, expendable donations, capital and research funds; a long-term capital appreciation pool (LTCAP), which included funds invested for the long-term, including, predominantly endowments, and; the Pension Master Trust (PMT or Pension). Each investment pool had its own risk profile, target return and investment strategy. He also noted that EFIP and LTCAP had a May to April fiscal year, and that the PMT had a July to June fiscal year. All funds were under the management of the University of Toronto Asset Management Corporation (UTAM), which itself had a January to December fiscal year.

    Dr. Piché highlighted that while the University’s pension plan had a surplus at April 30 in excess of $600 million that was transferred to the University Pension Plan [the “UPP] at July 1, mainly due to strong investment returns, the University remained exposed for the next 10 years for all losses on the pre-conversion assets and liabilities. The two main risks to the University were a decrease in the discount rate by the UPP (increases the liability and therefore reduces the surplus) and investment returns that were lower than expected on the pension plan assets. For example, a decrease in the discount rate of 25 basis points would have resulted in a reduction in the surplus of over $250 million.

    Further, Dr. Piché stated that the University worked with its actuaries and colleagues in the Planning and Budget portfolio to update the annual operating budget for the “special pension payments” and reduced the budget and were planning to create a reasonable and prudent pension reserve to fund any possible future special payments that would be required to the UPP.

    Mr. Chuck O’Reilly, the new President and Chief Investment Officer, University of Toronto Asset Management Corporation (UTAM), made a presentation on investment performance for the 6-month period ending June 30, 2021 and for longer periods of time.

    Mr. O’Reilly highlighted the following key points related to investment performance for LTCAP, EFIP and Pension:
  • Over the past 12 months, total assets under management increased by 24.0% to approximately $13.5 billion;
  • Long-term assets were valued at $10.7 billion at the end of June 2021, a 25.4% increase over the past 12 months;
  • Over the first half of the calendar year (H1 2021), LTCAP and Pension generated returns of 8.2% and 8.3%, respectively. EFIP generated a return of -0.15:
  • All investment returns for LTCAP, Pension and EFIP were net of all investment fees and expenses, including UTAM fees;
  • Both LTCAP and Pension outperformed the Target Return – the Reference Portfolio returned 5.3%, outperforming the Target Return by 1.5%. The Reference Portfolio had exceeded the Target Returns over 1, 5 and 10 year horizons.
  • Dollar value-add in H1 2021 was +$292.1 million. Over the last year, on a simple arithmetic basis (i.e. without including the impact of compounding), dollar value add was also positive, at $559.0 million. Importantly, the 10 year dollar value add of LTCAP and Pension was $812.8 million;
  • EFIP outperformed its Target return by 0.3%, and added $8.7 million in value. Over the last 10 years, EFIP outperformed its Target return by 0.3% annualized (i.e., per year), and added $56.2 million in cumulative value.
  • Active Risk for LTCAP and Pension remained well within the “Normal” Zone (-50 bps to 100 bps) at the end of June 2021; and
  • LTCAP and Pension were in compliance with all limits.

    The Chair thanked Dr. Piché and Mr. O’Reilly for the report.


    On a motion duly moved, seconded and carried


    THAT the consent agenda be adopted and items approved.
  1. Approvals Under Summer Executive Authority

    The report on Approvals Under Summer Executive Authority was received for information.
  2. Report of the Previous Meeting

    Report Number 259 from the meeting of June 17, 2021, was approved.
  3. Business Arising from the Report of the Previous Meeting

    There was no other business arising from the report of the previous meeting.
  4. Report Number 143 of the Audit Committee, June 16, 2021

    The Board received Report Number 143 of the Audit Committee dated June 16, 2021 for information.
  5. Status Report on Debt to September 30, 2021

    Members received the status report on debt to September 30, 2021 for information.
  6. Credit Report: Dominion Bond Rating Service (DBRS)

    The credit report was received for information.
  7. Calendar of Business, 2021-22

    The Calendar of Business (2021-2022) was received for information.
  8. Other Business

    There were no items of other business.
  9. Date of the Next Meeting

    The Chair advised Board members that the next meeting was scheduled for Wednesday, November 24, 2021 at 5:00 p.m.

    The Board Moved In Camera
  10. In Camera Reports of the Administrative Assessors (oral reports)

    Professor Angela Hildyard, Special Advisor to the President, provided an update on the University Pension Plan [UPP].

    Professor Mabury presented an update on a property matter.

    The were no other in camera reports from the Administrative Assessors.
  11. Quarterly Report on Gifts and Pledges over $250,000: May 1, 2021 to July 31, 2021

    The Quarterly Report was received by the Board for information.
  12. Collective Agreement: University of Toronto and CUPE, Local 3261 – 89 Chestnut

    The Collective Agreement between the University of Toronto and CUPE, Local 3261 – 89 Chestnut (January 1, 2021 – December 31, 2021) was received by the Board for information.
  13. Capital Project: Student Services Hub at the University of Toronto Mississauga
    1. Financing Requirement

      On motion duly made, seconded and carried


      THAT the recommendation of Professor Scott Mabury, Vice-President, Operations and Real Estate Partnership, as outlined in the memorandum dated September 23, 2021, regarding the financing requirement of the University of Toronto Mississauga Student Services Hub capital project, be approved.

    2. Execution of the Project

      On motion duly made, seconded and carried


      THAT the recommendation of Professor Scott Mabury, Vice-President, Operations and Real Estate Partnership, as outlined in the memorandum dated September 23, 2021, regarding the execution of the University of Toronto Mississauga Student Services Hub capital project, be approved.

The Board returned to Open Session.

The meeting adjourned at 7:03 p.m.

October 7, 2021