REPORT NUMBER 53 OF THE UTSC CAMPUS COUNCIL
May 25, 2022
To the Governing Council,
University of Toronto,
Your Campus Council reports that it met on Wednesday, May 25, 2022, at 4:10 p.m. with the following members present:
Present: Grace Westcott (Chair), Wisdom Tettey (Vice-President and Principal), William A. Gough (Vice-Principal, Academic & Dean), Andrew Arifuzzaman (Chief Administrative Officer), Esma Boztas, George Cree, Jason Glover, Edward Henley, Irmi Hutfless, Imran Khan, Sameer Lal, Gillian Mason, Sonja Nikkila, Tayyab Rashid, Michelle Ramnaraine, John Ramdeen, Silma Roddau, Dorinda So
In Attendance: Irena Creed (Vice-Principal, Research and Innovation), Katie Larson (Vice-Dean Teaching, Learning & Undergraduate Programs), Linda Johnston (Dean, Bloomberg School of Nursing), Allison Burgess (Director, Sexuality and Gender Diversity Office)
Secretariat: Emma Thacker (UTSC Campus Council Secretary), Patrick McNeill
Regrets: Vina Goghari (Vice-Chair), Tarun Dewan, Shadi Dalili, Jinny Tsang, Paulina Rousseau, Danielle Skipp
- Chair’s Remarks
The Chair, Ms. Grace Westcott, welcomed members and guests to the Council meeting, noting that several members had also joined the meeting remotely. She provided a sensitive content warning for item #4, regarding the Policy on Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment, also pointing out support contact information for members and guests.
- Report of the Vice-President and Principal
2a) Update from the Vice-Principal, Academic & Dean
Principal Tettey invited William A. Gough (Vice-Principal, Academic & Dean) to provide an update from his portfolio. Professor Gough reported that the student absence declaration would continue for the summer session, and that masking would continue until the end of June, particularly in classroom settings and in areas that did not allow for social distancing. He remarked that in the fall, several cohorts would be coming to campus for the first time, including many recently hired faculty members, and that initiatives were being developed to ease this transition. Professor Gough also noted that the Report of the Campus Curriculum Review Working Circle was complete and had recently been circulated. To conclude, Professor Gough shared that development of the ‘we care’ framework for the Scarborough Academy of Medicine and Integrated Health (SAMIH) was underway.
2b) Presentation: Report of the Campus Curriculum Review Working Circle
Principal Tettey invited Professor Katie Larson (Vice-Dean Teaching, Learning & Undergraduate Programs, and Chair of the Campus Curriculum Review Working Circle) to share a presentation. Professor Larson noted that the curriculum review was part of priority 1.2 of the UTSC Strategic Plan, Inspiring Inclusive Excellence and was also part of a broader framework for curricular innovation and renewal. She noted that within the overall scope of the review, there was a focus on the prioritization of Indigenous knowledges and Black knowledges, racialized perspectives, and international and intercultural perspectives. The presentation provided an overview of the 56 recommended actions presented by the Working Circle Report which extended over the following categories:
- Curriculum development (key action was systemic attention across disciplines);
- Pedagogical development and related supports (further education and resources);
- Dedicated academic homes, programs, and spaces for Indigenous and Black Excellence at UTSC (building upon the opportunities represented by the creation of Indigenous House and existing program foundations in African Studies);
- Faculty, librarian, and staff hiring (prioritize hiring Indigenous and Black faculty, librarians, and staff);
- Community engagement (e.g., the need for clear pathways and protocols for engaging with Indigenous communities);
- Institutional structures and support (teaching and learning must be supported by policy and process); and
- Future of the working circle and foundations for implementation (to have the circle continue as an ongoing committee).
Professor Larson also highlighted the ‘Pedagogies of Inclusive Excellence Fund’ which was a new fund dedicated to inclusive, accessible, holistic, and anti-racist curriculum and pedagogical development. She noted timelines to implement the recommendations, commenting that 2025 was named as the initial target date.
