Report: Executive Committee - December 4, 2019

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Simcoe Hall, 27 King’s College Circle, Governing Council Chamber 2nd Floor

REPORT NUMBER 508 OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

To the Governing Council,
University of Toronto.

Your Committee reports that it held a meeting on Wednesday, December 4, 2019 at 5:00 p.m. in the Council Chamber, Simcoe Hall, with the following members present:

N. Jane Pepino (In the Chair), Meric S. Gertler (President), Avrum I. Gotlieb, Sarosh Jamal, Ernest W.N. Lam, Mark Lautens, W. Keith Thomas, Laurent-Philippe Veilleux, Bruce Winter

Regrets:
Apefa Adjivon, Catherine Bragg, Janet L. Ecker, Claire Kennedy, Mark H. Rowswell

Non-Voting Member:
Sheree Drummond (Secretary of the Governing Council)

Secretariat:
Anwar Kazimi (Secretary, Executive Committee), Emma Thacker

In Attendance:
Cheryl Regehr (Vice-President and Provost and Member of the Governing Council), Kenneth Corts (Acting Vice President, Operations and Acting Vice-Provost, Academic Operations), Kelley Hannah-Moffat (Vice-President, Human Resources and Equity (for item 3(c))), Mohan Matthen, Chair (UTM Campus Council and Member of the Governing Council), Nicholas Terpstra (Chair, Academic Board and Member of the Governing Council), Andrew Szende (Chair, University Affairs Board and Member of the Governing Council), Sheila Brown (Chief Financial Officer (for item 3(c))), Angela Hildyard (Presidential Special Advisor (for item 3(c))), Nadina Jamison (Assistant Vice-President, Strategic Initiatives, Office of the President), Christopher Lang (Director, Appeals, Discipline and Faculty Grievances (for items 14(a) and 15(a))), Bryn MacPherson (Assistant Vice-President, Office of the President and Chief of Protocol), Susan Mazza (Special Projects Officer, Office of the President), Steve Moate (Senior Legal Counsel, Office of the President (for item 3(c)))


Pursuant to section 28 (e) and 38 of By-Law Number 2,
consideration of items 14 to 19 took place in camera.

The meeting was held in Closed Session.

1. Chair’s Remarks

[Ms Pepino was in the chair in place of Ms Kennedy who was out of town on an engagement.]

The Chair welcomed the attendees to the meeting.

2. Report of the President

The Chair invited the President to make his report to the Executive Committee.

Federal Matters

The President noted that the new Federal cabinet was sworn in on November 20, 2019, and highlighted some key appointments:

  • The Hon. Chrystia Freeland, MP for University-Rosedale, had been appointed to the key role of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, while also retaining responsibility for Canada-US relations.
  • The Hon. Anita Anand, University of Toronto Faculty of Law professor and first-time Member of Parliament, had been named the Minister of Public Services and Procurement.
  • The Hon. Navdeep Bains had been appointed as Minister of the newly restructured portfolio of Innovation, Science, and Industry. The President had recently met with Minister Bains who reaffirmed the government’s continuing commitment to science and research.

The President noted that the upcoming Speech from the Throne would provide an outline of the government’s agenda. A number of key themes had emerged as priorities following the election, including climate change, clean technology and clean energy transitions, national unity, and a strong interest in the cities agenda. He noted that the Cabinet change had also brought a renewed focus on international issues that involve both the United States and China.

On a recent visit to Ottawa, the President had the opportunity to meet with several senior civil servants in key portfolios, including Finance, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, Environment and Climate Change Canada, and the Privy Council.

The President noted that these meetings continued to highlight the federal government’s interest in the important role universities played in the social, economic, and cultural life of the country as performers of research, producers of talent, and agents for reinventing regional and national economies.

Provincial Matters

The President had recently met with the Hon. Ross Romano, Minister of Colleges and Universities, the Hon. Rod Phillips, Minister of Finance, and the Hon. Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, for positive discussions on fiscal sustainability, student mental health, capital support, and the innovation and job creation agenda.

The President reiterated the University’s commitment to advocating for positive changes to higher education policy in Ontario.

