Report: University Affairs Board - May 25, 2021

Via Virtual Meeting


May 25, 2021

To the Governing Council, University of Toronto,

Your Board reports that it met virtually, on Tuesday, May 25, 2021, at 4:30 p.m. with the following members present:

Andrew Szende (Chair), P.C. Choo (Vice-Chair), Sandy Welsh (Vice-Provost, Students), David Newman, (Executive Director, Student Experience), Olivia Batt, Harvey Botting, Neil Chakraborty, Stephane Martin Demers, Reshma Dhrodia, Susan Froom, Avrum Gotlieb, Sandra Hanington, Syeda Hasan, Ian Hutson, Ira Jacobs, Claire Kennedy, John F. Monahan, Sandhya Mylabathula, Ann Perry, Tayyab Rashid, Salvatore Spadafora, Marium Vahed

Non-Voting Assessors:
Kelly Hannah-Moffat (Vice-President, Human Resources & Equity), Mark Overton (Dean of Student Affairs and Assistant Principal, Student Services, UTM), Anne Macdonald (Assistant Vice-President, Ancillary Services), Melinda Scott (Director, Office of the Vice-Provost, Students & Student Policy Advisor)

Emma Thacker (Interim UAB Secretary), Tracey Gameiro, Patrick McNeill

Cheryl Regehr (Provost), Desmond Pouyat, Christine Burke, Joseph Leydon, Ron Levi, Ron Saporta, Linh Tran, Christine Sutcliffe

Guests in Attendance:
Micah Stickel (Vice-Provostial Advisor, Students), Rosalyn Figov, Cheryl Gibbs, Josh Haas, Karima Hashmani, Kristina Kazandjian, Adam Kuhn, Tom McIlhone, Rob Messacar, Mike Monroe, Ben Poynton, Steve Rayment

  1. Chair’s Opening Remarks

    The Chair, Mr. Andrew Szende, welcomed members and guests to the meeting. Ms Claire Kennedy, Chair of the Governing Council, who was present at the meeting, reminded members that Mr. Szende’s term as Chair was ending on June 30. She thanked Mr. Szende for his dedication and service to the University Affairs Board, noting that he had held this role since 2014. She presented him with a token of appreciation. Professor Welsh, Vice-Provost Students, also thanked the Chair for his support and collegial approach to leadership, and wished him well.
  2. Report of the Senior Assessor

    Professor Welsh, Vice-Provost Students, offered updates on the following matters:

    Professor Welsh reported that the University continued to follow the advice of the Provincial Government and Public Health authorities to ensure the safety of students, staff, and faculty, and worked to support students through the challenging period of the pandemic. She noted that undergraduate and graduate students continued to be supported with COVID-19 emergency funding with over 9.8 million dollars having been provided to over 7,100 students in need. She reported that the Province of Ontario had released its plan to reopen. Step one was to begin on June 14, 2021, with a minimum of 21 days before moving to the next step. The University was hopeful that the Province would reach step 3 in the summer months and so planning continued for in-person learning and on-campus activity. Orientation planning was underway with consideration for various models. The ‘UTogether’ webpage had been updated with information regarding the return to campus, such as wastewater testing and rapid screening, ventilation, and contact tracing. Professor Welsh encouraged members and guests who were eligible, to receive a vaccine.

    Professor Welsh announced the launch of the review of the role of Campus Safety Services in student mental health crises. She reported that the review process would include a review of mental health and wellness as it related to Special Constables and their response to individuals experiencing mental health crises, as well as wellness supports for Special Constables in their roles as first responders. She highlighted the use of the term ‘Campus Safety Services’ to collectively represent the Campus Police/Campus Safety Services. Professor Welsh provided an overview of the mandate of the reviewers, and noted that the review was being conducted in parallel with the implementation of recommendations from the Final Report of the Presidential and Provostial Task Force on Student Mental Health, as well as the Administrative Response to the Final Report. Consultations were planned. At the conclusion of the review, the reviewers would submit a report, with recommendations, to Professor Kelly Hannah-Moffatt, Vice-President, Human Resources & Equity, and the Office of the Vice-Provost Students.

    Professor Hannah-Moffat also commented that the review of Campus Safety Services would continue in parallel with the work that the units would be doing with respect to equity and diversity.
  3. 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, noting that this year had been challenging for all services that relied on in-person campus activities, including Trademark Licensing. She commended the work of Kristina Kazandjian, Manager, Trademark Licensing, for all her innovative and hard work. Ms Macdonald noted the importance of the Trademark Licensing Code of Conduct, and commented that this year had also been especially challenging for workers across the entire global apparel industry. She highlighted a region of China where there had been reports of brutal working conditions, including the use of forced labour, assuring members that the region and others, in collaboration with NGO partners, would continue to be monitored. Ms Macdonald also highlighted the Insulin 100 merchandise project, which was the first time University of Toronto merchandise was fully integrated into a major project and communications initiative.

