Report: Executive Committee - October 19, 2022

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

REPORT NUMBER 535 OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

October 19, 2022

To the Governing Council,

University of Toronto.

Your Committee reports that it held a meeting in the Council Chamber, Simcoe Hall on Wednesday October 19, 2022 at 5:00 p.m. with the following members present:

Janet Ecker (Chair), Anna Kennedy (Vice-Chair), Meric S. Gertler (President), David Bowden, Paul Huyer, Sarosh Jamal, Dveeta Lal, Ernest W.N. Lam, Mark Lautens, Jan Mahrt-Smith, Joanne McNamara

Regrets: Kikelomo Lawal, Arman Rasekh, Lara Zink

Non-Voting Member:

Sheree Drummond, Secretary of the Governing Council

Secretariat:

Anwar Kazimi, Joanne Chou

In Attendance:

Grace Westcott, Chair, UTSC Campus Council and Member of the Governing Council

Vikram Chadalawada, Chair, University Affairs Board and Member of the Governing Council

Doug MacDougall, Chair, Academic Board and Member of the Governing Council

Scott Mabury, Vice-President, Operations and Real Estate Partnerships

Bruce Kidd, Professor Emeritus, Ombudsperson (for items 4(a))

Heather Boon, Acting Provost

Nadina Jamison, Chief Strategy Officer, Office of the President

Bryn MacPherson, Assistant Vice-President, Office of the President and Chief of Protocol

Kristin Taylor, University Counsel and Chief Legal Officer

Christopher Lang, Director, Office of Appeals, Discipline and Faculty Grievances (for items 2 and 14(a))

Carmelle Salomon-Labbé, Associate Director, Office of Appeals, Discipline and Faculty Grievances (for items 2 and 14 (a)).

Leora Jackson, Legal Counsel (for items 2 and 14 (a)).

Pursuant to section 28 (e) and 38 of By-Law Number 2,

consideration of items 13 to 17 took place in camera.

The meeting was held in Closed Session.

  1. Chair’s Remarks and Orientation

    The Chair welcomed members, Board and Council Chairs and Vice-Presidents to the first regular meeting of the Executive Committee for 2022-23. She conducted a brief orientation for members about the Executive Committee and its mandate, its Terms of Reference, and the main areas of responsibility for the Committee.
  1. Overview of the Academic Discipline Process

    Mr. Christopher Lang, Director, Appeals, Discipline and Faculty Grievances and Ms. Leora Jackson, Legal Counsel provided an overview of the Academic Discipline process with a focus on the role of the Executive Committee. In the discussion that followed, Mr. Lang and Ms. Jackson provided additional details on the processes, and on the responsibilities of the Committee. It was noted the University provided resources and support to students related to academic matters, and information on academic integrity processes and procedures at U of T.
  1. Report of the President

    The Chair invited the President to make his report to the Executive Committee. The President echoed the Chair's welcome to members of the Committee and expressed his appreciation and gratitude for their valuable counsel, advice, and oversight.

    The President addressed the following:

    Biggest back to school update

The President highlighted that the first term of the ‘biggest back to school ever’ had started well and noted the incredible energy and excitement across the three campuses. Several milestone events had taken place recently including: a ribbon cutting for the new Student Commons on the St George Campus; the official opening of the new Robarts Common providing 1200 new study spaces; and celebrations to mark the revitalization of University College. Special ceremonies also took place to mourn the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II outside the Soldier’s Tower and to acknowledge Canada’s National Day of Truth and Reconciliation. There had also been a tri-campus community vigil related to the death of Mahsa Amini and the ongoing situation in Iran about which the President had issued a recent statement.

Africa Trip

The President highlighted a recent trip to Kigali and Nairobi with the Vice-President International. They attended the 10th anniversary celebrations of the Mastercard Foundation’s African Scholars program and engaged in productive discussions that helped shape the Foundation’s future direction. The President met with leaders of African universities to launch the new Health Collaborative Network. The Network spans five countries – Kenya, Ghana, South Africa, Ethiopia, and Rwanda – and focuses on creating capacity to expand the number of health care professionals in those countries. He noted this was a significant tri-campus initiative and included at least nine academic divisions. They also met with Canada’s High Commissioner in Nairobi to boost academic ties and hosted a reception for alumni and prospective students. The President remarked on the energy, potential and enthusiasm from the students and collaborating universities, and he emphasized the intrinsic value of in-person people-to-people connections.

South Korea visit

The President hosted the President of the Republic of Korea, Yoon Suk-Yeol, and a delegation from Korea’s Ministry of Science and ICT on September 22nd. The purpose of the delegation’s visit was to learn more about the University’s world-renowned strengths in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. A roundtable on ‘AI for the Better Future of Humanity’ was moderated by the Vice-President, Research and Innovation, and Strategic Initiatives that included academic, government and industry leaders. The Honourable Victor Fedeli, Ontario’s Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, was also in attendance. Numerous senior representatives of major Korean firms announced a series of new research partnerships with U of T faculty. U of T also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Korea’s Institute for Information and Communication Technology Planning & Evaluation, to launch a bi-national education program in AI.

