Report: University Affairs Board - June 01, 2022

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Council Chamber, Simcoe Hall, 2nd floor

REPORT NUMBER 229 OF THE UNIVERSITY AFFAIRS BOARD

June 1, 2022


To the Governing Council,
University of Toronto,

Your Board reports that it met on Wednesday, June 1, 2022 at 4:30 p.m. in the Council Chamber with the following members present:

Present:
Vikram Chadalawada (Chair), Sandy Welsh (Vice-Provost, Students), David Newman (Executive Director, Student Experience), Susan Froom, Robert Gerlai*, Evan Kanter*, Kikelomo Lawal, John Monahan, Mozynah Nofal, Ann Perry, Tayyab Rashid*, Veronica Wadey

*attended remotely

Non-Voting Assessors:
Kelly Hannah-Moffat (Vice-President, People Services, Equity and Culture), Melinda Scott (Executive Director, Office of the Vice-Provost, Students)

Secretary:
Timothy Harlick (Secretary), Cindy Ferencz-Hammond

Regrets:
Neil Chakraborty, Vanshika Dhawan, Dylan Archer Dingwell, Natalie Enriquez-Birch, K. Sonu Gaind, Syeda Hasan, Gretchen Kerr, Ron Levi, Karen Ng, Sherice Robertson, Avigail Rucker, Geeta Yadav

Guests in Attendance: Linda Johnston (Dean, Bloomberg School of Nursing), Jodie Glean-Mitchell (Executive Director, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion), Ihab Khalil (Executive Director, Strategic Operations and Finance), Allison Burgess (Director, Sexuality and Gender Diversity Office), Shannon Simpson (Director of the Office of Indigenous Initiatives), Angela Treglia (Director, Sexual Violence Prevention and Support), Tanya Poppleton (Director, Campus Safety Operations, UTSC), Thomas McIlone, Assistant Director, Campus Safety Operations, UTSC), Michael Munroe (Director, Campus Safety, St. George Campus), Derrick Ingram (Staff Sergeant, UTM), Omar Gharbiyeh (President, UTSU), Saira Chhibber (Executive Director, UTGSU)

Pursuant to section 33(i) of By-Law Number 2, item 15 was considered in camera.


OPEN SESSION

  1. Chair’s Remarks

    The Chair welcomed members and guests to the Board’s final meeting of the governance year.
  2. Report of the Senior Assessor

    Professor Sandy Welsh, Vice-Provost, Students, was pleased to inform the Board that the Progress Pride flag had been raised at an in-person ceremony at the Varsity Stadium earlier in the day which marked the beginning of a number of upcoming events across the three campuses.

    She then took the opportunity to thank the Chair, the Secretariat’s office, and members of the Board for a successful governance year.

    Discussion

    In response to a member’s question about continued supports for students impacted by COVID-19 during the summer, Professor Welsh noted that the University continued providing accommodations for students who needed to self-isolate because of COVID-19 and that the quarantine program remained available though there had been a significant decline in student usage due in part to easing travel restrictions and other related mandates.

    The Chair thanked Professor Welsh for her report.
  3. University of Toronto Graduate Students’ Union – Bylaw Amendments

    Professor Welsh reported that the amendments to The Bylaw of the University of Toronto Graduate Students’ Union were approved by the UTGSU’s general membership at the UTGSU Annual General Meeting on December 7, 2021. Some of those amendments were subsequently reamended by the UTGSU General Council on March 29, 2022, following meetings between the UTGSU and the Office of the Vice-Provost, Students and in accordance with their bylaws.

    There were no questions from members.

    On motion duly made, seconded, and carried,

    IT WAS RESOLVED

    THAT the amendments to The Bylaw of the University of Toronto Graduate Students’ Union (UTGSU), as approved at the UTGSU Annual General Meeting on December 7, 2021 and by the UTGSU General Council on March 29, 2022, be approved.
  4. Student Societies: Requests for Fee Increases – University of Toronto, St. George and Multi-Campus

    Professor Welsh reported that changes in student fees were subject to the terms outlined in the Policy for Compulsory Non-academic Incidental Fees, the Handbook for Student Societies and society's constitutions or bylaws. Changes to existing fees and the establishment of new fees were brought forward to the Board for consideration and approval. She noted that this fee request had been brought forward by the University of Toronto Students Union and that no complaints had been received by the administration with respect to the continuation of this fee.

    There were no questions from members.

    On motion duly made, seconded, and carried,

    IT WAS RESOLVED

    THAT, beginning in the Fall 2022 session, the University of Toronto Students’ Union (legally, the Students’ Administrative Council) fee be modified as follows:
    1. the continuation of the Accessibility Resources Fund portion of the fee through 2026-27.
  5. Review: Policy on Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment

    The Chair invited the Review Co-Chairs, Professor Linda Johnston, Dean, Bloomberg School of

    Nursing and Dr. Allison Burgess, Director, Sexuality and Gender Diversity Office to present an overview of the review of the Policy on Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment.

    Professor Welsh noted that the Policy provided for a review to be undertaken every three years and that the last review was conducted in 2019. Further, that a report with recommendations for changes to the Policy was under development.

