Report: UTSC Campus Council - September 29, 2022

UTSC Campus Council Chambers, AA160

Report Number 54 of the Campus Council

September 29, 2022

To the Governing Council,

University of Toronto

Your Campus Council reports that it met in the Council Chamber (AA160) at University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC) on Thursday, September 29, 2022, at 4:10 p.m. with the following members present:


Grace Westcott (Chair), Wisdom Tettey (Vice-President and Principal), William A. Gough (Vice-Principal, Academic & Dean), Andrew Arifuzzaman (Chief Administrative Officer), Rana Behzadi, Tarun Dewan, Jason Glover*, Qusai Hassan, Edward Henley*, Irmi Huftless, Imran Khan, Elaine Khoo*, Gillian Mason, Sonja Nikkila*, John Ramdeen, Silma Roddau*, Dorinda So*, Rachel Sturge

In Attendance:

Neel Joshi (Dean, Student Experience and Wellbeing), Amrith David, Alyssia Fernandes, Thai Dillon Higashihara, Nicole Bray Iannis, Mathooshan Manoharan,  Michael Sobowale (President, SCSU)


Anwar Kazimi


Fatima Formuli, Michelle Lone, George Cree, Sameer Lal, Paulina Rousseau, Danielle Skipp

* participated remotely

  1. Chair’s Remarks

    The Chair, Ms. Grace Westcott, welcomed members and guests to the Council meeting.

  2. Report of the Vice-President and Principal

    The Chair invited Principal Tettey to provide his Report. Principal Tettey highlighted the following:

    1. Principal’s Report
      • September 30th would be commemorated as Orange Shirt Day – a National Day of Remembrance. Orange Shirt Day had been established to recognize and reflect upon the impacts of the Canadian Indian Residential school system. Principal Tettey said that this was an opportunity for the University community to reflect about what it meant and what each member of the community could do individually and collectively in response to the calls for actions. The campus would be hosting a number of activities to commemorate Orange Shirt Day. The Every Child Matters flag would be flown at half mast.

      • Over 5,000 persons had attended the Homecoming event on the previous weekend, marking it the largest event held at UTSC. A number of activities had been held on campus throughout that day for current and former members of the UTSC community including retirees and long service awardees.

      • On September 28th, the announcement of the transformative $25 million gift from the Orlando Corporation for the Scarborough Academy of Medicine and Integrated Health (SAMIH) had been celebrated across the University. The award reflected a belief in what it is that UTSC could do not just within a cocoon but in the broader community because this particular investment was one that was reflective of what UTSC could do to make local make communities better.

      • On December 2nd, UTSC would convene the second in the series of National Dialogues and Action for Inclusive Higher Education and Communities. The theme of the event would be “Addressing Abelism, Disability, and Accessibility in Canadian Higher Education.” Members of the community were encouraged to participate.

      Portfolio Updates

      Professor Gough added the following in his remarks:

      • 97% of UTSC courses were being delivered in-person. The University remained flexible and nimble in the delivery of courses as necessitated.

      • There had been changes in the Office of the Dean including the appointment of Professor Rene Harrison, Vice-Dean, Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, Professor Suzanne Sicchia, Associate Dean, Undergraduate Programs and Curriculum; Professor David Zweig, Interim Vice-Dean, Recruitment, Enrolment and Student Success; and Acting Associate Dean, Teaching and Learning, Professor Zoreh Shahbazi.

      • On theme of the National Day of Remembrance, and in line with a commitment to a recommendation of the Truth and Reconciliation Report, the UTSC now had a total of ten faculty members who identified themselves as indigenous. Professor Michael Gagne had been appointed as the special advisor to the Principal to help move forward indigenous initiatives. The Working Circle Curriculum Report had generated 56 recommendations and work on these had started.

      • Finally, a cross portfolio initiative on access had been launched to provide pathways for access and success to traditionally under-represented members of the community.

      Mr. Arifuzzaman began his report by thanking the members of the team who had continued to be onsite throughout the pandemic whose efforts had ensured a smooth transition to the in-person campus return. He also noted that the SAMIH project highlighted the significance of the gift for the SAMIH project to UTSC and to the surrounding community. Once completed, SAMIH would each year add 300 new life science graduates, with 1,500 new students joining the UTSC community. Mr. Arifuzzaman provide an updated on the progress on the Instructional Centre 2 (IC2). He noted that IC2 would provide 17 new classrooms designed to enhance the student learning experience.

