Report: UTSC Campus Affairs Committee - May 4, 2020

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Via Virtual Meeting Room

REPORT NUMBER 38 OF THE CAMPUS AFFAIRS COMMITTEE

May 4, 2020

To the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus Council,
University of Toronto Scarborough

Your Committee reports that it met on Monday, May 4, 2020 at 4:10 p.m., virtually, with the following members present:

Present:
Tayyab Rashid (Chair), Tarun Dewan (Vice-Chair), Wisdom Tettey (Vice-President and Principal USTC), William Gough (Vice-Principal Academic & Dean), Andrew Arifuzzaman (Chief Administrative Officer), Desmond Pouyat (Dean, Student Affairs), Olashile Adeyoyin, Kyle Danielson, Hanan Domloge, Obidimma Ezezika, Soaad Hossain, Sheila John, Elaine Khoo, Paul Kingston, Brenda Librecz, Tanya Mars, Naureen Nizam, Raul Salas Reyes, Annie Sahagian, Andrew Tam

Non-voting Assessors:
Helen Morissette, Jeff Miller

Secretariat:
Emma Thacker (Secretary), Anwar Kazimi, Kristi Gourlay

Regrets:
Janet Blakely, Jubayer Jalal, Ken Howard, Alice Maurice, Ayesha Mir, Sylvia Mittler, Jack Parkinson, Nadia Rosemond, Deena Yanofsky


In attendance: Sandy Welsh (Vice-Provost, Students), Maydianne Andrade (Vice-Provost, Faculty Affairs and Equity), Mary Silcox (Vice-Dean, Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies), Heaven Del Mundo, Tina Doyle, Jessica Fields, Cassandra Harblay, Annette Knott, Juvenal Ndayiragije, Meredith Strong

  1. Chair’s Remarks

    The Chair welcomed members and guests to the virtual meeting, extending a special welcome to Vice-Provost, Students, Sandy Welsh.

    The Chair offered reflections and highlights on the work of the Committee over the past governance year, and thanked all members for their engagement and thoughtful questions throughout the year.
  2. Proposal to Convert the Centre for French and Linguistics (EDU:A) to the Department of Language Studies

    The Chair informed members that under section 5.1 of the Terms of Reference, the Campus Affairs Committee was responsible for the “Establishment, termination or restructuring of academic units and proposals for Extra-Departmental Units.”

    Maydianne Andrade, Vice-Dean, Faculty Affairs and Equity, presented the proposal to convert the Centre for French and Linguistics (EDU:A) to the Department of Language Studies. Professor Andrade explained the distinctions between an EDU:A and a department, and provided some of the history, including the growth, of the Centre for French and Linguistics.

    Professor Andrade explained that the Centre for French and Linguistics was seeking departmental status as the unit was already functioning as a department. The unit had a strong common, scholarly focus on human languages, with the goal of understanding, analysing and interpreting human language, including its connections and manifestations in culture. She provided members with information regarding faculty appointments, student enrolment, budget, and other elements of the proposed department. In addition, it was clarified that there would be no staffing or program changes with the conversion.

    A member asked if the proposal included new language courses or programs at the undergraduate level. Professor Andrade responded that the proposal did not include any changes for undergraduate programs at this time, however this might happen in the future. Professor Ndayiragije added that the unit offered several language courses other than French, at various levels.

    A member asked for clarification on the faculty complement of the new unit. Professor Gough clarified that the proposal did include a faculty member at the rank of ‘professor’.

    Vice-Principal Academic & Dean, William Gough thanked and acknowledged Professor Juvenal Ndayiragije, who was present at the meeting to support the proposal.

    On motion duly moved, seconded, and carried,

    YOUR COMMITTEE RECOMMENDED,

    THAT subject to approval by the Governing Council,

    THAT, the Centre for French and Linguistics (EDU:A) be converted to the Department of Language Studies, as described in the proposal recommended by the Vice-Principal Academic and Dean, Professor William Gough, and dated April 17, 2020, be approved to be effective as of July 1, 2020.
  3. Proposal to Convert the Interdisciplinary Centre for Health and Society (EDU:B) to the Department of Health and Society

    Maydianne Andrade, Vice-Dean, Faculty Affairs & Equity, presented the proposal to convert the Interdisciplinary Centre for Health and Society (EDU:B) to the Department of Health and Society (provisional title). Professor Andrade explained the characteristics of an EDU:B in relation to a department, and provided some of the history and growth of the Interdisciplinary Centre for Health and Society.

    Professor Andrade explained that the Interdisciplinary Centre for Health and Society was seeking departmental status, and described the academic mission and aspirations of the unit. She stated that there was a distinct need for change in the organizational structure of the unit, to support degree programs and a robust research mission. The conversion to a department would allow faculty to hold primary appointments in the unit. In addition, it was clarified that there would be no staffing or program changes with the conversion.

    A member asked if faculty movement to the new unit would have a financial impact on the existing unit. Professor Andrade responded that no, the teaching was within the Interdisciplinary Centre for Health and Society currently.

    A member asked about the peer institution environmental scan. Professor Andrade clarified that the environment scan was not a requirement of the proposal, however it benefited the new unit, to have a clear picture of the academic landscape.

    Vice-Principal Academic & Dean, William Gough thanked and acknowledged Professor Jessica Fields, who was present at the meeting to support the proposal.

