Report: UTSC Campus Council - April 16, 2024

Council Chamber, Arts and Administration Building, Room 160

Report Number 63 Of The Utsc Campus Council


To the Governing Council, University of Toronto Scarborough,

Your Council reports that it met on April 16, 2024, at 4:10 p.m., in the UTSC Council Chambers, Arts and Administration Building (AA160), with the following members present:

Present: Grace Westcott (Chair), Sotirios Damouras (Vice-Chair), Linda Johnston (Acting Vice-President & Principal), Jessica Fields (Acting Vice-Principal Academic and Dean), Tarun Dewan, Jason Glover, Irmi Huftless, Mariana Jardim, Imran Khan, Elaine Khoo, Zachary Kileeg, Gillian Mason, Paul Huyer, Silma Roddau, Dorinda So, Rachel Sturge, Shennel Simpson, Argun Yanglem, Hoorik Yeghiazarian

Regrets:  William A. Gough (Vice-Principal Academic & Dean), Andrew Arifuzzaman (Chief, Administrative Officer), Neel Joshi (Dean, Student Experience and Wellbeing), Muntaha Almahjub, Sameer Lal, Sonja Nikkila, John Ramdeen, Edward Henley

Guests in Attendance: Nadia Rosemond (Assistant Dean), Ramona Gonsalves (Senior Director, Financial Services), Lisa Fenton Lemon (Executive Director, Development and Alumni Relations Office), Carlos Vargas-Pedroza (Director, International and Global Engagement), Dan Boywer (COE Member)

Secretariat: Emma Thacker (Secretary), Megann Davidson


  1. Chair’s Remarks

    The Chair welcomed members and guests to the cycle five meeting of the Campus Council. She congratulated the newly elected undergraduate students to the Campus Council, effective July 1, 2024: Shennel Simpson (re-elected), Argun Yanglem (re-elected), and Willow James (elected).
  2. Principals Report
    1. Report of the Vice-President and Principal

      Acting Principal Johnston began her report acknowledging the day’s announcement, that Professor Wisdom Tettey (Vice-President and Principal) was named the next President and Vice-Chancellor of Carleton University, effective January 1, 2025. She reported that information regarding interim leadership and succession planning would be shared in the coming weeks, and that the University community wished Professor Tettey well in his career journey and thanked him for his many accomplishments at University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC).

      Moving to her report she reflected that she was at the mid-point of her time at UTSC, and now had a first-hand understanding of what made the campus unique and a true exemplar of inclusive excellence. She looked forward to the remainder of her term and would continue to support the many exciting initiatives underway including the Scarborough Academy of Medicine & Integrated Health (SAMIH). Her report included the following highlights:

  • Professor William A. Gough (Vice-Principal, Academic & Dean) will complete his term on June 30, 2024. Professor Karin Ruhlandt was appointed as Vice-Principal, Academic & Dean, and would begin her term on July 1, 2024. Prof. Ruhlandt joined UTSC from Syracuse University where the institution was able to achieve some remarkable milestones under her leadership. She thanked the Advisory Committee membership for their time, insights, and guidance throughout the process.
  • SAMIH was the collaboration among key academic divisions of the University of Toronto (Temerty Faculty of Medicine, Lawrence Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, and UTSC). In addition to providing training to physicians, physician assistants, physical therapists, pharmacists, nurse practitioners, and clinical psychologists, SAMIH would host a number of clinics. A SAMIH working group had been established that would focus on research, innovation, and knowledge translation. This group reported to the SAMIH Academic Planning Committee and would identify research topics that were meaningful to the communities in the Eastern GTA.
  • The University of Toronto had received 6,256 Provincial Attestation Letters (PAL). This allocation should be sufficient to meet the enrolment target for incoming degree-seeking undergraduate international students. The University was seeking clarify from the government what options may be available if additional PALs were needed later in the enrolment cycle.
  • The University of Toronto and almost 60 other post-secondary institutions signed the Scarborough Charter on Anti-Black Racism and Black Inclusion in Higher Education in 2020. These signatory institutions then formed the Scarborough Charter Inter-Institutional Forum, a body that consisted of institutional executive heads and EDI leads committed to advancing the principles outlined in the Charter within their institutions and the broader communities, in which they serve. Next month, signatory institutions will convene for the 2nd meeting of the Forum, where Institutional executive heads and EDI Leads will provide updates on the progress made with implementing the Charter principles, and share the learnings and challenges encountered in their efforts to redress anti-Black racism and promote Black flourishing.
  • On October 6, 2024, UTSC would celebrate its 60th anniversary. This milestone was being acknowledged from Spring 2024 to Summer 2025 with a wide range of projects, activities, and events across the campus. In support of these activities, the 60th Anniversary Legacy Fund was created, and members of the campus community could apply for funding to assist with bringing their ideas to life and celebrating UTSC in a meaningful way.
  • In on-going efforts to support the University’s international strategy and prioritize internationalization, there has been some great work happening in the area of international and global engagement. Some partnerships had been formed that had the potential to provide students with enriching global learning opportunities as well as unique opportunities for faculty members to collaborate with researchers from across the globe. Delegations were invited to visit UTSC this spring. She invited Carlos Vargas (Director, International and Global Engagement) to share his presentation of some of the activities happening within his portfolio.
  1. Presentation – International Engagement

