REPORT NUMBER 46 OF THE UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO MISSISSAUGA CAMPUS COUNCIL
MARCH 9, 2021
To the Governing Council,
University of Toronto
Your Council reports that it met on March 9, 2021 at 4:10 p.m. in a Virtual Meeting Room.
Samra Zafar (Chair), Shashi Kant (Vice-Chair), Alexandra Gillespie (Vice-President & Principal), Sultan Akif, Hassaan Basit, Mitchell Bonney, Dario Di Censo, Laura Cocuzzi, Ivana Di Millo, Sanja Hinic-Frlog, Robert Gerlai, Shelley Hawrychuk, Sameer Lal, Joseph Leydon, Jay Nirula, Laura Taylor, Kathleen Yu, Ziyaad Vahed, Ron Wener
Amrita Daniere (Vice-Principal, Academic & Dean), Saher Fazilat (Chief Administrative Officer), Mark Overton (Assistant Principal, Student Services & Dean of Student Affairs)
Bryan Du, Imre Gams, Mitra Yakubi
Cheryl Regehr (Vice-President & Provost), Jeff Lennon (Executive Director, Institutional Planning & Budget Administration), Christine Capewell (Executive Director, UTM Budget, Planning & Finance), Josh Haas (Coordinator, Student Policy Initiatives), Antonia Lo (Assistant Director, Student Services & Ancillaries), Erin Kraftcheck (Medical Director, Health & Counselling Centre), Andrea Carter (Assistant Dean, Student Wellness, Support & Success), Jessica Silver (Director, Student Engagement), Veronica Vasquez (Director, International Education Centre ), Megan Evans (Manager, Parking & Transportation Services), Fatima Yakubi (member of the Campus Affairs Committee), Hans van Monsjou (member of the Campus Affairs Committee)
Cindy Ferencz Hammond (Assistant Secretary of the Governing Council), Emma Thacker (Assistant Secretary of the Governing Council)
- Chair’s Remarks
The Chair welcomed members extended a welcome to members of the Campus Affairs Committee who had been invited to attend the meeting to participate in Item #3, the Institutional budget presentation. She also congratulated the winners of the elections of the Teaching Staff and Administrative Staff constituencies on the UTM Campus Council and its Standing Committees, which were announced on February 26 and thanked all who participated in the governance elections. She noted that the announcement of election results for all student seats would occur on Monday, April 12. Finally, she reminded members that there were two seats available on the UTM Campus Council in the Community / Alumni constituency for 2021 and that the applications period would close on Friday, March 12.
- Report of the Vice-President and Principal
Professor Gillespie addressed three announcements and initiatives of university-wide significance in her report.
Accelerating Ontario’s Vaccine Rollout
Professor Gillespie announced that on March 1, overseen by Peel Public Health, Trillium Health Partners opened a COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic at UTM’s Recreation, Athletics, & Wellness Centre, which was the first public mass vaccine site in the City of Mississauga and one of the first community-based sites in the entire Greater Toronto & Hamilton Area. Offering appointments seven days a week, the clinic planned to administer up to 2,000 vaccinations per day by the end of March, with capacity to ramp up to 4,000+ vaccinations per day in subsequent months. She noted that before the end of August, the site had the potential to administer more than 500,000 vaccinations on behalf of the public good. UTM brings to the collaboration the strength and assets of a world-class university: its 73,000 square foot RAWC facility, accessible by bike, car, and public transit; its ultra-cold freezers, generously volunteered by outstanding faculty in Biology, Psychology, and Chemical and Physical Sciences. She expressed her gratitude to the many dedicated people at UTM who had made the clinic possible. She highlighted UTM’s strengths in collaborating with the community, bringing together Trillium, the Region of Peel, and the City of Mississauga and the Province, with UTM hosting Premier Ford and Ministers Elliott and Jones for the clinic opening.