    On motion duly moved, seconded, and carried,

    YOUR COMMITTEE RECOMMENDED,

    THAT subject to approval by the Governing Council,

    THAT, the Interdisciplinary Centre for Health and Society (EDU:B) be converted to the Department of Health and Society, as described in the proposal recommended by the Vice-Principal Academic and Dean, Professor William Gough, and dated April 17, 2020, be approved to be effective as of July 1, 2020.
  4. Creation of the Centre for Global Disability Studies as an Extra-Departmental Unit C (EDU:C)

    Mary Silcox, Vice-Dean, Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies presented the proposal to create the Centre for Global Disability Studies (CGDS). Professor Silcox explained the characteristics of an EDU:C and explained the goals of the new Centre. She noted that the CGDS would position UTSC as a regional and international leader of the emerging field of global disability studies, also acting as a tri-campus hub to foster interdisciplinary research and scholarly interest in the field. She pointed out that the CGDS would activate core elements of UTSC’s strategic plan Inspiring Inclusive Excellence.

    Vice-Principal Academic & Dean, William Gough thanked and acknowledged the staff and faculty present at the meeting to support the proposal: Professors Paul Kingston and Cassandra Hartblay, and Tina Doyle, Director, AccessAbility Services.

    Vice-President and Principal, Wisdom Tettey shared his strong support for the proposal and lauded its alignment with the goals of the UTSC strategic plan, Inspiring Inclusive Excellence.

    Members had no questions.

    On motion duly moved, seconded, and carried,

    YOUR COMMITTEE RECOMMENDED,

    THAT subject to approval by the UTSC Campus Council,

    THAT, the creation of the Centre for Global Disability Studies as an Extra-Departmental Unit C as described in the proposal recommended by the Vice-Principal Academic and Dean, Professor William Gough, and dated April 7, 2020, be approved to be effective as of July 1, 2020. 
  5. Policy on Recognition of Campus Groups – Revisions

    The Chair invited Professor Sandy Welsh, Vice-Provost, Students, to present. Professor Welsh provided a summary of the proposed revisions to the Policy on Recognition of Campus Groups. These included:
    • Changing the name of the Policy to Policy on Recognition of Student Groups;
    • Amendment of language ‘campus groups’ to ‘student groups’;
    • Introduction of a minimum of five students to form a group;
    • Inclusion of ‘Student Group’ in the name of each student group; and
    • Involvement of alumni in a non-voting capacity for continuity and transition for student groups.

Consultations had taken place from February 11 and April 5, 2020 via an online form, in-person sessions, and via email. Positive feedback had been received from students and staff. The revised Policy would be shared with student clubs prior to further governance consideration. Feedback could be provided at https://consultations.students.utoronto.ca or by email to vp.students@utoronto.ca until May 4, 2020.

A member asked for clarification about the identification markers for tri-campus and single campus groups. Professor Welsh responded that she would take the question back for further consideration.

  1. Reports of the Presidential Assessors

    The Chair invited Mr. Desmond Pouyat, Dean of Student Affairs, to share a report. Mr. Pouyat provided a detailed update on how his portfolio had adjusted to the circumstances of Covid-19. He reported that the Health and Wellness Centre, Career Centre and AccessAbility Services was continuing to offer services online. He noted that the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre had closed its facilities, however online fitness programs were available. He also described several initiatives to support students on and off campus, as there were a small number of students housed in residence. Mr. Pouyat also clarified the reductions to summer term incidental fees and parking refunds. Further updates related to parking would be posted on the Parking Services website.

    The Chair invited Mr. Andrew Arifuzzaman, Chief Administrative Officer, to share a report. Mr. Arifuzzaman noted that construction was now permitted to resume on campus, and would be moving forward. The student residence project would begin over the summer, and UTSC had signed a contract with a builder. The residence was anticipated to be available for students by 2023. He noted that planning for future capital projects was underway, and would be brought forward through governance in the upcoming academic year. He shared that Global Medics (a disaster relief agency) and UTSC had partnered to distribute food to GTA and Durham Region food banks. Students who volunteer with the initiative would be eligible for a federal government bursary.

CONSENT AGENDA

On motion duly made, seconded and carried,

YOUR COMMITTEE APPROVED,

THAT the consent agenda be adopted and that the item requiring approval (item # 9) be approved.

  1. Annual Report: UTSC Recognized Campus Groups (For Information)
  2. Annual Report: UTSC Police Services (For Information)
  3. Report of the Previous Meeting: Report No: 37 – Wednesday, March 26, 2020
  4. Business Arising from the Report of the Previous Meeting
  5. Date of the Next Meeting – Tuesday, September 15, 2020
  6. Other Business

    Wisdom Tettey, Vice-President and Principal, expressed his appreciation for members’ commitment to serving on the Campus Affairs Committee. Several members shared their thanks and appreciation for their positive experience on the Campus Affairs Committee. A member shared concerns for the student experience during the COVID-19 pandemic, and suggested that enhanced communications from faculty and administration might alleviate some of the student issues. Faculty members responded by acknowledging that while there were frustrations and some disagreement, there was an ongoing commitment to work with students as partners.

    A member asked about the Credit / No-Credit (CR/NCR) option for the summer session. Professor Gough responded that all policies have reverted back to their previous state, largely because students were now aware of the mode of delivery, which was not the case in the winter session.

    The meeting adjourned at 6:10 p.m.


May 12, 2020