Report: UTM Campus Council - May 23, 2023

Via Virtual Meeting room


May 23, 2023


To the Governing Council,

University of Toronto

Your Council reports that it met on May 23, 2023 at 4:10 p.m. in a Virtual Meeting Room.

Shashi Kant (in the Chair), Ann Curran (Vice-Chair), Alexandra Gillespie (Vice-President & Principal), Hassaan Basit, Crystal Cheng, Rafael Chiuzi, Jenny Cui, Ivana Di Millo, Robert Gerlai, Sanja Hinic-Frlog, Karen Kwan Anderson, Asif Mohammed, Eha Naylor, Laura Taylor, Hana Tariq, Ziyaad Vahed, Ron Wener, Kathleen Yu

Non-Voting Assessors:
Deborah Brown (Chief Administrative Officer), Nicholas Rule (Acting Interim Vice-Principal, Academic & Dean)

Regrets: Laura Cocuzzi, Shelley Hawrychuk, Uday Dhingra, Rayan Hobeika, Ryan Teschner

In Attendance:
Chad Nuttall (Assistant Dean of Students and International Initiatives), Beverley Ayeni (Sustainability Manager, Strategic Initiatives),Luke Barber (Acting Chief Operating Officer, Property Services and Sustainability), Vicky Jezierski (Director, Hospitality & Retail Services), Tobi Mohammed (student presenter), Hamza Bin Waheed (student presenter),

Cindy Ferencz Hammond (Assistant Secretary of the Governing Council)

  1. Chair’s Remarks
    The Chair welcomed members to the last meeting of the governance year.
  2. Report of the Vice-President and Principal
    Professor Gillespie began her report by summarizing the progress and achievements towards strategic initiatives made by UTM in the current academic year.
    She shared some numbers that highlighted these achievements, including the celebration of Indigenous cultures and languages through UTM’s first powwow which drew more than 2000 attendees, the more than 800 students gaining hands-on experience in internships and research opportunities, and the more than 30 departments collaborating to advance equity, justice and access.In addition UTM had raised over half of its ten-year fundraising target, towards the Defy Gravity campaign in the first two years and had balanced UTM’s $350M+ budget for the next five years.

    UTM had also made significant strides in capital development and planning, including for a new residence, student services hub, and science and technology buildings, and continued to exceed sustainability targets.

    Professor Gillespie was pleased to announce that UTM would soon sign its first memorandum of understanding with the City of Mississauga, which amplified priorities of UTM's Strategic Framework across the City at large to create new opportunities for UTM students, researchers, and partners, and to lift up the communities they both served. Professor Gillespie then outlined five broad areas that would be addressed to strengthen work that UTM had already started to lead, including answering the calls for truth and reconciliation, promoting health equity in healthy communities, powering innovation for new local and global economies, extending sustainable development and practice, and creating connected communities for everyone to flourish.

    She noted that these collaborations with the City of Mississauga would open new opportunities for student civic engagement and experiential education, including in work-study placements with the City itself, expanding student involvement and their ability to make a difference in the community.

    There were two points of discussion in response to Professor Gillespie’s report.The first concerned the management of threatened species on campus in light of capital construction.Professor Gillespie explained that UTM had recently hired a postdoctoral fellow with expertise in salamander and turtle rehabilitation and population growth.This would provide UTM with experience managing rare species, including turtles. The second discussion centered around the impact of the pandemic on higher education, specifically the joy that was experienced by students returning to in-person interaction after the isolation of the pandemic.Professor Gillespie emphasized the value of in-person community and how it could not be replaced by online courses; at the same time she acknowledged the accessibility benefits of online education.

    Under the report of the Vice-President & Principal, Mark Overton, Dean of Student Affairs introduced two recent graduates who shared how their involvement in co-curricular activities enriched their UTM experiences. Next, the graduates, Hamza Bin Waheed and Tobi Mohammed shared their experiences. Hamza Bin Waheed expressed how being a team leader at various campus organizations, a teaching assistant, and taking part in internship courses and case competitions enhanced his student experience. He also highlighted his role as a resident council president and the skills he gained through those experiences. Lastly, he emphasized the importance of offering students professional experience through co-op or internship programs and expressed his hope that UTM would be offering these soon.Next, Tobi Mohammed spoke about how being involved with various student organizations and programs, including the African Students Association, the B.A.E.E (Black Access to Educational Excellence), the Black Art Steering Committee as well as being a part of a residence living-learning community, greatly enhanced her academic achievements. She also highlighted the importance of taking advantage of opportunities offered at UTM.Both students then also shared their future plans, one in medical research and the other in finance or student affairs.

    Members expressed their admiration and thanked the students for sharing their inspirational experiences.
  3. Update on UTM Capital Projects

    The Chair invited Deborah Brown, Chief Administrative Officer and Luke Barber, Acting Chief Operating Officer, Property Services and Sustainability to provide the presentation.
    During their presentation, it was noted that UTM recently formed a committee called MCaPS, which handled the allocation of funds for projects ranging from small renovations to multi-million dollar infrastructure projects. The spending threshold for Level 1 projects had increased from $5 to $10 million in 2021.Project spending also increased from $12.3 million in 2021 to $32 million in 2022. The increase was due to inflation and larger projects, as well as backlogged projects that were now being addressed. The presentation featured a list of Level 1 projects funded this cycle, which included academic, maintenance, sustainability, and accessibility projects, and the infrastructure projects were eligible for the provincial facilities renewal program. UTM was also working on asset management programs to keep up with infrastructure maintenance.Additionally, there were four major capital projects on campus that were in various stages of construction and design, including the new Science building, a Student Services Hub, and yet to be approved computer science and robotics building, and a new residence hall complex.It was reported that UTM had recently recruited a new role on the Facilities, Management & Planning team to manage project processes and resources.

