Report: Planning and Budget Committee - April 13, 2021

Via Virtual Meeting

Wednesday, April 13, 2021

To the Academic Board,
University of Toronto

Your Committee reports that it held a virtual meeting on Wednesday, April 13, 2021, at 3:10 p.m. with the following members present:

Jan K. Mahrt-Smith (Chair), Mark Lautens (Vice Chair), Cheryl Regehr (Vice-President and Provost), Scott Mabury (Vice-President, Operations and Real Estate Partnerships), Trevor Rodgers (Assistant Vice-President, Planning & Budget), Adanna Y. Chigbo, Carol Chin, Ettore V. Damiano, Markus D. Dubber, Sarosh Jamal, Joanne McNamara, Nicole Mideo, Amy Mullin, Fabian Parsch, Marium Nur Vahed, Grace Ann Westcott, Melanie A. Woodin

Adalsteinn (Steini) I. D. Brown
Lisa Rebecca Dolovich
Ernest W. N. Lam
Matt Ratto

Saher Fazilat (Chief Administrative Officer, UTM), ,

Tracey Gameiro, Secretary

Elizabeth Cragg (Director, Office of the Vice-President University Operations)
Roger Francis (Executive Director, EXCEL, ECC, Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering)
Heather Kelly (Executive Director, Student Life, Programs & Services)
Vicki Lowes (Director, Experience Learning and Outreach Support, Faculty of Arts & Science)
Archana Sridhar (Assistant Provost, Office of the Vice-President and Provost)
Isaac Straley (Chief Information Security Officer)
Rachel Tennant (Special Project Officer, Office of the President)


Pursuant to section 33(i) of By-Law Number 2, items 8 and 9 were considered 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

    Report of the Vice-President and Provost

    In the course of her remarks, the Provost addressed the following:


    Addressing the impacts of the third emergency stay-at-home order, the Provost indicated that the effects of these latest shutdown measures were fairly minimal given the region had remained in the grey lockdown zone. She reported however, that the Faculty of Kinesiology & Physical Education’s outdoor physical activity programming had been cancelled as a result of the imposed restrictions.

    Enrolment numbers were encouraging, with applications up 13% over last year and early indications of increased acceptance rates.

    Information about COVID cases among community members continued to be posted on the dashboard accessible through the UTogether webpage, and was updated twice weekly. While 296 cases had been reported to the Environmental Health & Safety office over the past 13 months, only a portion of those testing positive had been present on campus, with the majority of faculty, staff and students continuing to work remotely. Regardless of whether an ‘outbreak’ is formally declared by public health authorities, the University reported outbreaks anytime reported cases indicated the possibility of transmission on campus. Since the start of the pandemic 6 outbreaks had been reported. As part of the University’s measures to protect the health and safety of its community, an early detection program was being piloted to monitor for COVID-19 through regular testing of campus wastewater samples

    Collective Bargaining with CUPE 3902 Unit 1

    Reporting on recent collective bargaining negotiations, the Provost stated that on March 26, the University reached a tentative agreement with CUPE 3902 Unit 1, the union representing Teaching Assistants. On April 1st, the tentative agreement was ratified by the majority of bargaining unit members who voted.

    Report of the Vice-President, Operations and Real Estate Partnerships

    Professor Mabury provided an update on wastewater testing and on progress of significant capital projects taking place on campus.

    Wastewater Testing

    In partnership with the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks, as well as faculty from the departments of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, a pilot project testing wastewater at both the Graduate House and Chestnut residence buildings was launched last month. This pilot was successfully able to detect a positive case of COVID-19, before the resident was symptomatic, which enabled implementation of the Outbreak Prevention Protocol. Broader roll-out of the technology was planned when more fully established.

    Capital Projects

    As a result of lower occupancy rates on campus, projects had been expedited so that the more disruptive work could be completed ahead of the start of the upcoming Fall term.

    Professor Mabury focused his comments primarily on the Landscape of Landmark Quality project, highlighting the following:
  • Work within King’s College Circle had been accelerated, with the expectation that construction of the geo-exchange system would be completed within a month’s time.
  • Excavation of the underground parking garage would begin thereafter, with the hope that that work would be completed before the start of the Fall term.
  • Completion dates were tracking to be advanced by 8-10 months.
  • Work on the Sir Daniel Wilson Quadrangle was expected to be completed by the middle of summer
  • Increased costs were projected.

