Report: Executive Committee - February 07, 2022

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Via Virtual Meeting room

REPORT NUMBER 528 OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

Monday, February 7, 2022

To the Governing Council, University of Toronto.

Your Committee reports that it held a virtual meeting on Monday, February 7, 2022 at 5:00 p.m. with the following members present:

Present:
Brian Lawson (Chair), Janet Ecker (Vice-Chair), Meric S. Gertler (President), Vina Goghari, Sandra Hanington, Paul Huyer, Sarosh Jamal, Joan Johnston, Amin Kamaleddin, Ernest W.N. Lam, Kikelomo Lawal, Mark Lautens, Lara Zink

Regrets:
Vishar Yaghoubian

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

Secretariat:
Anwar Kazimi, Kristi Gourlay, Samantha Frost

In Attendance:
Cheryl Regehr, Vice-President and Provost and Member of the Governing Council, Vikram Chadalawada, Chair, University Affairs Board and Member of the Governing Council, Anna Kennedy, Chair, Business Board, Salvatore Spadafora, Chair, Academic Board and Member of the Governing Council, Grace Westcott, Chair, UTSC Campus Council and Member of the Governing Council, Wisdom Tettey, Vice-President and Principal, University of Toronto Scarborough and member of the Governing Council, Alexandra Gillespie, Vice President and Principal, University of Toronto Mississauga , Scott Mabury, Vice-President, Operations and Real Estate Partnerships, Bryn MacPherson, Assistant Vice-President, Office of the President & Chief of Protocol, Andrew Arifuzzaman, Chief Administrative Officer, UTSC, Anthony Gray, Director, Strategic Research, Office of the President, Nadina Jamison, Chief Strategy Officer, Office of the President, Christopher Lang, Director, Appeals, Discipline and Faculty Grievances, Susan Mazza, Special Projects Officer, Office of the President, Carmelle Salomon-Labbé, Associate Director, Office of Appeals, Discipline and Faculty Grievances, and Kristin Taylor, University Counsel and Chief Legal Officer.



Pursuant to section 28 (e) and 38 of By-Law Number 2,
consideration of items 12 to 15 took place in camera.


The meeting was held in Closed Session.


  1. Chair’s Remarks

    The Chair welcomed members, Board and Council Chairs, and Vice-Presidents to the meeting and made brief introductory remarks. He offered congratulations to Ms Janet Ecker and Ms Anna Kennedy for their recent election by acclamation as Chair and Vice-Chair of the Governing Council for a one-year term starting on July 1, 2022. He also noted the appointment of a new Lieutenant-Governor-in-Council (LGIC) member, Dr. Robert Cooper.
  2. Report of the President

    Return to Campus
    The President began his remarks by reporting on the resumption of in-person learning on all three campuses that day. He noted that the University was anticipating a safe and gradual return to campus, with some variation in the extent and pace of this activity as local conditions dictate. These plans were being made in close consultation with Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, sister institutions across the province, and with support from the Council of Ontario Universities. He noted that the provincial government had been respectful of the autonomy of individual institutions, allowing each to formulate its own plan that best fit its needs. He went on to say that the Centre for Teaching Support and Innovation and the Office of the Vice-Provost for Innovations in Undergraduate Education would be working with divisions to assist them with delivering enriched forms of in person education, complemented, where appropriate, by virtual tools. In this context, the President noted that University Professor Mark Lautens of the Department of Chemistry had written an excellent op-ed in the Globe and Mail reflecting on online teaching and the return to in-person teaching. President Gertler recounted the optimistic mood at a ‘virtual breakfast’ recently held with 60 departmental chairs and directors of centres and institutes. He noted that departmental leaders were now considering longer-term post- pandemic opportunities. He further reported that Professor Kelly Hannah-Moffat, Vice- President, People Strategy, Equity and Culture, and her team continued to meet regularly with the Faculty Association and other labour partners in a consultative and interactive manner, to hear their concerns and answer their questions about ensuring a safe return to campus.

    Provincial Update
    President Gertler reported that the Provincial government was now in pre-election mode, and that it was unlikely they would provide updates on some key matters prior to the June 2022 election. He then recognized a number of recent UofT recipients of two provincial awards. Three University of Toronto researchers had received the 2021 John C. Polanyi Prize for early career excellence in research: Dr. Gwendolyn Eadie and Dr. Eno Hysi had received the Prize in Physics and Dr. Fumin Guo had received the Prize in Physiology and Medicine. UofT recipients of the Minister of Colleges and Universities’ Awards of Excellence included Mr. Efosa Obano, creator of the Black Founders Network, for his contributions in supporting Black entrepreneurs and creating more Black-led businesses; Mr. Jon French, director, University of Toronto Entrepreneurship, for working with industry and business to drive economic development; and Dr. Suzanne Stewart, professor in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health and director of the Waakebiness-Bryce Institute for Indigenous Health, for assisting with Indigenous-led COVID-19 vaccination efforts.

