Report: Governing Council - October 27, 2022

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Council Chamber, Simcoe Hall

The Governing Council

October 27, 2022

MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE GOVERNING COUNCIL held on October 27, 2022 at 4:30 p.m. in the Council Chamber, Simcoe Hall.

Present:
Janet L. Ecker (Chair), Anna Kennedy (Vice-Chair), Rose M. Patten (Chancellor), Meric S. Gertler (President),David N. Bowden, Vikram Chadalawada, Janet Cloud, Robert Cooper, Ann Curran, Sotirios Damouras, Annabelle Dravid, Susan Froom, K. Sonu Gaind, Alexandra Gillespie, Mathangi (Indi) Gopinathan, Sandra Hanington, Summer Hart, Sarosh Jamal, Madeline Kalda, Shashi Kant, Ernest Lam, Mark Lautens, Ron Levi, Scott MacKendrick, Jan K. Mahrt-Smith, Rajiv Mathur, Douglas E. McDougall, Joanne J. McNamara, Eha Mai Naylor, Arman Rasekh, Danielle Skipp, Ryan Teschner, Veronica Marie Wadey, Grace Ann Westcott, Mary-Agnes Wilson, Joseph Wong, David Walter Zingg

Sheree Drummond (Secretary of the Governing Council)

Regrets:
Glen W. Bandiera, Teo Dechev, Maureen Harquail, Paul Huyer, Jessica Johnson, Dveeta Lal, Sameer Lal, Kikelomo Lawal, Nhung Tuyet Tran, Geeta Yadav, Lara Zink

In Attendance
Christian Abizaid (School of the Environment), Noreen Ahmed-Ullah (Director, Office of the Vice-President, Communications), Heather Boon (Acting Provost and Vice-Provost, Faculty and Academic Life), Gwen Burrows (Assistant Vice-President, International Engagement and Impact), Audelyn Budihardjo (Internal Audit), David Curtin (Director, Communications Services), Leah Cowen (Vice-President, Research, Innovation & Strategic Initiatives),
Paul Downes (Academic Board), David Drew (College of Electors), Gretchen Kerr (Dean, Faculty of Kinesiology & Physical Education), Jeff Lennon (Assistant Vice-President, Planning and Budget), Nadina Jamison (Assistant Vice-President, Strategic Initiatives, Office of the President), Bruce Kidd (Ombudsperson), Scott Mabury (Vice-President, University Operations),
Jason Manayathu (TASHN Manager), Alex Matos (Director of Internal Audit),
Susan McCahan (Vice-Provost, Academic Programs and Vice-Provost, Innovations in Undergraduate Education), Don Naylor (Alumni), David Palmer (Vice-President, Advancement),
Catherine Riddell (Assistant Vice-President, Communications), Andrea Russell (Acting Assistant Provost), Carmelle Salomon-Labbé (Associate Director, Office of Appeals, Discipline and Faculty Grievances), Angelique Saweczko (University Registrar), Melinda Scott (Executive Director, Office of the Vice-Provost, Students), Cindy Sinclair (College of Electors),
David Sinton (Academic Director, Climate Positive Energy), Mark Surchin (Vice-Chair, College of Electors), Kristin Taylor (University Counsel and Chief Legal Officer, Office of the President)
Kimeija Taipaleenmaki (College of Electors), Sandy Welsh (Vice-Provost, Students),
Terese Weisberg (College of Electors), Charmaine Williams (Dean, Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work), Trevor Young (Vice-Provost, Relations with Health Care Institutions and Dean, Temerty Faculty of Medicine)

Secretariat:
Anwar Kazimi, Joanne Chou, Kata Skoko, Cindy Ferencz-Hammond, Tim Harlick, Tracey Gameiro, Kristi Gourlay, Lydia Gill

  1. Chair’s Remarks
    The Chair welcomed members and guests to the meeting. She briefly reviewed meeting protocols for the meeting format. She noted that a speaking request had been received by the Secretariat on the issue of Endowment Investment Policy and Reporting. The request had been declined as the matter was not on the agenda for the meeting, and the requester had been connected to the appropriate individual within the administration. A written submission was placed on the table for members.