The President noted that on November 21, 2019, the Ontario Divisional Court had ruled to quash the Provincial government’s Student Choice Initiative. The decision had read in part, that “Requiring that universities allow students to opt out of student association fees and other ‘non-essential’ services is inconsistent with the universities’ autonomous governance.” The Provincial government had not yet indicated whether it would appeal the decision. Following the court ruling, the University had suspended the online portal through which students had been able to opt out of particular fees.

The President noted that the University had entered into bilateral negotiations with the Ministry of Colleges and Universities regarding the Strategic Mandate Agreement 3 (SMA3) process. Led by the Office of the Vice-President and Provost, the objective of the negotiations was to resolve key details regarding metrics and targets for performance-based funding. The Provincial government had responded to the University’s recommendations to build more flexibility and predictability into the funding framework, with the aim of reducing financial risk to the University. It was anticipated that the negotiation process will conclude early in the new year, with the new funding model to be implemented for the 2020-21 academic year.

The President reported that the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO) had released the “Freedom of Speech on Campus – 2019 Annual Report to the Ontario Government.” The Report had noted that all public colleges and universities had posted free speech policies in 2019. There were 40,000 non-curricular “events” reported across the sector, including more than 18,000 at the University of Toronto. Across the province, only one event was reported to have been cancelled due to safety concerns. Of the 21 formal complaints that had been reported across the sector, the University of Toronto had received none.

Update on Student Mental Health

At the request of the President, the Provost provided an update on student health initiatives that were underway. The Provost highlighted the following:

  • The Expert Panel on Undergraduate Student Educational Experience (USEE) had been tasked with enunciating and enlivening a shared vision for the undergraduate education experience at the University, and to make recommendations towards continuous improvements that would lead to that vision’s implementation across the University. Leading from the Panel, at a special session for Principals and Deans aspects related to a caring community and opportunities enhancing the experience for students were highlighted. The Provost continued to work closely with Professor Joshua Barker, Vice-Provost, Graduate Research and Education and Dean, School of Graduate Studies to focus on the supervisory experiences, as this was key to graduate studies experience.
  • The University had convened the Presidential & Provostial Task Force on Student Mental Health. The Task Force would build upon the progress underway on the priorities identified in the Student Mental Health Framework. The Task Force’s mandate included to make recommendations for strengthening such services, particularly with regard to students with mental health challenges; the physical spaces in which mental health services were provided and to recommend improvements as necessary; and, to review partnerships with community-based organizations and hospitals and make recommendations for strengthening such external partnerships.
  • Immediate changes included: My Student Support Program (My SSP) provided students with immediate and/or ongoing confidential, 24-hour support in 146 languages which was being made available to all students.
  • Counselling services would be made available at Robarts Library during the exam period; and same day counselling services would be expanded at all campuses. There had been a positive response to the embedded counsellors on location at divisions and departments across the University. This service would be expanded with extended hours at some locations.

In the discussion that followed, the President and the Provost added the following:

  • The University would continue to seek funds from the Provincial government for mental health initiatives, and would continue to work closely with the Council of Ontario Universities (COU) and Universities Canada in their advocacy efforts.
  • There had been close to 4,000 missed counselling appointments last year. Missed appointments were a lost opportunity to ensure timely care for another student waiting for care who could not be seen by a health care professional. The University would review the full system.
  • The University would continue to seek alternate and wider communication platforms to provide clarity to its community on the mental health initiatives in place. Students received information on the mental health services available to them through newsletters, by weekly emails, and slides and posters across all three campuses.
  • Once received, the Report of the Presidential & Provostial Task Force on Student Mental Health would be reviewed and then released with an administrative response early in 2020. The administrative response would include directives on actions in line with the Report’s recommendations.

3. Items for Endorsement and Forwarding to the Governing Council

a. Proposed Revisions: Policy on Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment

The Provost provided the highlights to the proposed changes to the Policy.

