Report: UTM Campus Affairs Committee - October 18, 2022



October 18, 2022

To the Campus Council,

University of Toronto Mississauga,

Your Committee reports that it held a meeting on October 18, 2022 at 2:10 p.m. in the Council Chamber, Room 3130, W. G. Davis Building.


Rafael Chiuzi (in the Chair), Alexandra Gillespie (Vice-President & Principal), Amrita Daniere (Interim Vice-Principal Academic & Dean), Deborah Brown (Chief Administrative Officer), Mark Overton (Dean of Student Affairs and Assistant Principal, Student Services), Laura Ferlito, Adriana Grimaldi, Shelley Hawrychuk, Yuhong He, Hans van Monsjou, Caleb Samuels, Jessica Silver, Ziyaad Vahed, Muhammad Wahid, Payam Zahedi

Non-Voting Assessors:
Andrea Urie (Assistant Dean, Student Wellness, Support & Success), Christine Esteban (Executive Director, Budget, Planning & Finance), Chad Nuttall (Assistant Dean of Students and International Initiatives)

Regrets: Nagham Abdalahad, Shehrbano Ali, Maria Chacin, Crystal Cheng, Luke Barber, Jerry Flores, Claudiu Gradinaru Robert Gerlai, Melissa Gniadek, Ciska Luwawu, Ashley Monks, Laura Taylor, Jay Thakar

In Attendance: Brian Cunha (Director, Student Housing & Residence Life), Vicky Jezierski (Director of Hospitality and Retail Services), Megan Evans (Assistant Director, Hospitality Operations), Brian Hoppie (Operations Manager, Parking), Michelle Kraus (Associate Registrar), Lorretta Neebar (Registrar), Veronica Vasquez (Director, International Education Centre),

Cindy Ferencz-Hammond (Assistant Secretary)

  1. Chair’s Remarks
    The Chair welcomed members to the second meeting of the Campus Affairs Committee and welcomed two newly elected members because of the fall by-elections as follows: Payam Zahedi from the Office of the Vice-President, Research and Mohammed Wahid, graduate student.
  2. Encouraging Informed Academic and Career Decision Making

    The Chair invited Michelle Kraus, Associate Registrar, Academic Standards, Advising and Financial Aid, Office of the Registrar, Jessica Silver, Director, Centre for Student Engagement and Felicity Morgan, Director, Career Centre to present.

    During their presentation, they shared the following information:
    • Their three units were working together to strengthen the student experience.
    • Pressure points for students included deciding what program to study, deciding what career to pursue, and developing and implementing steps to reach these goals.
    • Students were encouraged to approach these as a continuous process with related steps and not discrete decisions.
    • Academic and career choices were often understood to be made at different times; programs have to be chosen at the end of first year (typically) and the perception was that career could be looked at later.
    • The presentation encouraged students to move towards career clarity by better analyzing the programs and courses available that aligned with their strengths, interests, and possible career areas.
    • With the support of the Office of the Dean, chairs and course instructors, staff have made brief presentations to first year classrooms in the fall of 2021 and 2022 on this opportunity.
    • In 2021:delivered information and encouragement regarding programs at UTM; explored relationships between academic experiences and careers.
    • In 2022:connected key questions or decision points with who on campus can support them and how these were related.
    • Last year the program reached over 2400 students.

The presenters concluded by sharing some examples of their presentations to first year classes and encouraged faculty members to make the presentation available on their course pages.

In response to a member’s question about whether there was alumni involvement, it was noted that the Career Centre worked with alumni on a regular basis where they contributed their expertise and experiences to various workshops and programs.Also in response to a member’s question about how departmental academic advisors could be involved, it was explained that the program was primarily focused on alternative versus traditional program entry, but there was more support by such staff during the Student Programming Planning Interactive Exhibition (SPPIE), which occurred in March.

  1. Status Report on UTM Campus Strategic Priorities: Professor Alexandra Gillespie, Vice-President & Principal and Professor Amrita Daniere, Interim Vice-Principal, Academic & Dean

    The Chair reminded members that starting in November, UTM would be discussing its budget plans with the Provost and the Vice President of University Operations and would receive approval of its enrollment plans in the budget in February of 2023.The University’s institutional budget would then proceed for governance consideration and it, along with the UTM campus operating budget would then be presented for information to UTM governance bodies.

    At the invitation of the Chair, Professor Alexandra Gillespie, Vice-President and Principal and Professor Amrita Daniere, Interim Vice-Principal, Academic & Dean, gave a presentation that outlined the status of the strategic priorities of the campus.

    Professor Gillespie organized her update around the core values and priorities of UTM’s strategic framework, which was developed in 2021.During her presentation, she highlighted five exemplary accomplishments for each of the core values of fostering student success, empowering research discovery and impact, embracing our place, building efficient and sustainable operations, and encouraging collaboration and belonging, all with the central focus of truth, openness and reciprocity.

    The Presentation was continued by Professor Daniere. She showed the enrolment of international and domestic students and noted that as of October 3, 2022, UTM fell short of the international target number of students by 420 students, which would affect budget projections for several years.Professor Daniere also reported that UTM was conducting 29 faculty searches across all disciplines, including seven growth positions, which was consistent with the goals of the Academic Plan.She concluded her presentation by noting that UTM’s self-study, which would provide the framework and identify priorities for UTM to address over the next five years, was complete and was submitted to the Provost.Next, the external review was scheduled for late fall or early winter and its recommendations and the accompanying response to the recommendations would be provided to the Provost in the spring of 2023.