      Mr. Joshi began his comments by noting the record-breaking return in numbers to the campus. On the same theme, there had been a rise in the number of students accessing the TPASC facilities. All outdoor recreation trips had been subscribed to full capacity. The intramurals had a record number of registrants for sports programs. Some other highlights included:

      • The Village initiative had provided an opening for valuing indigenous learning, leadership, and academic growth in education. The feedback received was that this was a valuable opportunity of meeting and connecting with other indigenous students and hear about their goals, aspirations, and diverse lived realities.

      • 870 students were accommodated in on-campus housing facilities with others at off-site accommodations at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine.

      • The launch of the pilot course “A Healthy Campus for Students: Prioritizing Mental Health” had been a success over the summer and was being offered in the Fall semester.

      • On the matter of health and wellness, 68% of the appointments were held in person – counsellors< were also embedded in each academic department.

      In the discussion that followed, it was further noted:

      • There was a tremendous lack of family practitioners in Scarborough. The SAMIH would allow for graduates to help address this unmet need.

      • On the matter of the rising inflation on the budget, the University was committed to working through a process and, for now, there was some growth forecasted on the horizon to address the shortfall. In addition, the harmonization and sharing of costs would also be sought through intra- portfolio collaborations.

      • Regarding the effect of rising interest rates on capital projects, it was stated that the strategy on capital projects was to accumulate cash and then build buildings – the leverage ratio on building was less than 20% and this allowed the University to be buffered from high interest rates as related to financing.

    2. Presentation by the Scarborough College Students’ Union (SCSU)

      Principal Tettey invited SCSU President, Michael Sobowale and his executive team, to make a presentation on the SCSU’s priorities for 2022-23. In the presentation, the following was highlighted on the activities of the SCSU:

      • Campaigns: to lobby for better academic resources and support; more student consultation for matters related to student wellbeing; advocacy for equitable student fees for domestic and international students; and student representation on committees, working groups, and governance bodies.

      • Services: initiatives to address food security including a free breakfast program and free grocery pick-up; racialized student collective with a book club with racialized authors and indigenous student collective.

      • Academic Support Centre: peer support initiatives including a mentorship program, academic working groups, and a laptop program.

      • Emergency Grant Expansion: transit support and other emergency bursaries for students.

      Forthcoming events included:

      • Undergraduate Research Symposium on the theme of decolonizing education

      • Mayoral Town Hall

      • Black History Month with collaborative opportunities for black students at UTSC

      • Lobby Week for more support for students

      In closing, the SCSU team called on the support of the UTSC Campus Council members for their campaigns; for bursaries and grants; for the food centre; for the academic centre; and for the racialized student collective.

      Several members thanked and commended the SCSU team for their presentation and noted the far- reaching impact of their campaigns and initiatives.

      It was suggested that an invitation be extended to the graduate student representative body at UTSC to also make a presentation at a future meeting of the Campus Council.

      The Chair reminded members about the Council’s Calendar of Business, which was included in their meeting materials and provided a list of those items of business which would come before Council and would be updated regularly.

  3. Report of the Previous Meeting: Report Number 53 – May 25, 2022

    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 54 of the UTSC Agenda Committee (September 21, 2022)
    2. Report Number 59 of the UTSC Academic Affairs Committee (September 12, 2022)
    3. Report Number 49 of the UTSC Campus Affairs Committee (September 15, 2022)
  6. Date of the Next Meeting

    The Chair advised members that the Council was scheduled to meet again on November 15, 2022, at 4:10 p.m.

  7. Question Period

    In response to a question from a member on the matter of housing for graduate students, Mr. Arifuzzaman said that the new 750-bed student residence scheduled to be completed next year, would be primary for first year undergraduate students. This, in turn, would open some space for graduate student in the townhouse style residences that were currently occupied by undergraduate students.

  8. Other Business

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

  9. Appointments: 2022-23 UTSC Campus Council Nominating Committee

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

    THAT Prof. George Cree and Ms Michelle Lone be appointed to serve on the UTSC Agenda Committee when the Committee serves as a nominating committee of the UTSC Campus Council for the 2022-23 governance year.

The meeting adjourned at 5:54 p.m.

October 07, 2022