Report: UTM Campus Affairs Committee - September 13, 2022



September 13, 2022

To the Campus Council,

University of Toronto Mississauga,

Your Committee reports that it held a meeting on September 13, 2022 at 3:10 p.m. in the Council Chamber, Room 3130, W. G. Davis Building.


Robert Gerlai (Chair), Rafael Chiuzi (Vice-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), Nagham Abdalahad, Shehrbano Ali, Maria Chacin, Crystal Cheng, Laura Ferlito, Jerry Flores, Claudiu Gradinaru, Adriana Grimaldi, Yuhong He, Ashley Monks, Caleb Samuels, Jessica Silver, Jay Thakar, Ziyaad Vahed

Non-Voting Assessors:
Luke Barber (Executive Director, Physical and Digital Infrastructure), Andrea Carter (Assistant Dean, Student Wellness, Support & Success), Christine Esteban (Executive Director, Budget, Planning & Finance)

Regrets: Melissa Gniadek, Shelley Hawrychuk, Jessica Hanley, Ciska Luwawu, Chad Nuttall, Stephanie Santos, Laura Taylor, Hans van Monsjou

In Attendance: Vicky Jezierski (Director of Hospitality and Retail Services)


Cindy Ferencz-Hammond (Assistant Secretary)

  1. Chair’s Remarks
    The Chair welcomed members to the first meeting of the Campus Affairs Committee for the 2022-23 academic year. He introduced the Committee’s Presidential Assessors and new members, pointed members to the CAC’s orientation overview video and provided reminders about meeting procedures.
  2. Portfolio Overview and Priorities for 2022-23
    At the invitation of the Chair, Professor Amrita Daniere, Interim Vice-Principal, Academic & Dean, Ms Deborah Brown, Chief Administrative Officer, and Mr. Mark Overton, Assistant Principal, Student Services & Dean of Student Affairs, provided overviews of their portfolios and their priorities for 2022-23.

    Professor Daniere provided an overview of the structure of the Office of the Vice-Principal Academic & Dean. She then summarized her office’s priorities for the 2022-23 year, which included the following:
    • Creating Self-Study Report and overseeing UTM’s Provostial Review;
    • Improving access to Sustainability/Climate Change education at UTM;
    • Unpacking Retention Patterns at UTM and Creating new Retention Strategies; and
    • Minimize Impact of Budget Concerns on the Academic Plan (current and future),
    Finally, Professor Daniere gave a snapshot of UTM’s fall enrollment. UTM currently had close to 2700 domestic first year students and close to 800 new international students for total of just under 3500 first year students. With respect to returning students, UTM had approximately 8000 domestic students and 3500 international students for a total of approximately 11,500 and a total headcount of over 15,000 students.

    In response to a member’s request for more information on the self-study report, Professor Daniere explained that the report would summarize UTM’s academic accomplishments and initiatives since 2017 and link it to the campus academic plan. The self-study report would also consider UTM’s challenges, such as its retention and graduation rates and all of the infrastructure investments and programs that the various units were leading.

    At the invitation of the Chair, Ms Deborah Brown, Chief Administrative Officer provided an overview of the structure of her office and discussed priorities for the year.

    She noted that with respect to the return to campus, priorities included the following:
    • Support UTM with ongoing pandemic response, health, safety and wellbeing, and re-entry;
    • Full return of ancillary services, including food services, parking and transportation, conferences; and
    • Ensure adequate online and physical resources for supporting our students, faculty and staff needs.
    With respect to continuous improvement, Ms Brown listed the following goals:
    • Efficiencies - expand the use of ServiceNow platform to support transactional service requests across campus departments;
    • IT Upgrades – security, data centre, classroom technology, websites;
    • Sustainability- finalize the Campus Utilities Master Plan and Low Carbon Expansion Strategy; support Sustainability Strategic Plan;
    • Implementation of the Campus Master Plan; and
    • A new culture of space – pilot launch of a new capital projects and space allocation committee, MCaPS.
    Reporting on UTM’s capital projects, the CAO, noted that completion of the New Science Building was on target for spring 2023 and that completion of the Student Services Hub, for the summer of 2023. Planning for the new F2 Building and new student residence was underway and there were also ongoing deferred maintenance and renovation projects.

    Ms Brown noted that several other major priorities related to the campus operating budget. She explained that the academic business review or ABR process involved the creation of UTM’s balanced budget for the next five years, which would be achieved through implementation of various new initiatives, as well as some budget reduction strategies. To that end, the newly created budget planning committee would support budget alignment to key Strategic Framework priorities, the University’s Strategic Mandate Agreement, the Academic Plan, and the Campus Master Plan.

