Report: Executive Committee - May 09, 2023

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Council Chamber, Simcoe Hall, 2nd floor

REPORT NUMBER 542 OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

TUESDAY, MAY 9, 2023


To the Governing Council,
University of Toronto.

Your Committee reports that it met on Tuesday, May 9, 2023 at 5:00 p.m. with the following members present:

Janet Ecker (Chair), Anna Kennedy (Vice-Chair), Meric S. Gertler (President), Paul Huyer, Sarosh Jamal, Ernest W.N. Lam, Jan K. Mahrt-Smith, Joanne McNamara, Arman Rasekh

Regrets: David Bowden, Shashi Kant, Mark Lautens, Kikelomo Lawal, Doug McDougall, Lara Zink

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

Secretariat:
Anwar Kazimi, Joanne Chou

In Attendance:
Cheryl Regehr, Vice-President and Provost and Member of the Governing Council
Sandra Hanington, Chair, Business Board and Member of the Governing Council
Vikram Chadalawada, Chair, University Affairs Board and Member of the Governing Council
Grace Westcott, Chair, UTSC Campus Council and Member of the Governing Council
Professor Heather Boon, Acting Vice-President, People Strategy, Equity & Culture
Leora Jackson, Legal Counsel
Chris Lang, Office of Appeals, Discipline and Faculty Grievances
Carmelle Salomon-Labbé, Office of Appeals, Discipline and Faculty Grievances
Ron Saporta, Vice-President, Operations (Acting)
Nadina Jamison, Chief Strategy Officer, Office of the President
Asmaa Maloul, Director, Reporting & Analytics, Institutional Research & Data Governance

Pursuant to section 28 (e) and 38 of By-Law Number 2, consideration of items 14-17 took place in camera.

The meeting was held in closed Session.

  1. Chair’s Remarks

    The Chairs welcomed attendees to the meeting.
  2. Overview of the Judicial Board Process

    Professor Heather Boon, Acting Vice-President, People Strategy, Equity & Culture and Ms. Leora Jackson, Legal Counsel provided an overview of the Judicial Board process with a focus on the role of the Executive Committee. In the discussion that followed, Professor Boon and Ms. Jackson provided additional details on the processes, interpretations of the language, and on the responsibilities of the Committee. It was noted the University provided safeguards in place to ensure a fair process for those involved, that resources and support were provided to students related to academic matters, and information on academic integrity processes and procedures at U of T.
  3. Report of the President

    Federal Matters

    The President began his report by reflecting on his ongoing advocacy at the federal level, noting his recent trip to Ottawa, where he attended U15 meetings and met with Ministers and Deputy Ministers. This trip was preceded by the Spring Membership Meeting of Universities Canada, where they met with the Governor of the Bank of Canada, and the Association of American Universities meeting in Washington, DC. He referenced his report at the last Governing Council meeting, where he had noted that the Federal budget contained little positive news for the post-secondary sector, particularly the lack of increased support for graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, and research funding.

    The President remarked that immigration issues had impacted enrollment for international students, and that he had also met with the Deputy Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) while in Ottawa. He advised that the visa processing issues had improved, noting that IRCC had increased their capacity to process visa applications and that the University was working towards a trusted institution partnership model between the government and universities.

    Shifting back to research funding, the President highlighted the Report of the Advisory Panel on the Research Support System (also known as the ‘Bouchard Report’), which called for funding levels for the Research Councils to increase by 10% per year for five years, as well as increased funding for graduate students and post-doctoral fellows. The President spoke with the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, and met with the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, and senior civil servants to advocate for the urgent need for increased federal investment in research and students.

    The President reported that there had been a nationwide ‘walkout’ on May 1, in support of graduate students and post-doctoral fellows. Professor Marc Johnson, Biology, University of Toronto Mississauga, had played a key role in organizing the grassroots movement known as 'Support Out Science' (SOS) which called for the walkout. The President reflected that the value of graduate student scholarships had not increased in 20 years, and post-doctoral fellowships had increased only marginally during this time. As such, U of T, the U15, Universities Canada, and many others strongly supported this cause. The President noted, however, that in pursuing this goal, it required a 'both/and' approach; both increasing direct support for all graduate students and post-doctoral fellows and increasing base funding for the Research Councils. He noted that this point was made eloquently in a recent op-ed in the Globe & Mail by University Professor Mark Lautens. The President concluded that his trip to Ottawa had been encouraging and that he was hopeful the government had a deeper understanding of the urgency of the issue and the consequences of inaction.

