Report: UTSC Campus Council - April 22, 2020

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Virtual Meeting Room

REPORT NUMBER 41 OF THE CAMPUS COUNCIL

To the Governing Council,
University of Toronto

Your Campus Council reports that it met on April 22, 2020 at 4:10 p.m. virtually, with the following members present:

Present: Preet Banerjee (Chair), Paul Kingston (Vice-Chair), Wisdom Tettey (Vice-President and Principal), William Gough, Andrew Arifuzzaman, Shadi Dalili, Tarun Dewan, Arda Erturk, George Fadel, Liben Gebremikael, Jason Glover, Elaine Khoo, Brenda Librecz, Daniel Lysak, Mari Motrich, Gillian Mason, Sonja Nikkila, Tayyab Rashid, Silma Roddau, Annie Sahagian, Dorinda So, Lynn Tucker

Regrets: Fareed Amin

Secretariat: Emma Thacker (Secretary), Tracey Gameiro, Patrick McNeill

In Attendance: Curtis Cole, Sheila John, Desmond Pouyat, Zahra Bhanji, Rena Prashad

OPEN SESSION

  1. Chair’s Remarks

The Chair welcomed members and guests to the Council meeting. He reminded members about the limits of meeting topics and speaking privileges in governance meetings, and thanked members for their patience, with the new online delivery platform.

  1. Report of the Vice-President and Principal

The Chair invited Wisdom Tettey, Vice-President and Principal, to share a few words about the University response to COVID-19. Professor Tettey noted that the response to COVID-19 had been grounded in a value-based approach, while adhering to the academic mission. He thanked students, faculty and staff for the collaborative efforts that were ongoing in the community, and invited members of the leadership team to provide an update.

William Gough, Vice-Principal Academic and Dean acknowledged the time of uncertainty, and provided a reflection on the human response to COVID-19. He noted the changes to course delivery, grading options and exams, during the winter 2020 session, and acknowledged differing opinions on some of the decisions. Professor Gough assured members of his commitment to supporting students, faculty and staff, and the academic mission.

Mr. Andrew Arifuzzaman, Chief Administrative Officer, provided an overview of the changes to operational aspects on campus, and reported that there was a shift from a crisis stage to a summer session planning stage. He reported that year-end financial transactions had been completed, despite the shift to working from home. He explained that on campus construction projects had been suspended, and that recovery plans were in place, once government legislation allowed. He shared that the UTSC student residence project was moving forward, and would begin once construction was permitted.

Mr. Desmond Pouyat, Dean, Student Affairs, provided an overview of the online offerings and services available for students, including those for athletics and recreation. He noted the support options that were available to students during the exam period, including online counselling, and a care package for students in residence.

A member asked about financial support options for students. Dr. Curtis Cole, Registrar & Assistant Dean, Enrolment Management, responded that financial assistance programs were available for domestic and international students and explained that eligibility was individually assessed. He invited students to reach out to the Registrar’s Office to discuss options to meet immediate needs. Professor Tettey noted that a fundraising campaign has been launched to solicit donations in support of additional emergency relief for students. Mr. Pouyat commented on forthcoming government support initiatives for students.

A member asked about the tuition fee payment deadline. Dr. Cole responded that the deadline would not be moved, however students were encouraged to contact the Financial Aid Office, to discuss options to manage individual situations.

A member asked about the summer session incidental/ancillary fees and work-study options, given the COVID-19 situation. Mr. Pouyat clarified the reduction of fees that were implemented for the summer session. He explained that the work-study program was going forward, however positions would likely be online given COVID-19 guidelines.

A member asked how students had adapted to online course delivery and services. Professor Gough responded that students and faculty had adapted extremely well, while acknowledging some challenges through the transition. He noted that future sessions will include enhanced pedagogy for the online mode of delivery.

  1. Strategic Plan: Inspiring Inclusive Excellence: A Strategic Vision for the University of Toronto Scarborough 2024-25

The Chair informed members that the Strategic Plan, ‘Inspiring Inclusive Excellence: A Strategic Vision for the University of Toronto Scarborough 2020-2025’, was an agenda item for approval, and invited Professor Tettey to address the council.

