Narrative

Since our foundation in 1967, with one building, 155 students and 68 employees, the University of Toronto Mississauga has become an international powerhouse in teaching, research, and entrepreneurial innovation.

A visual representation of UTM's Strategic Framework
A visual representation of UTM's Strategic Framework

Home to over 16,500 students and 3,800 faculty, librarians, and staff, UTM unites its community around a commitment to creativity, communication, and constructive social change.

Across fifteen departments, three academic institutes, and 155 undergraduate and graduate programs, we mobilize interdisciplinary knowledge for scholarship and industry; foster the capacity for ethical reflection and global leadership; and promote transformative, inclusive learning inside and outside the classroom.

Both the second largest division of the University of Toronto and a distinctive campus in our own right, UTM pursues a capacious mission, anchored in the sense of responsibility embedded in the history of the land on which we work. On the traditional land of the Wendat and the Seneca, on the territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation, UTM sits alongside the Missinnihe, the trusting creek: called the Credit River by French and British colonists because, at the river’s mouth, they traded goods on credit with Indigenous peoples, who had travelled and stewarded these waters from time immemorial.

This history of credit resonates in our campus’s Latin motto: tantum nobis creditum, so much has been entrusted to us.

UTM has been entrusted with:

  • Educating generations of critical thinkers and courageous innovators.
  • Discovering research solutions to pressing problems.
  • Stewarding natural environments toward sustainable futures.
  • Building stronger communities of wellbeing and justice.
  • Listening to the truth that comes before reconciliation and practicing good kinship with one another.

These mutually constitutive responsibilities all have a common focus at their core: to fulfill the trust that our students have placed in us and to honour the better future that they will help create.

UTM will deepen this trust with actions rooted in five priorities, which come together to form a campus narrative of collective flourishing: the flourishing of bodies and minds, of cultures and communities, of economies and ecosystems. Building on goals outlined in UTM’s Academic Plan of 2017 and U of T’s Presidential Discussion Paper of 2015, the priorities emerge from conversations with hundreds of stakeholders over the past fourteen months, including students, faculty, staff, librarians, alumni, and external partners. Empowered by these discussions, the priorities have changed and expanded over time, especially after our May 2021 reflection forums, at which members of the UTM community shared the values that matter most to them. They will continue to focus our work going forward as we host additional conversations, listen to new ideas, and strengthen a vision that incorporates our community’s diverse perspectives.

Arranged in a circle to suggest their non-hierarchical, holistic unity, the priorities express UTM’s dedication to inspiring academic creativity for student success; to enabling impactful discovery in student and faculty research; to developing inclusive spaces and sustainable operations; and to embracing our location for connection, wellbeing, and care.

These actions revolve around a commitment to truth, openness, and reciprocity, placed in the circle’s centre to signify its relevance to all we do. It applies most urgently to relations with Indigenous people and communities as UTM strives to answer national and institutional calls for truth and reconciliation; to become a more deserving home for Indigenous students, faculty, librarians, and staff; and to fulfill the responsibilities entailed by the privilege of learning and working next to the trusting creek.  

Each of our other priorities also entails a series of commitments. Visualized on the subsequent pages, these commitments range from enacting initiatives in equity and anti-racism to recruiting and retaining outstanding and promising students; from catalyzing research impact through institutional, regional, and global networks to propelling efforts in economic resilience.

Each commitment is paired with a question, designed to focus our accountability and measure progress over time. Starting in May 2023, these questions will form the basis for an annual update, posted on the Principal’s website, which will celebrate successes, identify areas for improvement, and enact our campus commitment to openness. It will publicize our ambition; highlight our impact as part of Canada’s best university; and champion a form of national and world-leading achievement that enables everyone—people, communities, environments—to flourish.

Our commitment to communal flourishing applies with special force to our role in Peel. As the region’s only research university, we provide students in Mississauga, Brampton, and Caledon—and in Oakville, Milton, Halton Hills, and Burlington, too—with unique opportunities for personal, intellectual, and professional development. As an anchor institution for the entire region, UTM makes a special contribution to the public good, creating more than $1.3 billion annually in economic growth. And as one campus in U of T’s unified tri-campus system, we connect Peel with Toronto and Scarborough, extending the university’s world-leading programs in research, teaching, and innovation across new communities. This distinctiveness guides our long-term perspective: we view our place—on campus, in Mississauga, in Peel, in Toronto and the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area—as both an advantage and a responsibility.

This place enables the discoveries we make and the experiences we create; it informs the histories we inherit and the stories we tell; it shapes the partnerships we form and the students we teach. It also empowers our vision to give back to a community that gives so much to us: to create better health and sustainable futures; to pursue new stories for social justice; to share emerging technologies and effective innovations.

In each case, our physical location comprises an inimitable part of our strategy as well as a key site for our contribution. We promote flourishing in Peel and beyond—intellectually, physically, socially, economically, ecologically—by embracing the unique opportunities that this place affords.

Our location also affords connections of national and international importance. As the heart of Canada’s supply chain, and the centre of Canadian industries in life sciences and advanced manufacturing, Peel links intellectual and material communities from coast to coast to coast. As the home of many Canadian newcomers, where 50% of our 1.8M residents speak a first language other than English, Peel represents a microcosm of the world’s vibrant diversity—and Toronto, UTM, and U of T do too, with students hailing from 164 different countries. Rooted in this context, UTM aims to become even more intentional in our role of regional leadership, recognizing that our focus on local communities—like our connections across U of T—will create widening circles of impact. We enable discoveries here that resonate everywhere. We inspire students locally who flourish globally. We advance knowledge, truth, and innovation across the region to do the same around the world.

And we value the responsibility entailed by this place. At UTM, alongside the Missinnihe, so much has been entrusted to us. Our strategic framework will structure our efforts to make good on this credit.