    The Chair announced the appointment of a new teaching staff governor, Professor Sotirios Damouras, from the Department of Computer and Mathematical Sciences, UTSC who had been elected to serve a term until June 30, 2024. She also congratulated Ms. Kikelomo Lawal on being named one of Canada’s Most Powerful Women in the ‘Professionals Award category’ by the Women's Executive Network. Finally, she highlighted that it was a milestone year for the Governing Council, having marked the 50th Anniversary of the University’s unicameral governance model. She thanked all governors, current and past, for their important role as stewards of the institution.
  2. Report of the President
    The Chair invited the President to make his report to Governing Council. The President addressed the following:

    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, 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.

    The President also highlighted two remarkable new gifts to the University of Toronto. The first was a $10M gift from Schmidt Futures to fund the Schmidt AI in Science Postdocs. The program would fund postdocs in fields including engineering and the natural sciences, such as mathematics, chemistry or physics, where the application of AI tools can accelerate the discovery process. It was noted that the University was one of only nine universities worldwide that were part of Schmidt Futures’ larger philanthropic initiative. The second was a $90M gift from the Rogers Foundation to the Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Research, a collaboration (originally established in 2014) among The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), University Health Network (UHN), and the University of Toronto. The new gift would leverage the emerging field of precision medicine to advance the battle against heart failure and promote cardiac care.

    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 as part of their two-day visit to Canada. 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. The President was a panelist at the Summit and discussed what universities could do to counter a broad range of inequities with other University leaders from around the world. He 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 U of T’s School of Cities who presented her recent work on downtown recovery in Canadian and US cities.

    Rankings season

    The President shared that U of T’s Times Higher Education 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 it was the only Canadian university in the top 100 that did not decline in the rankings. He highlighted that the inaugural QS World University Rankings: Sustainability was released and indicated that U of T was ranked 2nd in the world – 1st in Canada. This ranking compared 700 of the world’s top universities against a range of environmental and social sustainability metrics.

    He also shared that the annual US News & World Report - Best Global Universities Rankings 2021-22 were announced and placed U of T 18th in the world, first in Canada, and 9th among the world’s public universities. He also conveyed that the 2022-23 THE World University Rankings by Subject were also released, and U of T ranked first in Canada in 10 subjects, and among the top 30 universities in the world in every subject the rankings measured. He further noted that U of T was one of only six universities in the world that can make this claim, alongside UC Berkeley, Cambridge, Harvard, Stanford, and UCLA.

    Federal Matters

    On October 6, 2022, the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, François-Philippe Champagne, and the Minister of Health, Jean-Yves Duclos, launched the Advisory Panel on the Federal Research Support System. The panel would provide independent, expert policy advice on the structure, governance, and management of the federal systems supporting research and talent. The panelists included Dr. Janet Rossant, President and Scientific Director, The Gairdner Foundation, and University Professor Emeritus in the Department of Molecular Genetics at the University of Toronto, and Dr. Gilles Patry, former President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ottawa and former Executive Director, U15. The President emphasized in addition that the University continued to engage and collaborate with the federal government on the need to improve processing times for international student permits.

    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 Postgraduate Medical Education 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. The President remarked on the positive momentum for the Scarborough area following these announcements.

    Municipal

    At the Municipal level, the President highlighted that the Mayor of Toronto, John Tory was re-elected for a third term. The Mayor of Mississauga, Bonnie Crombie, had also been re-elected. President Gertler noted that Mayors Tory and Crombie were both proud University alumni and championed the mission of the University, higher education and of the Greater Toronto Area. A new city counsellor, Dr. Dianne Saxe in Ward 11 University-Rosedale – home to the St. George campus –was elected to a first term. Dr. Saxe was a senior fellow at Massey College and an adjunct professor in the School of the Environment.

    UTAM Update

    In response to a member’s question regarding the University’s commitments to divest from fossil fuel industries, the President noted that:
  • UTAM had met the University’s pledge to divest from its direct investment in fossil fuels companies within a year (of October 2021) ahead of schedule. UTAM had also eliminated all direct and indirect exposure to fossil fuels companies in the Expendable Funds Investment Pool (EFIP).
  • The University did not have any remaining direct investments in companies that mine, process or explore for reserves of oil, coal, or gas anywhere in the world.
  • UTAM had also made considerable progress reducing indirect exposure to fossil fuels companies in the Endowment over the past 12 months. This effort would be further detailed in UTAM’s forthcoming Responsible Investing (RI) report.
  • UTAM’s RI Report was delayed as UTAM awaited the results of an independent, third-party review of its reporting and analysis.
  • The RI Report also announced new targets as part of the University’s Net Zero Asset Owner Alliance commitments, new carbon footprint reduction target, an engagement target, and a target on financing transition, in accordance with Net Zero Asset Owner Alliance (NZAOA) requirements.