Supporting Healthy Populations
Professor Gillespie continued her report discussing UTM’s work towards supporting the health and wellbeing of its diverse communities. Based at UTM and enabled by a $20M gift from Novo Nordisk Network for Healthy Populations, and in collaboration with Trillium Health Partners, the Dalla Lana School for Public Health, and the Temerty Faculty of Medicine, the Novo Nordisk Network will develop research, intervention, and educational programs in the fight against diabetes and other serious chronic diseases. The Network exemplified what President Gertler referred to as the power of place and leveraged Mississauga’s location to solve problems of national and global significance and to advance UTM’s core mission of excellence in research and teaching. Professor Gillespie remarked that fittingly, on the one hundredth anniversary of the discovery of insulin, the Network addressed diabetes and chronic illness locally to create an international model of care. She added that the ongoing work of UTM’s oral historian complements the Novo Nordisk Network, as both have a shared attention to place.
Equity and Excellence
Professor Gillespie congratulated Professor Rhonda McEwen, who had been appointed to the position of UTM’s new Vice-Principal, Academic & Dean, effective July 1, 2021. She stated that Prof. McEwen would be able to build on the success of the current Dean, Prof. Amrita Daniere, to whom UTM owed a tremendous debt of gratitude for guiding UTM with her expansive insight, and her relentless commitment, all of which became essential during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Vice-President & Principal concluded her report by discussing equity and diversity initiatives at UTM. She pointed out that Professor McEwen had worked since August 2020 as Special Advisor on Anti-Racism and Equity, building on her leadership experience in U of T’s tri-campus Black Faculty Working Groups. Part of this advisory role entailed the collaborative development of initiatives in support of equity, diversity, and inclusion, such as UTM’s new research grant program designed to address the historic and contemporary effects of racism. Funding work in both knowledge creation and community engagement, these grants would support two groups of researchers at UTM: (1) Black, Indigenous, and/or racialized scholars regardless of research area; and (2) UTM faculty members with research that addresses racism, social justice, and/or decolonization. She reported that the grants comprised a growing suite of initiatives that aimed to put UTM’s ideals in practice.
The Vice-President and Principal then invited Professor Amrita Daniere, Vice-Principal Academic and Dean to provide a presentation on online student learning.
Professor Daniere discussed the online learning experience for students. During her presentation, she extended her gratitude to Fiona Rawle (Associate Dean, Undergraduate), Anne Gagné and Dianne Ashbourne (Academic Skills Centre) and Simone Laughton (Library and Instructional Technologies) for their invaluable advice and expertise in making online learning not only pedagogically rigorous, but also creating a culture of engagement and motivation to learn. She reported that the Teaching & Learning Collaboration (TLC) would be sending out a survey to faculty in April, in order to assess the effectiveness of the delivery of remote courses, with the hope that the information could be useful for the design of summer workshops and seminars. With respect to addressing how to make online learning for students better, recent research had shown that students learned better when they felt a connection to their professor. Another focus in improving the online experience of students had been on sustainable teaching, especially from a workload perspective, in the form of considering how to balance more smaller assignments with an overall need for students to manage all their courses. Faculty have also been encouraged to make due dates more flexible, practice universal design principles, and use active learning principles such as breakout rooms and polls in a remote environment.
A member commented that as an instructor, he had had a great online teaching experience and asked about how students had felt generally about their online experience. Professor Daniere encouraged the member to fill out the faculty survey in April in order to provide this kind of feedback and noted that in reviewing student feedback, she found that students were pleasantly surprised but still less happy overall with the online educational experience than in-person learning. Another member requested that the lessons learned and strategies developed around online teaching and learning could be shared more widely in a future presentation.
Referring to Professor Daniere’s presentation, the Provost added that faculty members at University of Toronto were world leaders in the pedagogy of teaching and pointed to the President's Teaching Academy as an important group whose leaders contributed to world knowledge about pedagogy of teaching through their scholarly activities.
- Institutional Budget Report 2021-22 and Long Range Budget Guidelines 2021-22 to 2025-26
The Chair invited Professor Cheryl Regehr, Vice-President & Provost and Mr. Jeff Lennon, Executive Director, Institutional Planning & Budget Administration, Planning & Budget Office to discuss the institutional budget report. During their presentation, they highlighted the following points:
- It was reported that while the University was in positive financial state overall despite the significant uncertainty created by the pandemic, resources continued to be directed toward addressing the ongoing challenges as a result of COVID-19.
- The University of Toronto presented a balanced budget for every year of the five year plan, with the total budgeted operating revenue for 2021-22 of $3.12 billion was 4.4% higher than the 2020-21 budget.
