Report: UTSC Campus Council - October 07, 2021

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Via Virtual Meeting room

THE UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO SCARBOROUGH CAMPUS COUNCIL
REPORT NUMBER 49 OF THE CAMPUS COUNCIL

October 7, 2021

To the Governing Council, University of Toronto
Your Campus Council reports that it met on Thursday, October 7, 2021 at 4:10 p.m. virtually, with the following members present:

Present:
Grace Westcott (Chair), Vina Goghari (Vice-Chair), Wisdom Tettey (Vice-President and Principal), William A. Gough (Vice-Principal, Academic & Dean), Andrew Arifuzzaman (CAO), George Cree, Tarun Dewan, Edward Henley, Irmi Hutfless, Imran Khan, Sameer Lal, Dorinda So, Jason Glover, Gillian Mason, John Ramdeen, Michelle Ramnaraine, Silma Roddau, Tayyab Rashid, Paulina Rousseau, Jinny Tsang

In Attendance:
Trevor Young (Acting Vice-President and Provost), Scott Mabury (Vice-President Operations & Real Estate Partnerships), David Palmer (Vice-President, Advancement), Desmond Pouyat (Dean, Student Experience & Wellbeing), Tad Brown, Barbara Dick, Lisa Lemon, Gillian Morrison

Secretariat:
Sheree Drummond (Secretary of the Governing Council), Emma Thacker (UTSC Campus Council Secretary), Tracey Gameiro

Regrets:
Esma Boztas, Shadi Dalili, Imran Khan, Sonja Nikkila, Danielle Skipp


OPEN SESSION

  1. Chair’s Remarks

    The Chair welcomed members and guests to the first Council meeting of the governance year.
  2. Bicentennial Campaign Priorities

    The Chair invited Mr. David Palmer, Vice-President, Advancement, and Professor Trevor Young, Acting Vice-President and Provost, to present the item for information. The presentation discussed the framework for gifts and donations at the University of Toronto in the context of academic priorities and the Provostial Guidelines on Donations (updated in 2021). Mr. Palmer also shared with members the planning and consultation process and reviewed the benefits and opportunities of a campaign. Seven themes provide the campaign’s platform to advance the University’s commitment to inclusive excellence. They are: Next Generation, Healthy Lives, Sustainable Future, Equitable Cities & Societies, Creativity & Culture, Vanguard of Discovery, and Bold Innovation. The presentation offered the following highlights:
  • the campaign would advance a wide range of priorities for equity, diversity & inclusion, and transform capital projects and research priorities;
  • the campaign would support the implementation of 84 marquee and institutional strategic initiatives;
  • the campaign had two main goals - 1 million instances of alumni engagement, and 4-billion- dollars in donations which would be achieved across two phases (quiet and public);
  • a virtual launch was planned for late fall 2021.

    Members had no questions.
  1. Report of the Vice-President and Principal
    1. Report of the Vice-President and Principal

      The Chair invited Principal Tettey to provide his Report. Principal Tettey thanked students, faculty and staff for their ongoing efforts in response to the pandemic, and assured members that the University had taken many precautions to prioritise campus safety. He noted that UTSC had continued measures at ‘stage 3’ during the fall term, and that the physical facilities were at the highest standards in terms of ventilation, cleaning protocols, and social distancing capacity. The University had also taken an educative approach to vaccination, with the ‘green screen’ pilot initiative on the St. George Campus, which included student ambassadors asking and reminding people on campus about UCheck and providing vaccine information.

      Principal Tettey reported that on July 1, 2021, Professor Irena Creed joined the University as Vice- Principal Research & Innovation. Professor Creed was previously with the University of Saskatchewan where she had served as Associate Vice-President Research and Special Advisor to the President on Sustainability. He also reported that the censure against the University had been paused, pending a decision by the CAUT Council (planned for November) to consider formally lifting the censure. The first UTSC Townhall had been held. This meeting was important to share information and engage with the campus community and provide an opportunity for the community to hold leadership accountable. The meeting had generated insightful questions and feedback for the administration.

      Principal Tettey provided an update on the ‘National Dialogues and Action for Inclusive Higher Education and Communities.’ He noted that the Scarborough National Charter would be signed by many academic institutions this fall and would guide higher education institutions in responding to anti-Black racism and the implementation of actions for Black inclusion in our communities. He announced that ‘Accessibility and Disability’ was the theme for the upcoming National Dialogue events, in 2022.