    Federal Update
    President Gertler reported that the University continued to focus its federal advocacy on pre- budget priorities. Working closely with U15 and Universities Canada, the University had been advocating for increased investments in fundamental research, and in talent attraction and retention. As the major research investments that followed the recommendations of the Naylor Report were set to expire in 2022, it was now a critical time to re-invest and to reaffirm the importance of fundamental research in order to maintain Canada’s competitive position.

    Similarly, the University was actively engaging with the government as it sought input on its plans for the new Canada Advanced Research Projects Agency (CARPA), an applied research entity focused on solving the country’s most pressing challenges by forging partnerships between research institutions and private sector actors. He noted that many commitments made in the government’s 2021 Spring Budget and election platform had been captured in the ministers’ mandate letters, including several related to biomedicine and talent. He also noted that the University’s Government Relations Office continued to gather information on these programs, and support various proposals alongside the Office of the Vice-President Research and Innovation, and Strategic Initiatives.

    He concluded his remarks by welcoming back the Provost, Professor Cheryl Regehr, from her leave and invited her to comment on several matters.

    COVID-19 Update
    The Provost provided a brief update on the winter term, focussing on the health and safety measures the University had taken as in-person teaching and on-campus activities resumed. She noted that students continued to express the importance of being on campus to academic success and mental wellbeing and that the University was closely monitoring the latest public health guidance and would continue to update its practices to ensure the campus was safe. She highlighted three important components of this plan:
    1. The University’s vaccination mandate
      • To date, 99.1% of the community was fully vaccinated.
      • All three campuses were offering community members access to onsite vaccination clinics.
      • UCheck had been updated to allow individuals to voluntarily upload documentation related to additional (booster) doses. She emphasized the importance of receiving an additional vaccination (booster) dose as they became eligible.
    2. The University’s masking policy
      • Medical grade masks had been recommended for all present in common use areas of University buildings.
      • Staff were working to make medical masks available, as supplies allowed, to community members who were unable to obtain them elsewhere.
    3. Improvements made to building ventilation.
      • The University had put in place a sector-leading approach to ventilation.
      • Measures, such as upgrading filters, had been implemented in all areas of buildings, and were routinely assessed.
      • Classroom specific control measures had been put into place to measure and increase air flow where needed.
      • She directed members to the UTogether website for more detailed information.

Students
Professor Regehr reported that registrars were working with international students who were facing challenges with the return to in-person instruction and that supports, including counselling and peer groups, were available for all students struggling to adjust.

Academic Continuity
She reported that plans to return to campus varied depending on division and program: for example, the Faculty of Arts and Sciences was offering online options until reading week, courses in the health sciences would remain online longer, and the Faculty of Engineering had returned almost fully to in-person learning.

Research
The Provost reported that research activities were gradually increasing across the three campuses. Following a pause due to the Omicron wave, face-to-face research activities were set to resume at the end of the month under new and enhanced masking requirements depending on risk levels.

The Committee then moved in camera and the Professor Regehr provided an update on two matters.

The Committee returned to closed session.

Members had no questions or comments for the President or Provost.

  1. Items for Endorsement and Forwarding to the Governing Council
    1. Capital Project: Report of the Project Planning Committee for the Retail and Parking Commons at the University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC)

      Professor Scott Mabury, Vice-President, Operations and Real Estate Partnerships, provided a brief overview of the project highlighting the following points
      • The project was connected and integrated into the UTSC Master Plan, especially for the north campus.
      • The 1,084 parking spots in the structure would replace spots in existing surface parking lots that were to be lost when new academic buildings were built, as well as an incremental number of spots that the city required for these new buildings.
      • The structure would include loading dock facilities connected underground to existing and future buildings eliminating the need for one in new buildings.
      • The project had been proactively designed to be repurposed into a residence or academic building should there be a time when the parking spaces were no longer required, and that this was easier to do with wood as the primary building versus less costly concrete.