On motion duly moved, seconded and carried

YOUR COMMITTEE APPROVED
THAT the following recommendation be endorsed and forwarded to the Governing Council
THAT the proposed revisions to the Policy on Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment, dated October 29, 2019, be approved, effective January 1, 2020.

b. Proposed Revisions: Code of Student Conduct

The Chair noted that the proposed technical changes to the Code of the Student Conduct (“Code”) aligned the Code to the Policy on Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment. The Provost summarized the proposed change to the Code.

On motion duly moved, seconded and carried

YOUR COMMITTEE APPROVED
THAT the following recommendation be endorsed and forwarded to the Governing Council
THAT the proposed revisions to the Code of Student Conduct, dated October 31, 2019 be approved, effective December 13, 2019.

c. Closure and Conversion of the University of Toronto Pension Plan [“the current UofT Pension Plan”]; and Proposal for the Establishment of the University Pension Plan Ontario [“the UPP”]

Professor Hildyard provided an update on the proposed UPP and highlighted the following:

  • Ms. Gale Rubenstein had been appointed as the Inaugural Chair of the UPP Board of Trustees pursuant to agreement by both the Employer Sponsor and the Employee Sponsor. Ms. Rubenstein was a very experienced lawyer with relevant expertise, and a proven track-record as a skilled consensus-builder.
  • The Board of Trustees consisted of fourteen Trustees (including the Inaugural Chair). Of these, the three universities had identified six individuals to act as the Trustees to be appointed by the Employer Sponsor, and these were in the process of being confirmed. They have skills covering the key areas in the skills and attributes framework developed by the parties. It was expected that the six Employee Sponsor appointees to the Board, and the appointee of the non-represented employees would also be finalized shortly.
  • The Trust Agreement required that, based on standard practice, the Trustees be indemnified against claims arising from the honest and good faith discharge of their duties. As there would be no assets in the proposed UPP until on and after the Conversion date of July 1, 2021, as an interim arrangement and to supplement insurance that the Board of Trustees will arrange, it would be necessary for the universities to provide an interim Indemnity. The interim Indemnity would cease at the time of Conversion when sufficient assets were transferred, and thereafter any Indemnity would be fulfilled by the pension assets of the UPP itself. A draft Letter of Indemnity had been prepared with the input of internal and external legal counsel and was being reviewed by the universities. The Inaugural Chair would also review the draft Letter of Indemnity to see whether the interim needs of the Trustees had been adequately met. The risks associated with the interim Indemnity were expected to be very low based on factors such as the nature of the activities conducted by the Board during the pre-Conversion period, the calibre and skills of the Trustees themselves, the high degree of transparency that was built into the UPP model, and the regulatory context.

In the discussion that followed, it was noted that:

  • The U of T would seek agreement by the other two universities that all three universities would apportion among themselves, on a reasonable basis to be determined, any liability that might arise from the interim Indemnity. This apportionment would be recorded in a separate legal agreement among the universities.
  • The proposed interim Indemnity would cease on or about the time of Conversion once 75% of the assets had been transferred to the UPP.
  • The UTAM Board of Directors has been working closely with the senior management at UTAM to encourage continuity of senior staff at UTAM and specific measures to accomplish this are being considered.

On motion duly moved, seconded and carried

YOUR COMMITTEE APPROVED

THAT the following recommendation be endorsed and forwarded to the Governing Council

THAT the University of Toronto Pension Plan (Registration No. 0312827; the “current UofT Pension Plan”) be amended such that, effective from the Conversion Date (defined below), it is closed to new Members and all existing Members of the current UofT Pension Plan shall cease to accrue benefits under the current UofT Pension Plan;

THAT the University of Toronto confirms its support for the establishment of the University Pension Plan Ontario (registration pending; the “UPP”) in accordance with the Milestones and Key Terms Summary Agreement regarding the University Sector Jointly Sponsored Pension Plan dated February 27, 2018, as amended (the “Milestones Agreement”);

THAT, effective January 1, 2020, the University of Toronto shall participate in the “Employer Sponsor” of the UPP, which, together with the “Employee Sponsor” of the UPP (collectively, the “Joint Sponsors”), will establish the UPP, enter into plan documents (including, but not limited to, a Sponsors’ Agreement, plan text, Trust Agreement and Funding Agreement), and appoint a Board of Trustees to administrate the UPP, all in accordance with the Milestones Agreement (including, without limitation, the confidentiality obligations set out in same);

