Minutes: Special meeting of ECC May 28, 2012

Report of the UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO MISSISSAUGA special meeting of ERINDALE COLLEGE COUNCIL held on Monday, May 28, 2012, at 2:00 p.m. in the Council Chamber, Room 3130, W. G. Davis Building

Present: G. Anderson (in the Chair), D. Saini, A. Mullin, U. Krull, P. Donoghue, D. Crocker, M.A. Mavrinac, M. Overton, D. Di Censo, I. Whyte, I. Still, M. Jalland, M. Meth, D. S. Munro, S. McCarthy, S. Senese, M. Jamieson, M. Berger, R. Lala, D. Coulson, L. Barber, A. Birkenbergs, D. Kreuger, L. Gaspini, K. Horvath, C. Capewell, C. Clairmont, K. Duncliffe, S. Elias, P. Goldsmith, D. Mullings, V. Mahajin, B. McFadden, L. Paris, R. Peters, J. Stirling, A. Vyas, L. Bailey, A. Petersen, N. Woolridge, S. Kamenetsky, H. Gunz, M. Tombak, S. Stefanovic, B. Stewart, K. Wilson, M. Lettieri, A. Daniere, S. Baumann, L. Brooks, A. Wensley, B. Stewart, C. Richter, M.L. Smith, K.H. Moffat, L. Kohn, P. Macdonald, J. Sills, H. Sonne de Torrens, E. Stapanian, N. Alim, C. Thompson, G. Guo, R. Noronha, A. Ursel, A. Reid, T. Ahmed, L. D’Sa, T. Karkaria, K. Moinuddin, A. Saeed, C. Valentine, M.P. Galvez, S. Abbas, R. El-Kadri, A. Rehman, R. Dantes, A. Madhavji, Q. Muhammad, J. Shek, N. Zhou, M. Zandawala, S. Da Silva, I. Sheoran
Regrets: I. DiMillo

In attendance:  Walied Khogali, UTMSU; Mr. Louis Charpentier, Secretary of Governing Council, Professor Bill Gough, Munib Sajjad, Gilbert Cassar, Abhinab Chakraborty, Abdi Hassan Ahmed, Jessica Eylon, Uranranebi Agbeyegbe, Daniel DiCenzo, Chen He.

  1. Approval of Minutes of Previous Meeting (April 5, 2012)

The report of the previous meeting was approved.

  1. Tri-campus governance review:  Proposed Terms of reference of the UTM Campus Council  - Professor William Gough, Chair, Working Group on Tri-campus Matters and Louis R. Charpentier, Secretary of the Governing Council.

The cover memorandum and Proposed Terms of Reference document for UTM Campus Council and committees are attached hereto as Appendices A and B respectively.

Referring to the proposed Campus Council (CC) terms of reference document, Professor Gough explained that the existing ECC structure largely reports to Academic Board (AB) and the University Affairs Board (UAB), whereas the newly proposed structure of the CC will have a direct link to Governing Council (GC) and the Executive Committee of GC (EXGC).  He noted that this devolution of powers from central governance strengthens UTM’s ability to make decisions. 

He noted that since starting its work in November 2011, the UTM governance review committee was able to reach general consensus on the structure of the proposed committees and framework of reporting relationships within UTM and to Governing Council and its Boards/Committees as well as the mandates of these committees. Discussion on the specifics of compositions was still ongoing.

Referring to the organizational chart, he explained that CC would have oversight of two committees that would do most of the governance work:  the Academic Affairs Committee (AAC) and the Campus Affairs Committee (CAC).

The compositions of CC would be approximately half that of GC, 26 members proposed.  Half of these 26 members would be external (alumni and community) and half internal, representing all five estates. With respect to the total composition of governing boards, Professor Gough noted that governance literature shows that such bodies function best when small.    He detailed the composition of CC, which is scaled down to half of GC, as follows:  students (4), staff (1), teaching staff (6), community/alumni (10) and ex-officio (5).

Moving on to the Executive Committee of CC, he explained that it would serve a coordinating role with respect to agenda setting of Council meetings and would consist of the following:  staff (1), community/alumni (5), teaching staff (2), students (1), ex-officio (3).