2c) Principal’s Report
Principal Tettey began his report by acknowledging that the university community had been doing a great deal of work throughout the challenging time of the pandemic, and there was concern for the health of the community and burnout. He commented that the work of the UTSC Strategic Plan, Inspiring Inclusive Excellence must be advanced with a balance of both work and personal wellbeing. He noted that UTSC was a catalyst in the world, and that it would take leadership to move EDI forward and implement the recommendations of several initiatives and committees (e.g., Scarborough Charter, Anti-Black Racism Task Force, Anti-Semitism Working Group).
Principal Tettey also reported on the University’s ‘defy gravity’ campaign which was underway and had a two-pronged commitment – alumni engagement and advancement work. He also commended faculty and staff for responding to the ‘UTSC Faculty and Staff Campaign’ noting that the campaign had already exceeded expectations and focused on raising funds to support students. UTSC Spring Convocation ceremonies were scheduled for June 9th and 10th. The process of planning in-person convocation events for 2020 and 2021 cohorts were also underway.
In response to members’ questions about whether UTSC had supports in place for refugees, Professor Tettey confirmed that UTSC’s student support and inclusion efforts included refugees. Student support centers, such as the Health & Wellness Centre and the International Student Centre, collaborated in such a way that all students received support irrespective of status. A member suggested that student refugees should also be referred to social student groups, because many times the students did not yet know each other.
A member asked if the hybrid course delivery model would continue in fall, given that regulations related to COVID-19 were changing. Professor Gough responded that it was anticipated that course offerings would mostly return to in-class, but added that UTSC could pivot to online quickly, should that be needed.
- Annual Report – Office of the Vice-Principal Research and Innovation (OVPRI)
The Chair invited Professor Irena Creed, Vice Principal Research and Innovation, to address the Council. Professor Creed provided the following highlights as part of her Annual Report, which covered April of 2021 to March of 2022. Professor Creed began with an acknowledgment of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on research productivity and mental health, resulting in burnout across the sector. In response to this, the OVPRI had created several relief supports and had invested in supporting the faculty and research community. She provided the following additional highlights in her Report:
- Establishment of the Institute for Globalization, Transnationalism and the Advancement of Resilient, Inclusive Suburbs and Economies (GTA- RISE) and its three inaugural institutes;
- Investment in new clusters of scholarly prominence and in core research facilities;
- Total research funding was 14.1 million with over 60% coming from tri-agency sources;
- UTSC tri-agency success rate exceeded the national success rate;
- Strategies were implemented to increase UTSC faculty member participation in CRC eligible and tri-agency programs;
- Continued support of innovation through campus accelerator, The Hub;
- Acknowledgment of Dr. Grey Graffam’s (Director, The Hub) service for over ten years;
- Focus on collaborative innovation districts including EaRTH and HeART;
- Active faculty engagement in international research;
- Highlights of Professor Marlene Goldman (English) and Professor Alexander Kupers’ (CMS) prestigious national and international research recognition.
A member noted that the private sector research funding was at 1.1% and inquired how this compared to the UTM and St. George campuses. Professor Creed noted that UTM was at 2.4% and St. George at 3.6%. She added that community collaborations must also be considered, and that efforts must address barriers and consider ‘wrap around’ research supports such as childcare.