    The President highlighted the recent announcement by the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry that the University of Toronto’s Acceleration Consortium had been awarded a $200-million grant from the Canada First Research Excellence Fund (CFREF). This was the largest federal research grant ever awarded to a Canadian university and would support the Consortium’s initiatives on ‘self-driving labs’ that combined AI, robotics and advanced computing to discover new materials and molecules in a fraction of the usual time and cost. The President noted that this was a landmark achievement for the Consortium, U of T, and Canada, with the potential to transform the innovation economy. He congratulated Professor Leah Cowen, Vice-President, Research and Innovation, and Strategic Initiatives, and Professor Alán Aspuru-Guzik, Director of the Acceleration Consortium, and their teams for their tremendous work to secure this historic grant.

    Provincial Matters

    The President noted that efforts on the provincial front were focused on engaging with the Blue-Ribbon Panel on Higher Education. The Province had set up this Panel to provide advice and recommendations to the government on how to promote and enhance financial sustainability for the sector, as well as advise on tuition fee policy. He noted that the Panel was engaged in consultations with key stakeholders and that U of T, along with sector partners like COU and U6, was preparing its submission to the Panel to ensure our priorities were represented. He noted that this was the first comprehensive review of the sector undertaken by the government since 2004, and that he was looking forward to helpful recommendations from this process.

    Other Matters

    The President then provided an update on the work of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Principles to Guide Recognition and Commemoration. He had established this presidential advisory committee in June 2022, with the mandate to recommend principles that could guide the University's decisions and practices around naming or renaming of buildings, programs, scholarships, etc. They would also take into consideration principles around rescinding distinctions, such as honorary degrees. Additionally, the Committee was asked to recommend a process by which such decisions could be considered, and to suggest instances in which relevant policies or guidelines of the University might be amended. The committee was chaired by University Professor of Philosophy, and former Provost, Cheryl Misak, who had recently submitted her report following extensive consultations across the University and careful deliberations by the Committee. The President noted that the report and the administrative response would be released soon.

    A member asked if there was any impact to the University regarding the expulsions of diplomats from both Canada and China, and the President responded that the diplomatic relations between the two nations had not impacted student mobility to the University and that applications continued to be robust. He also added that the University was continuing to focus its efforts on the diversification strategy for international student recruitment.

    A member inquired if travel to certain regions of the world like China had regained momentum and whether there were issues around safety, to which the President responded that members of the University community had recently resumed travel to these regions post-pandemic and expert advice indicated that travel was returning to normal.

    A member inquired if the Presidential Advisory Committee on Principles to Guide Recognition and Commemoration’s recommendations would include plaques and the President responded that this aspect of commemoration could be included.

    A member inquired about the potential implications of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the clusters of AI activity at the University, referencing the recent departure of Professor Geoffrey Hinton from Google. The President responded that there is extensive expertise on AI across the University. Much of the activity occurs at the Schwartz Reisman Institute for Technology and Society, where Professor Hinton was a member of the advisory board. The President added that once the Schwartz Reisman Innovation Campus was completed, it would be an AI research hub, with its location adjacent to the Vector Institute.
  4. Items for Endorsement and Forwarding to the Governing Council
    1. Affiliation Agreements: Renewal of the Existing Affiliation Agreements between the University of Toronto and the Toronto Academic Health Science Network (TAHSN) associate member hospitals, and revisions to the 2018 agreement template.

      The Committee received a combined presentation on Item 4a, 4b and 4c.

      The Provost provided a brief overview of the affiliation agreements between UofT and the TAHSN associate member hospitals (Item 4a), community affiliated hospitals (Item 4b), and its non-hospital clinical sites (Item 4c). She noted that the University placed enormous value on the relationship with the hospital system. She remarked that the agreements were broad relationship frameworks that set out shared objectives in a number of areas including: the appointment of faculty and staff, teaching, research, fundraising, and legislative requirements.

      The Provost commented that the template affiliation agreements with the fully-affiliated hospitals were updated and renewed and approved by governance in the Fall of 2022. Relevant changes agreed to with the fully-affiliated hospitals were then carried over to the agreements with the associate member hospitals, community hospitals, and non-hospital clinical sites.

      There were no questions from Committee members.

      On a motion duly moved, seconded, and carried

      YOUR COMMITTEE APPROVED

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

      THAT the revised template for affiliation agreements between the University of Toronto and the associate member hospitals of the Toronto Academic Health Science Network be approved, effective immediately;

      THAT the President, or designate, be authorized to sign such agreements on behalf of the Governing Council, provided that the agreements conform to the approved template; and

      THAT the agreements signed under the provisions of this resolution be filed with the Secretary of Governing Council.