THAT the University of Toronto shall make application to the relevant governmental authorities for approval to transfer the assets and liabilities of the current UofT Pension Plan to the UPP as at July 1, 2021 (with July 1, 2021 or, if later, the effective date of such governmental authorities’ approval) being referred to herein as the “Conversion Date”;

THAT, effective from January 1, 2020 on a contingent basis, and from the Conversion Date, upon satisfying the applicable eligibility conditions, eligible University of Toronto staff shall participate in, and accrue benefits under, the UPP, pursuant to the terms of the UPP text established by the Joint Sponsors, as such UPP text may be amended by the Joint Sponsors from time to time;

THAT the University of Toronto is authorized to enter into a participation agreement with the UPP Board of Trustees (which participation agreement shall have been approved by the Joint Sponsors) providing for the University of Toronto’s participation in the UPP in respect of its eligible staff;

THAT the University of Toronto shall, as required by the Milestones Agreement, fund through fixed annual payments for 15 years, any deficit on pre-Conversion Date service under the current UofT Pension Plan existing on the Conversion Date, regardless of any subsequent gains or losses on such deficit, such deficit being calculated using the actuarial assumptions adopted to value the benefits earned under the UPP and shall thereafter fund any losses arising after the Conversion Date related to pre-Conversion Date service as required by the Milestones Agreement;

THAT, as soon as practicable after the Conversion Date, upon the assets and liabilities of the current UofT Pension Plan having been transferred to and assumed by the UPP, the University of Toronto shall (as sponsor of the current UofT Pension Plan) take the steps necessary or desirable, if any, to confirm the termination of the registration of the current UofT Pension Plan with the applicable governmental authorities as a result of its conversion and merger into the UPP;

THAT, with a view to the orderly transfer of the assets and liabilities of the current UofT Pension Plan to the UPP, and the proper administration by the UPP Board of Trustees of contributions to and benefits under the UPP, the University of Toronto may, subject to the requirements of such agreements, and conditional upon terms and conditions satisfactory to the University of Toronto, assign to the UPP Board of Trustees (or a related entity), in whole or in part, the rights and obligations of the University of Toronto pursuant to any agreement under which the University of Toronto receives services as administrator of the current UofT Pension Plan (the “Pension Administration Service Agreements”), including, without limiting the generality of the foregoing:

  • The Amended and Restated Master Trust Agreement between The Governing Council of the University of Toronto and State Street Trust Company of Canada dated December 1, 2000;
  • The Amended and Restated Pension Trust Agreement between The Governing Council of the University of Toronto and State Street Trust Company of Canada dated December 1, 2000;
  • The service agreement between the University and the third party pension plan administrator (Alight Solutions); and

THAT, with a view to the orderly transfer of the assets and liabilities of the current UofT Pension Plan to the UPP, and the prudent investment by the UPP Board of Trustees of the assets transferred from the current UofT Pension Plan to the UPP, the University of Toronto may, subject to the requirements of such agreements, and conditional upon terms and conditions satisfactory to the University of Toronto and the University of Toronto Asset Management Corporation (“UTAM”), assign to the UPP Board of Trustees (or a related entity), in whole or in part, the rights and obligations of the University of Toronto (including UTAM) pursuant to any agreement under which the University of Toronto (or UTAM) receives services as administrator of the current UofT Pension Plan (or, in the case of UTAM, on behalf of the administrator) (the “Pension Investment Service Agreements”), including, without limiting the generality of the foregoing:

  • Investment management agreements between UTAM and third party asset managers; and
  • any other investment services agreements entered into by UTAM;

