Report: Planning and Budget Committee - September 17, 2019

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

REPORT NUMBER 188 OF THE PLANNING AND BUDGET COMMITTEE
Tuesday, September 17, 2019

To the Academic Board,
University of Toronto

Your Committee reports that it met on Tuesday, September 17, 2019, at 4:10 p.m. in the Council Chamber, Simcoe Hall with the following members present:

Present:
Jan Mahrt-Smith (Chair), Mark Lautens (Vice-Chair), Cheryl Regehr (Vice-President and Provost), Ken Corts (Acting Vice President, University Operations), Trevor Rodgers (Assistant Vice-President, Planning & Budget), Scott Mabury (Vice-President, University Operations and Real Estate Partnerships)* Stephanie Anagnostou, Shauna Brail, Nicole Breakey, Adalsteinn (Steini) I. D. Brown, P.C. Choo, Ettore V. Damiano, David Dubins, Susan Froom, Gary D. Goldberg, Ira Jacobs, Ernest Lam, Maureen MacDonald, Joanne J. McNamara, Nicholas Rule, Melanie Woodin

Non-Voting Assessors:
Christine E. Burke (Director, Campus and Facilities Planning), Gilbert Delgado (Chief of University, Planning, Design & Construction)

In Attendance:
Donald Ainslie (Principal, University College), Elizabeth Cragg (Director, Office of the Vice-President University Operations and Real Estate Partnerships), Elizabeth Church (Director, Stakeholder Relations), Tatiana Kosikova (Administrative Director, Office of the Vice-President, Communications), Anne MacDonald (Assistant Vice-President Ancillary Services), Joshua Mitchell (Director, Real Estate, Faculty of Arts and Science), Jay Pratt (Vice-Dean, Research and Infrastructure), Ron Saporta (Chief Operating Officer, Property Services & Sustainability) Archana Sridhar (Assistant Provost, Office of the Vice-President and Provost) John Stinchcombe (Professor & Director, Koffler Scientific Reserve)

Secretariat:
Tracey Gameiro (Secretary)

Regrets:
Vivek Goel (Vice-President, Research and Innovation), David Palmer (Vice-President, Advancement), Maydianne Andrade, Andrew Arifuzzaman, Sheila Brown, Markus Bussmann, Saher Fazilat, Anil Kishen, Christopher Yip

*via teleconference

ITEMS 5 (a), (b), (c), (d), (e), (f), and 10 (a), (b), (c), (d), (e), (f) ARE RECOMMENDED TO THE ACADEMIC BOARD FOR APPROVAL. ITEMS 6 (a), and (b) ARE FOR APPROVAL. ITEM 4 IS REPORTED FOR INFORMATION.


OPEN SESSION

  1. Introductions and Chair’s Remarks

The Chair welcomed members to the first meeting of the governance year. He introduced himself as a first-year Chair and then invited members to introduce themselves.

  1. Assessors’ Reports

The Provost provided members with an update on both the Student Choice Initiative and the Strategic Mandate Agreement.

Student Choice Initiative (SCI)

Background

The Provost provided a brief background and context to the SCI:

  • In January 2019, the Government of Ontario announced a new Ancillary Fee Classification Framework which included a Student Choice Initiative that required an opt-out provision for non-essential, non-tuition student fees.
  • The Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU) indicated that the purpose of the initiative was to:

    ensure transparency regarding fees students were expected to pay;

    1. bring consistency and simplicity to the opt-out process; and
    2.
    ensure students had more choice regarding the services and activities they support.
  • The initiative applied to Student Services Fees (or Campus Services fees) and Student Society Fees, and consequently impact U of T’s forty-five student societies;
  • The categories of fees considered essential and therefore compulsory were:
    • Athletics and recreation
    • Career services
    • Student buildings
    • Health and counselling
    • Academic support
    • Student achievement and records
  • All other non-tuition fees were non-essential and therefore optional.

Updates

The Provost provided the following updates on the SCI:

  • On July 19, 2019, the opt-out portal, required by the Ontario Government, for the SCI opened online, due to the hard work of many offices including ITS, the Office of the Vice-Provost Students, Student Accounts, and others.
  • The administration had worked closely with student services staff as well as both outgoing and incoming student society leaders to roll-out the process, including how to best list and describe the fees on the portal; to work on fees for the coming year; to respond to questions from students; and to review relevant policies and guidelines.
  • There were 523 optional fees at U of T. Fees varied by student based on their program and registration status.
  • The opt-out system for the fall term remained open until September 19, 2019.
  • The winter term opt-out process would begin on November 1, 2019.