- Review of the Policy on Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment
The Chair invited the Review Co-Chairs, Professor Linda Johnston (Dean, Bloomberg School of Nursing) and Dr. Allison Burgess (Director, Sexuality and Gender Diversity Office) to present an overview of the review of the Policy on Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment. It was noted that the Policy provided for a review to be undertaken every three years and that the last review was conducted in 2019. A report with recommendations for changes to the Policy was under development. The Council then received a presentation from Professor Johnston and Dr. Burgess, which provided an overview of the 13 draft recommendations and highlighted the following:
- Over 43 hours of consultations were held, with students, faculty, staff and librarians and included solicitation for feedback from student societies across all three campuses;
- Formal submissions were received from the University of Toronto Students’ Union, University of Toronto Graduate Student’s Union, PEARS Project, and the University of Toronto Mississauga Sexual Violence & Harassment Prevention Committee;
- Areas identified for attention and change centered around themes of:
- Improving processes related to reporting and receiving services related to making disclosures;
- Sexual violence prevention and sexual health education and training;
- Optimizing and resourcing the Sexual Violence Prevention and Support Centre;
- Information sharing with participants of a reporting process and others;
- Adjustments to policies and guidelines that intersect with the Policy on Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment; and
- Formalizing supports for respondents.
A member provided a suggestion for raising awareness and commented that it would be helpful to include the Sexual Violence Prevention & Support Centre in SCSU orientation and frosh activities.
- Operating Overview of the UTSC Campus Operating Budget, 2022-2023
The Chair invited Mr. Andrew Arifuzzaman (UTSC Chief Administrative Officer), to present the item. 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. Mr. Arifuzzaman highlighted the following spending 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 and investment in Imani;
- Infrastructure: New capital projects; Space plan - student space and campus upgrades; Biology teaching lab renovations; and Library renovations;
- Community partnerships; and
- Returning to campus.
A member asked if the university would be encouraging in-person events and interaction when the students returned in the fall. Mr. Arifuzzaman responded that it was hard to predict public health requirements in the fall, however there were plans underway with a focus on reconnecting and bringing the community together. He pointed to the new green gathering space on campus, as an example.
- Report of the Previous Meeting: Report Number 52 – March 9, 2022
The report of the previous meeting was approved.
- Business Arising from the Report of the Previous Meeting
There was no business arising from the report of the previous meeting.
- Reports for Information
8a) Report Number 53 of the UTSC Agenda Committee (March 16, 2022)
8b) Report Number 56 of the UTSC Academic Affairs Committee (March 23, 2022)
8c) Report Number 57 of the UTSC Academic Affairs Committee (April 27, 2022)
8d) Report Number 47 of the UTSC Campus Affairs Committee (May 9, 2022)
- Date of Next Meeting – June 22, 2022 at 4:10 p.m.
The Chair advised members that the Council was scheduled to meet again on June 22, 2022 at 4:10 p.m., however it was unlikely that the meeting would be required, due to lack of business items.
- Question Period
Members had no questions for the administration.
- Other Business
The Chair invited Mr. Andrew Arifuzzaman to provide a brief update on capital projects and related construction industry strikes (e.g., carpenters union, crane operators). He reported that due to the strikes, several campus capital projects were behind schedule, however the contractor was confident that the time would be made up, due to the initiation of other building activities during the strike (e.g., mechanical work). He also reported that the SAMIH and parking structure projects were in the process of seeking approvals from City Council.
The Chair thanked the Chairs, Vice-Chairs, and Presidential Assessors of the Academic and Campus Affairs Committees, and the Secretariat for their support over the past year. She also thanked members of Council for their engagement and recognized those whose terms had ended. Principal Tettey also expressed his thanks to members for their service, and he acknowledged the work of those members whose terms were ending.
- Appointments: 2022-23 UTSC Campus Council Community Members
On motion duly made, seconded, and carried,
YOUR COUNCIL APPROVED,
THAT the three community member applicants identified and endorsed by the UTSC Nominating Committee, and as specified in the documentation dated May 9, 2022, be approved to serve three-year terms on the UTSC Campus Council, effective July 1, 2022.
13. Appointments: 2022-23 UTSC Campus Council Standing Committee Assignments, including the Agenda Committee
On motion duly made, seconded, and carried,
YOUR COUNCIL APPROVED,
THAT the 2022-23 UTSC Campus Council Standing Committee assignments, as recommended by the UTSC Nominating Committee, be approved, effective July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2023.
The Council returned to open session.
The meeting adjourned at 6:30 p.m.
June 7, 2022