    A member asked if there had been any student consultation or feedback solicited from students on the merchandise and brands. Ms Macdonald responded that the Trademark Manager had partnered with the Innovation Hub (a student-led design initiative) recently, to engage with students. She added that another feedback project had been completed within the past two years.
  4. Annual Report: Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA)

    Professor Hannah-Moffat made a presentation which provided highlights from the AODA Annual Report, including:
  • key accomplishments: accessibility embedded into UTogether Roadmap and mask guidelines; accessibility guidelines; flexible accommodated testing procedures; new curricular and co- curricular accessibility resources published;
  • key initiatives: new sessions in accessibility and language, online events and procurement; structured Universal Design for Learning (UDL) support; a dedicated web Accessibility Specialist; review of institutional accessible design standards for the built environment; working with Centre for Teaching Support & Innovation (CTSI);
  • institutional leadership provincially and federally: University community members on provincial committee; Mr. David Onley addressing work on the Accessible Canada Act; and
  • additional highlights: launch of employee virtual wellness portal; AODA Office & the Anti- Racism & Cultural Diversity Office (ARCDO) collaboration on International Day for Persons with Disabilities.

    Professor Hannah-Moffat also provided an update on the work of the Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Office, and the Office of Indigenous Initiatives, highlighting several examples, including the UTSC led, National Dialogues and Action for Inclusive Higher Education and Communities. She noted that a full report would be provided to the UAB in the fall of 2021.

    In reply to a member’s question regarding UDL and accessibility training for instructors, Mr. Ben Poynton (AODA Officer) responded that work and training was ongoing with CTSI, and that accessibility was being embedded into additional offerings, such as a recent Teaching & Learning Symposium. He also commented on the forthcoming implementation of the new AODA postsecondary standards (draft at the time of meeting).

    A member asked about accessible design for co-curricular activities, such as student clubs. Professor Hannah-Moffat confirmed that the question was important and it would be taken back for discussion.

    A member asked about the 2025 compliance deadline for AODA regulations. Mr. Poynton responded that the approach had been educative to this point, and it would be important to demonstrate ongoing efforts and a willingness to work with the Province on implementation.

    In reply to a member’s question about student feedback and implementation, Mr. Poynton responded that his office did regularly receive and seek feedback, as did Accessibility Services. He commented on some of the complexities with respect to implementation, such as building codes, and noted that funding did exist to support implementation and compliance. Professor Hannah-Moffat added that recommendations were considered in terms of time frames, as some might be implemented right away, others might take more time to plan and implement.

    The Chair thanked Professor Kelly Hannah-Moffat and Mr. Poynton for their presentation.
  1. Annual Report: 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 campus groups (120 at UTM, 209 at UTSC, and 552 at UTSG). There had been an overall year-over-year decrease of 25% in the number of recognized student groups from 2019-20 to 2020-21. This decrease was attributed to both the pandemic and recent changes to the aforementioned policy, to ensure that all groups were active and comprised primarily of students. Members had no questions or comments regarding the three annual reports on recognized student groups.

  1. Annual Report: Police Services
    1. University of Toronto Mississauga
    2. University of Toronto Scarborough
    3. University of Toronto, St. George

The Chair noted for members that the following three reports were received for information. 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. In response to a previously submitted question, Professor Welsh spoke to the commitment to diversity recruitment/hiring, and training. She also explained some of the statistical context of occurrences on each of the campuses, with reference to the Statistical Overview section of the reports where both UTM and UTSC had very consistent numbers of crime occurrences. She welcomed Mr. Mike Munroe (St. George, Director, Campus Police), Mr. Robert Messacar (UTM Director, Campus Police Services), and Mr. Tom McIlhone (UTSC Assistant Director, Campus Community Police) who were available to respond to questions.

A member asked about data collection at UTM regarding Campus Safety Services staff. Mr. Messacar was invited to respond, and he commented that it was his understanding that these statistics were collected at an institutional level through survey, and not by the individual departments or units. Professor Welsh confirmed this was the approach of the University.

The Chair thanked Professor Welsh for her presentation, and Campus Safety Services for their attendance.

  1. Report of the Previous Meeting: Report Number 223, April 22, 2021

    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.
  3. Date of Next Meeting: September 30, 2021 at 4:30 p.m.

    The Chair confirmed that the next meeting would be held on September 30, 2021 at 4:30 p.m.
  4. Other Business

    No other business was raised by members. The Chair thanked members of the administration (Sandy Welsh, David Newman, Micah Stickel, and Melinda Scott), staff of the Office of the Vice Provost Students (Josh Hass), and the Secretariat (Patrick McNeill, David Walders and Emma Thacker) for their support over the past years. He also thanked members of the Board for their consistent engagement and recognized those whose terms had ended.

The Board moved in camera.

  1. Annual 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, 2021 to June 30, 2022.
  • Mr. Neil Chakraborty
  • Ms Ann Perry
  • Ms Sherice Robertson
  • Ms Vanshika Dhawan
  • Mr. Dylan Dingwell
  • Ms Natalie Enriquez-Birch
  • Ms Syeda Hasan
  • Ms Avigail Rucker

    THAT the following be appointed to the Discipline Appeals Board for a one-year term from July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022.
  • Professor Mark Lautens
  • Mr. Sarosh Jamal
  • Ms Caitlin Campisi
  • Ms Susan Froom
  • Ms Sandhya Mylabathula
  • Ms Mama Adobea Nii Owoo
  1. Appointment: Chair, Council on Student Services

    On motion duly made, seconded and carried, It was Resolved,

    THAT Ms Alexa Ballis-Papamihalis be appointed chair of the Council on Student Services, effective immediately and until April 30, 2022.

The meeting adjourned at 6:13 p.m.

June 3, 2021