THAT, with a view to the orderly transfer of the assets and liabilities of the current UofT Pension Plan to the UPP, the proper administration by the UPP Board of Trustees of contributions to and benefits under the UPP, and/or the prudent investment by the UPP Board of Trustees of the assets transferred from the current UofT Pension Plan to the UPP, the University of Toronto (including UTAM) may, on an interim basis and pursuant to terms and conditions satisfactory to the University of Toronto and/or UTAM, as applicable, provide services to the UPP as agent of the UPP Board of Trustees (in its capacity as administrator of the UPP) and, in so doing, the University of Toronto (including UTAM) may as agent of the UPP Board of Trustees engage third party service providers (including one or more of the service providers under the Pension Administration Service Agreements or the Pension Investment Service Agreements);

THAT, subject to assignment by the University of Toronto (including UTAM) of its rights and obligations under a Pension Administration Service Agreement or Pension Investment Service Agreement to the UPP Board of Trustees (or a related entity), and the assumption of such rights and obligations by the UPP Board of Trustees (or a related entity), the University of Toronto shall, in connection with the conversion and merger of the current UofT Pension Plan into the UPP and following an anticipated period of transition, terminate such Agreements when the relevant services are no longer necessary or desirable;

THAT, if any of the conditions upon which the establishment of the UPP is conditional are not satisfied as required under the terms of the Milestones Agreement (as the same may be amended or superseded), then the University of Toronto shall (both directly, on its own behalf, and through its representatives on the Employer Sponsor Committee) suspend all action being taken in furtherance of the foregoing resolutions, and shall instead take such steps as are necessary or desirable to unwind any action already taken in furtherance of the foregoing resolutions (including, as necessary, withdrawal of the University’s application to the relevant governmental authorities for approval to transfer the assets and liabilities of the current UofT Pension Plan to the UPP as at the Conversion Date, and termination of the UPP);

AND THAT the proper officers of the University of Toronto are authorized and directed to do all things, including completing all necessary regulatory filings and approving or executing all documents, as may be necessary to give effect to the foregoing resolutions and to carry out their intent that such officers may, upon the advice of the University’s counsel, deem appropriate or necessary.

4. Update on the Budget Model Review

The Chair noted the review of the Budget Model was the culmination of extensive consultation and the work of various stakeholder-working groups. The Provost provided an overview of the Budget Model Review.

CONSENT AGENDA

On motion duly moved, seconded, and carried

YOUR COMMITTEE APPROVED

THAT the consent agenda be adopted and that the items be approved.

5. Items for Confirmation

a. Capital Project: Report of the Project Planning Committee for 700 University, 17th floor: Fit-out for the Faculty of Arts & Science - Interim Space Needs (Arising from Report Number 224 of the Academic Board (November 21, 2019))

On a motion duly moved, seconded and carried

YOUR COMMITTEE CONFIRMED THE DECISION OF THE ACADEMIC BOARD

THAT the Report of the Project Planning Committee for 700 University: Fit-out for the Faculty of Arts & Science Interim Space Needs, dated October 2, 2019, be approved in principle; and,

THAT the project totaling 5,238 rentable square metres (sm), be approved in principle, to be funded by the Faculty of Arts and Science Divisional Reserves.

b. Constitutional Amendments: Ontario Institute for Studies in Education

(Arising from Report Number 223 of the Academic Board (October 3, 2019))

On a motion duly moved, seconded and carried

YOUR COMMITTEE CONFIRMED THE DECISION OF THE ACADEMIC BOARD

THAT the proposed amended Constitution of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education Council, which was recommended for approval by the Council on October 30, 2019 be approved, effective July 1, 2020.

c. Name Change of Academic Unit – Change in the Name of the Faculty of Medicine’s Department of Anesthesia to the Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine (Arising from Report Number 224 of the Academic Board (November 21, 2019))

On a motion duly moved, seconded and carried

YOUR COMMITTEE CONFIRMED THE DECISION OF THE ACADEMIC BOARD

THAT the name of the Department of Anesthesia be changed to the Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, effective January 1, 2020.

6. Report of the Previous Meeting of the Executive Committee

Report number 507, from the meeting of October 15, 2019 was approved.

7. Business Arising from the Report of the Previous Meeting

There was no business arising from the report of the previous meeting.