    In response to a member’s question regarding wastewater testing, Professor Mabury made the following additional remarks:
  • Positive indications from the waste water testing would likely be reported in manner similar to how positive COVID cases on campus were publicized.
  • Currently, wastewater testing was specific to the COVID virus
  1. Capital Project: Report of the Project Planning Committee for the University of Toronto Experiential Learning Hub at 203 College Street

    The Committee received a presentation from Professor Scott Mabury, Vice-President, University Operations & Real Estate Partnerships, as well as from representatives of the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering (Roger Francis, Executive Director, EXCEL, ECC), the Faculty of Arts & Science (Vicki Lowes, Director Experience Learning and Outreach Support), and from Student Life, Programs & Services (Heather Kelly, Executive Director, Student Life, Programs & Services).

    Highlights of the presentation included:
  • The project was a partnership between the faculties of Applied Science & Engineering, Arts & Science and Student Life, aimed at creating a seamless on campus experience for the University’s employer community, and providing much-needed space to meet the increasing demands for work-integrated learning.
  • The building site had been converted into mixed commercial and residential space.
  • The University would own the commercial office space described in the proposal and would be undertaking the ‘fit-out’ process itself.
  • Based on consultations, the new space would officially be referred to as the Experiential Learning Commons (“ELC”).
  • The ELC would provide a platform and setting for the co-location and collaboration amongst multiple departments and faculties including the Professional Experience Year Co-op Program (PEY), programming from the Engineering Career Centre, employer relations and engagement from Student Life, and Experiential Learning & Outreach Support (ELOS) from Arts & Science.

    The following was noted as part of the ensuing discussion:
  • A communications plan, including signage and profile, would be developed closer to the opening date to increase awareness of the ELC.
  • Access to the ELC would be available to all students and staff across all three campuses.
  • A strategy for coordinated outreach to employment partners was being developed across the University’s 40+ career offices so that partnerships could be stewarded appropriately.

    On motion duly moved, seconded and carried


    THAT the Report of the Project Planning Committee for the University of Toronto Experiential Learning Hub at 203 College Street, dated February 19, 2021, be approved in principle; and

    THAT the project totaling 1,113 net assignable square metres (nasm) (1,337 gross square metres (gsm)), be approved in principle, to be funded equally by Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering APSC Faculty Reserves; Faculty of Arts & Science Major Future Capital Project Account; and the Provost’s Institutional Funds.
  1. Reports of the Previous Meetings:
    1. Report Number 197 – February 11, 2021
    2. Report Number 198 – March 4, 2021 (Special Meeting)

      Report Number 197, from the meeting of February 11, 2021, and Report Number 198 from the Special Meeting held March 4, 2021, were approved.
  2. Business Arising from the Report of the Previous Meeting

    There was no business arising from the reports of the previous meetings.
  3. Date of the Next Meeting – Thursday, May 6, 2021, 3:10 – 5:10 p.m.

    The Chair reminded members that the next meeting would be held on Thursday, May 6, 2021 at 3:10 p.m.
  4. Other Business

    Further to a question raised by a member regarding the presence of Legionella on campus, a link to the Environmental Health & Safety office, which conducts a water maintenance program and testing for the presence of Legionella, was provided to members.

    There were no other items of other business.

The Committee moved IN CAMERA.

  1. Capital Project: Report of the Project Planning Committee for the University of Toronto Experiential Learning Hub at 203 College Street - Total Project Cost and Sources of Funding

    On motion duly moved, seconded and carried


    THAT the recommendation of Professor Scott Mabury, Vice-President, Operations and Real Estate Partnerships, as outlined in the memorandum dated April 6, 2021, regarding the total project cost and sources of funding for the University of Toronto Experiential Learning Hub at 203 College Street, be approved.
  2. Annual Report: Information Security and the Protection of Digital Assets

    Members received the Annual Report on Information Security and the Protection of Digital Assets for information.

    The Chair reminded members that the annual report was received by the Committee as a requirement of the Policy on Information Security and the Protection of Digital Assets, and stressed that review of the report was a critical function of the Committee in dispensing with its oversight duties of accountability frameworks.. He underscored that review of the report was a delegated responsibility and that the Committee was relied on by Governing Council to undertake a considered review of the information presented and to weigh its significance carefully in view of the priorities identified and the security programs and protocols developed in response.

    Members of the Committee affirmed the importance of the Policy and the need to adhere to the guidance provided by Information Technology Services to address information security and privacy challenges.

    The Committee returned to Open Session.

    The Chair thanked members for their attendance and participation.

The meeting adjourned at 4:56 p.m.

April 14, 2021