Report: Planning and Budget Committee - April 09, 2024

Simcoe Hall, 27 King’s College Circle, Council Chamber (second floor)

Report Number 211 Of The Planning & Budget Committee 

April 9, 2024

To The Academic Board,

University of Toronto,

Your Committee reports that it held a meeting on April 9, 2024 at 3:10 p.m. with the following members present:

PRESENT: Mark Lautens (Chair), Markus Dubber (Vice Chair),Scott Mabury, (Vice President, Operations and Real Estate Partnerships), Jeff Lennon (Assistant Vice President, Planning and Budget), Basil Abu Sara, Catherine Amara, Carol Chin, Lisa Dolovich, Annabelle Dravid*, Ramy Elitzur*, Adam Fox*, Robert Gazzale, Rita Kandel,Scott MacKendrick*,Robyn Stremler, Lindsay Stern, Sali Tagliamonte, Steven Thorpe

*participated remotely via Zoom

REGRETS:Trevor Young (Vice President and Provost), Lulwa Al Hidiq,  Janet Cloud, Suresh Sivanandam, Melanie Woodin

NON-VOTING ASSESSORS: Leah Cowen (Vice President, Research and Innovation and Strategic Initiatives), Dave Lehto (Chief University Planning, Design & Construction)

SECRETARIAT: Tracey Gameiro, Secretary

IN ATTENDANCE: Susan McCahan (Vice Provost, Academic Programs & Vice Provost Innovations in Undergraduate Education), Jutta Brunnée (Dean, Faculty of Law), Elizabeth Church (Director, Communications & Strategic Projects, Office of the Vice President and Provost), Elizabeth Cragg (Director, Office of the Vice President, Operations & Real Estate Partnerships), Emma del Junco (Office of the Vice Provost Academic Programs & Vice Provost Innovations in Undergraduate Education), David Lock (Office of the Vice Provost Academic Programs & Vice Provost Innovations in Undergraduate Education), Alex Matos (Director, Internal Audit), Archana Sridhar (Assistant Provost)

Pursuant to section 38 of By-Law Number 2,
consideration of item 9 took place in camera.


  1. Chair’s Remarks
    The Chair welcomed members and guests to the meeting, and encouraged member participation in all discussions.
  2. Assessors’ Reports

    In the absence of Professor Trevor Young, Professor Susan McCahan, (Vice Provost, Academic Programs and Vice Provost, Innovation in Undergraduate Education), delivered the report of the Vice President & Provost. 

    Professor McCahan provided an update on the allocation of international student visas, reminding members that on January 22, 2024, the federal government had announced an annual cap of 360,000 international study permits to be issued nationwide. Permits were being allocated to the provinces roughly based on population – which resulted in Ontario’s total number of international study permits declining by 50%. Under the new system, students had to have received a Provincial Attestation Letter before they could apply for a study permit.

    Allocation numbers would be maintained at 2023 levels for those postsecondary institution where the percentage of international students does not exceed 55%.  The University of Toronto’s international student enrolment was significantly lower at approximately 30%. Professor McCahan reported that the University’s allocation would be sufficient to meet enrolment targets for incoming undergraduate students in degree programs.  Graduate students, returning students, and applicants to undergraduate programs who are already in-country were not affected.  

    There were no questions from members.

    Professor Scott Mabury, Vice President, Operations and Real Estate Partnerships, provided his Assessor’s Report in camera, providing members with an update on recent CUPE negotiations and budgetary impacts.

  3. Annual Report: Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), 2023-2024

    The Planning and Budget Committee received a presentation of the Annual Report: Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), 2023-24 from Kelly Hannah-Moffat, Vice-President, People Strategy, Equity and Culture.  The report was also presented to the University Affairs Board for information.

    Professor Hannah-Moffat introduced the report sharing that the 2023 Report explored the following themes:
    • Embracing new standards and practices related to accessibility;
    • Creating accessible physical spaces and structures;
    • Providing accessible services to students, staff, faculty and librarians;
    • Increasing community understanding of Universal Design;
    • Centering lived experience of disability;

      Major achievements included publication of U of T’s new Facility Accessibility Design Standard (FADS), creating more pedagogical supports and resources, and expanding Universal Design training and resources. Community consultation had been an integral part of these initiatives and would continue to inform and lay the foundation of the Institutional Multi-Year Accessibility Plan, to be drafted in 2024. 