      Principal Tettey reported on the recent Indigenization work under the guidance of the Truth, Reconciliation & Indigenous Initiatives Advisory Committee, and the UTSC Place-Making Subcommittee. He shared the plan to rename a building on campus, to give Indigenous names to campus roadways, and to increase Indigenous visibility in the place where we work and learn.

      Lastly, Principal Tettey reminded members and guests that higher education institutions continued to face cyber security threats. He noted that the University was doing what it could to be proactive against vulnerabilities and encouraged members to follow cyber security guidelines.

      Principal Tettey then invited the Assessors to provide their Reports.

    2. Assessor Reports

      William A. Gough, Vice-Principal, Academic & Dean, provided an update on the upcoming Winter 2022 term, noting that UTSC was still planning for a largely in-person course delivery. As the term approached, several factors would be being monitored, such as the reopening stage of the Province. He also noted that research activities remained at stage 3. At least 100 courses would have an online delivery option, and assessment (i.e., midterms and finals) were planned to be in-person, to support academic integrity. The Dean’s Office was moving forward with elements of the UTSC Strategic Plan, Inspiring Inclusive Excellence, including curriculum renewal, strategic enrolment management, and continuing education. The COVID-19 pandemic had created positive change for members of the disability community, and for this reason, attempts to return to a pre-pandemic state were being reconsidered. This topic would see needed discussion and at the upcoming National Dialogues, where the focus would be on disability and accessibility.

      Andrew Arifuzzaman, CAO, provided his report which included an update on the progress of approved capital projects (i.e., Student Residence, Instructional Centre 2, and Indigenous House). He also reported that several other capital projects were coming forward, including the UTSC Parking Structure, SAMIH (Scarborough Academy of Medicine & Integrated Health), Field House, and the LAMP (Centre for Literature, Arts, Media and Performance). He also reported on several collaborative projects, such as the EaRTH district (Environment and Related Technologies Hub) which would launch in October 2021, and had a focus on clean technologies. He spoke to the many safety measures for returning to campus, ranging from UCheck, physical distancing, PPE usage, ventilation, rapid screening, and vaccination.

      Desmond Pouyat, Dean, Student Experience & Wellbeing, reported that all services were now providing some in-person options, with reduced staff. Services also continued to be offered virtually. The student residences were close to a typical capacity, and athletics programming was underway, which included the use of the PanAm Sports Centre. Programs had been full although operating at a reduced capacity.

      Student group activity had rebounded with currently over 100 recognized student groups – typically, UTSC would have 280 active groups. The Health & Wellness Centre was working to provide same day access to counselling services through the introduction of new model of care. In addition, a new tri- campus medical records system (EMR) was up and running. The Student Mental Health Advisory Committee meeting had been well attended, which had a focus on proactive listening to students, and receiving feedback and recommendations for student mental health needs.

      A member asked about accessibility and lessons learned from the pandemic. Principal Tettey responded by pointing to the work of the Centre for Teaching & Learning, and the emphasis on inclusive learning pedagogies. He acknowledged that there was more work to be done. Professor Gough spoke to the work of both Professor David Onley (inaugural chair of the Accessibility Standards Advisory Council) and Tina Doyle (Director, AccessAbilty Centre). He also commented that requests for notetakers had dropped 50% during the pandemic, and that new regulations regarding accommodations were coming. Desmond Pouyat added that a pilot project for virtual counselling was accelerated due to the pandemic, and it was transformative for service delivery. There was a great appetite to maintain and build upon those gains, including into other areas, such as Career Services.
  1. Revisions to the Policy on Capital Planning & Capital Projects

    The Chair invited Professor Scott Mabury, Vice-President Operations & Real Estate Partnerships to present the item. Professor Mabury noted that in the fall of 2020, the Chair of the Governing Council, Ms Claire Kennedy, established the Working Group on Governance Oversight of Capital Projects (WGGOCP) with an overall objective to review and make recommendations to enhance governance oversight of capital projects. This group was later chaired by Brian Lawson, current Chair of the Governing Council.

