Report: UTSC Campus Affairs Committee - September 13, 2022

UTSC Campus Council Chambers, AA160


September 13, 2022

To the Campus Council,
University of Toronto Scarborough,

Your Committee reports that it met on Tuesday, September 13, 2022 at 3:10 p.m., in the Council Chamber (AA 160), with the following members present:

Tarun Dewan (Chair), Andrew Arifuzzaman, William A. Gough, Neel Joshi, Philip August, Rana Behzadi, Monisha Chawla, Kyle Danielson, Jacqueline M. Deane, Mark Fitzpatrick, Fatima Formuli, Jason George Glover*, Brian Harrington, Qusai Mahmud Hassan, Ainsley Caroline Lawson*, Joseph Peter McNamara, Tanzina Mohsin*, Silma H. Roddau*, Andrew Tam, Wisdom J. Tettey

Non-voting Assessors:
David Zweig*, Nadia Rosemond*

Anwar Kazimi, Joanne Chou, Kata Skoko
Angela Abuel, George S. Cree, Alexander Irving, David Kwasny, Sylvia E. Mittler, Sonja Nikkila, Marvia Idris Rani, Tayyab Rashid, Asmi Shukla 

Monica Gutierrez, Ian Cole, Marg Lacy, Tina Doyle, Greg Hum, Jeff Miller

(*attended remotely)


  1. Chair’s Remarks

The Chair welcomed new and returning members, and guests to the first meeting of the Campus Affairs Committee for the new governance year. He introduced the Vice-Chair, Jason Glover and the Committee’s Presidential Assessors.

At the invitation of the Chair, Professor Tettey, Vice-President and Principal, welcomed everyone to the new academic year.  He noted the energy, vitality, and vibrancy of the back-to-school environment for the campus community and the collaborative efforts to work together on the academic journey. 

  1. Portfolio Overview and Priorities for 2022-23

The Chair invited Professor William A. Gough, Vice-Principal, Academic to present an overview of his goals and priorities for the coming year. Professor Gough highlighted the following:

  • There have been changes in the office of the Dean and in the leadership of the academic departments including the appointment of Professor David Zweig as interim Vice-Dean Recruitment, Enrolment & Student Success; 
  • Professor Gough thanked members of the university community for their service to the committee and underscored the importance of the work and engagement of the UTSC Campus Affairs Committee;
  • He noted that 97% of UTSC fall courses were in-person, the largest percentage since Fall 2019 – the remainder 3% of the courses were offered online for accommodation related to instructors;
  • The in-person delivery was strong and robust in the summer session;
  • The Dean’s Office is recommending masking in classroom settings;
  • Universal instructional course design provides flexibility and inclusive learning environments. UTSC remains committed to building a superior way of delivering course material and providing an integrated online experience, as pedadogical appropriate;
  • The UTSC campus curriculum review reported in June is a springboard for future action. The working circle identified 56 recommended actions. Some of the actions stem from the Committee from the Truth and Reconciliation Report. The recommended action areas included inclusion and community engagement, curriculum development and dedicated space and programs for Indigenous and Black Excellence.
  • The Indigenous House will be a transformative initiative that would create an inclusive environment to discuss and engage with issues in a respectful and pragmatic way. The Indigenous House will strengthen relationships with Indigenous people. The House will bring together communities of Indigenous and Non-Indigenous lifelong learners, and directly impacted students, faculty and community members. Professor Gough noted the appointment of Professor Mike DeGagné as Special Advisor on Indigenous Initiatives at U of T Scarborough;
  • The Scarborough Academy of Medicine and Integrated Health (SAMIH) is moving forward through governance;
  • The opening of the new residence will be transformative for our campus and is responding to a substantial student demand for such space and will include integrated academic elements; and
  • The IC2 (Instructional Centre 2) will be a visible student accessible hub that will offer a centralization of student support operations. It will include the Office of Student Experience and Wellbeing and the Department of Computer and Mathematical Sciences.

In the discussion that followed it was noted: 

  • UTSC Master Plan included investment in housing to accommodate upper year students and various student groups, which was an integral plan of the campus growth strategy.
  • Worked collaboratively with University of Toronto’s Department of Real Estate to discuss ideas regarding affordable housing that was tailored to graduate students and faculty.
  • The new residence included 750 beds that focused on student housing and indicated a commitment to student success.