    Carlos Vargas-Pedroza (Director, International and Global Engagement) reported to members about the priorities of his office. Highlights from the presentation were as follows:   

  • The International and Global Engagement portfolio offered a coordinated approach to international engagement at UTSC.
  • It provided support for activities that promoted international partnership, engagement, internationalization, and international relations such as:
    • UTSC International Committees,
    • Delegations and Events,
    • International Directory, and
    • MOUs (international agreements).
  • Delegations: Knust University (Ghana), Durham University (UK), Committee of Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian Universities
  • Upcoming survey to collect data about regions of interest, academic fields, initiatives, facilitators and barriers, success factors and international interest.
  • Upcoming ‘International Week’ would offer a symposium, cuisine and folk dancing, intercultural competencies workshop.

    A member commented that UTSC was siting in an internationally diverse community which was a major opportunity, with great expertise and connection to the world. She hoped that the survey could assist with reaching into the community, and she underscored her support and the opportunities to connect with the international community at UTSCs doorstep. She asked for further insight into if local outreach was part of the portfolio. Carlos agreed with the member and provided the example of International Week which was one initiative to bring the local international community out to UTSC, to build those connections.

    A member asked if the portfolio included curricular aspects to international engagement, such as students taking courses at institutions abroad. Carlos commented that the University did offer study abroad programming, out of Student Life.

    A member asked if the current geopolitical situation had impacted global engagement initiatives. Carlos responded that certain areas of the globe had been flagged by the federal government with regard to travel, however this had not impacted the core mandate of the portfolio to establish long-term transformational relationships and engage and contribute globally.
  1. Overview: UTSC Campus Operating Budget (2024-25)

    The Chair reminded members that the Council received an overview of campus strategic priorities in February and in Cycle 4; a presentation on the University’s Budget Report and Long-Range Budget Guidelines was also provided. She noted that these earlier items culminated in the campus operating budget presentation today. The Chair noted that Ramona Gonsalves (Senior Director, Financial Services) would be delivering this presentation on behalf of Andrew Arifuzzaman (Chief Administrative Officer). Highlights from the presentation were as follows:   
  • Undergraduate enrolment was trending with UTM, slightly lower than St. George.
  • The domestic student population was anticipated to be at 69%, with international enrolment at 31%. This would continue for the foreseeable future.
  • Graduate enrolment (2024-25): (professional master’s) 59%; (doctoral) 34%; (master’s – doctoral stream) 12%
  • Increase in net expense budget - $318.9 million; and in gross expense budget - $368.21 million
  • Key Budget Themes:
    • Undergraduate enrollment; SAMIH Program development; Academic experience and technology - mobilizing new facilities; Research facilities and support - Formalizing the Core Facilities operating processes; Driving efficiencies through Uniforum; Space and space use; Mental health - students, faculty and staff; Life on campus and in our community; UTSC 60th Anniversary
  • Key Priorities:
    • Investment in new faculty positions; Research - startup, new positions in partnerships and core facilities; Clusters of scholarly prominence and Centers of Excellence; Student supports- Mental Health; Infrastructure; Space plan - student space and campus upgrades, Community partnerships

A member asked how the provincial landscape (e.g., response to the Blue-Ribbon Panel Report), had impacted the upcoming years’ budget. Ramona responded that domestic tuition continued to be frozen for the next three years, and that this was reflected in the budget. In addition, costs had increased and revenue was stagnant – the operating grant increase was offset by the tuition freeze. There would be a more measured pace for growth, however approved capital projects would continue.