      Following the presentation a member asked how existing spaces were upgraded to meet current accessibility standards.  In response Professor Scott Mabury, Vice President, Operations and Real Estate Partnerships explained that formal processes existed to prioritize where accessibility issues continued to exist, with a portion of the budget allocated annually to address those identified needs. 

      Professor Hannah-Moffat added that the concept of Universal Design applied equally to the design of physical spaces, as it did to the planning of events in those spaces.  She noted that it was important to encourage a move away from adaptation toward universal design.

      Further to Professor Hannah-Moffat’s remarks regarding the FADS, a comment was made that once existing spaces were upgraded to meet accessibility standards, failure to maintain them essentially rendered them inaccessible.  Professor Hannah-Moffat acknowledged that the University was legally obligated to maintain spaces and address repairs expeditiously.  She thanked the member for raising the issue and encouraged members to bring these concerns forward to her office.

      The Chair thanked Professor Hannah-Moffat and her team for the report and presentation.

  4. Academic Plan: Faculty of Law (2023-2028)

    Professor Jutta Brunnée, Dean of the Faculty of Law reported that the academic plan was the result of significant consultation and had been endorsed by Faculty Council.  She then gave a brief presentation speaking to the three high-level themes and related goals and objectives identified around which the plan was structured:
    1. JD and Graduate Legal Education: Preparing Lawyers and Leaders for a Changing World
      • Attracting Outstanding Students
      • Providing a Transformative Learning Environment
      • Providing a Rewarding and Supportive Student Experience
    2. Research/Scholarship: Transformative Research and Intellectual Leadership
      • Develop and implement a Strategic Research Plan
      • Strategically (Re) Building Opportunities for Engagement
      • Purposive Mentoring and Career Development
    3. Impact: Influence, Visibility, and Engagement with the World
  • Harnessing Opportunities for Visibility and Engagement

Key to the plan was the Faculty’s commitment to inclusive excellence and the importance of community. 

A member asked Dean Brunnée to elaborate on how the Faculty hoped to achieve its goal of attracting a diverse cohort of students.  In response, Dean 
Brunnée reiterated that inclusive excellence and EDI considerations were inherent in each of the plan’s objectives.  To that end a quota system was not envisioned. Instead the ‘whole’ applicant was considered with students lived experience at the center of the Faculty’s holistic admission process.  Dean Brunnée also commented on a series of pipeline programs like the Black Future Lawyers and Indigenous Peer Mentorship programs which were directed at attracting students in communities that may not have thought about pursuing university or law school. She added that the law school was very attentive to diversity, not only in terms of visible diversity, but also in terms of socio-economic status and financial need. 

With regard to the plan’s stated goal of expanding strategic partnerships, a member asked how that might be achieved.  In response,  Dean Brunnée explained that these could take various forms depending on whether they involved research partnerships, which tended to be more informal,  or exchange and international opportunities which were more structured. She also noted the important role those strategic partnerships with other law programs globally played in international recruitment efforts, and gave the example of opportunities for joint degrees between the student’s home institution and the Faculty of Law’s graduate program.  

The Chair congratulated the Faculty on their carefully developed plan.  

  1. Report of the Previous Meeting: Report Number 210 – February 26, 2024

    The Report of the Previous Meeting was approved.
  2. Business Arising from the Report of the Previous Meeting

    There was no business arising from the report of the previous meeting.
  1. Date of the Next Meeting: May 9, 2024, 3:10 – 5:10 p.m.

    The Chair reminded members that the Committee’s next meeting, the final meeting of the governance year, would take place on May 9, 2024, at the regular meeting time from 3:10 p.m. to 5:10 p.m.
  2. Other Business

    No items of other business were raised.


  1. Annual Report: Information Security and Protection of Digital Assets

    Members received the Annual Report on Information Security and the Protection of Digital Assets, for information.  The Report was presented by Deyves Fonseca, Acting Chief Information Security Officer. 

    The Chair noted that the Report would also be presented to the Audit Committee who would consider it from a risk management perspective.  


The meeting adjourned at 3:40 p.m.

April 11, 2024