Ms Grace Westcott, Chair of the UTSC Campus Council, then commented on the discussion of the item at the meeting of that body on January 26, 2022. She reported that in response to questions from members, Mr. Arifuzzaman had reported the following:

  • The mass timber lifespan was projected at 150 years.
  • Materials were locally sourced, which reduced tariffs, and were easier to maintain over time.
  • The parking structure addressed the increased number of community members who needed to drive, as well as future undergraduate expansion because the growth of public transit to campus remained uncertain.
  • Temporary parking had been allocated during the project construction.

    Ms Wescott reported that the proposal had been recommended for approval by the UTSC Campus Council.

    Professor Salvatore Spadafora, Chair of the Academic Board, reported that Professor Mabury and Mr. Arifuzzaman had spoken to this item at the meeting of the Board on January 27, 2022. In response to members’ questions, Mr. Arifuzzaman had clarified the following:
  • Snow removal would be much easier to manage in a structured parking lot than in surface parking lots.
  • Infrastructure was in place to expand the facility to be 100% chargeable for electric cars.
  • Indoor bicycle parking areas would accommodate the electrical charging of bicycles and scooters.
  • A mix of charging stations would be included in the project, with some being dedicated to single model cars and others able to service multiple car models.
  • It was anticipated that there would be some charge back for the use of electric car charging stations.
  • The photovoltaic arrays were tied into the structural grid of the building creating flexibility for various mounting and technology systems and would be very adaptable for future systems.

    There were no questions or comments from members on this item.

On motion duly moved, seconded, and carried YOUR COMMITTEE APPROVED

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

THAT the Report of the Project Planning Committee for the Retail and Parking Commons at the University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC), dated December 3, 2021, be approved in principle; and,

THAT the project totaling 42,877 gross square metres (gsm), be approved in principle, to be funded through: the UTSC Parking Ancillary Capital Construction
Reserve; UTSC Major Capital Project Reserves Fund; UTSC Reserves; and Financing.

  1. Proposed Revisions: University of Toronto Mississauga Master Plan

Professor Alexandra Gillespie, Vice-President and Principal, University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM), provided a brief introduction to the item. She noted the significant growth experienced at the UTM campus over the past decade and stated that the campus was poised for a transformative fifteen years. She noted that UTM was the only comprehensive research university directly serving the Peel region. She referred to the enormous potential for the campus and the need for a map of sustainable growth and continuous improvement of the campus—the Master Plan was a key component of this map. She also noted that the Master Plan was foundational to UTM’s new Strategic Framework which included commitment to indigeneity, the environment, biodiversity, and holistic well-being.

In the absence of Ms Samra Zafar, Chair of the UTM Campus Council, the Chair presented her comments on the discussion at the Council’s meeting on January 25, 2022. Ms Zafar reported that Ms. Christine Burke, Assistant Vice President, University Planning, Operations and Real Estate Partnerships, had introduced the item and had spoken to the Master Planning process as it related to the new Capital Planning and Capital Projects Policy. Ms. Susan Senese, Interim CAO, and Ms. Monika Farrell, Assistant Director Planning & Design, then had provided a detailed presentation. During discussion, and in response to a member’s question about sustainability plans, Ms Senese had noted that sustainability and ecological considerations were at the forefront of the Master Plan. She had further explained that considerations for flooding and flood zones had been built into the planning and development for each capital project. Professor Gillespie had added that questions of climate resiliency and climate adaptation had been woven into UTM’s existing sustainability plans and had pointed to the work of the Credit Valley Conservation organization, whose work paid particular attention to flooding and fire risks. The UTM Campus Council had recommended the proposal forward.


Professor Spadafora reported that the Academic Board had received a comprehensive presentation from Ms Burke and Ms Farrell. In response to a member’s question, M. Anne McIlroy, Principal of Brook McIlroy, (the firm engaged to consult on the plan), had stated that the implications of ecology and topography were central to the Master Plan in controlling building scale and how campus streets and the adjacent forest and valley would be knit back into the campus. Ms McIlroy had explained that the buildings were designed to have a porous and connected environment that would allow for more comfortable movement through the buildings to the outdoors and for outdoor spaces to be used functionally during colder temperatures.

Ms Kennedy reported that the Business Board had received the item for information and there had been no questions following the UTM Master Plan presentation.

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 Mississauga Master Plan, dated November 18, 2021, be approved in principle.

  1. Dissolution of the Pension Committee


The Chair offered a brief introduction to this item which was the final step in the dissolution of the Pension Committee. He noted that with the successful conversion of the University of Toronto Pension Plan to the University Pension Plan Ontario [the UPP], the University of Toronto Pension no longer existed as a separate trust or plan, and the U of T Pension Committee had been effectively replaced by the UPP Board of Trustees. As there were some “residual responsibilities” related to the University Plan, the U of T Pension Committee had met on September 28, 2021, and then had held its final meeting on December 9, 2021 at which it adjourned “sine die” – i.e, without any further scheduled meeting.