The Chair invited Mr. Andrew Arifuzzaman, Chief Administrative Officer, to present his report. He presented the strategic plan highlights that included the budget which identified opportunities to grow and diversify revenue. He highlighted the following:

  • The evolved UTSC budget model, Capital Plans and Development and Campus Space Plan;
  • The presentation noted the three budget types that included operating, students services fee and ancillary and elements that comprised of each pillar;
  • The impact of Bill 124 towards the hospital sector had contributed to massive turnover and continuity of care;
  • The three key strategic highlights included the Earth District, Golden Mile and the Toronto Zoo;
  • The Earth District is a consortium of 5 leading colleges and universities committed to develop sustainable and clean technologies. This initiative has stimulated investment from regions, from developers to manufacturers that engaged industries. This project is committed to fostering cutting edge research and HQP, and has generated more opportunities for UTSC;
  • The Golden Mile project was a transformative project that advanced UTSC’s commitment to community development and engagement through a mixed-use space that supported socioeconomic innovations;
  • A letter of intent was executed for UTSC to enter into a space license agreement with the Toronto Zoo for the conservation campus. This had strengthened the partnership with the Toronto Zoo;
  • He noted that the Campus Development Program included building the university’s presence on the North Campus;
  • The new passive house residence was designed for first-year students and has accommodated 750 students. It had a high sustainability standard and was the first of its kind for efficiency in the world;
  • The Indigenous house was on track for a Fall 2023 completion;
  • The Scarborough Academy of Medicine and Integrated Health (SAMIH) was an academic and physical anchor for UTSC. It was a new initiative that fostered community engagement to be completed in early 2023; 
  • The LAMP (UTSC/Scarborough Centre for Literatures, Arts, Media and Performance) building was an important hub for the vibrant arts community in Scarborough and had specialized spaces for academic programs and arts & cultural activities; 
  • With the fall academic year underway, UTSC was committed to move forward with a return to campus and linked academic experience with technology due to the impact of COVID; and
  • UTSC was able to pivot quickly, invested in research and support, reevaluated space and space use, committed to mental health supports and reestablishment the community.

In the discussion that followed it was noted: 

  • Growth on campus attracted investors such as condo development and investment in student facilities; 
  • UTSC in collaboration with local cities to explore and discuss opportunities to create rooming houses that included appropriate safety standards and safer environments for people to live in;
  • Community engagement was an integral part of the dialogue and was a supportive partner. UTSC had engaged in community consultations on various topics around social and economic development of the region;
  • Inflation had impacted costs to existing strategic plans and they were looking for ways to reduce expenses in the scope, budget and value engineering where possible; and
  • UTSC was working with the TTC to improve transit through the LRT integration with campus and explored city support to improve transit routes and increase the volume of trains. 

The Chair invited Mr. Neel Joshi, Dean, Student Experience and Wellbeing, and his team to present an overview of the orientation activities and an overview of the priorities and goals for the year.

The presentation highlighted the following:

  • Orientation activities had included events and outdoor service fairs and other supports for first and upper year students;
  • The Get Started Academic Orientation, offered by the Academic Advising and Career Centre offered a variety of in person and virtual support for students;
  • 870 students were accommodated in on-campus housing facilities with others at off-site accommodations at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine;
  • The ASKme tri-campus campaign highlighted staff, faculty, and student leaders on campus as a resource for new and returning students on how to navigate the campus, with welcome booths and Student Ambassador-led tours across three campuses;
  • International students had virtual and in person sessions  and in some instance these sessions had provided an opportunity for their family members to engage;
  • The launch of the pilot course “A Healthy Campus for Students: Prioritizing Mental Health” course had been a success over the summer and this was being offered in the Fall semester;
  • The Transitional Year Program (TYP) offered an avenue for admission to non-traditional student groups, while initiatives through The Village provided pathways for members of indigenous communities; and
  • Health and wellness activities included outdoor recreation such as hiking in Niagara and white water rafting that had been well subscribed.

In the discussion that followed it was also noted:

  • The new residence would increase the campus’s capacity by 750 beds, to 1,500. This would allow for a portion of the residence space to be allocated to upper year and graduate students who would otherwise have to go off campus. The residence master plan would look to address the long-term residence needs of the campus.
  • The student experience would not be compromised by the growth of the campus. The new Instructional Centre 2 would address the need for more learning space; plans were also in place to increase the space for students using the library services.
  • With respect to international students, every first-year student had access to a transition advisor as orientation events continued throughout the first six weeks of the semester. Mentorship was offered as part of the first-year experience.
  • Study supports were provided through the Get Started initiatives and these supports included small study groups, peer programs, and study skills training through the Centre for Teaching and Learning.
  • A member noted the need to broadly communicate the initiatives that had been put in place for student support and success.
  1. 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. Report of the Previous Meeting: Report Number 48 – May 9, 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 17, 2022 at 2:10 p.m.

​​​​​​​The Chair advised members that the Committee would meet again on Wednesday, October 20, 2022, at 2:10 p.m. 

  1. Other Business

Members had no other business.

The meeting adjourned at 5:17 p.m.