Report: UTSC Campus Council - January 25, 2023

Via Virtual Meeting Room

Report Number 56 Of The Campus Council

January 25th, 2023

To the Governing Council,
University of Toronto Scarborough,

Your Council reports that it met on January 25, 2023 at 4:10 p.m. virtually, with the following members present:  

Present: Grace Westcott (Chair), Sotirios Damouras (Vice-Chair), Wisdom Tettey (Vice-President & Principal), William A. Gough (Vice-Principal Academic & Dean), Andrew Arifuzzaman (Chief, Administrative Officer), Rana Behzadi, George Cree, Tarun Dewan, Jason Glover, Fatima Formuli, Edward Henley, Irmi Huftless, Elanie Khoo, Gillian Mason, Sonja Nikkila, John Ramdeen, Silma Roddau, Paulina Rousseau, Rachel Sturge, Dorinda So,

Regrets: Qusai Hassan, Imran Khan, Sameer Lal, Michelle Lone

In Attendance: Lisa Dolovich (Dean, Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy) , Patricia Houston (Vice Dean, Medical Education, Temerty Faculty of Medicine), David Lehto (Chief, University Planning, Design & Construction), Liam Mitchell (Senior Project Manager, Strategic Initiatives), Robyn Stremler (Vice Dean, Academic, Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing), Sandy Welsh (Vice-Provost, Students)

Secretariat: Lydia Gill (Secretary), Cindy Ferencz- Hammond, Kata Skoko


  1. Chair’s Remarks

    The Chair welcomed members and guests to the third meeting of the Campus Council for the academic year.  She reminded members that the governance elections were underway, and that the nomination period had recently closed on January 19th, 2023. She noted that there would be a reissuing for nominations in vacant seats for the constituencies of Teaching Staff and Graduate Students on the Campus Council and its bodies. The Chair also remarked that there would be elections held in the Undergraduate Student Constituencies for all three UTSC governance bodies, and in the Administrative Staff Constituency of the Campus Affairs Committee. A Candidate Information Session would be held by the Secretariat on January 26th, 2023.

    Finally, the Chair welcomed guest speakers that joined the meeting to deliver presentations and answer questions on behalf of items 2, 3, 4 and 12.

  1. Report of the Vice-President & Principal, UTSC (for information)

    The Chair invited Vice-President & Principal Wisdom Tettey to provide his report.

    Principal Tettey opened his report with remarks on the recent passing of David Onley, Former Lieutenant Governor of Ontario and Special Advisor on Disability Studies to UTSC. He noted that David had a long history and service to UTSC: from his time as the President of the Scarborough College Student Council to his role as U of T’s ambassador for 2015 Pan Am and Parapan Games. As Special Advisor to the Vice-President & Principal Accessibility Issues and on Disability Studies to the Vice-Principal & Dean, he provided steadfast guidance and advice related to programming, as well as important initiatives such as the National Dialogues & Action for Inclusive Higher Education and Communities – addressing ableism, disability and accessibility. David will be sorely missed by the U of T, and UTSC community.

    Convocation Make Up Ceremonies

    Principal Tettey remarked on the success of the four make up ceremonies that were held on December 16th & 17th for those graduands that completed their studies during the 2020 & 2021 academic years. Over 1000 UTSC graduates crossed the stage at Convocation Hall, witnessed by their family, friends, and supporters. Principal Tettey thanked the Office of Convocation for coordinating a very complex, and first of its kind celebration.  

    National Dialogues & Action

    On December 2nd, 2022, UTSC hosted the second installment of the National Dialogues and Action: Addressing Ableism, Disability, and Accessibility in Canadian Higher Education. Principal Tettey reminded members that the Dialogues are a national forum focused on address equity and inclusion in Canadian post-secondary institutions. He remarked that the conference explored barriers to learning and working in the post-secondary education sector for persons with disabilities. He noted that the discussion was rich, and that participants provided important and valuable feedback that will be distilled over the next year and shared with the broader community later.