    In response to a member’s question about the reasons behind the shortfall of international enrollment to target, Professor Gillespie explained that one of the reasons was that in a previous year, there was a large over-enrollment in the computer science and life sciences as well as in Management and ICCIT, which had a detrimental effect on students who struggled to get into their first-choice programs.UTM had therefore made the decision not to aggressively recruit in these more popular programs this year, which had a larger than anticipated impact.Secondly, she explained that a large proportion of UTM’s international students were Chinese students studying in Ontario High Schools, but that due to the pandemic not as many of these students attended High Schools in Ontario.She added that UTM was working to diversity its international student body which would make a difference to those numbers in the future.

    The Chair commented on the positive momentum of the strategic framework.
  2. Reports of the Presidential Assessors
    1. Update on the Development of the 2023-24 Operating Plans – UTM Service Ancillaries Budgets

      The Chair invited Deborah Brown, Chief Administrative Officer and Brian Cunha, Director of Student Housing & Residence Life to provide an update on the development of the ancillary budget plans.

      During their presentation, they shared the following information:
      • The administration was consulting with the Food Services Advisory Committee, the Residence Student Dining Committee, and the Transportation and Parking Committee with scheduled dates through October and November
      • For Hospitality Services, revenue was approaching pre-pandemic levels and there was 90% of pre-pandemic meal plan revenue; Film shoots and Ontario Summer Games provided higher than expected revenue from summer business.
      • For Parking & Transportation, student permit sales were at approximately 88% of expected levels and staff and faculty permit sales were at about 93%. There was a waitlist for unreserved permits, comparable to pre-pandemic levels.
      • Food inflation increased by 9.8% between August 2021 and August 2022 (Statistics Canada)
      • UTM was waiting for the 2022 Food Institute of Dalhousie University Food Price report predictions in December which would be reviewed to finalize the budget.
      • For Student Housing & Residence Life, focus this year had been on post-pandemic recovery and renewal of existing spaces.
      • Dealing with the financial impact of COVID19 on reserves due to a large number of refunds in 2020 and lower than anticipated occupancy in 2020 and 2021 in addition to this cost of goods and services
      • Increased costs of construction and renovation projects.
      • Very high demand for on campus housing from both domestic and international students; Challenge of meeting the first-year student housing guarantee.
      • The consultation process for the budget included the Student Housing Advisory Committee (SHAC), with four meetings scheduled for the fall; seeking endorsement from SHAC at the group’s final meeting.

        During discussion, the following points were made:

      • Two townhouse phases have been dramatically refreshed.
      • COVID-19 meant that there was decreased use of the ancillaries and UTM was not back to the same levels as prior to the pandemic, however, it was early in the year, and usage rates were expected to improve.
      • One of the ways the ancillaries were able to make up some revenue particularly in the summer months was because of film shoots.
      • Parking was less expensive in the evenings when there is less demand.
      • Data for parking space demand was continuously analyzed and one impact of note was that many staff members were on alternative work arrangements and not on campus every day.
      • A maximum of 4-hour time limit applied for charging electric vehicles on campus.
    2. Beginning College Survey of Student Engagement (BCSSE)

      At the invitation of the Chair, Chad Nuttall, Assistant Dean of Students and International Initiatives provided an overview of the BCSSE.Mr. Nuttal reported that the BCSSE was administered to newly entering students by institutions prior to the start of the fall or winter classes. The survey collected data about entering students’ prior expectations for participating in educational activities during the coming academic year. He noted that institutions, including UTM, used this data for planning purposes, student advising and program development. It was also used in the transition coaching program, which was a structured one-on-one coaching program focusing on skill building to help with successful transition to university.

      Mr. Nuttall shared some of the survey results from respondents as follows:
      • 65% of students indicated that UTM was their first-choice university.
      • 56% of incoming students indicated that they would be arriving without any pre-existing friendships; some may think that they are the only ones in that situation but it is actually quite common.
      • 56% of students live off campus further than walking distance, so many were traveling long distances by transit or car.
      • They indicated that their expectation was that differently from High School, they would spend five more hours each week studying, two more hours each week working for pay, half an hour less participating in curricular activities and three hours less socializing and relaxing.
      • Biggest challenges noted were managing time, learning course material, and paying for university.
      • International students had slightly higher expectations for faculty interaction than their domestic counterparts and had much lower expectations on how difficult the academic environment would be.

Mr. Nuttall noted that by understanding and collecting this information on students’ expectations UTM hoped to better support students by anticipating their needs.


On motion duly moved, seconded, and carried


THAT the consent agenda be adopted and that Item 6 - Report of the Previous Meeting, be approved.

  1. Report on Capital Projects – as at September 30, 2022
  2. Report of the Previous Meeting
    Report number 54, dated September 13, 2022, was approved.
  3. Business Arising from the Report of the Previous Meeting
  4. Date of Next Meeting – January 10, 2023 at 3:10 p.m.
    The Chair reminded members that the next meeting of the Committee would be held on January 10, 2023 at 3:10 p.m.
  5. Other Business
    There was no other business.

The meeting was adjourned at 3:22 p.m.

October 20, 2022