Similar to the current committee, the proposed Academic Affairs Committee (AAC) will deal with academic proposals and is structured like Academic Board in terms of its academic membership as follows:  staff (2), community/alumni (3), teaching staff (31), librarians (2), students (9), Presidential assessors (2), ex-officio (7).

Professor Gough proceeded to discuss the proposed Campus Affairs Committee (CAC), which following the recommendation of the Task Force on Governance on devolution of powers, will deal with issues at the local level that were previously handled by the University Affairs Board (UAB).  The CAC would handle non-academic types of activities, such as budget, campus and student services, security, capital plans, child care, compulsory non-academic incidental fees, restructuring of academic units, co-curricular programs and use of facilities, campus master plan, strategic planning, relations with the external community, student societies and campus organizations.  He noted that the creation of this new committee signaled a real change in terms of devolution of powers to the local or campus level.  The proposed membership of the CAC is as follows:  staff (3), community/alumni (4), teaching staff (7), students (5), presidential assessors (3), ex-officio (6).

Professor Gough concluded that feedback from all the past town halls and from today’s meeting has been and would continue to be considered as part of the discussions of this proposal. The proposed terms of reference document has been and will continue to be discussed at the following committees:

  • Committee on Academic Policy and Programs:  May 15, 2012
  • Planning and Budget Committee: May 16, 2012
  • University Affairs Board:  May 30, 2012
  • Academic Board:  May 31, 2012
  • Business Board:  June 14, 2012
  • Executive Committee of Governing Council:  June 11, 2012
  • Governing Council for approval: June 25, 2012

He noted that in response to feedback received through these mechanisms, there have been changes made to the document, most notably, increasing student representation on Campus Council, AAC and CAC.

The Chair opened the floor to questions and comments from members of ECC.

The following comments were made on the consultation process of the proposed document:

  • Would like to see more town halls to continue discussions
  • The three town halls that were held (January and April) were inadequate and were poorly timed with respect to students’ schedules
  • A vote should occur at ECC on this proposal before it goes for further consideration at Governing Council
  • More consultation is needed

The Vice-President and Principal made the following comments in response:

  • With respect to the process he noted that the establishment, mandate and terms of reference of the Governance Review Committee were approved by the Executive Committee of ECC on September 1, 2011 and by ECC on October 6, 2011.  The timeline described in that mandate calls for approval of the proposed TOR document by the GC in the summer of 2012 and that this was the originally stated goal which was approved by ECC.
  • There were 5 GRC meetings between November 2011 and April of 2012.
  • There were 3 Town Halls:  2 in January with just the overview structure and one in April with a detailed breakdown of structure, composition and reporting relationships.
  • Updates to the governance review website have been made continuously throughout this entire process and documents from the GRC and presentations to the Town Hall have been promptly posted so that the UTM community could have something on which to base their feedback.
  • There have also been two update reports for information to ECC on the work of the GRC; these were on March 8 and on April 5.
  • As planned from the beginning, reports for information on this document were made to various GC boards and committees last week and this will continue in June.
  • With respect to the feedback emails, there were only 6 in total, overwhelmingly supportive to the proposed plan.
  • With respect to feedback from the Town Halls:  there were too numerous to list here, but the main themes were that the governance groups should be bigger to accommodate more students and more student ex-officio appointments and that the governance review process was too rushed.

A member commented that students would like to see at least a 50 member governing body with the 5 estates equally represented; he further noted that one year of consultation was not enough and that the university still had 18 years to implement the task force’s recommendations that resulted from the Towards 2030 planning process.  He questioned why alumni did not directly appoint the alumni members of Campus Council and why alumni were considered external members.