    Presentation on the Healthy Campus Initiative by Sheila John, Assistant Dean, Wellness, Recreation and Sport

    Principal Tettey invited Sheila John, Assistant Dean, Wellness, Recreation and Sport from the Office of Student Experience and Wellbeing to deliver a presentation on the Healthy Campus Initiative. Principal Tettey noted that in Fall 2022, UTSC became the 37th member of the Canadian Health Promoting Campus Network, by officially adopting the Okanagan Charter. The Okanagan Charter was developed in 2015, and it provided institutions with common language, principles, and a framework to become health and wellbeing promoting campuses. Highlights from the presentation were as follows:
  • The Charter was a key outcome of the 2015 International Conference on Health Promoting Universities and Colleges.
  • The Okanagan Charter was officially adopted by the University of Toronto Scarborough in October 2022.
  • The Charter had two calls to action:
    • To embed health into all aspects of campus culture, across the administration, operations, and academic mandates.
    • Lead health promotion action and collaboration locally and globally.
  • The Healthy Campus Advisory Committee was struck in 2016 and had been instrumental in providing guidance and support on advancing this initiative.
  • Campus wide consultations took place in 2021-2022. In 2022, the Healthy Campus Course was launched and UTSC finalized commitments and submission for official status.
  • The Healthy Campus Pillars included:
    • Arts & Culture
    • Food & Nutrition
    • Mental Health
    • Physical Activity
    • Physical Space
    • Equity & Diversity
  • As part of the Healthy Campus Initiative, UTSC hosted several health focused events, including, Pet Therapy, a Community Bike Program, and the support of Equity Promoting Conferences.
  • The UTSC Healthy Campus Initiative developed a list of commitments that aligned with the UTSC Strategic Plan of Inspiring Inclusive Excellence. Themes of the UTSC Healthy Campus Commitment were as follows:
    • Experiential Learning
    • Innovative Research
    • Partnerships
    • Health Promotion Action Plan
    • Physical Environment
    • Communication Strategy
  • The Healthy Campus website was developed as a one stop hub for students, staff, and faculty.
  • On January 31, 2023, UTSC would host the Healthy Campus Celebration to commemorate the collaborative commitment the campus was making to strive toward a healthy environment through its adoption of the Okanagan Charter.
  1. Capital Project (Level 3): Report of the Project Planning Committee for the SAMIH (Scarborough Academy of Medicine & Integrated Health), UTSC – Project Scope and Sources of Funding (for recommendation)*

    The Chair invited Vice-President & Principal Wisdom Tettey to introduce the Report of the Project Planning Committee for SAMIH (Scarborough Academy of Medicine & Integrated Health). Principal Tettey remarked that SAMIH was a very exciting and collaborative project, which included a partnership between four divisions: UTSC, Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing and the Temerty Faculty of Medicine. He further remarked that the project was unique and leveraged the University’s location and resources to support the local community. Principal Tettey further highlighted the importance of partnership on the project and its extension to external partner organizations, including, community organizations, community health centres, and the local health network.

    Principal Tettey then invited Andrew Arifuzzaman, Chief Administrative Officer, UTSC to deliver the presentation for the proposed SAMIH. During the presentation, he shared the following highlights about the capital project:
  • Consultation with the Government of Ontario had begun in 2017 to discuss the development of a medical school in Scarborough to support the growth of the population and the lack of medical resources in the region.
  • In early 2022, the Government of Ontario announced funding for the project.
  • In September 2022, the province confirmed that the University would receive funding for an additional 30 undergraduate seats and 45 post-graduate positions, and 300 new health related life science graduates.
  • The SAMIH building would be located on the North Campus, at the intersection of Morningside Avenue and Military Trail, directly South of the TPASC Building and North of the new Instructional Centre (IC2).
  • SAMIH would host classrooms, teaching and research laboratories, including an innovative health and humanities laboratory and an FMRI space.
  • There would be faculty, research, graduate, administrative and student office space. Student lounges, study spaces and a food outlet would also be housed within the building.
  • Occupants would include SAMIH partners, the Temerty Faculty of Medicine (MD, PA and PT programs), Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing (Nurse Practitioner program), Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, the UTSC Department of Health and Society and include fMRI facilities and an EEG laboratory for the UTSC Clinical Psychology.
  • In addition to the internal partners, SAMIH would be supported through partnerships with the following:
    • Scarborough Health Network
    • Lakeridge Health
    • Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
    • Michael Garron Hospital
    • Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences
    • Community Based Agencies and Health Care facilities
    • Family Health Teams and Community Health Centres
  • Construction of SAMIH would begin in October 2023 with a targeted occupancy in August 2026.

    Andrew Arifuzzaman invited the SAMIH partner faculty leadership to share some remarks on the project. Lisa Dolovich (Dean, Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy), Patricia Houston (Vice Dean, Medical Education, Temerty Faculty of Medicine), and Robyn Stremler (Vice Dean, Academic, Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing) shared their collective excitement for the transformative nature and potential impact of the project and partnership. [CFH1] 

    During the discussion that followed, a member inquired as to whether a larger facility was considered for the SAMIH project, given the context of a growing population in the Eastern GTA. Mr. Arifuzzaman noted that in the undertaking of any new capital project, the administration considered a multitude of factors, including, the number of ongoing development, and construction sites on campus. He reiterated that efforts were made to ensure that facilities across the campus were developed in a manner that best supported the goals of the project, and the broader campus community. 