In her closing remarks, the Provost noted that more data regarding average opt-out rates would be available after the fall term opt-out period was complete and the office had conducted further analysis.

During the discussion, the Provost addressed what the estimated loss would be to operations given the range in value of the opt-out fees. The Provost acknowledged that the figure would be sizeable for some parts of the University and less so for others as students opt out on individual fees and that great differentiation was expected.

Strategic Mandate Agreement

The Provost noted for members that, as announced in the Ontario Budget 2019, the Province was moving to phase-in performance based funding for 60% of institutional operating grants.

Funding would be tied to the following 10 metrics:

  1. Graduation Rate
  2. Graduate Employment
  3. Graduate Earnings
  4. Experiential Learning Opportunities
  5. Enrolment in Areas of Strength
  6. Skills & Competencies Assessment
  7. Research Funding
  8. Community Impact
  9. Economic Impact
  10. Innovation

It was reported that the University had been working with the Council of Ontario University (COU) and with Ministry staff over summer months to better understand the new framework.

In response to a member’s question on how funding would be distributed amongst the Divisions, the Provost reported that an advisory group of deans had been established to provide guidance on the metrics, with a second group tasked with how best to operationalize that distribution. She indicated that the administration was well aware that some metrics were beyond the control of individual faculties which dictated careful consideration of which metrics should be borne at the divisional level, and which were institutional risks.

  1. Orientation

The Chair, Vice-Chair, Assessors and Secretary presented a high-level overview of the Committee. The following areas were highlighted:

  • Structure of the Governing Council and its Boards, Campus Councils, and Committees;
  • Responsibilities of the Planning and Budget Committee;
  • Responsibilities and expectations of members;
  • Examples of items of business that come before the Planning and Budget Committee:
    • Establishment of Extra Departmental Units;
    • Budget Process;
    • Capital Projects Approval Process.
    • Cover Sheets

The Secretary explained that cover sheets were designed to enable members to focus on the major elements of the proposals, and that they were a valuable tool in clarifying the governance pathway and responsibilities of the relevant governance bodies for each item of business.

  1. Calendar of Business for 2019-20

Members received the Calendar of Business for information. The Chair encouraged members to review the Calendar carefully so that they would have a better understanding of the items that would come forward for the Committee’s consideration.

  1. Capital Projects:
  1. Report of the Project Planning Committee for 700 University, 4th Floor: Fit-out for the Department of Statistical Sciences and the Faculty of Arts and Science Professional Masters Hub

The Committee received a presentation from Professor Jay Pratt, Vice-Dean Research and Infrastructure, Faculty of Arts and Science and Mr. Gilbert Delgado, Chief, University Planning, Design and Construction. The presentation explained that the subleased space from the University Health Network on the 4th floor of 700 University presents an opportunity for the Faculty of Arts & Science to accommodate the rapid growth of two units – the Department of Statistical Sciences, and the Master of Science in Applied Computing. The move to 700 University would not only allow for the growth of the department but would bring them together in one location. The growth in the number and size of professional masters programs had prompted the Faculty to think about creating a Professional Masters hub which could provide shared amenities and space efficiencies.

The long-term plan was for these units to be located in the development of the 2011 St. George Campus Master Plan Site C (215 Huron St) as the University’s Data Sciences Centre.

As part of the discussion, it was reported, that while the preference was not to lease, the site space was under a ten year lease at a market rate with the option to renew for another five years.

Members were advised that the Faculty of Arts and Science had significant space needs and that part of the longer term strategy was to manage those needs. It was noted that the intent was not to have the current space act as a ‘swing space’ and that larger project swing spaces were being explored.

On motion duly moved, seconded and carried

YOUR COMMITTEE RECOMMENDED

THAT the Report of the Project Planning Committee for 700 University, 4th floor: fit-out for the Department of Statistical Sciences and A&S Professional Masters Hub, dated August 23, 2019, be approved in principle; and,

THAT the project totaling 5,172 rentable square metres (sm), be approved in principle, to be funded by the Faculty of Arts and Science Building Fund and Future Major Capital Project Reserves.