Mr. Charpentier explained that recommendations of the Task Force on Governance covered two categories:  the first category was meant for immediate implementation in the weeks and months following discussions and consisted of changes in practice; the second category was meant for future implementation and were intended to be worked out over a year to 18 months.  The proposal under discussion today is in essence the last of the terms of reference revisions that were contemplated.  For example, one of the responses to TFOG’S recommendations was to ensure that all of the agendas of boards and committees allowed for ample time for debate.  With respect to the question of community, alumni and government appointees, Mr. Charpentier made the following points:

  • Community members on Campus Council are meant to be elected not appointed
  • Alumni members of GC are not appointed as LGIC appointments, but are rather elected by a group called the College of Electors, which is an alumni group of the university
  • Government appointees on GC are appointed by the Premier’s office on the recommendation of the GC Chair after a nominating committee process; that nominating committee function is also in place for alumni and is one of the outcomes of the TFOG recommendations
  • With respect to streamlining the agenda, the intent is to have ample time for larger discussions at governance on items like to Provost’s document, The View from 2012
  • The other important intent of the recommendations from TFOG, was to ensure that proposals are presented at the proper threshold at various governance levels.  For example, $2M UTM capital projects should not be considered by Governing Council, but at the local level, other than in accountability streams at Academic Board and Business Board.

The President of UTMSU, Mr. Cassar, made the following comments:

  • Although the proposed governance model was positive in many respects, he expressed his great concern with the rushed consultation process.
  • Regarding the size of committees, he noted that they were extremely small, which meant a great reduction in the student voice.
  • In trying to adopt the GC model, only 4 out of 26 members of the proposed CC were students.
  • Is it really necessary to adopt a half internal and half external model?  It may be difficult to interest a lot of external members to be committed members of CC

Mr. Charpentier explained that in the beginning of the governance review process by the university as a whole, Governing Council agreed on a number of fundamental planning principles to guide these discussions.  One was that the Campus Councils would reflect GC’s composition and that it would also have GC’s internal and external split. Professor Gough added that Governing Council was also guided in its decision on this matter by the fact that the University of Toronto Act mandates the Executive Committee of GC in this respect.  The EX is designed to be one quarter of the size of GC and because that number results in 12.5, the size of the EX was rounded up to 14 to address this scaling issue and in order to meet the mandated half internal (7) and half external (7) split.  He noted these mandates and fundamental guiding principals were put in place in order to enable the Campus Councils to have full legitimacy to make decisions on behalf of U of T, otherwise their legitimacy would be called into question.  He further noted that with respect to the size of Campus Council, it was at one point envisioned as a smaller body, but was increased in size to try and encompass the needs of all estates.

A member commented that if quorum was set at one third of a committee, only 9 members were sufficient to make decisions at Campus Council.  She asserted that quorum should be constituency based, so that it would require a certain number of members from each constituency to be present before a meeting could begin.  She further noted that not enough consultation had occurred.

Mr. Charpentier explained that the specifics of quorum and composition grouping provisions (full-time/part-time undergraduate and graduate students, faculty divisions) would be part of the elections guidelines, which would be worked on in the implementation phase of this process.

In response to a member’s question about why so many members are elected as opposed to having more ex-officio appointments, especially in the case of students who are represented by elected student governments, Mr. Gough made the following comments:

  • Elected representation was a central governance principle
  • Elected members are there to make decisions based on the best interests of the university and not to service a particular constituency; if not freely elected, a conflict of interest may occur
  • Ex-officio student representatives of local student unions could run in Campus Council elections

A member expressed her dissatisfaction with the amount and type of governance review consultation and argued for student union representatives to be ex-officio members of the proposed Campus Council.

Mr. Charpentier explained that ex-officio seats are reserved for university officers whose job it was to bring business before a governing body.  In response to a member’s comment about the rushed consultation timeline and how changes could be made to address student concerns, he explained the point of these ongoing conversations was to hear the concerns of all of the various groups and that these would be taken to the upcoming meeting of the Executive Committee. He further noted that those that had been involved in the process over the past 12 months did not feel it was rushed and further noted that the details of the proposed framework would need at least a year to be properly implemented.

With respect to the internal / external split of membership, the Vice-President and Principal noted that having a substantial number of external members means that they would have an arms length oversight of the university’s activities; this kind of arrangement is reflected by universities across North America. He added that there are many external community and alumni members who are very interested and engaged with UTM and have a vested interest in the campus, therefore he did not see a problem in finding committed external members to serve on governance bodies.