    In response to a member’s question about how various types of space requests were considered and allocated on campus, Ms Brown explained that her office had recently established a committee for that purpose, which would review all space related requests on campus. A member commented that spaces in which weekly departmental group meetings and PhD committee meetings could be held were difficult to find and book, and asked whether capacity for these kinds of spaces could be created or planned for in upcoming capital projects. Ms Brown noted that the committee had a cross-section of representation and noted that all members of the committee would have an opportunity to provide feedback into the work of the group. She added that the space committee, while intended to follow UTM’s Master Plan, Sustainability Plan and Strategic Framework, would also strive to address emerging issues and needs as identified by the UTM community.

    A member asked whether new student housing would also include housing for faculty. Professor Gillespie noted that while merging student and faculty housing was not under consideration at this time as each group had its own particular and very different needs, UTM was actively exploring land and space use and other arrangements which could support faculty, librarian, and staff housing. Professor Gillespie noted that this topic was receiving serious attention and that updates would be provided.

    A member asked about campus plans for expanding transportation options and the CAO noted that in addition to existing partnerships with the region, UTM was looking to plan for some additional parking spots. She also noted that the Transportation and Parking Committee would be exploring this as well as well as plans related to the parking ancillary this fall.

    The Chair complimented the CAO and her team about the number and quality of spaces available at UTM.

    The Chair then called on Mr. Mark Overton, Dean of Student Affairs, to provide an overview of his portfolio and goals for 2022-23. Mr. Overton began his presentation with showing an overview of the organization of his portfolio, which covered eight general areas of responsibility. He then discussed the key portfolio challenges and goals for the coming year and noted that the student affairs departments were preparing for a fall 2023 opening of the new Student Services Hub (SSH), with new and enhanced space for Accessibility Services, Career Centre, Centre for Student Engagement, International Education Centre, and Wellness Outreach. The SSH offered a new first stop service to untangle complex issues and support a strengthened and engaged student experience.

    Mr. Overton summarized other areas of focus for the year, including the following:
    • Open an expanded Health & Counselling Centre (HCC) medical clinic in the Davis Bldg. in summer 2023, following the recent opening of the HCC’s expanded counselling suite;
    • Continue pursuing the Housing Master Plan recommendations to add a new first-year residence to keep pace with the university’s first-year housing guarantee, and upgrade and renovate townhouses;
    • Support phased launch of Support - Engage - Experience (SEE) partnership with Peel District School Board, to increase PSE access for high school students who are black, Indigenous and/or have disabilities; and
    • Accelerate planning for UTM RecZone outdoor fields and courts expansion to meet students’ recreation, sport, and wellness interests.

    In response to a member’s question about the comprehensive student support team in the SSH, Mr. Overton explained that it would provide a resourceful and responsive team to help students who presented with complex disruptive behaviours driven by mental health issues. This team would work with other campus partners to best serve these students. With respect to how the SSH’s impact could be assessed, Mr. Overton noted that a primary goal was to try and reduce the perception of students being ‘bounced around’ when dealing with a complex problem and instead have students work with one service to untangle and structure a list of existing services and reduce options paralysis. Another positive outcome of the SSH was that more joint programming would be encouraged.

    In response to a member’s question about the Support - Engage - Experience (SEE) partnership with Peel District School Board, Mr. Overton and Jessica Silver, Director of the Centre for Student Engagement provided members with more information and noted that UTM was working with area school boards to provide assistance with PSE access and engagement, including help with admissions application processes. These students were currently at UTM, and they would take two High School credits on campus along with a university credit and would also be given the opportunity to participate in co-op placements within UTM departments. It was noted that one of the many positive outcomes of the initiative was that these students would already be linked into the campus and would have access to mentors with the ultimate goal of helping them to view post-secondary education as an attainable target.

  1. Reports of the Presidential Assessors
    The Chair invited Professor Daniere to report on the closure of Canadian Drosophila Microarray Centre, (EDU:D), which was for information to the Committee. Professor Daniere noted that the coordinating professor for the Centre had retired, and the Department of Biology had decided to close the Centre because its activities had ceased as of late 2015 and none of the existing faculty in the Department were focused on this type of work.
  2. Calendar of Business
    The Chair reminded members that the Committee’s Calendar of Business represented the expected items of business for governance consideration for the year and noted that it would be updated regularly on the Committee’s website.


    On motion duly moved, seconded, and carried


    THAT the consent agenda be adopted and that Item 6 - Report of the Previous Meeting, be approved.
  3. Report on Capital Projects – as at August 31, 2022
  4. Report of the Previous Meeting
    Report number 53, dated May 12, 2022, was approved.
  5. Business Arising from the Report of the Previous Meeting
  6. Date of Next Meeting – October 18, 2022 at 2:10 p.m.
    The Chair reminded members that the next meeting of the Committee would be held on October 18, 2022 at 2:10 p.m.
  7. Other Business
    There was no other business.

The meeting was adjourned at 4:07 p.m.

September 16, 2022