  1. Report of the Project Planning Committee for the Facilities Master Plan at the Koffler Scientific Reserve (“Koffler”)

The Koffler capital project was introduced by Professor Jay Pratt, Vice-Dean, Research and Innovation, Professor John Stinchcombe, Director, Koffler Scientific Reserve and Gilbert Delgado.

Mr. Delgado presented an overview of the design of the project which would provide a centralized location for meeting, dining, teaching and housing for:

  • Students enrolled in two week intensive residential courses
  • Students on day-to-day excursions
  • Researchers in residence
  • Researchers on day-trips

Professor Pratt reported that the property had been a gift from the Kohler family in 1995 of their 860 acre equestrian estate. He noted that the buildings on the property were deteriorating, raising safety concerns. Issues with stewardship of the estate also needed to be addressed. Professor Stinchcombe outlined the need to replace the deteriorating building with purpose-built buildings to house students in a central location.

In response to a member’s concern about the length of time the project had taken to develop, Mr. Delgado explained that before construction could start, the property had to be re-zoned; and that before the re-zoning process could begin, the project plan needed to be developed and approved by the township. In terms of ecological impact assessments, it was confirmed that all preliminary approvals had been received.

On motion duly moved, seconded and carried

YOUR COMMITTEE RECOMMENDED

THAT the Project Planning Committee Report for Facilities Master Plan at Koffler Scientific Reserve, dated August 30, 2019, be approved in principle; and,

THAT the project totaling 903 net assignable square metres (nasm) (1,445 gross square metres (gsm)), be approved in principle, to be funded by the Faculty of Arts and Science Building Fund and Future Major Capital Project Reserves.​​​​​

  1. Report of the Project Planning Committee for the Landscape of Landmark Quality (“Landmark”)

Scott Mabury, Vice-President University Operations and Real Estate Partnerships, Donald Ainslie, Principal of University College, and Gilbert Delgado, jointly presented the Landmark project to the Committee.

The Landmark project was described as an ambitious plan to revitalize and transform the downtown campus. King’s College Circle would be wreathed by a network of sustainable, pedestrian-friendly spaces that would unify the University’s historic core. Professor Mabury indicated that consultation had been deep and broad, and that the project had the support of over 2000 donors, including a $250,000 contribution from the U of T Students’ Union. Principal Ainslie added that the project spoke to the President’s priorities in re-imagining the student experience and creating a space that reflected the international reputation of the University.

Construction was anticipated to progress in four phases over a 39 month period.

In response to a member’s question, Mr. Delgado confirmed that a number of parking spaces had been set aside for electric vehicles, with flexibility to increase with demand. He added that while there was no planned space for a bike share facility, a number of spots were reserved for bicycles. Professor Mabury noted that there would be a significant reduction in the amount of parking spots available – down from the close to 500 available currently to 263.

Professor Mabury highlighted that the garage had the potential to be repurposed if the use/need of cars evolved.

A number of operational issues were raised by members:

a. Accessibility:

With construction planned to start Summer 2020, a member raised a concern about access for a number of programs that made use of the front campus for which students were employed. Professor Mabury shared that access to the front campus had been the subject of much in-depth conversation and that the construction manager brought on board would be tasked with how best to integrate the academic year to accommodate for those uses. However, Professor Mabury stated that he did not expect King’s College Circle to be available for use next summer, and that the priority remained accommodating the 2020 Convocation.

It was stressed that access to the front campus by the broader community (e.g. tour buses), had not been planned for in any significant way, as students and university based activities had to be prioritized. The only vehicles allowed to drive around the circle would be those required to service the buildings, or for accessibility­ reasons.

b. Protection of Trees

During the presentation, it was announced that there would be the addition of 250 trees, and that preserving as many trees as possible, especially the larger ones lining the circle, had been a focus of the project. Ms. Christine Burke, Director, Campus and Facilities Planning, explained that plans were developed to work around the trees to the greatest extent possible; where that was not possible, they would look to transplant the more significant trees. It was emphasized that the project itself had been adapted to ensure no negative impact to the vast majority of trees.

Ms. Burke indicated that there would be a 55% increase in trees (i.e. a net increase of about 240 trees). Additional inquiries about paving materials and path layouts to direct and manage the flow of pedestrian, bicycle, scooter, and accessibility conveyances were addressed briefly.

