Report: UTSC Campus Council - May 21, 2024

Via Virtual Meeting room

Report Number 64 Of The Utsc Campus Council

TUESDAY, MAY 21, 2024

To the Governing Council, University of Toronto

Your UTSC Campus Council reports that it held a meeting on May 21, 2024, at 4:10 p.m., in a virtual meeting room, with the following members present:

Present: Grace Westcott (Chair), Sotirios Damouras (Vice-Chair), Linda Johnston (Acting Vice-President & Principal), William A. Gough (Vice-Principal Academic and Dean), Andrew Arifuzzaman (Chief Administrative Officer), Neel Joshi (Dean, Student Experience and Wellbeing), Tarun Dewan, Jason Glover, Edward Henley, Imran Khan, Elaine Khoo, Zachary Kileeg, Sameer Lal, Gillian Mason, Paul Huyer, Sonja Nikkila, Silma Roddau, John Ramdeen, Dorinda So, Shennel Simpson, Hoorik Yeghiazarian

Regrets: Arjun Yanglem, Muntaha Almahjub, Rachel Sturge, Irmi Hutfless, Mariana Jardim

Guests: Ramona Gonsalves (Senior Director, Financial Services)

Secretariat: Sheree Drummond (Secretary of the Governing Council), Emma Thacker (Secretary, Campus Council), Megann Davidson


  1. Chair’s Remarks

    The Chair welcomed members and guests to the cycle six meeting of the Campus Council.  She expressed her thanks to members for their engagement throughout the governance year and acknowledged outgoing members of the Council. The Chair also thanked William Pollex (Technology Specialist) who provided excellent audio-technical support at each governance meeting.
  2. Report of the Vice-President and Principal

    Acting Principal Johnston began her report by congratulating Professor Wisdom Tettey on his appointment as the next President and Vice-Chancellor of Carleton University. She remarked on the formation of an Advisory Committee whose first task would be to consider an extension to the Acting Principal's appointment. She reported on the hiring of Lisa Clements as the Executive Director of Marketing & Communications (UTSC) and the announcement of Dr. Caroline Chan as the inaugural director of the Scarborough Academy of Medicine. Additionally, the Principal touched upon protests and civil discourse on campus, noting ongoing discussions with encampment student representatives and emphasizing the importance of peaceful assembly. Principal Johnston also highlighted the recent Scarborough Charter Forum (Bridging Black: Building Connections for Black Flourishing) that took place on May 9-10, 2024, and the upcoming 60th anniversary celebrations for UTSC.

    A member asked about the status of the encampment and negotiations with students, considering the announcement from Ontario Tech University. Principal Johnston shared with members the update that President Gertler had provided to the Governing Council on May 16, 2024. She noted that the President had updated the Governing Council on the ongoing protests, focusing on the encampment at King’s College Circle. Acknowledging the strain on the community, he reiterated the University's goal of a peaceful resolution to the encampment. Regular meetings with students and communication efforts continued, addressing concerns such as safety and discriminatory language. While affirming free expression, President Gertler had emphasized academic freedom and intolerance of discrimination. He highlighted progress in discussions with students. Principal Johnston added that while Ontario Tech University had reached an agreement with their students, she was not in a position to comment on that negotiation.
  3. Compulsory Non-Academic Incidental Fees: Student Society Fee Increase – Regenesis, UTSC

    The Chair reported that ‘Regenesis UTSC’ was a Scarborough Campus Students' Union (SCSU) recognized student group promoting sustainability initiatives. Student society fees were subject to the terms and conditions of the Policy on Ancillary Fees, and the Policy for Compulsory Non-Academic Incidental Fees. She clarified that although the fees were for a SCSU student society, it was the administration (Dean Neel Joshi) who brought it forward for consideration. SCSU representatives were invited to the meeting, however none were present.

    Professor Tarun Dewan, Chair of the Campus Affairs Committee, reported that there was no discussion of the item at the May 6th meeting, and the item was recommended for approval.