8. Minutes of the Governing Council Meetings – October 24, 2019

Members received the Report of October 24, 2019 Governing Council Meeting for information.

9. Business Arising from the Minutes of the Governing Council Meetings

There was no business arising from the minutes.

10. Reports for Information

Members received the following reports for information:

  1. Report on the Reviews of Academic Programs and Units – Part 1
    1. Semi-Annual Report: April 2019 – October 2019
    2. Follow up Reports from Previous Reviews:
      1. Department of Arts, Culture and Media (University of Toronto Scarborough)
      2. Forensic Science Program (University of Toronto Mississauga)
      3. Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (Faculty of Arts &Science)
      4. Department of Chemistry; Pharmaceutical Chemistry Program (Faculty of Arts and Science)
      5. Department of Spanish and Portuguese; Latin American Studies Program (Faculty of Arts & Science)
  2. Report Number 38 of the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus Council (November 19, 2019)
  3. Report Number 38 of the University of Toronto Mississauga Campus Council (November 20, 2019)
  4. Report Number 85 of the Elections Committee (October 17, 2019)
  5. Report Number 214 of the University Affairs Board (November 13, 2019)
  6. Report Number 224 of the Academic Board (November 21, 2019)
  7. Report Number 249 of the Business Board (November 27, 2019)

End of Consent Agenda

12. Date of next meeting:

The Chair advised members that the next meeting was scheduled for Wednesday, February 12, 2020 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.

13. Other Business

a. Governing Council Meeting

The Committee finalized the agenda for the Governing Council to be held on December 12, 2019.

The Committee Moved In Camera.

14. Item for Information

a. Decision of a Judicial Board

The Committee received an update on a Judicial Board outcome.

15. Items for Approval

a. Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters: Recommendations for Expulsion

The Committee approved motions with the President’s recommendations for expulsion, as outlined in the memoranda and supporting documentation from the Secretary of the Governing Council, dated November 27, 2019 be confirmed.

b. External Appointments: Banting Research Foundation – Board of Trustee

On a motion duly moved, seconded and carried

YOUR COMMITTEE RESOLVED

THAT Ms. Elizabeth Vosburgh be re-appointed to the Board of Trustees of the Banting Research Foundation for a three-year term from effective immediately until the Foundation’s annual general meeting in 2022, or until her successor is appointed.

c. External Appointments: McLaughlin Centre Oversight Committee

On a motion duly moved, seconded and carried

YOUR COMMITTEE RESOLVED

THAT Dr. Keith Stewart be re-appointed to the McLaughlin Centre Oversight Committee for a three-year term, effective immediately until December 31, 2022 or until his successor is appointed

16. Item for Confirmation

a. Capital Project: Report of the Project Planning Committee for 700 University, 17th Floor: Fit-out for Faculty of Arts & Science – Interim Space Needs – Total Project Cost and Sources of Funding (Arising from Report Number 224 of the Academic Board (November 21, 2019))

Your Committee confirmed the decision of the Academic Board that the recommendation by Professor Scott Mabury, Vice-President, Operations and Real Estate Partnerships, in the memo dated November 27, 2019, regarding for 700 University, 17th Floor: Fit-out for Faculty of Arts & Science – Interim Space Needs, be approved.

17. Item for Endorsement and Forwarding to the Governing Council

a. Report Number 64 of the Committee for Honorary Degrees

On motion duly moved, seconded and carried

YOUR COMMITTEE APPROVED

THAT the following recommendations be endorsed and forwarded to the Governing Council:

THAT the recommendations contained in Report Number 64 of the Committee for

Honorary Degrees be approved; and

THAT the Chancellor and the President be empowered to determine the degree to be conferred on each candidate and the date of the conferral.

IT WAS APPROVED

THAT, pursuant to sections 38 and 40 of By-Law Number 2, the Governing Council consider the recommendation in camera.

18. Committee Members with the President

Members of the Executive Committee met with the President.

19. Committee Members Alone

Members of the Executive Committee, with the Board Chairs, met privately.

The Committee returned to closed session

The meeting adjourned at 7:05 p.m.

December 9, 2019