On motion duly moved, seconded and carried

YOUR COMMITTEE RECOMMENDED

THAT the Report of the Project Planning Committee for the Landscape of Landmark Quality, dated August 23, 2019, be approved in principle; and,

THAT the project totaling 86,340 square metres (sm), including a below-grade parking structure area totaling 9,075 gross square metres (gsm), and an entrance pavilion totaling 100 gross square metres (gsm) above grade, be approved in principle, to be funded by fundraising, Future Major Capital Project Reserves and financing.

  1. Report of the Project Planning Committee for the Spadina Sussex Residence

Ms. Anne MacDonald, Assistant Vice-President Ancillary Services, together with Scott Mabury, Gilbert Delgado, and Christine Burke, presented the Spadina Sussex Residence project.

Ms. MacDonald reported that there were only 6,000 beds available in residence across all three campuses, making these projects high priority. The Spadina Sussex Residence was also intended to allow students to remain in residence longer.

During the discussion of the project a member asked whether, in addressing the designation of 698 Spadina as a heritage building, consideration had been given to using only the heritage building façade to provide more flexibility and cost effectiveness in construction of the new building. Ms. Burke confirmed that this option was explored as much as possible, but that the city was very prescriptive in maintaining the integrity of the building and required three-dimensional conservation.

In response to a member’s question regarding the need for exercise facilities despite the residence’s proximity to the athletic centre, Ms. MacDonald indicated that plans included a space for a small gym within the student amenity space.

On motion duly moved, seconded and carried

YOUR COMMITTEE RECOMMENDED

THAT the Project Planning Committee Report for the Spadina Sussex Residence, dated August 30, 2019, be approved in principle; and,

THAT the project totaling 19,328 gross square metres (gsm), be approved in principle, to be funded by University Provostial Funds, Daniel’s Corporation, and long-term financing.

  1. Geothermal System at King’s College Circle

Professor Mabury and Mr. Ron Saporta, Chief Operations Officer, Property Services & Sustainability, provided highlights of the King’s College Circle Geothermal project.

Mr. Saporta provided an overview of the workings and benefits of geothermal and geo-exchange systems. He indicated that the Landmark project afforded an opportunity to install a geo-exchange system underneath the parking structure. Mr. Saporta reported that a significant amount of due diligence was conducted to ensure the feasibility of the well drilling and earth composition

In conclusion, Professor Mabury explained that the project was a major demonstration of the University’s commitment to significantly reducing carbon emissions.

As part of the discussion of the geothermal project at King’s College Circle, it was reported that the geothermal boreholes could be used for both heating in the winter and cooling during summer months.

No further questions were asked by members.

On motion duly moved, seconded and carried

YOUR COMMITTEE RECOMMENDED

THAT the King’s College Circle Geothermal Feasibility Report, dated September 21, 2018, be approved in principle, to be funded by financing and Central Utility Funding.

  1. Geothermal System at Robert Street Field

Professor Mabury and Mr. Saporta continued to address the Committee with a presentation of the Geothermal System at Robert Street Field project.

In his presentation, Mr. Saporta explained that Robert Street Field was being renewed as part of the larger Spadina Sussex Project, which presented an opportunity to install a geo-exchange field. The geo-field would provide heating and cooling to the proposed residence, as well as offset traditional heating/cooling in the North West Chiller Plant.

Results of an analysis of the impact on the Spadina Sussex residence indicated that there would be:

  • no material impacts to the capital project budget
  • reduced operation and maintenance expenses
  • reduced utility expenses and exposure to market volatility
  • significant increases in building performance and carbon emissions

There were no questions from members.

YOUR COMMITTEE RECOMMENDED

THAT the Feasibility Study for Robert Street Field Geothermal System, dated May 17, 2019, be approved in principle, to be funded by financing.

OPEN CONSENT AGENDA

On a motion duly moved, seconded, and carried

YOUR COMMITTEE APPROVED THAT

the consent agenda be adopted.

  1. Reports of the Previous Meetings:
    1. Report Number 186 – April 3, 2019
    2. Report Number 187 – May 9, 2019

Report Number 186 (April 3, 2019) and Report Number 187 (May 9, 2019), were approved.

  1. Business Arising from the Reports of the Previous Meetings

There was no business arising from the reports of the previous meetings.