- The expense budget structure remained largely unchanged, with 57% of expenses related to faculty and staff compensation, 9% for student financial aid and 8% for capital projects.
- Enrolment remained robust, with enrolment-related revenues projected to increase.
- The shift in the balance of funding between tuition and provincial operating grants continued and each year it went down approximately 1%, with just 21% of the operating budget now supported by the Provincial government, down from 22% last year.
- Spending was increased on financial aid, health and safety measures, and online teaching tools.
- The impact of COVID-19 was particularly felt by ancillary services, which suffered significant adverse budgetary consequences and would likely require deficit spending over the next several years.
- Projected revenue growth across the University was 4.4%, with UTM’s figure at a 3.6% increase.
- The outer years of the plan assumed a significantly slower rate of revenue growth.
- Bill 124 would restrict compensation increases for a 3 year period, excluding increases related to PTR, merit, and union grid steps.
- Divisions had been asked to develop budgets assuming a freeze of domestic tuition for one additional year (2021-22) pending the announcement of a new Provincial tuition fee framework.
- The proportion of the University’s budget supported by the Provincial government was significantly less than peer institutions in the U15 group of Canadian research universities.
- The University also received the lowest amount of per-student government funding among U15 peers.
- The government had confirmed that no performance-based funding would be at risk until at least 2022-23.
- Positive variance in enrollment was mainly due to retention of upper year students.
- The government was no longer funding any growth at the undergraduate or graduate level
- Divisions would maintain international intake targets and UTM would continue to plan at the same level that they were they were last year; intake would move from around 28.5% this year up to just over 30% by the end of the five year period.
- The University continued its commitment to providing financial aid, spending significantly more than required by the Province’s student access guarantee, and 58% more in financial aid per student than the average of other Ontario universities.
- The student aid budget for 2021-22 would increase to $291 million, with 50 million of that coming from endowed funds and the rest from operating funds.
- OSAP debt levels remained below historical levels.
- Divisions were earmarking 6% of international undergraduate tuition revenue to create scholarships to reduce the costs of tuition for top international applicants: the investments were being phased in beginning in 2020-21 with $15 million, and up to $84 million in additional funding by 2025-26.
- The operating budget continued to prioritize investments related to the student experience, including: expanded mental health services, increased opportunities for experiential, work-integrated learning, and research experiences, improvements to both physical and IT infrastructure, and improving service delivery in the areas of academic advising and student success.
- Five priority areas had been identified for the $27 million University Fund Allocation: Inclusive Excellence, Enriching Learning, Investing in Divisional Priorities, Advancing University Priorities, and Research Support.
- The University had reached a milestone in achieving consent for a jointly sponsored pension plan; the overall climate for pensions still had significant uncertainty including discount rates and longevity assumptions.
- Deferred maintenance was a high priority across all three campuses, with $4 million in annual investments at UTM and UTSC and a $40 million budget overall for next year.
- The University had established a new infrastructure fund and at the end of 2020, divisions had set aside $429 million for major capital projects in the reserve fund.
A member asked about the risk associated with such a high proportional of international students coming from one geographic area, namely China and Asia Pacific. The Provost explained that with respect to diversifying countries, the University had been working in a number of different countries to recruit the best students and had been fortunate to have a very strong applicant pool from China. The University was also focusing on increasing the number of students from other countries, recognizing that it was a multi-year effort to make such a change.
In response to a member’s question about pressures around international fee increases, the Provost explained that while the University had been among the top of its peers for international fees, future increases would be contained, with a slight increase next year, and a slowdown in any planned increases over the next few years.
Responding to a member’s question about the continued decline of proportion of provincial funding per student, Mr. Lennon explained that over many years, the government decided to allow more flexibility in tuition fees and hold operating grants steady, and this coinciding with international student growth, has shifted the balance of funding in the operating budget.
A member asked about whether there had been any additional source of revenue from the federal government for research. The Provost explained that a large percentage of the research funding was through so called PI or principal investigator grants, which was not reflected in the operating budget. However, she added that the operating budget reflected the indirect costs of research funding.