    A member then requested that the administration reiterate the reasoning for the lack of available seats for international students in the MD program at SAMIH. Professor Patricia Houston (Vice Dean, Medical Education, Temerty Faculty of Medicine), explained that Temerty Medicine could accept up to 13 international students into the MD program and reminded members that the parameters for international seats in the MD program were regulated by the provincial ministry of health.

    Another member followed up with a question about the prospect of internationally trained professionals having access to an accelerated pathway program to secure employment in the health sector. Professor Houston clarified that there was an opportunity for internationally trained medical professionals to apply for post-graduate spots through the Canadian Resident Matching System.

    A member inquired about the impact on parking availability on campus with the construction of the new buildings. Mr. Arifuzzaman remarked that although construction was taking place on all the surface parking spots, parking would be consolidated into a stacked parking lot that would house 1200 parking spaces.

    Referring to UTSC’s Inclusive Excellence Strategic Plan, a member asked about how the administration planned to engage with the local community on maximizing the number of local hires on the construction project, and how the related academic programs serviced and interacted with the local Neighbourhood Improvement Areas (NIA’s). Vice-President & Principal Tettey responded by noting that Inclusive Excellence was inextricably linked to the development and thriving of the local community. This was supported by the existing and forthcoming pathway programs for equity deserving communities, which included the MD program and some of the other professional programs. He went further to note that the integrated nature of education at SAMIH would help to develop and train well- rounded health professionals from the community. Mr. Arifuzzaman further noted that the procurement agreement included language that required apprentices from local partners.


    On motion duly moved, seconded, and carried


    THAT the project scope of the Scarborough Academy of Medicine and Integrated Health (SAMIH) as identified in the Report of the Project Planning Committee for the Scarborough Academy of Medicine and Integrated Health (SAMIH) at the University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC), dated November 17, 2022, be approved in principle; and,

    THAT the project totaling 10,801.5 gross square metres (gsm), be approved in principle, to be funded through: the UTSC Infrastructure Fund; Lawrence S. Bloomberg School of Nursing, Temerty Faculty of Medicine, Provostial Funding Sources, Donor and UTSC Financing.

  1. Revisions: University Mandated Leaves of Absence Policy (For Information)

    The Chair called on Professor Sandy Welsh, Vice-Provost Students to present the item.  Professor Welsh began her presentation, by providing a brief history of Policy and its application, noting that it was initially developed in response to concerns raised by the University Ombudsperson about the university's ability to address student behaviours during periods of extreme distress.  The Policy was first approved by the Governing Council in 2018 and a review was initiated in 2021.  Professor Welsh noted that between 2018 and 2022, the Policy was invoked a total of 17 times, and that as of the fall of 2022, seven of those students had returned to their studies.  Professor Welsh stressed that there had been no cases Policy in which a referral had been received based on a student's disclosure to a health centres or from accessibility services; in all cases it was the students’ behavior which prompted the concern, specifically behaviour which threatened the health or safety of other members of the U of T community.  She added that the intention of the policy was to provide compassionate and non-punitive options for students who were exhibiting serious and concerning behavior and could benefit from time away from their studies to engage with supports or other assistance while also fulfilling the University’s duty to protect the health and safety of all members of the university community.

    Moving to the review of the Policy, which began in February 2021, Professor Welsh noted that consultations included the following:  four open town halls, meetings with student societies and other student organizations, five open student consultations led by the Innovation Hub, staff and faculty across all three campuses, and the University Ombudsperson. In addition, an online consultation site was open to all members of the University community from March 1 to November 30, 2021.  The feedback from the review was then distilled into major themes and presented to governance bodies in the fall of 2021 and all the recommendations were accepted by the University.  The draft Policy revisions were also shared with two external experts in Human Rights Law and Psychiatry and their feedback was that the draft Policy was largely consistent with and implemented the University’s human rights obligations and appropriately addressed issues with respect to students affected by mental illness, including engagement in clinical care, and that revised language to clarify the University’s responsibilities and obligations was aligned with best practices in mental health.