Times Higher Education World Academic Summit NYC

The President updated the members about his visit to New York as part of a U of T delegation to the Times Higher Education World Academic Summit hosted by NYU. He shared that U of T’s 2023 World University ranking held steady at 18th overall for the fourth year in a row, 8th among the world’s public universities and 2nd among North American public universities. U of T continued to be 1st among Canadian universities and the only Canadian university in the top 100 that did not decline in the rankings. The President was a panellist at the Summit and discussed what universities can do to counter a broad range of inequities with other University leaders from around the world. He also hosted meetings with prominent alumni from the east coast of the US, and an alumni reception that included prospective students and featured the Director of the School of Cities at the University of Toronto.

Federal Matters

The President shared that the Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) and the University of Toronto signed an agreement in July with CIB committing some $56M towards deep energy retrofit projects on St. George campus. This deal was the first the Bank had conducted with a university, and it accelerated the U of T’s plans to achieve a climate positive campus, underscoring U of T’s position as a global leader in addressing the urgent challenge of climate change. This partnership helped the University to launch Project LEAP, which will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by over 50 percent – or 46,000 tonnes CO2 equivalent annually. The agreement also advanced the Climate Positive Campus Plan for the St. George Campus by more than a decade, allowing the University to hit the 50% reduction target by 2030.

Provincial

Turning to provincial government matters, the President noted that the Minister of Colleges & Universities signed the provincial funding agreement for the new Scarborough Academy of Medicine and Integrated Health (SAMIH) that had been announced in the provincial budget in spring 2022. The funding provided operating support for 30 new MD students, 45 PGME Spaces at local hospitals, 40 new physiotherapy students, and 300 new undergraduate life science students. On September 28th, 2022, the Orlando Corporation announced an historic $75 million gift to support the redevelopment of the Scarborough Health Network and construction of the state-of-the-art SAMIH building.

Municipal

At the Municipal level, the President noted that Toronto City Council had voted unanimously to adopt the University’s new St. George Secondary Plan. The Secondary Plan will enable the University to work towards fulfilling the Four Corners strategy and build much-needed housing for members of the University community. City Council’s vote provided an important impetus for the Council to approve and support the University’s ongoing student and faculty housing strategies.

Advocacy

The President remarked that the University had been collaborating with the COU, U15 and Universities Canada to advance important advocacy priorities that included:

  • Supporting student success (immigration policy, mental health funding)

  • Investment in research and graduate education

  • Highlighting the value of universities in research and innovation, and talent generation

  • Enhancing our financial sustainability

The President also emphasized these thematic priorities prominently through op-eds in the Hill Times and the Globe & Mail.

Moody’s Investors Services

Finally, the President concluded his report by sharing that Moody’s Investors Services, an international credit rating firm, once again confirmed the University of Toronto’s rating of Aa1 with a stable outlook. He noted that the Moody’s report cited the university’s excellent reputation and global standing, sound governance, fiscal management, and administrative capacity as contributing to the strong credit rating. The report noted that the University was well positioned to navigate lingering effects of the pandemic and other sources of instability.

In response to a member’s question, President noted that the University’s strong financial profile helped build institutional resilience and helped mitigate risks such as those from climate change and the pandemic. He also remarked that the strong rating also attracted new opportunities for the University.

  1. Items for Endorsement and Forwarding to the Governing Council
  1. Report of the University Ombudsperson for the Period July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022 and Administrative Response

The Chair indicated that the Report of the University Ombudsperson and the Administrative Response were presented annually to the Governing Council for information.

At the invitation of the Chair, Professor Kidd highlighted some of the matters from the Report. He noted that the overall number of individuals who sought assistance of the Office had risen 13% from the previous year, and that the complexity of cases were further complicated by the unprecedented conditions of the pandemic. During the year, the Office closed 336 from 405 cases. He reported that mental health challenges were high concerns, accentuated by public health risks presented by the pandemic. He commended the University’s commitment and priority to see a safe return to campus for in-person learning as welcoming, supportive, and as safely as possible.

Professor Kidd reported that issues related to Graduate supervision had declined, but the overall number of graduate students that contacted the Office had risen, from 72 last year to 97 this year, an 35% increase. He expressed encouragement that the University was moving ahead to implement the eight recommendations of the 2020 report, Promoting a Healthy Lab Culture, and strengthen the Centre for Graduate Mentorship and Supervision.

He reported that in the area of communications, he was encouraged to continue the ongoing dialogue with administration to address those matters raised in his Report, particularly to the accuracy of website content.

Professor Kidd concluded his remarks by expressing his satisfaction with the University’s commitment to providing supports to students to help them on their academic journey, particularly in the area of academic integrity.