- Operating Plans and Fees: UTM Student Affairs and Services for 2021-2022
- QSS advice
As per The Protocol, Mr. Overton noted that student input was provided in relation to compulsory non-academic incidental fees through consultations with QSS or the Quality Service to Students group, which was composed of administrative staff and a majority of student members. He noted that although QSS is not a governance body, it was asked to provide advice to governance. He explained that QSS's advisory groups on the services met in the fall of 2020, and the directors and managers of the services sought input through those advisory groups to shape their operating plans and budget proposals. He noted that throughout these meetings, the adjustments that these services had been making because of the pandemic had been discussed and the specific budget proposals for 2021-22 had been considered at meetings in December 2020 and at two January 2021 meetings. Members of QSS had voted in support of the full fees package with unanimous support.
In response to a member’s question about how student QSS members were selected, Mr. Overton explained that each student society had designated their own representatives.
- Operating Plans and Fees for 2021-22
Mr. Overton summarized the three fee categories and referred members to the documentation, which showed the current fees, the proposed fees which had been endorsed unanimously by QSS, and a reference point, which was the maximum the services could have sought based on the Protocol’s rules. He noted that the administration was seeking either no increase, or as in the case of the student services fee, an increase that was much lower than the maximum allowed without QSS’s endorsement.
He referred members to the detailed operating plans and rationales for maintaining fees in Health Services, Athletics & Recreation as well as the increase sought in the Student Services Fee category based on student feedback and consultation.
- QSS advice
In his presentation, Mr. Overton highlighted the following examples of student services projects:
- There had been a significant uptake in the Career Centre’s networking activities.
- The Recreation Athletics & Wellness department had offered popular one on one personal fitness assessments and consultations and customized free personal training sessions.
- The alternative reading week program included a three day initiative where students were given a chance to learn more about an issue and to understand the local connections within the Region of Peel: there had been 12 projects with eight community partners all done virtually, with the Halton Aphasia organization being a particularly great example of student volunteer contributions.
The Chair of the Campus Affairs Committee reported that at that Committee’s recent meeting, members received a similar presentation from Mr. Overton. There had been some discussion relating to the ongoing existence of the child care center given that a small number of families use it. The Committee supported the recommendations in the proposal.
In response to a member’s question, Mr. Overton confirmed that these fees were compulsory to students, but that during the current academic year, students had not been charged the full fee in recognition of some COVID-19 impacts and this would likely continue during the summer.
In response to a member’s question, Ms Antonia Lo, Assistant Director, Student Services & Ancillaries, provided clarification around the forecasted, actual and reserve figures in the Student Services budget. The member also asked about the plans for shuttle services with respect to the number of existing and planned buses. Ms Megan Evans, Manager of Transportation and Parking Services, explained that there had been 12 dedicated buses with two additional spares that were in use, which are fully accessible and had heat; eight of those also had air conditioning, upgraded suspension systems and Wi-Fi. She added that the four additional buses planned for 2021-22 would have all those features plus coach style seating and three point seatbelts. Mr. Overton also noted the service would continue to upgrade the shuttle buses, but that this also depended on the availability of funds and the fact that UTM did not actually own the buses, but worked with a company who owned and operated them.
On motion duly moved, seconded, and carried
YOUR COUNCIL APPROVED
THAT SUBJECT TO CONFIRMATION BY THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
THAT the 2021-22 operating plans and budgets for the UTM Health & Counselling Centre; the UTM Department of Recreation, Athletics & Wellness; and the UTM Student Services under the Student Services Fee, recommended by the Dean of Student Affairs, Mark Overton, and described in the attached proposals, be approved; and
THAT the sessional Health Services Fee for a UTM-registered or UTM-affiliated full-time student be unchanged at $60.15 per session ($12.03 for a part-time student), and
THAT the sessional Athletics & Recreation Fee for a UTM-registered or UTM-affiliated full-time student be unchanged at $205.88 per session ($41.18 for a part-time student), and
THAT the sessional Student Services Fee for a UTM-registered or UTM-affiliated full-time student be increased to $210.36 per session ($42.07 for a part-time student), which represents a year-over-year increase of $9.11 per session ($1.82 for a part-time student) or 4.5%.