A member noted that academic librarians deserved a seat of their own on Campus Council and that more seats should be allotted to teaching staff and less to external community and alumni members.  Professor Gough responded that in to address this concern, librarians are included in the composition of the Academic Affairs Committee, where the most substantial academic debate will occur.

In response to a member’s question about what kinds of community members Campus Council would have, Mr. Charpentier explained that the ideal candidate would have knowledge of post-secondary institutions in general and UTM in particular, having had specific engagement with the campus.  The university would also look for a specific spectrum of skills, such as financial, communication, property management, human resources, strategic planning as well as individuals who have a profile in the community for other reasons, such as volunteer efforts. The first pool that nominating committee would consider is the pool of UofT alumni and secondly, the university would look at individuals that the university would like to engage with the campus.

A member acknowledged the work of the Governance Review Committee as well as Professor Gough and Mr. Charpentier and commented that one very large drawback of the current ECC was its very large size.  He noted that one of the concerns of students that only three were represented on CC was taken into consideration during governance review deliberations, resulting in an increase of one position for students on CC.  He further remarked that one does not have to be a member to ask for and receive speaking rights for a committee or Council meeting.  He suggested that the idea of further increasing student numbers on the Academic Affairs Committee should be forwarded as a point of feedback to the Executive Committee of GC.

A member made the following comments, following up on his earlier remarks:

  • Why is implementation so rushed and scheduled for a July 1, 2013 effective date when the model is supposed to be implemented by 2030, which is 18 years away; the university has 18 years to further consult and implement the recommendations.
  • One year of consultation is not enough.
  • Community members do not necessarily have the same connection to UTM as alumni do.
  • Speaking rights at meetings do not provide enough oversight and direct involvement
  • Concern regarding the appointment process by Lieutenant Governor in Council (LGIC)
  • Concern regarding losing the oversight of UAB on ancillaries, if recommendation #20 of the TFOG is implemented and the Campus Affairs Committee is created.

Professor Gough noted that this review process began in 2007 with the 2030 taskforce on governance during which submissions from faculties, including UTM, were provided. He noted that changes to the proposed system would be reviewed after one year. 

Regarding the concern on oversight, Professor Gough further explained that oversight involves three areas:

1.  Fiduciary: making sure money is spent properly;
2. Process: were there appropriate levels of consultation at various governance levels?  When Campus Council receives an item of business, has it been considered properly in terms of process?
3. Mission statement of the U of T:  are governors adhering to the mission statement of the university.

With respect to the comment on decisions staying with UAB instead of being devolved to the proposed CAC, he noted that in his view, issues of campus relevance should be decided at the local level.

Mr. Charpentier responded to the issue of institutional consistency by noting that only the governance intersections will change; the existing administrative and policy processes that are in place will remain the same. With respect to the selection of community members, Mr. Charpentier explained that Campus Council will appoint community members on the recommendation of its Executive Committee, and that a nominating committee established at UTM will inform this process.  He further explained that the public appointments office of Ontario has nothing to do with appointments to UTM Campus Council.

A member commented that elected student leaders are well-informed and passionate representatives of students and should be allotted ex-officio seats on Campus Council and its committees.

Professor Gough responded that Campus Council is not a stakeholder assembly, but a fiduciary body and as such a body, it needs to have directly elected students to add to its legitimacy.

Another member commented that in regards to the complaints of a short consultation period, he was impressed by the amount of consultation and the number of meetings held on governance reform.

In his closing remarks, the Vice-President and Principal noted that UTM’s Boundless Campaign had a very successful launch on May 23, 2012 and expressed his thanks to the staff of the Office of Advancement and all of the student volunteers for contributing to such a well-received event.

Two significant donations were announced at the event as follows:

  • Entrepreneur and philanthropist Vasu Chanchlani has made a visionary gift of $2 million to create the Centre for South Asian Engagement, which will engage our local South Asian diaspora to advance Canada’s strategic interests in a changing world.
  • Amgen Canada’s generous support of $425,000 will create the Amgen Canada Fellowship in Biotechnology as well as the Amgen Canada Discovery Professorship in Health System Strategy.

The meeting adjourned at 4:05 p.m.


Secretary ___________________ Chair _________________________