  1. Date of the Next Meeting – Thursday, October 31, 2019, 12:10 – 2:10 p.m.

The Chair reminded members that the next meeting would be held on Thursday, October 31, 2019, bringing members’ attention to the change to the regular time.

END OF CONSENT AGENDA

  1. Other Business

The following items of other business were raised by members:

Low Green House Gas Emissions (GHG) Travel Policy

A member asked a question concerning measures to reduce the University’s carbon footprint, specifically relating to air travel by faculty members, as well as the possibility of the University developing its own GHG Emissions Travel Policy.

Professor Ken Corts, Acting Vice-President, University Operations responded that the University was very committed to reducing its carbon footprint. He explained that U of T had a goal of 37% reduction from 1990 levels by 2030 as part of its membership in the University Climate Change Coalition (also known as UC3), and that it was well on its way to meeting that goal, thanks in large part to plans for projects like the geo-exchange projects voted on today. That commitment related primarily to utilities-type emissions, principally from natural gas and electricity consumption. Professor Corts added that the University was also interested in reducing other aspects of its carbon footprint, including those associated with air travel, but noted that these were much harder to measure and address.

In conclusion, Professor Corts assured members that the University had actively turned its mind to this issue, studying how it might better measure these emissions and work to reduce or offset them. He reported that work was happening at the Sustainability Office in conjunction with the Committee on the Environment, Climate Change and Sustainability (CECCS) that advised the President on sustainability, and in student group projects working under the supervision of the Presidential Advisor on Sustainability.

Timing of Capital Projects Through Governance

Members expressed concern over the large number of capital projects coming forward at the same time and suggested either a separate meeting or a different approach, especially if members were expected to do their due diligence, but were challenged to do so with such a large volume of documentation to review.

Professor Mabury acknowledged that there was a large and diverse list of capital projects coming forward in Cycle 1. He recognized that the associated high workload on governance was indeed demanding, but stated that every effort had been made to pace the proposals through governance to the extent possible. He explained that the scheduling was the result of both construction cycles and the academic term. Professor Mabury assured members that the timing of the proposals through governance was determined only after careful deliberation on how to deliver these spaces when they were needed. Professor Mabury indicated that if the need were not so significant or immediate, consideration would have been given to delaying the governance submission.

THE COMMITTEE MOVED IN CAMERA.

  1. Capital Projects: Total Project Cost and Source of Funding
    1. 700 University, 4th Floor: Fit-out for the Department of Statistical Sciences and A&S Professional Masters Hub

      On motion duly moved, seconded and carried

      YOUR COMMITTEE RECOMMENDED

      THAT the Acting Vice President, Operations’ recommendation, as outlined in the memorandum dated September 17, 2019, be approved.
    2. Facilities Master Plan at the Koffler Scientific Reserve

      On motion duly moved, seconded and carried

      YOUR COMMITTEE RECOMMENDED

      THAT the Acting Vice President, Operations’ recommendation, as outlined in the memorandum dated September 17, 2019, be approved.

      Extension of Time

      On motion duly moved, seconded and carried

      YOUR COMMITTEE RESOLVED THAT

      the time of adjournment be extended by fifteen minutes
    3. Landscape of Landmark Quality

      On motion duly moved, seconded and carried

      YOUR COMMITTEE RECOMMENDED

      THAT the Acting Vice President, Operations’ recommendation, as outlined in the memorandum dated September 17, 2019, be approved.
    4. Spadina Sussex Residence

      On motion duly moved, seconded and carried

      YOUR COMMITTEE RECOMMENDED

      THAT the Acting Vice President, Operations’ recommendation, as outlined in the memorandum dated September 17, 2019, be approved.
    5. Geothermal System at King’s College Circle

      On motion duly moved, seconded and carried

      YOUR COMMITTEE RECOMMENDED

      THAT the Acting Vice President, Operations’ recommendation, as outlined in the memorandum dated September 17, 2019, be approved.
    6. Geothermal System at Robert Street Field

      On motion duly moved, seconded and carried

      YOUR COMMITTEE RECOMMENDED

      THAT the Acting Vice President, Operations’ recommendation, as outlined in the memorandum dated September 17, 2019, be approved.

The Committee returned to Open Session.

The Chair thanked members for their attendance and participation.

The meeting adjourned at 6:40 p.m.

September 24, 2019