MINUTES OF THE COLLEGE
AFFAIRS COMMITTEE of Erindale College Council held on Wednesday, April
2, 2003 at 3:10 p.m., in Room 1092A, South Building.
PRESENT: M. Overton (in the Chair), U. Krull, A. Mirza, B. Barton, B.
Murck, I. Wiecek, J. Donovan, J. Malcolm, I. Still, D. Borowski, C. Boyd,
D. Crocker, K. Duncliffe, S. Kessler, J. Lim, J. McCurdy-Myers
REGRETS: E. Martin, I. Orchard, P. Donoghue, C. Misak, D. Hamilton, L.
Collins, C. McGrath, B. Murck
- Adoption of the Agenda
The Agenda was approved (U. Krull/ I. Wiecek)
- Minutes of the Previous Meeting
The Minutes of the March 10, 2003 meeting of the College Affairs Committee
were approved. (I. Still /J. McCurdy-Myers)
- Business Arising from the Minutes
a) Exciting New Component of the Proposed Athletics Facility –
M. Overton / K. Duncliffe
The Chair called on the Director of the Centre for Athletics and Wellness
to give an update on the planning of the Centre for Athletics and Wellness.
K. Duncliffe reported that the planning committee was in the last stages
in the development of the final report on the new Centre for Athletics
and Wellness. He handed out to the Committee a document entitled: UTM’s
New Recreation, Athletics and Wellness Facility: An Update. He stated
that he would report on the operating plan of the project at the next
meeting of the Resource Planning and Priorities Committee. He noted
that the alternate site for this facility (as detailed at the last meeting
of this committee) would enable the reuse of a number of components
of the current facility. The new Centre for Athletics and Wellness is
anticipated to be directly connected to the first level of the South
Building and flow through to the South Bldg. He stated that by altering
the site plan, the Planning Committee achieved 90% of the original facility
component plan, at a cost savings of approximately $10 million. The
alternate site plan also enables UTM to build the facility within a
shorter time frame than originally possible. He stated that the final
report of the planning committee would be brought through the appropriate
Standing Committees of Erindale College Council, followed by College
Council, and in the May governance cycle, Planning and Budget, Business
Board and finally Governing Council for approval. Following this process,
architects would be hired in the summer of 2003 to begin the formal
design phase of the project. Construction is expected to begin in the
summer of 2004, with a tentative completion date of 2006.
He directed the Committee’s attention to several articles in The
Medium, which may have created confusion about the potential effect
of the alternate site plan on the configuration of the new facility.
He explained that the facility planning committee was drafting its response
to the newspaper in order to try to clarify components of the new facility.
He emphasized that an extensive review of the alternate site plan was
conducted to ensure that the original goals and principals of the Planning
Committee were met. He added that the alternate site proposal adds a
new entrance area to the South Building and because most students approach
UTM from the south end of the campus, the new Athletics entranceway
would create a more attractive entrance and a greater awareness of wellness
and the opportunities available.
He stated that the planning committee is seeking further endorsement
and approval of plans for the new Centre for Athletics and Wellness.
It was duly moved and seconded THAT the College Affairs Committee endorse
the plans for the Centre for Athletics and Wellness. (K. Duncliffe /
The Chair opened the floor to questions. A member enquired about service
interruption for facility users during the transitional phase between
the old and the new facility. K. Duncliffe explained that plans would
take into account the need for continuing access to existing facilities
where reasonably possible. The plans call for minor modifications to
the existing facilities, such as the squash courts, but he explained
that any other major changes in the space allocations of the existing
facility are to be made only after the new facility has been constructed.
The Motion was called to question. The Motion was carried.
- New Business:
a) The Canadian Innovation Agenda and the opportunity for creation of
a Convergence Centre for sciences, health, management and policy at
UTM – U. Krull
The Chair called on Vice-Principal of Research, Professor Ulli Krull
to begin his presentation on the proposed Convergence Centre at UTM.
Professor Krull explained that this proposal was formulated approximately
two years ago, under the tenure of the previous Principal, Robert H.
McNutt. The purposes of the proposed Convergence Centre are to achieve
the development of capital infrastructure (possibly a new Science Building),
the creation of a mechanism for bridging the divisions and developing
funding opportunities and the design of programming that is relevant
to both UTM students and the external community. Professor Krull explained
that UTM is not eligible by COU standards to seed funding for a new
science building. UTM has to find innovative ways of creating research
space. At the same time, he emphasized the importance of UTM promoting
its own academic agenda, which would cater to the needs of students
as well as industry.
