Report: UTSC Campus Council - January 27, 2021

Via Virtual Meeting



January 27, 2021

To the Governing Council,
University of Toronto

Your Campus Council reports that it met on Wednesday, January 27, 2021 at 4:10 p.m. virtually, with the following members present:

Paul Kingston (Chair), Grace Westcott (Vice-Chair), Wisdom Tettey (Vice-President and Principal), William Gough (Vice-Principal, Academic & Dean), Andrew Arifuzzaman (CAO), George Cree, Shadi Dalili, Tarun Dewan, George Fadel, Liben Gebremikael, Irmi Hutfless, Brenda Librecz, Jason Glover, Elaine Khoo, Sonja Nikkila, Tayyab Rashid, Silma Roddau, Paulina Rousseau, Dorinda So, Lara Zink

In Attendance:
Karen McCrindle (Associate Dean, Teaching and Learning / Director, Centre for Teaching and Learning), Desmond Pouyat (Dean, Student Experience & Wellbeing), Helen Morissette (Director, Financial Services)

Emma Thacker (UTSC Campus Council Secretary), Cindy Ferencz Hammond

Regrets: Daniel Lysak, Gillian Mason, Xiaoyu Yuan, Changmiao Yu


  1. Chair’s Remarks

    The Chair, Professor Paul Kingston, welcomed members and guests to the Campus Council meeting. He reported to members that the 2021 governance elections were underway. The Chair welcomed, Mr. Brian Lawson, Vice-Chair of Governing Council to the meeting, and invited him to share his update.

    Mr. Lawson provided a brief update on the ‘Working Group on Governance Oversight of Capital Projects’. He noted that the working group was created by the Chair of Governing Council in the fall of 2020, and that he was Chair to the group. The Working Group was tasked to enhance governance oversight of capital projects with the goal of giving the administration the necessary flexibility to plan and execute capital projects on an expeditious and commercially effective basis. At the same time providing members of the respective governance bodies, including UTSC Campus Council and its bodies, with the necessary information, opportunities for discussion, and approval capabilities to ensure that they can fulfill their fiduciary obligations. He explained that a substantial part of the Group’s work was to review the current Policy on Capital Planning and Capital Projects, which may result in proposed revisions to various Terms of Reference, such as the Business Board and the UTSC Terms of Reference. It was anticipated that a revised Capital Project Policy would be considered through governance in Cycle 4.

    A member asked if the working group was considering how the two campuses (UTSC and UTM) would factor into the new policy and process. Mr. Lawson confirmed that the tri-campus approach was part of the review process, although much of the focus rested on Academic Board and Business Board, where the greatest clarification was needed.
  2. Report of the Vice-President and Principal

    The Chair invited Principal Tettey to provide his Report.
    1. Principal’s Report

      Principal Tettey spoke to the ongoing challenges faced by members of the community due to the pandemic, and noted that the restrictions and extended lockdown impacted all members of our community differently. He explained that intentionally developing a culture of care was critical to support members of our community, especially those with childcare, eldercare, and other caretaking responsibilities. Principal Tettey also provided some administrator-related updates, confirming the reappointment of Professor William A. Gough as Vice-Principal, Academic & Dean. Principal Tettey congratulated Professor Gough, and thanked him for his continued leadership. He explained that the search for a new Vice-Principal Research & Innovation was still underway, as was the search for a new Director of the Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Office.

      Principal Tettey provided an update on the rollout of the UTSC Strategic Plan, Inspiring Inclusive Excellence. He reported that the Inspiring Inclusive Excellence website had launched in the fall. The UTSC Communications team had developed several communication tools, both internal (e.g., logo, PPT templates), but also external messaging, such as videos, and signage for placement in the community (e.g., bus shelters). Principal Tettey also reported on the progress of finalizing the first draft of the ‘Scarborough National Charter on Anti-Black Racism and Black Inclusion in Canadian Higher Education: Principles, Actions, and Accountabilities.’ The drafting of the Charter was a collaborative effort on a national scale, with input from various members of the Canadian higher education sector and other partners. He explained that the next step in the process was to seek institutional feedback from the consortium of partners who committed to the vision and goals. He noted that the Charter was anticipated to be signed by the end of the 2020-21 academic year.

