Report: Planning & Budget - October 28, 2020

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Via Virtual Meeting

REPORT NUMBER 195 OF THE PLANNING AND BUDGET COMMITTEE

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

To the Academic Board,
University of Toronto

Your Committee reports that it held a virtual meeting on Wednesday, October 28, 2020, at 3:10 p.m. with the following members present

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 Yvette Chigbo; Carol C. Chin; Ettore Vincenzo Damiano; Lisa Rebecca Dolovich; Markus D. Dubber; Sarosh Jamal; Ernest W.N. Lam; Joanne McNamara; Nicole Mideo; Amy Mullin; Matt Ratto; Daniel Rozhko; Marium Nur Vahed; Grace Ann Westcott; Melanie A. Woodin

REGRETS: Adalsteinn (Steini) I. D. Brown; Fabian Parsch

NON-VOTING ASSESSORS: Christine E. Burke, Assistant Vice-President, University Planning

SECRETARIAT: Tracey Gameiro, Secretary

IN ATTENDANCE: Roger Bulgin, Woodsworth College, Chief Administrative Officer; Ariana Bradford, Executive Director, Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy; Lucy Chung, Director, Office of Infrastructure Planning, Faculty of Arts & Science; Elizabeth Cragg, Director, Office of the Vice-President University Operations; Doriano D’Angelo, Director of Facilities, Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education; Paul Handley, Chief Administrative Officer, Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education; Ira Jacobs, Dean, Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education; Mary Lyne, Chief Administrative Officer, Rotman School of Management; Kim McLean, Chief Administrative Officer, Faculty of Arts & Science; Michael Sabia, Director, Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy; Archana Sridhar, Assistant Provost, Office of the Vice-President and Provost; Vince Tropepe, Professor and Vice-Dean Research, Faculty of Arts & Science; Josie Valotta, Program Coordinator, Mathematical Finance Program, Department of Mathematics


ITEM 5 WAS APPROVED. ITEMS 3, 4 AND IN CAMERA ITEMS 9, 10 AND 11 ARE RECOMMENDED TO THE ACADEMIC BOARD FOR APPROVAL. ALL OTHER ITEMS ARE REPORTED FOR INFORMATION

OPEN SESSION

  1. Chair’s Remarks

    The Chair welcomed members and guests to the meeting.
  2. Assessors’ Reports

    Report of the Vice-President and Provost

    Professor Cheryl Regehr, Vice-President and Provost, provided an update as of October 28, 2020 on the University’s response to COVID-19.

    Highlights of the report included the following:
    • In response to the return to a modified Stage 2, indoor gyms and fitness centres were closed on campus, food services limited, and seating in dining halls and food service outlets closed.
    • In compliance with government-imposed restrictions and public health guidance, the University had made self-assessment a prerequisite to coming on campus. This had been facilitated with the development of the UCheck self-assessment web portal.
    • A newly launched ‘Dashboard’ had been put in place and updated regularly to keep the community informed of confirmed COVID cases on campus.
    • In-person teaching and instruction at universities were exempted from social gathering restrictions, but nonetheless more courses had been moved online, some temporarily.
    • U of T had been recognized by the federal government as a designated learning institution which, as of October 20, 2020 allowed international students with study permits to travel to Canada.
    • Programs to support students in quarantine on and off campus continued. As of the end of October 2020, just over 1000 students had registered with quarantine program services.
    • Despite significant uncertainty created by the pandemic, early indications were that overall enrolment levels for the fall term were roughly in line with last year.
    • Although still early in the year to be determinative, significant reductions in overall operating revenue was not expected.
    • Designated library study space was available on all three campuses with measures in place based on public health guidance to provide students with suitable spaces where they could study and have access to reliable internet in order to access their courses.
    • Residences remained open and operating in line with public health guidance since March.
    • On the whole, it was expected that the winter term would look much like the fall term, with many courses online and similar support services for students in residence or at home.
    • Every year, some residences remained open during the winter break for students who opt to remain in Toronto. The University was reviewing best options to accommodate students this year and a plan was expected to be approved soon.
    • International students considering travelling home for the winter break would need to be mindful of the latest travel restrictions and quarantine regulations.
    • The province’s return to a modified Stage 2 has not impacted research activities and contingency plans had been put in place to enable on-campus lab research to continue should further provincial restrictions be mandated.
    • Many human-participant research studies had pivoted to online and as such would not be impacted by any further provincial restrictions.
    • The tri-council funding agencies had taken a number of measures to address COVID-19 impacts on research, including extensions to grant periods, supplements for research personnel, and special COVID-related competitions.
    • It was too soon to know how the pandemic would affect funding from other sources such as non-profits and industry partners, but the Office of the Vice-President, Research and Innovation continued to track emerging trends.
    • The University continued to advocate to government to ensure research continuity remained a top priority.

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

      Professor Scott Mabury added to the Provost’s report with an update on university operations and business continuity. As part of his report, he remarked the following:
    • The University continued to adapt to the ongoing challenges presented by the pandemic.
    • There were no real changes to enrolment or the budget as a result of the government mandated return to modified Stage 2 COVID-19 restrictions, other than further negative impacts on ancillary operations across all three campuses.
    • Given the relative lack of occupancy, as much deferred maintenance or improvement work was being done on campuses as possible.
    • Looking ahead to future capital projects, lessons learned with regard to work being done remotely may lead to expectations around space needs and uses to be reconceptualized going forward.

