Encourage Collaboration and Belonging

Icon of two interconnected hands

A theme emerged from feedback to the first draft of this framework, from staff, faculty and librarians: UTM has a tremendous capacity for collaboration that transforms the way we work. This capacity already enriches our success in teaching and research, student engagement and community partnership. It can do even more, realising our potential to provide a safe, healthy and inclusive environment for all our people. Like others across tri-campus U of T, we recognize that systemic inequities demand system-wide action. At UTM, we ground action in a collaborative approach to problem solving, by asking the sort of questions that turn individuals into a community:

  • What can I do to help?
  • From whom can I learn?
  • With whom can I share and work to make things better?

These questions have special resonance as UTM works with colleagues across the tricampus to implement the recommendations of U of T’s Anti-Black Racism Task Force, Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia Working Groups, and Task Force on Student Mental Health. We believe that this moment demands new connections between teams and in individuals with diverse expertise. We need cross-cutting solutions to complex problems: programs in physical fitness and personalized counselling that connect meaningfully with care-oriented services in campus safety; trauma-informed pedagogies that benefit from listening forums in our EDI office; funding for anti-racist research from advancement campaigns that celebrate the diversity of our campus. To enhance and steward campus resources successfully and sustainably, all of us—from student leaders and procurement specialists to faculty assessors and grounds and custodial staff—must be empowered to work together.

UTM builds this culture of collaboration through a people strategy that designs equitable employment plans; nurtures our employees’ development; opens pathways for cross-portfolio connection; and leads positive interventions in working environments. We hold each other accountable, both in realizing our personal responsibilities and in making UTM a community; one that welcomes equity-deserving groups, lowers barriers to belonging and fosters everyone’s well-being.


Commitments

  • Instil an ethos of cooperation among experts from diverse teams at UTM and across the tricampus.
  • Enact anti-racism and anti-oppression strategies as collective responsibilities and collaborative actions.
  • Integrate and innovate approaches to safety, accessibility and physical, mental and social health.

Accountabilities

  • Have we created supports and structures that promote collaboration as the default mode in our academic and administrative operations, including collaborations with donors, alumni, and tricampus and external partners?
  • Have we implemented positive change to policies and processes that affect the people who work, learn, and connect at UTM?
  • Have we fulfilled the commitments to anti-discrimination and systemic justice—for staff, faculty, librarians and students—expressed by U of T Working Groups and leadership?
  • Have we taken a wide range of opportunities to advance justice and enhance belonging across our campus and beyond it?
  • Have we embedded well-being as a focus in all aspects of campus life, guided by better practices for the promotion of health, belonging, connection and resilience?