      Principal Tettey shared that UTSC, the City of Toronto, Centennial College, and the Scarborough Health Network, were invited by Member of Parliament (MP) Mr. Gary Anandasangaree (Constituency: Scarborough-Rouge Park), to participate in a virtual pre-budget consultation on January 19, 2021. This was an opportunity to present/identify UTSC’s economic and social priorities and views in advance of the 2021 federal budget to members of the Scarborough Caucus. He also reported that the EaRTH District Consortium had signed a research partnership agreement to facilitate cross-institutional scholarly collaboration. Work was underway to explore academic program collaboration and student mobility. Lastly, he noted the upcoming launch of the Scarborough ‘COVID-19 Heroes Recognition’ initiative, in collaboration with institutional partners.

    2. Administration Portfolio Updates

      The Chair invited Professor William A. Gough, Vice-Principal, Academic & Dean, to present his report. Professor Gough thanked members and guests for their ongoing efforts during the pandemic, and he acknowledged that some members of the community were struggling with challenges, such as child care, elder care and self-care, all which were exacerbated by great uncertainties. He explained that leadership has recently embarked on a ‘gratitude tour’ which consisted of meetings with various staff groups (those who report to the Dean) to relay appreciation for their valuable work, and signalling desire to support faculty and staff who face acute challenges. He noted that faculty and staff have rallied to deliver the academic mission, especially with course delivery. Professor Gough commented that questions still remained about vaccine deployment timelines, and it was anticipated that the summer session would not change from the current mode of operation (i.e, largely remote, with a few essential in-person offerings). Delivery for the Fall 2021 session was still undecided at this time, however it was anticipated there would be some restrictions, and therefore would have a continued focus on the safety and health of all community members. He confirmed that despite the pandemic, academic planning was underway with new faculty hires, program reviews, and curriculum change proposals being developed for governance consideration.

      The Chair invited Mr. Desmond Pouyat, Dean, Student Experience & Wellbeing, to present his report. He reported that the Office of Student Experience and Wellbeing had supported students through the winter holiday and exam periods. For example, students in residence had received wellness checks and some complementary meals. He reported that there had not been a COVID positive case in residence. He confirmed that online student services continued, and commented that there was concern for the wellbeing of community members. To support wellbeing, he highlighted several initiatives such as online AccessAbility Services, study groups, and community building nights. The Health & Wellness Centre continued its online services and online health promotion. He also noted several initiatives that had received funding to support student life engagement. Other activities such as e-sports were also on offer, to maintain student physical and social activity. Mr. Pouyat shared his concern for students with the ongoing pandemic, and acknowledged a need for compassion for all community members at this time.

      The Chair invited Mr. Andrew Arifuzzaman, Chief Administrative Officer, to present his report. Mr. Arifuzzaman acknowledge the efforts of staff and faculty during the pandemic. COVID-19 had affected various populations disproportionately. UTSC had been working to provide supports and resources, such as food repackaging and redistribution. Highland Hall was a COVID-19 assessment centre, in partnership with the Scarborough Health Network. There were discussions to provide a campus location for vaccinations. Mr. Arifuzzaman provided some highlights of renovation and enhancement projects to several learning environments that are not currently in use.

      A member asked about mental health supports for students. Mr. Desmond Pouyat, Dean, Student Experience & Wellbeing provided further highlights to the efforts to support the wellbeing of students.
  3. Capital Project: Report of the Project Planning Committee for New Classroom, Academic and Administrative Building (Instructional Centre-2 or IC-2) at UTSC

    The Chair invited Mr. Andrew Arifuzzaman, UTSC Chief Administrative Officer, to present the capital project, UTSC Instructional Centre 2. Mr. Arifuzzaman reported the following highlights:
    • The structure was a proposed new facility, positioned on the north campus;
    • The facility would incorporate an instructional centre, four units within the Office of Student Wellbeing & Experience, and academic space for the Department of Computer & Mathematical Sciences;
    • The proposed building would address space shortages, and provide gathering and study space for students;
    • The building was designed to have five upper levels, and one below, with space totaling 9,915 nasm (net assignable square metres), and a gross floor area of 19,646 gsm (gross square metres);
    • The building would provide 24 new classrooms which would range from 24 seats to 500 seats, seven collaborative classrooms, otherwise known as active-learning classrooms are proposed;
    • Anticipated start of construction was targeted for early 2021 with building occupancy in August 2023.