    The President underscored UTAM’s excellent progress on the University’s divestment and decarbonization strategies.

    The Chair thanked the President for his update and highlighted her engagement at a C.D. Howe Institute event with Minister Sean Fraser and the strengthening of Government Relations.

    In the discussion that followed, the President noted that:
  • UTAM’s RI Report included detailed explanations of their practice of considering the potential ESG impact of every investment decision. This report outlined UTAM’s responsible investing practice, reporting, and disclosure and would be integrated with UTAM’s annual report beginning next year.
  • As part of UTAM’s responsible investing efforts, UTAM had invited a third-party to review its analysis and provide independent, objective assurances and verification from an unbiased perspective on UTAM’s performance and achievements.

    The President then invited Professor David Sinton, Academic Director, Climate Positive Energy to provide a strategic presentation of The Climate Positive Energy Initiative, an Institutional Strategic Initiative (ISI) at the University, and the Centre for Interdisciplinary Clean Energy Research. He highlighted the multidisciplinary research that linked science, social science, engineering, economics, and policy researchers to transform our energy systems.

    In the discussion that followed, it was noted that:
  • Sustainability and climate change initiatives were a priority for the University, which included funding for University initiatives that would accelerate the ability to progress on sustainability projects. This also included sharing best practices with partners across Canada, leveraging the talent and commitment of the University, and collaborations with Government partners. These collaborative efforts were examples that underscored the University’s strengths and commitment to combat climate change and work together to align on the Government priorities.
  • The President shared that the agreement between the Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) and the University of Toronto accelerated the University’s plans to achieve a climate positive campus, and emphasized U of T’s position as a global leader in addressing the urgent challenge of climate change.
  • The Climate Positive Energy (CPE) initiative collaborates with various partners across the University’s three campuses on CPE projects, that included Facilities & Services, government partners at the Municipal level with the City of Toronto, and industry partners.
  • Measuring environmental, social, and economic impacts were important metrics in assessing sustainability and its impact.
  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 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 went up fairly significantly, from 72 last year to 97 this year, a 35% increase. He reflected that graduate teaching and supervision involved a diverse array of experiences, and are highly decentralized, thus solutions required an interwoven complex of approaches. 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 noting operational challenges in reviewing academic integrity cases and expressed 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 and misconduct.

    At the invitation of the Chair, Professor Heather Boon, Acting Provost spoke briefly to the Administrative Response. She 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. She noted that the University was guided by The Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters and that honesty and fairness are considered fundamental values shared by students, staff, and faculty at the University. The University’s academic integrity strategy was led institutionally by the tri‐campus Provostial Advisory Group on Academic Integrity which provided a forum for support and advice on best practices and emerging issues in academic integrity. She highlighted the annual academic integrity statistics report which outlined data trends such as statistics and timelines of cases brought before the University Tribunal, and how many cases were closed within a specific time period. The reporting of these statistics enabled the University to track progress and assess statistical trends that pertained to academic misconduct across the University.

    In the discussion that followed, Vice-President, Operations and Real Estate Partnerships Scott Mabury noted that in the broad area of IT services and IT security, the University’s operations were both centralized and decentralized. The University was heavily focused on cyber and data security, with strong central leadership and policies in place that protect the privacy, confidentiality, authenticity, integrity, and availability of the University’s digital assets. Central management of all university websites and oversight of their content, however, was not an approach that the University had undertaken.
  2. Item for Governing Council Approval
    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))

      At the invitation of the Chair, Professor Trevor Young, Vice-Provost, Relations with Health Care Institutions and Dean, Temerty Faculty of Medicine, provided a brief overview of the agreement. He highlighted that the University placed enormous value on its relationship with Toronto-area academic hospitals and were collaborative partners in teaching and research. He highlighted that the agreement was a broad relationship framework that set out ways the University would achieve shared objectives that included teaching and research, fundraising, legislative requirements and appointments of faculty and staff. He noted that the University had nine hospitals that were “fully affiliated”, a set of “associate affiliate” hospitals that were also part of the Toronto Academic Health Science Network (TAHSN), and a group of “community” hospitals affiliated with the University.