      There were no questions from members.
  3. Capital Project: Report of the Project Planning Committee for the Academic Wood Tower

    The Committee received a presentation from Scott Mabury and Christine Burke, Assistant Vice-President, University Planning. They were joined in their presentation by representatives of the building’s occupant groups, including Michael Sabia, Director of the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy (Munk), Mary Lyne, Chief Administrative Officer of the Rotman School of Management (Rotman), Ira Jacobs, Dean of the Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education (KPE), as well as Josie Valotta, Program Coordinator of the Mathematical Finance Program, in the Department of Mathematics at the Faculty of Arts & Science (FAS).

    Highlights of the capital project included the following:
    • The Tower would be the first tall wood structure in Ontario at fourteen storeys, breaking the current six storey building code limit.
    • The Tower would become a prototype for the use of mass timber as a new environmentally sustainable building material, in addition to concrete and steel.
    • The Tower would primarily accommodate Rotman’s research space and Executive Programs, KPE’s research activities and administration, FAS’ Master of Mathematical Finance Program, and Munk’s graduate, teaching, research and faculty expansion.
    • Construction was anticipated to start in 2021.
    • Significant cost savings would be realized by moving faculty offices and administrative functions out of rental space.

      There were no questions from members.

      On motion duly moved, seconded and carried

      YOUR COMMITTEE RECOMMENDED

      THAT the Report of the Project Planning Committee for the Centre for the Academic Wood Tower dated September 18, 2020, be approved in principle; and,

      THAT the project totaling 5,334 nasm (11,143 gross square metres (gsm)), be approved in principle, to be funded by Divisional Reserves, Operating Budget Contribution, Fundraising, Provostial Funds, Government Funding and Borrowing.
  4. Capital Project: Report of the Project Planning Committee for the New Woodsworth College Academic Building

    Professor Mabury provided an overview of the project, joined by Christine Burke, as well as Carol Chin, Principal Woodsworth College. Highlights of the project included:
    • The project would provide an additional two storeys of space below grade and six storeys above grade.
    • The development respected the existing heritage context, and would replace and expand upon Kruger Hall’s function as a social and academic/student life hub.
    • The building would house the Centre for Criminology & Sociolegal Studies as well as the Centre for Industrial Relations and Human Resources.
    • Consultation with students and community members had been extensive during both the planning and design phases, and had included specific consultation regarding accessibility.
    • Woodsworth College was one of the largest undergraduate colleges in the Faculty of Arts & Science yet had one of the smallest residences, and was also the only college without a library.
    • A large goal of the project was to inspire and enliven students, build a sense of community, and embody the ‘You Belong Here’ slogan of Woodsworth College.

Members expressed their support of the need for a sense of community at the College, as well as the importance of a library that would collate the knowledge and scholarship at Woodsworth. During the discussion of the project, members also commented that the materials provided with the proposal were well articulated and organized, and clearly demonstrated the thought that had gone into analyzing the College’s needs and how best to develop the project in order to achieve them.

On motion duly moved, seconded and carried

YOUR COMMITTEE RECOMMENDED

THAT the Report of the Project Planning Committee for the New Woodsworth College Academic Building, dated September 17, 2020, be approved in principle; and,

THAT the project totaling 2,399 net assignable square metres (nasm) (5,558 gross square metres (gsm)), be approved in principle, to be funded by Future Major Capital Project Reserves, Divisional & College Operating Reserves and Borrowing.

  1. Reports of the Previous Meeting - Report Number 194 – September 17, 2020

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

    There was no business arising from the reports of the previous meetings.
  3. Date of the Next Meeting – Wednesday, January 13, 2021, 3:10 – 5:10 p.m.

    The Chair reminded members that the next meeting would be held in the New Year on Wednesday, January 13, 2021.
  4. Other Business

    There were no items of other business.


THE COMMITTEE MOVED IN CAMERA.

  1. Capital Project: Report of the Project Planning Committee for the Academic Wood Tower – Total Project Cost and Sources of Funding

    On motion duly moved, seconded and carried

    YOUR COMMITTEE RECOMMENDED

    THAT the recommendation of the Vice President, Operations and Real Estate Partnerships, as outlined in the memorandum dated October 21, 2020, regarding the Report of the Project Planning Committee for the Academic Wood Tower be approved.
  2. Capital Project: Report of the Project Planning Committee for the New Woodsworth College Academic Building – Total Project Cost and Sources of Funding

    On motion duly moved, seconded and carried

    YOUR COMMITTEE RECOMMENDED

    THAT the recommendation of the Vice President, Operations and Real Estate Partnerships, as outlined in the memorandum dated October 21, 2020, regarding the Report of the Project Planning Committee for the New Woodsworth College Academic Building be approved.
  3. Capital Project: Report of the Project Planning Committee for the Schwartz Reisman Innovation Centre (formerly “Partners in Innovation and Entrepreneurship (PIE)”) West/Phase 1 – Further Revised Total Project Cost and Sources of Funding

    On motion duly moved, seconded and carried

    YOUR COMMITTEE RECOMMENDED

    THAT the recommendation of the Vice President, Operations and Real Estate Partnerships, as outlined in the memorandum dated October 21, 2020, regarding the Report of the Project Planning Committee for the Schwartz Reisman Innovation Centre (formerly “Partners in Innovation and Entrepreneurship (PIE)”) West/Phase 1 be approved.

The Committee returned to Open Session.

The Chair thanked members for their attendance and participation in the Committee meeting.

The meeting adjourned at 4:52 p.m.


November 2, 2020