Professor Karen McCrindle, Associate Dean, Teaching and Learning & Director, Centre for Teaching & Learning explained some of the extensive consultation with faculty in designing the pedagogical aspects of the building. She noted that the design provided greater flexibility in teaching options, incorporated learning technology, and would support innovative teaching and learning practices. For example, some classrooms will include furniture that can be reconfigured to adapt to student and faculty needs.

Mr. Pouyat was asked by the CAO to present on the Student Services Hub which was incorporated into the IC2 project. He explained the long standing need to appropriately relocate the key student services on campus which had been scattered in various locations and were often challenging to locate by students. When the IC2 building was completed the following services would be located on the 5th floor: the Health & Wellness Centre, Advising and Career Services, AccessAbility Services, and the Office of Student Experience & Wellbeing. Since IC2 was primarily a classroom building, every student on campus would pass through, thus making it an ideal location for the key student services that support student success.

The Chair invited Dr. Tayyab Rashid, Chair of the Campus Affairs Committee (CAC), to provide a brief summary of any discussion held at CAC on January 11, 2021. Dr. Rashid shared that Mr. Arifuzzaman had shared the schedule, purpose, and building features of the IC2 with members. Professor Karen McCrindle, Associate Dean, Teaching and Learning & Director of the Centre for Teaching & Learning had explained several pedagogical features of the building. He reported that a member had asked about community use of the space, and that Mr. Arifuzzaman had responded that the space could be made available to groups in several different ways, such as space rental, or a collaborative initiative.

A member asked about community benefits of the space. Mr. Arifuzzaman responded that the project would create opportunities for pre-apprentice trainees.

Another member asked about the closed municipal waste site near the proposed building site and the ‘hold’ referenced in the report. Mr. Arifuzzaman responded that the ‘hold’ in the report spoke to a routine City by-law provision. He further explained that the proposed site was a former parking lot, and as such salt contamination would be removed prior to building. He reported that there were no environmental issues that caused any concern, and they anticipated no issues with the release of the ‘hold’. He clarified that the building site was not a previous landfill site, it was the site adjacent to the proposed location that had been a landfill site.

On motion duly made, seconded, and carried,


THAT the Report of the Project Planning Committee for the New Classroom, Academic, and Administrative Building (Instructional Centre 2 or IC-2) at the University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC), dated November 17, 2020, be approved in principle; and,

THAT the project totaling 9,915 net assignable square metres (nasm) and 19,646 gross square metres (gsm), be approved in principle, to be funded by Future Major Capital Project Reserves, Borrowing, and UTSC Major Capital Construction.

  1. Report of the Previous Meeting: Report Number 44 – November 17, 2020

    The report of the previous meeting was approved.
  2. Business Arising from the Report of the Previous Meeting

    There was no business arising from the report of the previous meeting.
  3. Reports for Information

    Members received the following reports for information.
    1. Report Number 45 of the UTSC Agenda Committee (January 18, 2021)
    2. Report Number 48 of the UTSC Academic Affairs Committee (January 13, 2021)
    3. Report Number 41 of the UTSC Campus Affairs Committee (January 11, 2021)
  4. Date of the Next Meeting – Wednesday, March 10, 2021 at 4:10 p.m.

    The Chair advised members that the Council was scheduled to meet again on March 10, 2021 at 4:10 p.m.
  5. Question Period

    Members had no questions.
  6. Other Business

    No other business was raised.

    The Council moved in camera.


  1. Capital Project: Report of the Project Planning Committee for New Classroom, Academic and Administrative Building (Instructional Centre-2 or IC-2) at UTSC – Total Project Cost and Sources of Funding

    The Chair invited Mr. Andrew Arifuzzaman, UTSC Chief Administrative Officer to present the item. Mr. Arifuzzaman presented the total project cost and sources of funding. Members had no questions.

    On motion duly made, seconded, and carried,


    THAT the project scope of the New Classroom, Academic, and Administrative Building (IC-2), as identified in the Report of the Project Planning Committee for the New Classroom, Academic, and Administrative Building (Instructional Centre 2 or IC-2) at the University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC), dated November 17, 2020, be approved in principle.

    The Council returned to open session.

The meeting adjourned at 5:47 p.m.

February 2, 2021