    Professor Mabury noted that the last update to the Policy had been in 2017 and was no longer responsive to the scope and scale of capital projects occurring across the three campuses. He highlighted the following major changes and updates reflected in the new Policy, which addressed many issues identified by the WGGOCP, while at the same time respecting the principles of governance oversight:
  • Added emphasis on Campus Master Plans;
  • Improved clarity on capital project priorities, which incorporated an annual presentation to the relevant governance bodies of capital projects prioritized for the year;
  • Revised approval levels with Level 1 classified as project with a cost up to $10 million; Level 2 classified as a project with a cost between $10 million and $50 million and Level 3 classified as a capital project with a cost more than $50 million;
  • Financing and Execution of Capital Projects has been clarified, so that any financing will be approved by the Business Board, whose role was exclusively to consider the financial impact in the context of the University’s debt capacity, while execution of a project was under the authority to the Vice-President, Operations and Real Estate Partnerships (VPOREP);
  • Changes in Scope have been clarified so that the VPOREP had the authority to approve minor scope changes. For more major scope changes, a meeting of the Chairs and Vice-Chairs of the applicable governance bodies (i.e., Committees, Campus Councils, Boards) that recommended the Capital Project for approval would be held to decide whether a revised Project Planning Report (PPR) should be brought back through the full governance path for approval;
  • Project Budget Increases have been clarified, so that approval of cumulative project budget increases up to 10% of the original Total Project Cost (TPC), to a maximum of $30 million, were within the authority of the VPOREP; for those over 10% of the original TPC or between $30 to $50 million, a meeting of the Chairs and Vice-Chairs of the applicable governance bodies that recommended the Capital Project for approval would be held to decide whether the revised TPC should be brought back through the full governance path for approval;
  • Emphasis of Project Completion Reports was been strengthened so that a written report to University governance bodies was required to confirm financial closure of the Capital Project had occurred and to identify any budget and schedule variances;
  • Property Acquisitions, Real Estate Partnerships, and Capital Leases sections have been added, with an explanation of the authority of the Business Board;

    Four Corners (“4C”) and Infrastructure Projects have been recognized in the Policy and the related approval processes have been specified. Members had no questions.
  1. Revisions to the UTSC Campus Council and UTSC Campus Affairs Committee Terms of Reference

    The Chair invited Ms. Sheree Drummond, Secretary of the Governing Council to present the item. Ms. Drummond noted that the proposed changes to the Terms of Reference resulted from the proposed changes to the Policy on Capital Planning & Capital Projects as described under the previous item by Professor Scott Mabury. Ms Drummond referred members to the meeting documentation which outlined the detailed changes that resulted in both the Campus Council and the Campus Affairs Committee terms of reference. She noted that these changes were made to provide clarity and to ensure that the terms of reference reflected both what was required under the proposed new Policy and current practices.

    Members had no questions.
  2. Revisions to the UTSC Academic Affairs Committee Terms of Reference

    The Chair invited Emma Thacker, Secretary of the Campus Council, to present the item. Ms Thacker explained that the proposed changes to the Terms of Reference arose from the recent approval to convert the Centre for Critical Development Studies (EDU:B) to the Department of Global Development Studies. With the creation of this new academic unit required a membership composition change to reflect an additional ex-officio departmental Chair, and an elected teaching staff member. This proposed change would increase the overall membership from 64 to 66. Members had no questions.
  3. Report of the Previous Meeting: Report Number 48 – May 20, 2021

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

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

    Members received the following reports for information.
    1. Report Number 49 of the UTSC Agenda Committee (September 23, 2021)
    2. Report Number 52 of the UTSC Academic Affairs Committee (September 13, 2021)
    3. Report Number 44 of the UTSC Campus Affairs Committee (September 14, 2021)
  6. Date of the Next Meeting – November 15, 2021 at 4:10 p.m.

    The Chair advised members that the Council was scheduled to meet again on November 15, 2021 at 4:10 p.m.
  7. Question Period

    A member asked if the lessons learned from the pandemic, with respect to accessibility, would be shared with the larger community. Principal Tettey responded that the National Dialogues was one way to create this opportunity. Dean Pouyat added that the Career Centre had strong connections with the wider employer community, and that there was additional opportunities to share best practices (e.g., Council on Student Services).
  8. Other Business

    No other business was raised. The Council moved in camera.

IN-CAMERA SESSION

  1. Appointments: 2021-22 UTSC Campus Council Nominating Committee

    On motion duly made, seconded, and carried, YOUR COUNCIL RESOLVED,

    THAT Professor George Cree and Michelle Ramnaraine be appointed to serve on the UTSC Agenda Committee when the Committee serves as a nominating committee of the UTSC Campus Council for the 2021-22 governance year.


The Council returned to open session.

The meeting adjourned at 6:02 p.m.


October 18, 2021