Report: Governing Council - September 4, 2019

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

The Governing Council

September 4, 2019

MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE GOVERNING COUNCIL held on September 4, 2019 at 8:45 a.m. in the Council Chamber, Simcoe Hall.

Present:
Claire Kennedy (Chair), Meric S. Gertler, President, Apefa Advijon, Preet Banerjee, Harvey T. Botting, David N. Bowden, Catherine Bragg, P.C. Choo, Janet L. Ecker, Susan Froom, K. Sonu Gaind, Gary D. Goldberg, Avrum I. Gotlieb, Yining (Elin) Gu, Sarosh Jamal, Amin Kamaleddin, Anna Kennedy, Paul Kingston, Ernest W.N. Lam, Mark Lautens, Brian D. Lawson, Jan K. Mahrt-Smith, Mohan Matthen, Douglas E. McDougall, Joanne Jean McNamara, John Paul Morgan, Jun Nogami, Mark Henry Rowswell, Salvatore M. Spadafora, Andrew Szende, Nicholas Terpstra, Wisdom J. Tettey, Laurent-Philippe Veilleux, Bruce Winter, Samra Zafar

Sheree Drummond (Secretary of the Governing Council)

Secretariat:
Tracey Gamiero, Anwar Kazimi, Rena Parsan, David Walders

Absent:
N. Jane Pepino (Vice-Chair), Andrew Girgis, Mallory Estelle Jackman, Joan Johnston, Ron Levi, W. Keith Thomas

In Attendance:
Kenneth Corts, Acting Vice-President, Operations and Acting Vice-Provost, Academic Operations, Vivek Goel, Vice-President, Research and Innovation, and Strategic Initiatives, Kelly Hannah-Moffat, Vice-President, Human Resources and Equity, David Palmer, Vice-President, Advancement, Edward Sargent, Vice-President, International, Althea Blackburn-Evans, Executive Director, Communications Strategy and Stakeholder Relations, Nadina Jamison, Assistant Vice-President, Strategic Initiatives, Steve Moate, Senior Legal Counsel, Office of the President, Trevor Rodgers, Assistant Vice-President, Planning & Budget, Andrew Thompson. Chief of Government Relations, Sandy Welsh, Vice-Provost, Students


  1. Chair’s Remarks

The Chair introduced herself and welcomed members and guests to the first meeting of the Governing Council for the 2019-20 governance year. She offered a special welcome to the new governors and thanked them for their willingness to serve the University.

  1. Minutes of the Previous Meeting of the Governing Council

The minutes of the previous meeting were approved.

  1. Report for Information
  1. Report on Approvals Under Summer Executive Authority
    The Chair reminded members that on June 25, 2019 the Council approved the annual delegation of authority to the President to act on behalf of the Governing Council during the summer months. The Chair advised members that no matters within the Governing Council’s authority were approved under the Summer Executive Authority. She noted that one matter falls within the authority of the Agenda Committee and that a related resolution would be considered during the in camera portion of the meeting.
  2. Report Number 506 of the Executive Committee (June 25, 2019)
    The report was received by the Governing Council for information.
  1. Date of the Next Meeting – Thursday, October 24, 2019 at 4:30 p.m.

The Chair advised members that the next Governing Council meeting was scheduled for Thursday, October 24, 2019 at 4:30 p.m.

  1. Question Period

A member asked a question concerning measures to reduce the University’s carbon footprint, specifically related to air travel by academics, as well as the possibility of purchasing carbon offsets.

The President outlined several initiatives currently underway to reduce the carbon footprint of the University, which included the following:

  • Focused research is taking place across the University, notably within the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering and the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies, on more sustainable methods of air travel.
  • The President’s Advisory Committee on the Environment, Climate Change and Sustainability, chaired by Professor John Robinson, will examine the issue of the University’s carbon footprint related to air travel, as well as carbon offsets, this fall.
  • The University is taking a lead role in the U7 Alliance – made up of universities from G7 countries – which is focused on addressing global challenges, including climate change and sustainability.
  • The University is also an active member in the University Climate Change Coalition (UC3), made up of leading North American research universities committed to leveraging their resources to support local and regional action on climate change.
  • As a part of these commitments, the University would soon be launching a low carbon action plan to further reduce carbon emissions on all three campuses, setting a target to reduce carbon emissions by 37% from 1990 levels by 2030. In the last decade, there was a 50,000 metric ton reduction in carbon emissions on the St. George campus alone, despite an increase in the student population and the number of capital projects.
  • Part of this carbon reduction would come from the planned geothermal field, to be installed as part of the Landmark Project.

The President also noted that improved technology has allowed for the possibility of virtual conferencing in lieu of travelling to meetings, the benefits of which need to be balanced against the advantages of in-person discussions. The President emphasized the importance of reducing the University’s carbon footprint and noted that carbon reduction is a collaborative initiative, involving both top-down and bottom-up approaches.

In reply to another member’s question, Professor Vivek Goel, Vice President, provided an update on a recent gas leak in a University laboratory.

  1. Other Business

There was no other business.

The Governing Council moved In Camera.

The President and Professor Goel provided an update on a matter concerning research integrity.

  1. Senior Appointment

On motion duly made, seconded and carried

It was Resolved

THAT Professor Emeritus Ian Orchard be appointed as Acting Vice-President, University of Toronto, concurrent with his appointment as Acting Principal, University of Toronto Mississauga, effective September 4, 2019 until June 30, 2020, or sooner if Professor Krull is able to resume his duties before then.

The meeting adjourned at 9:25 a.m.

September 5, 2019