      The first template agreement was approved by the Governing Council in 2006, with further revisions approved in 2011 and 2016. The University signed new five-year agreements effective January 1, 2017 with each hospital and set to expire in December 2021. Given the hospitals’ focus on addressing Covid-19, each agreement was extended until December 31, 2022.

      Through extensive internal consultations with academic and administrative divisions, the proposed revisions to the template agreement have been placed into four categories:
      1. revisions to reflect changes in legislation, policy or procedure
      2. revisions to reflect current practice
      3. revisions that reflect the changing relationship with the TAHSN hospitals
      4. revisions that provide clarity

Professor Young then referred to a member question that was submitted in advance regarding obligations for the Hospitals and University to notify one another of complaints, or incidents, of workplace violence or harassment. He noted that this was addressed in Section IV of the agreement, our Commitments to Human Rights and Safe Workplaces. As in the 2016 agreement, the new agreement stated that if either the Hospital, or the University, became aware of an incident or complaint of workplace violence or harassment, it would inform the other party as appropriate. He stated the most common reason the Hospital or University would exercise their discretion not to notify the other party was privacy and confidentiality reasons.

Professor Young highlighted the plan to create Principles for coordinating investigation processes and timely mutual notification of incidents or complaints. The Hospitals and University worked together through TAHSN to create a guidance document for Hospitals and the University.

In response to a member’s question, he noted that the University’s timeframe to review the agreement was an effective amount of time to assess and evaluate the relationship framework and established the continuity of shared objectives. He highlighted the strong and engaged communication network between the University, key stakeholders, and the hospitals, which ensured issues were captured and addressed early on.

On motion duly moved, seconded, and carried

IT WAS RESOLVED

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;

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.


CONSENT AGENDA

On motion duly made, seconded and carried

It was Resolved

THAT the consent agenda be adopted and item 5 on it approved.

  1. Minutes of the Previous Meeting of the Governing Council – September 7, 2022
    The minutes of the September 7, 2022 meeting were approved.
  2. Business Arising from the Reports of the Previous Meetings
    There was no business arising from the minutes of the previous meeting.
  3. 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)
    6. Report Number 534 (September 6, 2022) and Report Number 535 (October 19, 2022) of the Executive Committee

END OF CONSENT AGENDA


  1. Date of Next Meeting – Thursday, December 15, 2022 at 4:30 p.m.
    The Chair advised that the next meeting of the Governing Council was scheduled for December 15, 2022.
  2. Question Period
    In response to a member question as it related to the upcoming winter term and COVID matters, particularly around air quality and filtration, and wastewater monitoring for this year, the Chair invited Scott Mabury to respond. Regarding air quality and filtration, it was noted that:
  • The University had ensured that enhanced MERV 13 filters or the highest compatible filters were installed in allcentralized HVAC systems.
  • Made upgrades and repairs to heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment where necessary to ensure a high standard of safety amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Measured air flow in all classrooms to ensure at least six equivalent air changes per hour – the same standard applied to health-care settings such as patient examination rooms and walk-in clinics.
  • Regularly reviewed ventilation measures as recommended by public health and HVAC industry guidelines.
  • Regularly maintained HVAC systems on all three campuses.
  • Performed air flushing two hours before occupancy every morning in every building to replace indoor air with outdoor air.

To respond to wastewater COVID monitoring, he shared that:

  • The University continued its active support in the wastewater monitoring program with the province, through the City of Toronto and Halton Public Health.
  • The University completed laboratory analyses on wastewater samples collected by both of these regions.
  • The University had taken samples through their wastewater testing operations but had experienced challenges to continue operations and was decided that the Provincial wastewater program was the appropriate program to monitor COVID activity and adhered to Toronto Public health measures.
  • Testing and monitoring wastewater in large residences was phased out in May 2022.
  1. Other Business
    There was no other business.

    The Committee Moved In Camera.

In Camera Session

  1. Appointments: Member of the Governing Council to Governance Bodies, 2022-23

On motion duly made, seconded and carried

Be It Resolved

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.

12. Senior Appointment

On motion duly made, seconded and carried

Be It Resolved

THAT Professor Wisdom J. Tettey be appointed Vice-President, University of Toronto, concurrent with his appointment as Principal, University of Toronto Scarborough, for a five-year term effective July 1, 2023 to December 31, 2028 [five-year term over five and a half years to include a six-month administrative leave].


October 27, 2022