    2. Affiliation Agreements: Renewal of the Existing Affiliation Agreements between the University of Toronto and its community hospitals, and revisions to the 2017 agreement template.

      On a motion duly moved, seconded, and carried

      YOUR COMMITTEE APPROVED

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

      THAT the revised template for affiliation agreements between the University of Toronto and the community hospitals be approved, effective immediately;

      THAT the President, or designate, be authorized to sign such agreements on behalf of the Governing Council, provided that the agreements conform to the approved template; and

      THAT the agreements signed under the provisions of this resolution be filed with the Secretary of Governing Council.

    3. Affiliation Agreements: Renewal of the existing affiliation agreements between the University of Toronto and its nonhospital clinical sites, and revisions to the 2017 agreement template.

      On a motion duly moved, seconded, and carried

      YOUR COMMITTEE APPROVED

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

      THAT the revised template for affiliation agreements between the University of Toronto and its non-hospital clinical sites be approved, effective immediately;

      THAT the President, or designate, be authorized to sign such agreements on behalf of the Governing Council, provided that the agreements conform to the approved template; and

      THAT the agreements signed under the provisions of this resolution be filed with the Secretary of Governing Council.

    4. Capital Project (Level 3): Report of the Project Planning Committee for Lash Miller Building Expansion – Project Scope and Sources of Funding

      The Committee received an introduction on the project from Ron Saporta, Vice-President, Operations (Acting). Mr. Saporta provided the following highlights:
    • Three new stories atop the existing one story northeast corner volume at St. George Street and Willcocks Commons to house an important research initiative, the Acceleration Consortium (AC).
    • The addition will service the AC research initiative with labs, offices, and shared meeting spaces within a highly functional and collaborative space.
    • The project also included the replacement and modernization of 3 large classrooms and three new active learning classrooms as part of the Learning Space Management department.
    • As such, the timely delivery of the Lash Miller Expansion project was critical to moving this forward.
    • The project was delivered through Construction Management and is scheduled to start Phase 1 demolition and early works construction in July 2023 and Phase 2 construction in November 2023.
    • Occupancy was targeted for September 2025.

      Professor Ernie Lam, Vice-Chair of the Academic Board, then commented on the discussion of the item at that body:
    • Following an overview of the project a member asked about the long-term learning space management plan given that the Lash Miller Project would only replace about 80% of the existing classroom space and that classroom space was already constrained on the St. George campus.

    • In response, Professor Mabury explained that modern building codes would not allow for all existing classrooms to be replaced.

    • He stated that the shortage of classroom space was more an issue of scheduling than it was a lack of physical space and that addressing underlying scheduling issues would result in more efficient use of classrooms.

    • Ron Saporta addressed a member’s question regarding the sustainability design of the proposed project, advising that the building was aligned with the University’s climate positive strategy and met all sustainability targets.

    • He noted that all future capital projects would set explicit carbon and energy budgets that could then be incorporated on a tri-campus scale to advance the University’s 2050 climate positive goal.


      On a motion duly moved, seconded, and carried

      YOUR COMMITTEE APPROVED

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

      THAT the project scope of the Lash Miller Building Expansion as identified in the Report of the Project Planning Committee for the University of Toronto Lash Miller Building Expansion, dated February 14, 2023, be approved in principle; and,

      THAT the project totaling new 2,858 net assignable square metres (nasm) (4,881 gross square metres (gsm)), and 936 gross square metres (gsm) renovated space, be approved in principle, to be funded by the Faculty of Arts and Science Future Major Capital Projects Reserve Fund and Faculty of Arts & Science Borrowing.
    1. Capital Project (Level 3): University of Toronto Facilities & Services Project Concept Report for the Climate Positive LEAP – Project Scope and Sources of Funding

      In presenting this project, Mr. Saporta noted:
    • UTSG made a commitment to become Climate Positive by the year 2050, transforming the campus from a carbon source to carbon sink.
    • Project LEAP was the first project that began this journey.
    • This project reduced carbon emissions by over 50%, by starting the transition away from fossil fuels to electricity through heat pumps and boilers.
    • It addressed a significant amount of deferred maintenance in the central steam plant, by removing an aged boiler that had been installed in the 1960s, thereby increasing resiliency and improving infrastructure.
    • The project positioned St George campus to exceed the carbon reduction requirement to achieve the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) targets, also called the science-based-targets, years ahead of the 2030 deadline.
    • This was done through unique partnerships with the private sector to design, deliver and guarantee a technical solution, and leveraged financing through CIB.