Professor Tettey thanked those involved in the development of the Strategic Plan, and provided members with an overview of the consultation process, which began in November of 2018. Professor Tettey noted that the university was a valued-based institution, and he reported on the values embedded as part of the Strategic Plan which included intentional inclusion, students as partners, reciprocity, and accountable stewardship. In alignment with the University’s mission, Long-term Planning Framework document, and Three Priorities, the UTSC Strategic Plan is pursuing a vision that focuses on five, interrelated priority areas:

1. Innovative, High Quality Undergraduate and Graduate Experience & Success;

2. Scholarly Prominence in Established and Emerging Areas;

3. Intentional Inclusion and Relational Accountability;

4. Deep and Enduring Local, National and Global Partnerships & Networks; and

5. Participatory Decision Making and Supportive Administrative Capacity.

Professor Tettey reviewed the five priority areas and commented that implementation strategies would be developed to operationalize each priority, and allow for constructive accountability. Implementation would be tracked and measured using a ‘balanced scorecard’ approach for reporting and evaluating progress.

The Chair invited the Chair’s of the Campus Affairs Committee (CAC) and the Academic Affairs Committee (AAC) to share an overview of the discussions that happened at the prior meetings. Dr. Tayyab Rashid, CAC Chair, reported that following Professor Tettey’s presentation, members discussed the assessment of the Strategic Plan and noted that a member shared a view that the Strategic Plan objectives were impacted by the winter session CR/NCR decision. Professor Elaine Khoo, AAC Chair, reported that members discussed participatory decision making, and the need to address an institutional culture of unconscious bias towards teaching-steam faculty. It was reported that each committee voted in favour of the Strategic Plan.

Members had no questions.

On motion duly moved, seconded, and carried,

YOUR COUNCIL RESOLVED,

THAT subject to confirmation by the Executive Committee,

THAT, Inspiring Inclusive Excellence: A Strategic Vision for the University of Toronto Scarborough (2020-2025), submitted by the Vice-President and Principal, Professor Wisdom Tettey, be approved in principle.

  1. Overview of the UTSC Campus Operating Budget: 2020-21


The Chair informed members that the UTSC Campus Operating Budget was shared with members for information. The Chair invited Andrew Arifuzzaman, Chief Administrative Officer to present.

Mr. Arifuzzaman prefaced the presentation with an acknowledgment that the budget was developed before the COVID-19 event, and so adjustments might be necessary to respond to new economic realities. The presentation highlighted changes in enrolment, campus operating budget, sources of revenues and expenses, and key spending priorities for the coming year. The presentation also outlined other areas of focus for the campus including diversification of international and domestic enrolment, reputation and recognition, improved processes for planning and allocation of resources, facilities planning, organizational structures, and implementation of the UTSC Strategic Plan - Inspiring Inclusive Excellence: A Strategic Vision for the University of Toronto Scarborough.

A member asked about the indirect costs of research. Mr. Arifuzzaman responded that the university was always looking for ways to support the research enterprise, such as advocacy.

A member inquired how the balanced scorecard approach would accurately reflect the positive work that was going on in the community. Mr. Arifuzzaman explained the difference between a balanced scorecard and dashboard approach to tracking indicators of the Strategic Plan. He noted that while measuring partnerships would have its challenges in part due to the diversity of partnerships, there was confidence in the tracking mechanisms.

  1. Report of the Previous Meeting: Report Number 40 – March 10, 2020

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. Reports for Information

Members received the following reports for information.

a. Report Number 41 of the UTSC Agenda Committee (April 6, 2020)

b. Report Number 43 of the UTSC Academic Affairs Committee (March 25, 2020)

c. Report Number 37 of the UTSC Campus Affairs Committee (March 26, 2020)

  1. Date of the Next Meeting - Tuesday, May 26, 2020 at 4:10 p.m.

The Chair advised members that the Council would meet again on Tuesday, May 26, 2020 at 4:10 p.m.

  1. Question Period

Reflecting on a prior Campus Affairs Committee meeting, a member expressed their view regarding curtailed member remarks, and commented that student expression needed to align with the priority areas of the Strategic Plan.

  1. Other Business

No other business was raised.

The Council moved in camera.

IN-CAMERA SESSION

  1. Appointments: 2020-21 UTSC Campus Council Community Members

On motion duly made, seconded, and carried,

YOUR COUNCIL RESOLVED,

THAT the appointment of Ms Irmi Hutfless, be approved to serve a three-year term as a community member on the UTSC Campus Council, effective July 1, 2020; and,

THAT the appointment of Mr. Philip August, be approved to a serve three-year term as a community member on the UTSC Campus Affairs Committee, effective July 1, 2020.

The Council returned to open session.


The meeting adjourned at 6:20 p.m.