    Professor Welsh then detailed the Policy revisions (both from the initial review and external expert consultations), as summarized below:
  • Renaming the Policy to more accurately reflect its purpose and the options contained within the Policy.
  • Restricting mandated leaves only to those cases where a student is posing harm to others or actively interfering with the educational experience of fellow students, and all other options for reasonable accommodations have been exhausted.
  • Reinforcing the University’s obligation to provide necessary accommodation up to the point of undue hardship.
  • Clarifying language within the Policy to communicate what actions on the part of the University are mandatory versus discretionary.

    Professor Welsh then addressed resources and supports to the Policy, which the University was implementing.  She noted that through the work of the Presidential & Provostial Task Force on Student Mental Health, the University continued to enhance student mental health resources.  Specifically, health and counseling centres across the three campuses had redesigned their approach to student counseling support to eliminate wait times to speak to a counselor and to allow for same day or next day appointments in most cases.  The University had also established a partnership with the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) which assisted students who accessed care through CAMH with their return to campus by connecting them with appropriate university and community-based resources.  In August of 2022, the University also welcomed Christina Bartha as Senior Executive Director, Student Mental Health Systems, Policy and Strategy, in a newly established tri-campus role, which would provide strategic oversight and vision in support of the university's efforts to enhance services for students needing mental health supports.  The University would also work with student case managers, where appropriate and in line with privacy legislations, to consider how additional external cultural and/or family support may be added for students placed on leave. The University would provide additional guidance to division heads with regards to the Policy and its application, and track and report on additional data related to the Policy, including aggregate demographic data.

    Professor Welsh concluded her presentation by noting that the overarching goal of the proposed changes was to reinforce the compassionate intent of this Policy and reduce or eliminate any outstanding concerns that it would inadvertently pose a barrier to any student accessing mental health services.

    In the discussion, a member inquired as to whether the status for a student living in residence would be impacted if they are asked to take a mandated leave of absence.  Professor Welsh noted that the administration works closely with the student, and if they are engaging in dangerous and threatening behaviors, then it may be the case their status is impacted. The Student Case Manager works with the student to support them with securing housing.   

    A member thanked Professor Welsh for the work that has gone into the development of the Policy.
  1. Report of the Presidential Assessors

    The Chair invited Professor Bill Gough, Vice-Principal Academic & Dean to deliver his report. Highlights from his report were as follows:
  • UTSC had a successful conclusion to a largely in-person term, with exams completed on schedule.
  • VPAD had identified some pandemic related needs for students (i.e. exam writing support). VPAD and the Office of Student Experience and Wellbeing would continue to collaborate to provide holistic student support.
  • Professor Gough noted that there may be an increasing number of online course offerings in the summer term. This would support accessibility, progression to degree completion, and flexibility.

    The Chair then invited Andrew Arifuzzaman, Chief Administrative Officer, to deliver his report. Highlights are as follows:
  • UTSC was approaching the one-year anniversary of the revitalization of the Campus Safety Team, with the addition of a Social Worker position to the team.Student feedback was very positive.
  • On the topic of Capital Projects:
    • The new Student Residence Facility would be ready for completion and occupancy for September 2023.
    • The Instructional Centre 2 (IC2) project was well underway.
    • The Indigenous House project was slightly delayed due to unique design elements and availability of materials.


On motion duly made, seconded and carried,


THAT the consent agenda be adopted and that Item 6, the Report of the Previous Meeting, be approved.

  1. Report of the Previous Meeting: Report Number 55 – November 15, 2023 (for approval)*
  2. Business Arising from the Report of the Previous Meeting
  3. Reports for Information
    1. Report Number 56 of the UTSC Agenda Committee (January 16, 2023)
    2. Report Number 61 of the UTSC Academic Affairs Committee (January 10, 2023)
    3. Report Number 50 of the UTSC Campus Affairs Committee (January 11, 2023)
  4. Date of the Next Meeting – March 8, 2023 at 4:10 p.m.
  5. Question Period

    No questions were raised for the administration.
  6. Other Business

    There was no Other Business.


  1. Capital Project: SAMIH (Scarborough Academy of Medicine & Integrated Health), UTSC - Total Project Cost and Sources of Funding (For Recommendation) +

    On motion duly moved, seconded, and carried


    THAT the total project cost of the Scarborough Academy of Medicine and Integrated Health (SAMIH) as described in the Report of the Project Planning Committee for the Scarborough Academy of Medicine and Integrated Health (SAMIH) at the University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC) dated November 17, 2022 be approved in principle.


The meeting adjourned at 6:12 p.m.

February 1, 2023