    The Board received a presentation from Professor Johnston and Dr. Burgess, which provided an overview of the 13 draft recommendations and highlighted the following:
    • over 43 hours of consultations were held, with students, faculty, staff and librarians and included solicitation for feedback from student societies across all three campuses;
    • formal submissions were received from the University of Toronto Students’ Union, University of Toronto Graduate Student’s Union, PEARS Project, and the University of Toronto Mississauga Sexual Violence & Harassment Prevention Committee;
    • areas identified for attention and change centered around themes of:
      • improving processes related to reporting and provision of supports to survivors; 
      • sexual violence education and training and a student-focussed sexual health education as a preventative education model; 
      • optimizing and resourcing the Sexual Violence Prevention and Support Centre (the “Centre”); 
      • information sharing with participants of a reporting process and others;
      • Explicitly addressing the issue of power dynamics;
      • adjustments to Policies and Guidelines that intersect with the Policy on Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment; and
      • formalizing supports for respondents. 

        Discussion
    • In the ensuing discussion, the following comments were made:
    • Existing processes at the University provided for both disclosures and formal reporting of incidents of sexual harassment or sexual violence. Survivors could make a disclosure to the Centre and receive appropriate support, with no obligation to make a formal report.
    • Survivors could provide feedback anonymously through an online form located on the Centre’s website.
    • Links to community resources on the Centre’s website could benefit students by increasing awareness of what broader supports were available external to the University.
    • Mandatory training was intended to increase the University’s community’s awareness of available resources and further the discussion on accountability for sexual violence and sexual harassment prevention.
    • Separating the reporting process from the Centre and it into the Office of Safety & High Risk was intended to provide a consistent process where a survivor had one contact point to be provided with appropriate resources and support at appropriate times.

      The Chair thanked both Professor Johnston and Dr. Burgess for their presentation.
  6. Annual Report: Office of Indigenous Initiatives

    The Chair invited Professor Hannah-Moffat to offer introductory remarks on the Annual Report and then invited Ms Shannon Simpson, Director of the Office of Indigenous Initiatives, to offer a presentation. The report documented the new and ongoing Indigenous initiatives and projects that occurred at the University between January 2020 and December 2021.

    Highlights from the presentation included:
    • This was the third Annual Report on the work of the Office of Indigenous Initiatives, whose establishment in 2017 was a response to one of the 34 Calls to Action set out in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s (TRC) Steering Committee’s Final Report.
    • The report acknowledged that the past year had been one of growth, celebration, challenges, and sadness.
    • An update on the University’s progress achieved under the six themes identified in Answering the Call, Wecheehetowin: Final Report of the Steering Committee for the University of Toronto Response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. This included the Pow Wow Vaccine Clinic, continued growth in Indigenous staff and faculty with institution-wide hiring of newly created Indigenous positions and on-boarding of new Indigenous faculty, the commemorative mural at the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design and the “Tree Protection Zone” Art Project outside of Hart House, featuring eight distinguished Indigenous artists.
    • Some of the new positions that had been established across the University for Indigenous staff included a First Peoples Leadership Advisor to the Dean in the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design; an Indigenous Health Lead in the Paul Dalla Lana School of Public Health; Indigenous Advisor and Community Outreach Specialist at Woodsworth College; and an Indigenous Partnerships Advisor in the Faculty of Arts and Science.
    • The life of Si'Yam Lee Maracle, Instructor, Advisor, Elders Circle Member, and Traditional Teacher-in-Residence was celebrated as a leader who helped draw attention to the need for decolonization in Canada.
    • Common challenges brought forward by Faculties and Departments as well as Indigenous staff, students, and faculty.
    • Examples of spaces that were under construction across the tri-campus which included: renovations at First Nations House and Centre for Indigenous Studies, UTSG; new Office for the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation, UTM; construction of Indigenous House, UTSC; Virtual Living Archive, UTM; and the Indigenous Landscape Project at Taddle Creek.

      There were no questions from members.

      The Chair thanked Ms Simpson for her presentation.
  7. Annual Report: Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

    The Chair invited Professor Hannah-Moffat to offer introductory remarks on the Annual Report and then invited Ms Jodie Glean-Mitchell Executive Director, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, to offer a presentation. The Report reflected the collective efforts of the University community to embed equity and inclusion across the institution.

    Highlights from the presentation included:
    • The Office of Equity, Diversity and inclusion had invited and received submissions from the University community that spoke to impactful equity, diversity and inclusion initiatives that had strengthened and shaped the University over the past year.
    • Three key themes were included in the Report: inclusive leadership and systems of change, community experience and belonging, and changing our institutional culture.
    • Institutional commitments had been informed by three recently released reports: the Anti-Black Racism Rask Force Report, the Scarborough Charter, and the Antisemitism Working Group Report, as well as ongoing commitments related to the Answering the Call: Wecheehetowin: Final Report of the Steering Committee for the University of Toronto Response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.
    • The University had launched a commitment dashboard to track progress on implementing the recommendations of the anti-Black Racism taskforce and would be updated to include the recommendations of other working groups and taskforces.
    • The Office of the Governing Council had been undertaking a number of EDI initiatives, and in particular, recently updated its elections guidelines to include information regarding the principles of good governance and equity, diversity and inclusion.
    • The Division of People, strategy, equity and Culture had launched the Employment Equity Project with an advisory group, to evaluate the Employment Equity survey and how that data was shared.
    • The Office of Student Recruitment and Admissions had led the development of the first ever applicant demographic census to better understand representation in the University's prospective student population.
    • Units and Departments had been intentional in engaging in activities that embedded equity and inclusion principles into their functions and operations across the University.