    A member asked for additional information about the establishment of the fee. Dean Joshi provided background on the referendum, and the role of the Office of the Vice-Provost Students to review the process.  

    A member asked if students could opt out of the fee. Noting the absence of any SCSU representatives to respond to the question directly, Dean Joshi commented that the SCSU had been asked to detail a process regarding opting out of the fee.

    A member asked about voter turnout for the referendum. Dean Joshi commented that 12% was a strong turnout, in comparison to typical voter turnout (approximately 4%) for general student elections.

    On motion duly made, seconded and carried,


    THAT, Subject to Confirmation by the Executive Committee,

    THAT, beginning in the Fall 2024 session, the Scarborough Campus Students’ Union fee be modified as follows: (a) the establishment of $7.23 per session ($3.62 part-time) in the Regenesis UTSC portion of the fee.

  4. UTSC Capital Projects Report, as of March 31, 2024

    The Chair invited Andrew Arifuzzaman (Chief Administrative Officer) to provide an update on UTSC’s capital projects. He provided an update on the following capital projects: Indigenous House, Scarborough Academy of Medicine and Integrated Health (SAMIH), Sam Ibrahim Building, and the Retail and Parking Commons. He also discussed plans for the Eglinton East Light Rail Transit (EELRT), which was a rapid transit line proposed to span across eastern Scarborough.

    A member asked about the likelihood of the EELRT coming to fruition. Mr. Arifuzzaman noted his concern, given that the transit project had been funded three times in the past, but never implemented as the money had been diverted for other transit priorities. He continued to work with the City to prepare for the project's eventual completion, but it did remain an uncertainty. Nevertheless, everyone involved was planning as if the project would happen, pending funding availability.

    A member asked about the inclusion of trade apprentices in the campus building construction. Mr. Arifuzzaman commented on procurement efforts to involve contractors taking on apprentices, emphasizing the University’s role in facilitating conversations rather than matchmaking contractors with apprentices. Mr. Arifuzzaman acknowledged the need for collaboration with social service agencies and unions to support apprentices effectively. Despite not meeting lofty targets there had been success in retaining apprentices. Lastly, they discussed the need for continued funding and support for such initiatives.


On motion duly made, 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 63 – April 16, 2024
  2. Business Arising from the Report of the Previous Meeting
  3. Reports for Information
    1. Report Number 64 of the UTSC Agenda Committee (May 13, 2023) 
    2. Report Number 71 of the UTSC Academic Affairs Committee (May 7, 2024)
    3. Report Number 57 of the UTSC Campus Affairs Committee (May 6, 2024)
  4. Governance Meeting Schedule: 2024/25

  1. Date of the Next Meeting – June 20, 2024, at 4:10 p.m. (reserve date only)
  2. Question Period

    Members had no questions.
  3. Other Business

    As it was Professor William Gough's final Campus Council meeting in his role as Vice-Principal, Academic and Dean, Sheree Drummond (Secretary of the Governing Council), took the opportunity to express gratitude for his remarkable governance contributions throughout the years. She highlighted his extensive service in governance at both UTSC and the University. He was also a member of the Task Force on Governance and later a member of the Implementation Committee, leading the group on tri-campus governance matters. As the inaugural Chair of the UTSC Campus Council, Professor Gough provided steady guidance, and in his recent role as Vice-Principal, Academic and Dean, he contributed as an Assessor. Recognized as an exceptional University citizen, he was presented with a University of Toronto clock, with an inscription acknowledging his exemplary service and dedication to governance at the University of Toronto.

    The Campus Council moved In-Camera


  1. Appointments: UTSC Campus Council Standing Committees, 2024-25

    On motion duly made, seconded and carried,


    THAT the 2024-25 UTSC Campus Council Standing Committees assignments, as identified and endorsed by the UTSC Nominating Committee, be approved, effective July 1, 2024 to June 30, 2025.

The meeting adjourned at 4:36 p.m.

May 27, 2024