      Professor Ernie Lam, Vice-Chair of the Academic Board, then commented on the discussion of the item at that body:
    • Following the presentation on the proposed Project Leap, in response to a member’s concern regarding disruptions to building occupants, Ron Saporta advised that the overwhelming majority of the deep energy retrofit work would be underground or to the roof of the building, with only a small portion having an impact on occupied space.

    • He advised that stakeholder engagement sessions had been established to keep occupants fully informed of the project’s progress and to allow planning for scheduled shutdowns as required.

    • A member inquired whether emissions associated with construction were captured in the Climate Positive Campus Plan, to which Ron stated that the Plan did not yet include the ‘Scope 3’ embodied or embedded emissions associated with construction because there lacked a framework to reliably quantify these emissions, but that faculty at the Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design had been engaged to develop models to quantify those emissions.

    • Finally, a member asked whether the project considered the decreasing costs of technology over time, and Ron replied that this was not an issue as most of the initiatives to be implemented by the project involved well-established technology, that had been in use for several years, resulting in significant carbon emission reductions given the age and scale of the campus infrastructure.

      Discussion

      A member commented about the lack of emphasis on the social cost of carbon (SCC) and the impacts on the economy and encouraged the administration to change the way the information was presented, and to include the SCC aspect as it went through University Governance.

      In response, Mr. Saporta responded that a more robust communication strategy would be developed and would include the impacts and values of SCC. He advised members that all future capital projects would set explicit carbon and energy budgets that could then be incorporated into the campus model on a tri-campus scale to advance the University’s 2050 climate positive goal. He highlighted initiatives that would help drive the University plan to a low-carbon future, and active conservation measures to reduce energy for the long term.

      A member commented that the financial structure of projects was important to assess carbon tax implications.

      A member inquired about the technological risk of the project in which Mr. Saporta responded that the risk was more placed around training of staff and management of the transition.

      On a motion duly moved, seconded, and carried

      YOUR COMMITTEE APPROVED

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

      THAT the project scope of Project LEAP, as identified in the Concept Report and Technical Submission, dated March 31, 2023, be approved in principle; and,

      THAT the project be approved in principle to be funded through: UTSG Utilities Operating Funds, Federal Grants, and Debt Financing.
  5. 2022 Performance Indicators for Governance

    The Chair invited the Provost to provide a brief summary of the highlights of the Performance Indicators for Governance 2022 Report, which measured the University’s progress towards long-term goals in a range of areas. Professor Regehr reiterated the strengths in two areas which have been covered in other reports:
    1. The University’s strong financial position and budget model including success at exceeding the performance-based metrics introduced in the third provincial Strategic Mandate Agreement (SMA3), and strong global support from donors; and
    2. The University’s research strength.

      The Provost also called attention to U of T’s strengths in the areas of student experience and learning including positive responses on a range of student surveys regarding student well-being and sense of inclusion; expanded mental health services; enhanced investment in student aid; and improving retention and graduation rates.

      In the discussion that followed, a member inquired if there were any metrics that proved challenging for the administration. The Provost responded that first to second year retention rates had fallen during the pandemic and the impact of changes to OSAP calculations that reduced student aid required us to adjust our funding models to cover need.

      A member inquired if there were any potential concerns with partner institutions that had experienced financial challenges, and the Chair responded that there were no issues and that the University would make a submission to the blue-ribbon panel to emphasize Ontario universities’ position that financial sustainability of the higher education sector is important for the province.

      The Chair thanked the Provost and her team, and in particular Ms Asmaa Maloul, Director, Reporting & Analytics, Institutional Research & Data Governance, for the work on this important annual report.

CONSENT AGENDA

On motion duly moved, seconded, and carried

YOUR COMMITTEE RESOLVED

THAT the consent agenda be adopted and that Item 6 be approved.

  1. Report Number 540 and Report Number 541 of the Executive Committee (March 21, 2023 and March 30, 2023)
    Report Number 540 and Report Number 541 from the meetings of March 21, 2023 and March 30, 2023 were approved.
  2. Business Arising from the Reports of the Previous Meetings
    There was no business arising from the report of the previous meeting.
  3. Minutes of the Governing Council Meeting – March 30, 2023
    Members received the Minutes of the March 30, 2023 Governing Council Meeting for information.
  4. Business Arising from the Minutes of the Governing Council Meeting There was no business arising from the minutes.