      There were no questions from members.

      The Chair thanked Professor Hannah-Moffat for her presentation.
  8. Annual Report: Code of Conduct for Trademark Licensees

    At the invitation of the Chair, Ms Anne Macdonald, Assistant Vice-President, Ancillary Services, provided an overview of the Annual Report: Code of Conduct for Trademark Licensees which highlighted key initiatives throughout the year. Ms Macdonald highlighted many of the internal and external branding partnerships entered into by the Trademark Licensing Office, some of which included Shop Dressr, Defy Gravity, Temerty Faculty of Merchandise, and OVO. It was also noted that ethical procurement continued to be a top priority for Trademark Licensing and that a successor agreement to the Bangladesh Accord had been established which included plans to expand its jurisdiction to other countries.

    There were no questions from members.

    The Chair thanked Ms McDonald for her report.
  9. Annual Reports: Recognized Student Groups
    1. University of Toronto Mississauga
    2. University of Toronto Scarborough
    3. University of Toronto, St. George

      The Chair noted for members that the three reports were received for information. Professor Welsh advised that the campus groups listed in the three reports had sought recognition based on the Policy on the Recognition of Student Groups. She reported that across the three campuses, there were 881 recognized Student Groups; 608 were on the St. George Campus, 126 at UTM and 207 at UTSC. There had been an overall year over year increase of 7% in the number of recognized student groups from 2020-21 to 2021-22. That increase followed a 25% decrease in the number of recognized student groups in 2019-20 to 2020-21 which had been attributed to both the pandemic and changes to the Policy made in 2019.

      Discussion

      In response to a member’s question about how feedback and commentary was received relating to denying status as a recognized student group, Professor Welsh advised that there were no denials reported this year and that, generally, very few denials occur due to the robust process in place and that students had a good understanding of what was appropriate for recognized student groups.
  10. Annual Reports: Campus Safety
    1. University of Toronto Mississauga
    2. University of Toronto Scarborough
    3. University of Toronto, St. George


The Chair noted that these three reports were received for information and welcomed Mr. Derrick Ingram, Staff Sergeant from UTM, Ms Tanya Poppleton, Director, Campus Safety Operations and Mr. Thomas McIlone, Assistant Director, Campus Safety Operations, both from UTSC, and Mr. Michael Munroe, Director, Campus Safety from the St. George Campus, who were available to respond to questions.

Professor Welsh reported that the Campus Safety Services on all three campuses were committed to the principles of community policing, through interaction with the community; foot, vehicle and bicycle patrols; and the provision of services related to crime prevention, awareness and personal safety. She advised that overall occurrences were down across all three campuses, likely due in-part to the pandemic.

There were no questions from members.

  1. Report of the Previous Meeting: Report Number 228, April 20, 2022

    The report of the previous meeting was approved, with revisions noted at the meeting.
  2. Business Arising from the Report of the Previous Meeting

    There was no business arising from the report of the previous meeting.
  3. Date of Next Meeting: October 12, 2022 at 4:30 p.m.

    The Chair confirmed that the next meeting would be held on October 12, 2022 at 4:30 p.m.
  4. Other Business

    There were no additional items of other business. The Chair thanked the voting and non-voting assessors and the Secretariat for their support over the past year. He also thanked members of the Board for their consistent engagement and recognized those whose terms had ended.

The Board moved in camera.

  1. Report of the University Affairs Board Striking Committee

    On motion duly made, seconded and carried,

    IT WAS RESOLVED

    THAT the following recommendations from the Report of the University Affairs Board Striking Committee were approved:

    THAT the following be appointed to the University Affairs Board for a one-year term from July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2023.
    • Mr. Neil Chakraborty
    • Mr. Clayon Levy
    • Ms Natasha Hanif
    • Mr. Faraz Alidina
    • Mr. Mathew Benoit
    • Ms Syeda Hasan
    • Ms Farhana Islam
    • Ms Ana Tariq

      ​​​​​THAT the following be appointed to the Discipline Appeals Board for a one-year term from July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2023.
    • Professor Mark Lautens
    • Mr. Sarosh Jamal
    • Mr. Dylan Archer Dingwell
    • Ms Susan Froom
    • Ms Sandhya Mylabathula
    • Ms Vishar Yaghoubian


      THAT Mr. Ben Drory be appointed as Chair of the Complaints and Resolution Council for Student Societies for a two-year term, from July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2024.


The meeting adjourned at 6:12 p.m.

June 2, 2022