Report: UTSC Academic Affairs Committee - September 12, 2022

UTSC Campus Council Chambers, AA160


September 12, 2022

To the Campus Council,
University of Toronto Scarborough,

Your Committee reports that it met in the Council Chamber (AA 160) at 3:10 p.m., with the following members present:

Present: Sonja Nikkila (Chair), Wisdom Tettey (Vice President and Principal), William A. Gough (Vice-Principal Academic & Dean), Irena Creed (Vice-Principal, Research and Innovation), Katie Larson (Vice-Dean, Teaching, Learning & Undergraduate Programs), Syed W. Ahmed, Iris Au, Rana Behzadi, Shelley Anne Brunt, Suzanne Erb, Fatima Formuli, Angela Hamilton, John A. Hannigan, Martha Harris, Rene Harrison, Qusai Mahmud Hassan, Irmi Huftless, Philip Kremer, Nathaniel Luces, Randy Lundy, Alice Maurice, William Nelson, Elizabeth O’Brien, Natalie Oswin, Kamini Persaud, Laura Risk, Paulina Rousseau, Mark A. Schmuckler, Valentina Shamoun, Sofia Suleman, Judith Teichman, Phil Triadiafilopoulous, Shelby Verboven, Marco Zimmer-De Iuliis, David Zwieg

Non-Voting Assessors: Annette Knott, Hugh Laurence, Varsha Patel, Shelby Verboven

In Attendance: Joshua Brandt, Shehna Jabbar-Javeed, Lisa Fenton Lemon, Tanzina Mohsin, Gillian Morrison, David Palmer, Melissa Pullara

Regrets: Gillian Mason (Vice-Chair), George B. Arhonditsis, Sandra Bamford, Corrine Beauquis, Elyse Caron-Beaudoin, Christopher Cochrane, Divya Dey, James D. Donaldson, Barry Freeman, Paula Hastings, Joseph Hermer, Thembela Kepe, Michelle Lone, Andrew C. Mason, Karen Lyda McCrindle, Sharlene Mollett, Michael S. O. Molloy, Juvenal Ndayiragije, Julia Nefsky, Anthony Charles Ruocco, Mahinda Samarakoon, Larry A. Sawchuk, Zohreh Shahbazi, Michelle Silver, Grace Skogstad, Rachel Sturge, Liana Williams, Jessica Marie Wilson

Secretariat: Anwar Kazimi (Acting Secretary), Tracey Gameiro


  1. Chair’s Remarks

    The Chair, Professor Sonja Nikkila, welcomed members and guests to the first meeting of the academic year. She introduced the Committee’s Presidential Assessors, members of the administration, and new members.
  2. Calendar of Business, 2022-23

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.

  1. Office of the Vice-Principal, Academic & Dean: Portfolio Overview and Priorities for 2022-23

At the invitation of the Chair, Professor William Gough, (Vice-Principal, Academic & Dean), provided an overview of the Dean’s office and priorities for the coming year. He began by re-iterating the Chair’s welcome and introduction of new members of the administration.

Professor Gough provided an update regarding the fall session, reporting that 97% of UTSC courses were being delivered in-person. He reported that proposals to offer certain courses permanently online would come forward to governance if the online aspect of the course met the threshold of being pedagogically appropriate. Professor Gough noted that online course delivery had been exceptionally important for accessibility students and that the administration was committed to ensuring that gains made during the pandemic would be capitalized on and continue in the post-pandemic response. He stated that UTSC was prepared to be flexible in both the delivery and taking of courses to remain as nimble as possible to respond to change as circumstances required.

Dean Gough then provided an overview of the major academic initiatives and new program proposals anticipated to come through governance in 2022-23. These included:

Major Academic Initiatives

  • implementation of the recommendations of the UTSC Campus Curriculum Review Report, 2020-2022;
  • implementation of the recommendations flowing from the review of the Policy on Certificates (For-Credit and Not-For Credit) led by Professor Mark Schmuckler, noting that the intent was to move forward in a coordinated way consistent with practices at the St. George and University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM) campuses;
  • review of the Course Retake/Second Attempt for Credit Policy, which was in the consultative stage; proposed changes were already in place at UTM and would be looked to to help inform implementation at UTSC;

New Program Proposals

  • Major in Film Studies
  • Major in Public Law
  • Joint Specialist in Music, Business & Technology with Centennial College
  • A Climate Change program is being brought with a social science perspective while remaining well-grounded in natural science
  • Masters in Management
  1. Annual Report – UTSC Subcommittee on Academic Appeals

The Chair invited Shelby Verboven, (Registrar & Assistant Dean Enrollment Management), to present the Annual Report. Ms. Verboven provided the following overview:

  • This past year, there was an increase in petitions filed, largely due to the increase in deferred exam petitions.
  • The number of appeals to the Dean’s Advisory Committee had not increased.
  • The reporting period for the Dean’s Advisory Committee would be changed from calendar year to the academic year to align with that of the Subcommittee on Academic Appeals.

Members had no questions.

  1. Report of the Previous Meeting: Report Number 58 – May 30, 2022

The report of the previous meeting was approved.

  1. Business Arising from the Report of the Previous Meeting

There was no business arising from the report of the previous meeting.

  1. Date of Next Meeting – October 20, 2022 at 3:10 p.m.

The Chair advised members that the Committee would meet again on October 20, 2022 at 3:10 p.m.

  1. Other Business

No other business was raised by members.

The meeting adjourned at 4:02 p.m.