The federal government’s “Innovation Agenda” provides
an opportunity for novel funding sources. In a document entitled “Achieving
Excellence”, the federal government describes what Canada needs
to do to move ideas from Institutes (universities, teaching hospitals)
into economic reality. This stance by the federal government has created
a secondary response by the Provincial government to support this “Innovation
Agenda.” A number of Ontario taskforces have pointed to areas
of industry that UTM already strongly links to – for example,
the life sciences, information technology and biotechnology. These initiatives
by the two levels of government provide UTM with the opportunity to
promote itself as fitting into their agendas.
The overall proposal is a Convergence Centre, which in its basic form
takes knowledge and makes it commercial. The common theme is the promotion
of the life sciences, by creating the Ontario Biotechnology Corridor,
which is a geographical corridor where each city represents a node in
the corridor, and each cluster brings its own specialty in terms of
research strengths and enterprise. These nodes consist of a consortium
of universities, institutes, local government, and local industry and
other capital investment firms. The City of Mississauga has taken centre
stage within Canada as a leading Biotechnology cluster with over 400
companies and over 19,700 people employed within this Bio-cluster. The
Mississauga node will therefore reflect these strengths in the life
sciences and information technology, featuring UTM, where significant
activity already exists in these areas.
There will be three components of the University of Toronto Biosciences
and Biotechnology Cluster. Two critical pieces that are already in place
are: The Toronto Academic Health Sciences Complex and CCBR and The MARS
(Medical And Related Sciences) Discovery District. The third crucial
element in this triad is The Biotechnology Convergence Centre (BIOTECC)
at UTM, which represents the next and last major step in the development
of the University of Toronto Cluster.
The Vision for BIOTECC is in two parallel streams. The Academic Stream
includes work in new technologies for drug discovery and proteomics,
training, business modelling and policy/management. The second stream
is the Institute Stream, which focuses on how to apply new technologies
to selected targets of commercial interest, training, government and
economic modelling. The Institute would be arms-length from the university,
but would have cross-appointed faculty.
Professor Krull emphasized that UTM had many potential partners in this
endeavour, including the City of Mississauga, Sheridan Science and Technology
Park, and the Ontario Ministry of Health, to name a few. In addition,
UTM is poised to impact several well-established areas of strength,
such as medical/health, water quality and safety, and health and environmental
monitoring. He listed potential linkages in the areas of CABB, Languages/Communication,
Management and Biological Communications and Mathematics. He cited examples
of real outcomes, already implemented. Among these is the Mississauga
Technology Business Accelerator (MTBA), which helps Mississauga based
high technology and life sciences companies accelerate their development.
In addition, he pointed to the “Mississauga Model”, a partnership
with the WHO at the mayoral level that features Mississauga as an example
of how a city should be run in terms of an overall concept of ‘health’.
Regarding the entire Convergence Centre project, there are plans for
on and off site construction and renovation needs. For on-site operations,
the need exists for laboratories, seminar and workshop space, distance
education facilities, and integration of space for life science, mathematics,
management, medicine, engineering and culture/communications. For off-site
operations, there is a need for space that allows for entrepreneurial
activity, advisory boards, innovations foundation, space for promotion
of commercialization, IRAP headquarters in targeted areas of investment
and offices for venture capital presence.
Professor Krull concluded his presentation with several possible considerations
for discussion by the UTM community, which are as follows:
1) Does the proposed structure for BIOTECC provide value and impact
for UTM and Mississauga?
2) How should the Convergence Centre be structured and what would be
a recommended blend of participants?
3) Who might be the champions and who might be the supporters of this
Professor Ulli Krull provided the following Notice of Motion to the
College Affairs Committee:
THAT the College Affairs Committee recommend the approval of the UTM
Convergence Centre as becoming part of the Campus’ overall strategic
The Chair opened the floor to questions and comments by Committee members.
A member voiced her support for this initiative as an exciting prospect
for UTM students. She also commented that a project such as this was
taking advantage of UTM’s strengths in the area of linking with
organizations in the outside community. Another member remarked his
sense of excitement at the proposed plans, especially with regard to
the cooperative activities with several major partners in the City,
as outlined in the presentation. A member voiced her support of the
strategic plan and asked how this initiative may be brought into reality.
Professor Krull explained that investment needs to be in several areas
including human capital and appropriate physical space for project activities.
He added that even though funding is expected from the government, its
timing and outcome was still uncertain. He emphasized that in the interim,
UTM was in a position to stand out as an opportunity ready for such
The entire committee enthusiastically received the proposed Convergence
Centre plan and a member suggested that the plans be approved at the
present meeting. The Chair replied that the presentation was for information
only and that it would be up for approval in the Fall.
- Other Business
A member suggested that the School of Continuing Studies initiative
be publicized throughout the campus.
- Next Meeting
The next meeting of the College Affairs Committee has not been scheduled
as of yet. The committee will be notified of any future dates, anticipating
the need for meetings in May and possibly June due to the number of
projects underway as part of the campus expansion.
The meeting was adjourned at 4:25 p.m.