Report: UTSC Campus Affairs Committee - October 18, 2023

UTSC Council Chamber



To the UTSC Campus Council,
University of Toronto,

Your Committee reports that it held a meeting in the Council Chamber, Arts and Administration Building, Wednesday, October 18, 2023 at 3:10 p.m. with the following members present:

PRESENT: Tarun Dewan (Chair), Jason Glover (Vice-Chair), Wisdom Tettey (Vice-President and Principal), William Gough (Vice-Principal, Academic and Dean), Andrew Arifuzzaman (Chief Administrative Officer), Neel Joshi (Dean, Student Experience and Wellbeing), Tarak Ahmed, Beheshta Ali Dad Khan, Tiffany Castell, Mark Fitzpatrick, Manisha Kabi, Elaine Khoo, David Kwasny, Ainsley Lawson, Zanira Manesiya, Joseph Peter McNamara, Tanzina Mohsin, Soham Naya, Dorinda So, Rachel Sturge, Andrew Tam, Arjun Yanglem, Hoorik Yeghiazarian

REGRETS: Kyle Danielson, Pratik Guha, Brian Harrington, Jeff Miller, Sylvia Mittler, Aliya Shaikha, Andrew Tam, Jeff Miller, Irena Creed

NON-VOTING ASSESSORS: David Zweig, Ramona Gonsalves, Sheila John, Nadia Rosemond

SECRETARIAT: Emma Thacker, Megann Davidson


  1. Chair’s Remarks

    The Chair, Tarun Dewan, welcomed members and guests to the meeting.

  2. Status Report on UTSC Campus Strategic Priorities

    The Chair invited Mr. Andrew Arifuzzaman (Chief Administrative Officer), to present his Report. The strategic priorities highlighted in the presentation included:
  • Addressing increased staffing costs;
  • Development of academic departmental plans;
  • Supporting domestic enrolment:
    • Deploying more predictive yield models;
    • Continued work on alternate offer messaging;
    • Replicating the success of our international student ambassador program in domestic recruitment;
    • Partnering with the University Registrar’s Office to ensure that UTSC admitted students have access to funding package information (including scholarships and UTAPS) before the deadline to accept offers; and
    • Continuing to expand marketing and brand awareness efforts.
  • Campus spaces - New student residence (Opened), Sam Ibrahim Building (2024), Indigenous house (2024)
  • Developing programs to support life sciences growth – new certificate programs under development;
  • Ongoing student enhancement projects (e.g., Indigenous Gathering Circle);
  • Development of new campus budget model and indicator framework to measure progress of UTSC Inspiring Inclusive Excellence Strategic Plan;
  • Building partnerships with other faculties – interdivisional teaching; reduce reliance on sessional lecturers;
  • Occupy and operationalize new buildings (e.g., Harmony Commons).

    A member asked what Mr. Arifuzzaman considered UTSC’s largest challenge and strength. Mr. Arifuzzaman responded that one challenge was global change and uncertainty. He added that issues related to the current capital project landscape was a concern (e.g., rates and labour). A strength was UTSC’s people, which had created a remarkable environment, grounded in trust.
  1. Overview of the Council on Student Services (CSS) Budget Process

    The Chair invited Neel Joshi (Dean, Student Experience & Wellbeing) and Nadia Rosemond (Assistant Dean, Co-Curricular Engagement & Student Leadership) to provide an overview of the process for student service fee development with the CSS. Members were reminded that they would review and consider this item in an upcoming governance - cycle four (4). The presentation included the following highlights:
  • The CSS was described in the Policy on Compulsory Non-Academic Incidental Fees and was known as the ‘Protocol.’
  • The CSS was the body of students and administration involved in decisions to increase student service fees.​  
  • CSS Themes for 2023-2024:
    • Supporting campus and institutional strategic plans (directly linked to inclusive excellence);
    • Increasing opportunities for experiential and international education;
    • Increasing number of programs and students who engage in athletics & sports;
    • Actioning Mental Health Task Force and Healthy Campus; and
    • Initiative recommendations supporting academic and career transition for all students.
  • Student involvement with CSS was expanded this year, with 70 students involved. The process included a series of meetings (e.g.,18 advisory meetings) and working groups to ensure broad consultation.  
  • Following the CSS budget meetings, the fees package would come forward to the CAC. The Administrative Assessor was permitted by the ‘Protocol’ to invoke a formula (the UTI and CPI Index Fee), should the CSS budget vote fail.  

    A member asked how student service fee increases compared to peer institutions. Dean Joshi responded that with regard to the tri-campus, UTSC typically had lower increases than the other campuses. Ms Rosemond added that the CSS process was different than many peer institutions, in that it consulted directly with students.
  1. Report of the Presidential Assessors

    The Chair invited Professor William Gough (Vice-Principal, Academic and Dean) to share his report.

    Dean Gough commented on the recent world events in the Middle East, noting the wide range of responses to events and the shared value of horror in the violence. He expressed the strong desire to support the University community – many were hurting and struggling in different ways. Dean Gough commented that the University had a unique position and role. The University mission statement spoke to the responsibility to support and hold space for discourse. He highlighted the difference between uncomfortable and unsafe space for dialogue.  

    Dean Gough reported that academic units were engaged in the departmental planning process. Much output of this process, which included an assessment of current and aspirational resources, would come through governance (e.g., curriculum change). The process was also connected to the Strategic Plan. He also highlighted the work of the Marketing and Communications Office at UTSC.

    Dean Joshi reported to the Committee that following the recent events in the Middle East, his staff had reached out individually to students who had been impacted to provide support.

    A member asked about the enrolment shortfall. Dean Gough responded that the Fall domestic (undergraduate) intake was 360 students short. Despite the shortfall, international students were not displacing domestic students.
  2. Report of the Previous Meeting: Report Number 54 – September 19, 2023

    The report of the previous meeting was approved.

  3. Business Arising from the Report of the Previous Meeting

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

  4. Date of Next Meeting – January 9, 2024, 3:10 p.m.

    The Chair advised members that the Committee would meet again on January 9, 2024 at 3:10 p.m.

  5. Other Business

    Members had no other business.

The meeting adjourned at 4:20 p.m.

October 29, 2023