YOUR COMMITTEE APPROVED

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

THAT the Terms of Reference of the Pension Committee dated October 28, 2010, as amended on February 15, 2017, a copy of which is attached to Appendix “A”, be rescinded; and

THAT the Pension Committee shall be, and is hereby dissolved with immediate effect.

There were no questions or comments from members on this item.


CONSENT AGENDA

On motion duly moved, seconded, and carried YOUR COMMITTEE RESOLVED

THAT the consent agenda be adopted, and that Item 4 be confirmed, and Items 5(a) and 5(b) be approved.

  1. Item for Confirmation by the Executive Committee
    1. Program Closure: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) & Master of Science (MSc) in Speech- Language Pathology*

      YOUR COMMITTEE CONFIRMED

      THAT the proposed closure of the MSc and PhD in Speech-Language Pathology, Temerty Faculty of Medicine, dated August 12, 2021, to which admissions were administratively suspended in January 2021, be approved with an anticipated program closure date of August 31, 2027
  2. Reports of the Previous Meetings of the Executive Committee

    Report Number 526 of the Executive Committee (December 7, 2021) and Report Number 527 of the Executive Committee (Special Meeting, December 16, 2021) were approved.
  3. Business Arising from the Report of the Previous Meeting

    There was no business arising from the reports of the previous meetings.
  4. Minutes of the Governing Council Meetings – December 16, 2021

    Members received the Report of the December 16, 2021 Governing Council Meeting for information.
  5. Business Arising from the Minutes of the Governing Council Meetings

    There was no business arising from the minutes.
  6. Reports for Information

    Members received the following reports for information:
    1. Report Number 46 of the Pension Committee (September 28, 2021)
    2. Report Number 47 of the Pension Committee (December 9, 2021)
    3. Report Number 51 of the University of Toronto Mississauga Campus Council (January 25, 2022)
    4. Report Number 51 of the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus Council (January 26, 2022)
    5. Report Number 237 of the Academic Board (January 27, 2022)
    6. Report Number 262 of the Business Board (February 2, 2022)

END OF CONSENT AGENDA

  1. Date of next meeting:

    The Chair advised members that the next meeting was scheduled for Tuesday, March 22, 2022 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.
  2. Other Business
    1. Governing Council Meeting

      The Committee finalized the agenda for the meeting of the Governing Council to be held on February 15, 2022.

THE COMMITTEE MOVED IN CAMERA

  1. Items for Approval
    1. Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters: Recommendation for Expulsion

      There was one recommendation for expulsion.

      On a motion duly moved, seconded, and carried YOUR COMMITTEE APPROVED

      THAT the President’s recommendations for expulsion, as outlined in the memorandum and supporting documentation from the Secretary of the Governing Council, dated January 31, 2022, be confirmed.
    2. Committee for the Review and Renewal of the University of Toronto-Toronto School of Theology Memorandum of Agreement

      On a motion duly moved, seconded, and carried YOUR COMMITTEE APPROVED

      THAT the University of Toronto representatives to the joint Review and Renewal Committee for the University of Toronto - Toronto School of Theology Memorandum of Agreement be
      • Prof. Susan McCahan, Vice-Provost, Academic Programs, and Vice-Provost, Innovations in Undergraduate Education, Office of the Vice-President and Provost
      • Prof. Vina Goghari, Vice-Dean, Research and Program Innovation, School of Graduate Studies
      • Prof. Antoinette Handley, Vice-Dean Graduate, Faculty of Arts and Science
  2. Item for Endorsement and Forwarding to the Governing Council
    1. Capital Project: Report of the Project Planning Committee for the Retail and Parking Commons at the University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC)*-- Total Project Costs and Sources of Funding

      On motion duly moved, seconded, and carried YOUR COMMITTEE APPROVED

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

      THAT the recommendation by Professor Scott Mabury, Vice-President, Operations and Real Estate Partnerships regarding the Total Project Cost and Sources of Funding for the Retail and Parking Commons at the University of Toronto Scarborough as outlined in the memorandum dated January 21, 2022, be approved in principle.
  3. Committee Members with the President

    Members of the Executive Committee, with the Board Chairs, met with the President.
  4. Committee Members Alone

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


The Committee returned to closed session


The meeting adjourned at 7:10 p.m.


February 14, 2022