- Compulsory Non-Academic Incidental Fees - Student Society Fees: UTM Student Society Proposals for Fee Increases (UTMAGS & UTMSU)
The Chair noted that student society fees were subject to the terms and conditions of the Policy on Ancillary Fees and the Policy for Compulsory Non-Academic Incidental Fees. She invited Mr. Overton to speak to the matter. Mr. Overton advised members that the fee increases requested by student societies adhered to the appropriate processes. The Chair of the Campus Affairs Committee, Professor Josef Leydon reported that the Committee supported the recommendation presented in the item.
On motion duly moved, seconded, and carried
YOUR COUNCIL APPROVED
THAT SUBJECT TO CONFIRMATION BY THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
THAT beginning in the Fall 2021 session, the University of Toronto Mississauga Association of Graduate Students (UTMAGS) fee be increased as follows: (a) an increase of $6.43 per Fall and Winter sessions (full-time and part-time) in the Mississauga Transit U-Pass portion of the fee; and (b) an increase of $3.86 per Fall session and $3.85 per Winter session (full-time and part-time) in the Mississauga Transit Summer U-Pass portion of the fee.1
If approved, the total Fall/Winter UTMAGS fee will be $225.61 per Fall session and $225.60 per Winter session, charged to all UTM-affiliated graduate students.
THAT beginning in the Summer 2021 session, the University of Toronto Mississauga Student Union (UTMSU; legally, the Erindale College Student Union) fee be increased as follows: (a) an increase of $8.72 per Summer session (full-time and part-time) in the Mississauga Transit U-Pass portion of the fee;
THAT beginning in the Fall 2021 session, the UTMSU fee be increased as follows: (a) an increase of $0.25 per session ($0.01 part-time) in the society portion of the fee; (b) an increase of up to $10.21 per Fall and Winter sessions (full-time only) in the Health Plan portion of the fee; (c) an increase of up to $8.53 per Fall and Winter sessions (full-time only) in the Dental Plan portion of the fee; (d) an increase of $6.46 per Fall and Winter sessions (full-time and part-time) in the Mississauga Transit U-Pass portion of the fee (e) an increase of $0.01 per session (full-time and part-time) in the Academic Societies portion of the fee; (f) an increase of $0.06 per session (full-time only) in the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS) portion of the fee; (g) an increase of $0.01 per session (full-time only) in the Downtown Legal Services portion of the fee; and (h) an increase of $0.01 per Fall and Winter sessions (full-time and part-time) and $0.01 per Summer session (full-time only) in the World University Service of Canada (WUSC) Levy portion of the fee; and
THAT beginning in the Fall 2021 session, the UTMSU fee charged to Mississauga Academy of Medicine (MAM) students in the Fall and Winter sessions be increased as follows: (a) an increase of $7.41 per Fall and Winter sessions in the Mississauga Transit Summer U-Pass portion of the fee.
If approved, the total Fall/Winter UTMSU fee will be up to $416.15 per session (up to $150.81 part-time), charged to all UTM undergraduate students. The total Fall/Winter UTMSU fee for MAM students will be up to $505.91 per session.
1Further to UTMAGS’ request, Mississauga Transit U-Pass fees will not be charged to Master of Forensic Accounting (MFAcc) and Master of Management and Professional Accounting (MMPA) students.
On motion duly moved, seconded, and carried
YOUR COUNCIL APPROVED
THAT the consent agenda be adopted and that Item 8 - Report of the Previous Meeting, be approved.
- Report on UTM Capital Projects – as at January 31, 2021
- Reports for Information
- Report 46 of the Agenda Committee (March 1, 2021)
- Report 45 of the Campus Affairs Committee (February 10, 2021)
- Report 40 of the Academic Affairs Committee (February 11, 2021)
- Report of the Previous Meeting: Report 45 – January 26, 2021
Report number 45, dated January 26, 2021 was approved.
- Business Arising from the Report of the Previous Meeting
- Date of Next Meeting – Monday, April 19, 2021 at 4:10 p.m.
The Chair reminded members that the next meeting of the UTM Campus Council was scheduled for Monday, April 19, 2021 at 4:10 p.m.
- Question Period
There were no questions for the administration.
- Other Business
There was no other business.
The meeting was adjourned at 5:50 p.m.
March 12, 2021