    During discussion, members asked questions about various issues related to construction projects.With respect to the roof renovations in the Communication, Culture & Technology (CCT) building, which has had continuous water problems since it was completed in 2003,it was explained that the issue could not be redressed through the original trades since they were no longer in operation and that the University was taking care of the problem.Discussion also focused on the costs of construction, which had increased by 12-18%, and measures like adopting a construction management approach and managing change orders were being implemented to mitigate these costs. With respect to risk mitigation, in managing contracts, there was a new approach of partnering with construction managers early on to reduce risk and share responsibility. Close management of change orders also helped to control costs.
    With regards to the commissary kitchen project, Vicky Jezierski (Director, Hospitality & Retail Services) explained that the renovation would be phased and done during the summer when it was less busy, and small kitchen facilities would be included in each outlet. During the renovation, only certain sections would be closed at a time to ensure continued food service availability.
  4. Reports of the Presidential Assessors
    1. Sustainability Presentation
      At the invitation of the Chair, Beverley Ayeni, Sustainability Manager, Strategic Initiatives, from Facilities Management & Planning provided a presentation on UTM’s sustainability initiatives. She provided an overview of UTM’s sustainability strategic plan, shared insights on the goals and targets identified in the plan and summarized accomplishments in the area over the past year.

      Some of the highlights of the presentation, were as follows:
      • Sustainability Strategic Plan was created in 2020 through the work of the Principal’s Sustainability Advisory Committee, which was formed in 2019.
      • The Plan had 26 goals and over 100 targets for embedding sustainability on campus under 5 main pillars, which included: Academic Programs and Curriculum, Research, Campus Engagement, Civic Engagement, Human Resources and Infrastructure (which itself had 6 sub-pillars).
      • Progress was inclusive of January 2021-April 2022 and included the launch of the Global Sustainability Certificate of Completion, with 143 students participating and further 324 on a waitlist.Other accomplishments included participating in six Campus as a living lab, and experiential learning projects; organizing Sustainability Week 2021 & 2022, partnering with Lecture ME Series!, piloting new 4-1 waste bins and the OZZI reusable container programand local honey and produce harvested by the Hospitality Department.
      • Highlights of accomplishments over the past year included completion of an inventory of Sustainability Scholars at UTM, launching a sustainability and waste ambassador program, a climate panel discussion, collaborations with the Peel Environmental Youth Alliance's Amazing Green Race and the City of Mississauga, and many more projects.
      • A description of UTM’s draft Carbon Action plan with a focus on facilities and built environment, which had the largest potential for delivering long term significant and cost effective GHG reductions.The plan was based on the three principles of improving power and thermal production, distributing energy more efficiently, and reducing energy consumption.
      • Next steps in UTM’s plan were to develop one concrete Action Plan that supported U of T’s carbon vision, transform infrastructure to support future decarbonization and electrification projects, and boost carbon reduction efforts by executing short and medium term energy conservation measures.

In response to a member’s question about the progress made on the sustainability strategic it was confirmed that there were initially 46 planned targets, but only 25 remained due to completion or acceleration. There were also 26 goals and over 100 targets in total, representing a plan that was a living document that could be updated based on campus needs. In response to another question, it was explained that climate change vulnerability assessments had been discussed and would potentially be included in a climate action strategy, which was being developed with the help of energy audits. An asset management program was also being developed to replace infrastructure in a sustainable way.


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 UTM Capital Projects – as at April 30, 2023
  2. Reports for Information
    1. Report 59 of the Agenda Committee (May 15, 2023)
    2. Report 58 of the Campus Affairs Committee (May 8, 2023)
    3. Report 50 of the Academic Affairs Committee (May 10, 2023)
  3. Report of the Previous Meeting: Report 59 – April 24, 2023
    Report number 59 dated April 24, 2023 was approved.
  4. Business Arising from the Report of the Previous Meeting
  5. Date of Next Meeting – October 11, 2023 at 4:10 p.m.
    The Chair reminded members that the next meeting of the UTM Campus Council was scheduled for October 11, 2023 at4:10 p.m.
  6.  Question Period
    There were no questions for the administration.
  7. Other Business
    The Chair thanked the Chairs and Vice-Chairs of the Standing Committees for their time and efforts devoted to the committees throughout the year as well as the assessors to the bodies for their diligence in bringing business forward for governance consideration. He additionally thanked members who had served on Council over the past year and recognized those whose terms had ended.
    Ms Cindy Ferencz Hammond, Assistant Secretary of the Governing Council, recognized the outgoing Chair, Professor Shashi Kant, and formally thanked him for his many contributions to governance during his term on the Governing Council and its Boards, Councils and Committees. A chair with an engraved plaque, was presented to Shashi Kant in recognition of exemplary service and leadership as Vice-Chair of the UTM Campus Council from 2020 to 2022, and as Chair of the UTM Campus Council from 2022 to 2023. The Chair expressed his thanks to members for their service and to the University of Toronto for providing him with the opportunity to serve the University.

The Council moved In Camera.

  1. Appointments: Members of the University of Toronto Mississauga Campus Council tothe Standing Committees for 2023-24+
    On motion duly moved, seconded, and carried
    That the recommended appointments of members of the UTM Campus Council to the Standing Committees and related leadership roles, as recommended by the Nominating Committee, and as specified in the documentation dated May 16, 2023, be approved for one year terms, effective July 1, 2023.

The meeting was adjourned at 5:52 p.m

May 31, 2023