  5. Reports for Information
    1. Review of Academic Programs and Units – Part 1 & Part 2
      1. Follow-up Reports from Previous Reviews
      2. Semi-Annual Report on the Reviews of Academic Programs and Units
    2. Report Number 59 of the University of Toronto Mississauga Campus Council (April 24, 2023)
    3. Report Number 234 of the University Affairs Board (April 19, 2023)
    4. Report Number 271 (April 24, 2023) and Report Number 272 of the Business Board (April 26, 2023)
    5. Report Number 245 of the Academic Board (April 27, 2023)

END OF CONSENT AGENDA


  1. Date of Next Meeting

    The Chair advised members that the next meeting was scheduled for Thursday, June 15, 2023 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.
  2. Other Business
  3. Meeting of the Governing Council – May 18, 2023

    The Chair reminded members that the next meeting of the Governing Council was to be held on May 18, 2023.

    The Committee Moved In Camera.

  4. Judicial Board Decisions

    The Committee received an update on a Judicial Board outcome.
  5. Items for Approval by the Executive Committee
    1. Establishment of Judicial Board

      The Committee approved a recommendation regarding the establishment of a Judicial Board, as outlined in the memorandum and supporting documentation from the Secretary of the Governing Council, dated May 9, 2023.

      The Committee approved a recommendation regarding the establishment of a Third Judicial Board, as outlined in the memorandum and supporting documentation from the Secretary of the Governing Council, dated May 9, 2023.

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

      The Committee approved the President’s recommendations for expulsion, as outlined in the memorandum and supporting documentation from the Secretary of the Governing Council, dated May 9, 2023 be confirmed.

    3. External Appointments:
      1. Sunnybrook Health Science Centre (SHSC) Board of Directors

        On a motion duly moved, seconded, and carried

        YOUR COMMITTEE RESOLVED

        THAT the individuals identified in the cover sheet dated May 2, 2023 be re-appointed to the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre (SHCS) Board of Directors for one-year terms, effective the Sunnybrook’s AGM on June 19, 2023 to the AGM of the SHSC in June 2024.

      2. West Park Health Centre Board of Directors

        On a motion duly moved, seconded, and carried

        YOUR COMMITTEE RESOLVED

        THAT Ms. Cheryl Cott be appointed as the University of Toronto’s representative on the Board of Directors of the West Park Healthcare Centre for a term of one (1) year, or until her successor is chosen, subject to approval of the West Park Healthcare Centre’s Board of Directors and the members at their Annual Meeting on June 22, 2023.
  6. Items for Endorsement and Forwarding to the Governing Council
    1. Appointments: Members of the Governing Council to Governance Bodies, 2023-24

      The Chair provided an overview of the process that informed the proposed 2023-24 assignments of members of the Governing Council to governance bodies.

      On a motion duly moved, seconded, and carried

      YOUR COMMITTEE RESOLVED

      THAT the following motion be endorsed and forwarded to the Governing Council:
      1. THAT the proposed Assignments of members of the Governing Council to Boards and Committees for 2023-24, be approved; and

      2. THAT, pursuant to section 38 of By-Law Number 2, the Governing Council consider this item in camera.

      3. THAT, subject to the approval of the membership of the Elections Committee by the Governing Council on May 18, 2023, Professor Mark Lautens be appointed as Chair of the Elections Committee for a one-year term effective July 1, 2023.

    2. Appointments: Committee for Honorary Degrees Membership, 2023-24+

      On a motion duly moved, seconded, and carried

      YOUR COMMITTEE RESOLVED

      THAT the following motion be endorsed and forwarded to the Governing Council.

      THAT the proposed memberships of the 2023-24 Committee for Honorary Degrees be approved.

    3. Capital Project (Level 3): Report of the Project Planning Committee for the Lash Miller Building: Project Cost and Sources of Funding+

      On a motion duly moved, seconded, and carried

      YOUR COMMITTEE RESOLVED

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

      THAT the recommendation of the Vice-President, Operations and Real Estate Partnerships, as outlined in the memorandum dated April 20, 2023 regarding the total project cost and sources of funding for the Lash Miller Building Expansion, be approved in principle.

    4. Capital Project (Level 3): Report of the Project Planning Committee for the Project LEAP: Project Cost and Sources of Funding+

      On a motion duly moved, seconded, and carried

      YOUR COMMITTEE RESOLVED

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

      THAT the recommendation of the Vice-President, Operations and Real Estate Partnerships, as outlined in the memorandum dated April 20, 2022 regarding the total project cost and sources of funding for the Climate Positive LEAP Project, be approved in principle.
  7. Committee Members with the President

    Members of the Executive Committee, with the Board and Campus Council Chairs, met with the President.
  8. Committee Members Alone

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


The meeting adjourned at 6:45 p.m.

May 09, 2023