At the invitation of the Chair, Professor Heather Boon, Acting Provost thanked the Ombudsperson for his oversight of many areas of the University’s operations, and expressed gratitude to Professor Emeritus Kidd and his staff for the insightful report. She acknowledged that the Administration had accepted the recommendations contained in the report, and would continue to raise the recommendations, particularly those with regard to divisional websites, with Principals and Deans and divisional colleagues.

On motion duly moved, seconded, and carried

YOUR COMMITTEE RESOLVED

THAT the Report of the University Ombudsperson for the period July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022 and Administrative Response be endorsed and placed on the agenda of the Governing Council meeting of October 27, 2022

  1. Renewal of the existing affiliation agreements between the University of Toronto and the Toronto Academic Health Science Network (TAHSN) full member hospitals, and revisions to the agreement template last updated in 2016.
    (Arising from Report Number 241 of the Academic Board (October 6, 2022))

On a motion duly moved, seconded, and carried

YOUR COMMITTEE RESOLVED

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

(a) THAT the revised template for full affiliation agreements between the University

of Toronto and the full member hospitals of the Toronto Academic Health

Science Network be approved, effective October 28, 2022;

(b) 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

(c) THAT the agreements signed under the provisions of this resolution be filed with

the Secretary of Governing Council.


CONSENT AGENDA

The Chair noted that of the items listed on the Consent Agenda, one item, Item 5 – the report of the previous meeting of the Executive Committee – was for approval. All other items were for information only.

No questions or requests to place these consent agenda items on the regular agenda were received by the Secretary.

On motion duly moved, seconded, and carried

YOUR COMMITTEE APPROVED

THAT the consent agenda be adopted and Item 5 be approved.

  1. Report of the Previous Meeting of the Executive Committee

Report Number 533 from the meeting of June 28, 2022 and Report Number 534 from September 6, 2022 was approved.

  1. Business Arising from the Report of the Previous Meeting

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

  1. Minutes of the Governing Council Meetings – September 7, 2022

Members received the Minutes of the September 7, 2022 Governing Council Meeting for information.

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

There was no business arising from the minutes.

  1. Report on Approvals under Summer Executive Authority

The Committee received a report on matters within the Executive Committee’s authority that had been approved under the Summer Executive Authority.

  1. Reports for Information

Members received the following reports for information:

  1. Report Number 54 of the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus Council (September 29, 2022)
  2. Report Number 55 of the University of Toronto Mississauga Campus Council (October 3, 2022)
  3. Report Number 267 of the Business Board (September 28, 2022)
  4. Report Number 241 of the Academic Board (October 6, 2022)
  5. Report Number 230 of the University Affairs Board (October 12, 2022)

END OF CONSENT AGENDA


  1. Date of next meeting: Tuesday, December 6, 2022 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.

The Chair advised members that the next meeting was scheduled for Tuesday, December 6, 2022 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chamber.

  1. Other Business
  1. Governing Council Meeting

The Committee finalized the agenda for the Governing Council to be held on Thursday, October 27, 2022 4:30 PM-6:30 PM in the Council Chamber.

The Committee Moved In Camera.


In Camera Session

  1. Items for Endorsement and Forwarding to the Governing Council
  1. Appointments: Member of the Governing Council to Governance Bodies, 2022-23

On motion duly moved, seconded, and carried

YOUR COMMITTEE APPROVED

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

THAT Sotirios Damouras be appointed as Vice-Chair, UTSC Campus Council and as a teaching staff member, UTSC Academic Affairs Committee, each for a term effective October 28, 2022 to June 30, 2023.

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

item in camera.

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

There were three recommendations for expulsion.

On a motion duly moved, seconded, and carried

YOUR COMMITTEE RESOLVED

THAT the President’s recommendations for expulsion, as outlined in the memorandum and supporting documentation from the Secretary of the Governing Council, dated October 12, 2022, be confirmed.

  1. External Appointments: University of Toronto Press Board of Directors 2022-2023

On a motion duly moved, seconded, and carried

YOUR COMMITTEE APPROVED

THAT the following individuals be appointed/re-appointed as members and directors of the University of Toronto Press Board of Directors, effective immediately, for terms to continue until the 2023 Annual General Meeting, or until their successors are appointed:

Ms. Jessica Mosher (President, Publisher and CEO)

Ms. Julia Woods (Chair)

Professor Emeritus Carolyn Hughes Tuohy

Mr. Larry Alford

Ms. Ann Clavelle

Professor Robert A. Davidson

Ms. Martha Tory

Dr. Amit Monga

Mr. Jake Gilbert

Mr. Bill Harnum

Professor Scott Mabury

Ms. Anne Macdonald

Ms. Trish Wheaton (new member)

  1. Report of an Ad Hoc Committee for a Capital Project

Members received a Report of an Ad Hoc Committee for a Capital Project for information.

  1. Committee Members with the President

Members of the Executive Committee met with the President.

  1. 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.

October 19, 2022