A member highlighted the opportunity of UTSC’s 60th Anniversary to connect with the community.

  1. Annual Impact Report: Development and Alumni Relations Office (2022-23)

    The Chair invited Lisa Lemon Fenton (Executive Director, Development and Alumni Relations Office (DARO)) to deliver the presentation. Highlights from the presentation were as follows:   
  • The Annual Impact Report highlighted the following priorities: human centred storytelling, immersive engagement through technology, accountability and impact, and enhanced accessibility.
  • The Report objectives were to provide a comprehensive report, illustrate donor impact, educate on giving opportunities, showcase diverse impact and commemorate contributions.
  • The year’s highlights: 8 new student awards, 1328 total gifts, 7666 donors, 211 faculty and staff contributions, 4459 alumni engaged, 41 DARO events, 368 volunteers, and two gifts of $25 Million.
  • Stories with Report: Sam Ibrahim’s gift and impact, UTSC Annual Fund, inaugural Chair in Tamil Studies (Dr. Sidharthan Maunaguru), Black excellence and scholarship, estate planned giving.

    A member asked about priorities for the upcoming year. Lisa responded that UTSC had set its own goals with regard to the Defy Gravity campaign ($75 million) and was currently at $63 million - at about halfway through the campaign, so it was expected to surpass the goal. Some other priorities included raising funds for capital projects, the Sustainability Summit, and student awards.

    The discussion moved to the topic of outreach to new Canadians, international alumni, and minorities. Lisa responded with the example of the inaugural Tamil Studies Chair which took a non-traditional approach to fundraising - this approach had allowed a community group to make a $3 million dollar pledge, with a ground swell of support from the Tamil community. It was important to seek out projects that were important to the community. There were no specific donor groups targeted in the upcoming year, and DARO welcomed working with any group, the broad alumni population and local community.


On motion duly moved, seconded, and carried,


THAT the consent agenda be adopted and that Item 5, the Report of the Previous Meeting, be approved.

  1. Report of the Previous MeetingReport Number 62 – March 5, 2024
  2. Business Arising from the Report of the Previous Meeting
  3. Reports for Information
    1. Report Number 63 of the UTSC Agenda Committee (April 5, 2024)
    2. Report Number 70 of the UTSC Academic Affairs Committee (March 27, 2024)
  4. Governance Meeting Schedule: 2024/25

  1. Date of the Next Meeting – May 21, 2024 at 4:10 p.m.
  2. Question Period

    A member suggested that the UTSC Community Partnerships and Engagement Office provide an update at a future meeting. The member also asked how U of T sat in relation to others in the sector with regard to the international student visa cap. Acting Principal Johnston responded saying that the allocation provided to U of T was likely sufficient to meet enrolment targets, and that others would likely be impacted much more, certainly some colleges with higher international enrolment.

    A member also asked if international student retention was of concern. Principal Johnston said she was not aware of any specific retention concerns for international students.

    A member shared her thoughts about the need for conversation about the needs of international students when they are on campus to help them to flourish and cultivating long-term alumni relationships down the road.
  3. Other Business

    No other business was raised.

    The Chair asked non-members to exit the room, and the meeting moved in camera.


  1. Appointments: Community Members to the UTSC Campus Council, 2024-25

    The Chair provided an overview of the process to appoint community members and noted that the Nominating Committee had met on April 5, 2024 to recommend the five applicants.

    On motion duly made, seconded and carried,


    THAT five community member applicants, recommended by the UTSC Nominating Committee, be approved to serve three-year terms on the UTSC Campus Council, effective July 1, 2024. 

    Members had no questions.

The meeting adjourned at 5:34 p.m.

April 26, 2024