Minutes: February 22, 2010

MINUTES OF THE UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO MISSISSAUGA MEETING OF THE RESOURCE PLANNING AND PRIORITIES COMMITTEE of Erindale College Council held on Monday, February 22, 2010 at 10:10 a.m. in room 3214, South Building.

Present: R. Reisz (in the Chair), P. Donoghue, U. Krull, A. Wensley, J. Lim, J. Santiago, S. Gonsalves, C. Capewell, N. Basiliko, P. Goldsmith
Regrets: D. Crocker, B. Schneider, D. Raffman, M. Tombak, L. MacDowell, N. Collins, S. Munro
In attendance: Bill McFadden, Director of Hospitality and Retail Services

1) Approval of Minutes of the Previous Meeting (January 18, 2010)

The minutes of the last meeting were approved.

2) Reports of Committees and Officers:

a) Long-term food services plan: overview and consultation process - Bill McFadden, Director of Hospitality and Retail Services

Mr. McFadden discussed the current situation of food services on campus:

  • Current Facilities were not intended to service a community of this size
  • UTM currently has a food service space deficiency when benchmarked against COU average for university food service
  • Lengthy lines and service times
  • Poor Customer Satisfaction as indicated in the Globe and Mail Report Card

He talked about the Value Equation, in which value is a combination of product, service, location and ambiance and image. Price can be seen as but one component of the value equation.

He noted that the food services area is one of the most important services on campus, since it fosters a great connection to the campus community. The dining halls provide more than just food in that they bring people of varied cultural backgrounds and varied socio-economic backgrounds together.

Mr. McFadden talked about how restaurants differentiate themselves based upon:

  • Distinctive facilities
  • Innovative products
  • Superior customer service
  • Longer hours of operation
  • Healthier menu choices
  • Price
    He discussed Master Plan development of food services as focusing on location and facilities.
  • Invest in food service space to properly support the diverse community
  • COU indicates a requirement of .5 to .7 NASM per FTE for Food Service
  • Many factors drive the appropriate number for a campus
  • UTM's target is between .43 and .45 NASM per FTE

He listed the amount of food services space in NASMS per FTE over the years. COU standards require .5 to .7 NASMS per FTE for food services. The target is between .43 and .45 NASMS per FTE for UTM, as going beyond this would be very difficult to fund. UTM is currently at .36 NASMS per FTE. Mr. McFadden noted that before the launch of the residence meal plans, UTM was at .23 NASMS per FTE.

He reported that additional food service spaces are planned as follows:

  • Tim Hortons Kiosk (20 NASM)
  • Instructional Centre (335 NASM)
  • Meeting Place (net increase of 400 NASM)
  • Proposed Science Complex (228 NASM) (has not been confirmed as of yet)
  • Colman Commons Addition (125 NASM) (nice addition next to ravine; sound issues will be addressed)
  • Additional Campus Location (130 NASM)
  • Total Planned Additions (1 238 NASM)

The Instructional Centre addition and the Meeting Place expansion will take UTM to .36 NASMS per FTE, because the population will also grow during this time. He added that Spigel will be shut down as a dining hall. In addition, the North Building cafeteria will be renovated to make it look warmer and more inviting.
Additional space in the Kaneff Centre in the form of a coffee facility may also be a possibility.

Mr. McFadden continued his report by explaining that there were two types of facilities. One, which is a more comprehensive, expanded choice, includes those in the South Building (expanded Meeting Place), the North Building (with a strengthened existing location) and Colman Commons (with a strengthened existing destination). These eating locations are conveniently located. The second type of facility is one where there is a reduced menu, focused service or grab and go function, such as Starbucks, the CCT café; future such outlets will be incorporated into the Instructional Centre, the Science Complex and other campus locations.

Mr. McFadden noted that food services is committing to the following in the future:

  • Improved Variety / Choice
  • Increased Vegetarian Options
  • Improved Quality
  • Ethnically Diverse
  • Food which is safe
  • Ecologically Responsible
  • Socially Responsible
  • Foods which enable members of the UTM community to make healthy dining choices

In developing a long-term plan for food services, there has been and continues to be extensive consultation. There was a Town Hall meeting in the Student Centre with UTMSU, which took place on February 11. In addition, consultation includes focus groups, and a community survey, which is planned for completion by the end of March and will include a web site. He added that the discussion document that resulted from the Town Hall meeting will be submitted to the focus groups for discussion and feedback. The goal is for all of these efforts to provide a more concrete direction as to what people want to see in their long-term food services plan.

The Chair opened the floor to questions.

In response to a member's question about there being no food services in the medical academy building, Mr. McFadden explained that the building will not be that large and space is at a premium so planners did not ask for a food services space to be included.

A member asked whether the campus could support a higher end restaurant space, so that faculty do not have to take visiting colleagues off campus. Mr. McFadden explained that there would not be enough support from faculty/staff in terms of numbers to support such a facility; he added that faculty clubs are usually heavily subsidized.

A member asked about the feasibility of moving self operating enterprise. Mr. McFadden noted that there were several obstacles that would make such a change prohibitive, including human resource and occupational health and safety costs, union implications and most importantly a deficient campus population (would need 2000 residence students and 15000 campus population for self-operation to be viable). Essentially the volume needed and labour costs would make a self-operating enterprise very difficult to achieve.

The director of business services also added that UTM has moved away from outsourcing capital investments to a third party, because UTM can manage it better and have taken over a lot more of the management of the food services operation than other campuses who have food service providers. Mr. McFadden also noted that a self-operating enterprise would require a much larger management operation than the current one of 5 staff - UTM would need a permanent food services office staff of 30 or 40.

b) Update from the Chief Administrative Officer - Paul Donoghue

The Chief Administrative Officer provided the following update on capital projects:

  • Health sciences complex: approximately three weeks behind, but this will likely be made up in the next two months
  • Instructional Centre: two weeks ahead of schedule; geothermal field will be started as soon as the ground thaws
  • Infill to South Building project: currently reviewing bids on responses to RFP; planned August completion
  • Parking deck: initial design has been completed; discussions with designers have been started and are looking into construction companies that specialize in this kind of construction; on track to start after exams finish
  • Office space on top of Thomas cottage: demolition this week

The CAO also gave a report on the process of the Master Plan update. The Master Plan working group had its kickoff meeting on February 10 and was provided with a PowerPoint presentation of planning principals and the current status of the master plan. The presentation as well as the current Master Plan was circulated to the campus community to seek feedback. The second meeting of the working group will be on March 9, which will have incorporated the feedback from the first meeting of the working group as well as the feedback received from the wider UTM community. The main principles of updated Master Plan will be presented for approval to the March 29 meeting of this committee, followed by the April 9 meeting of Erindale College Council.

3) New Business

The next meeting of the committee is scheduled for Monday, March 29, 2010.
The meeting adjourned at 11:05 p.m.