Office of the Vice-President and Principal

Welcome to the 2018-19 Academic Year

Professor Ulrich Krull

Welcome or welcome back to the University of Toronto Mississauga!

A new academic year has begun and we have much in store to keep you excited and engaged. Whether you are a first-year student, mid-career faculty or long-serving staff, UTM offers an environment that embraces innovation and strives for excellence. We are moving to implement the first courses and programs in our new Academic Plan, focusing on the development of more experiential learning opportunities, and broadening our research efforts in areas such as robotics, medicinal chemistry and digital humanities.

The most stunning architectural addition to campus this fall is our recently opened new North building. Guaranteed to wow everyone who enters its doors, it features an airy atrium, rooftop garden and many high-tech active learning classrooms. The building houses the Departments of Philosophy, Political Science, Sociology, Historical Studies, Language Studies and English & Drama as well as the Robert Gillespie Academic Skills Centre, and offers more than 500 additional study spaces. The process to select a new name for this gem continues.

By early 2019, a revitalized William G. Davis Building will have a renovated Meeting Place – with double the seating capacity and a new food services area – that will act as a gathering space for student activities, social interaction and informal study and dining. Work will also begin on a new student services plaza (in the area currently occupied by the Temporary Food Court), an enclosed dining room in the courtyard behind Tim Horton’s, and exterior renovations to the entrance of the Davis Building.

We will be moving forward on design plans for the UTM Science Building that will provide much-needed wet laboratory space, and a home for the Centre for Medicinal Chemistry, forensic sciences and a high-performance computing data centre. We are in the process of proposing a robotics laboratory building that would serve as a research home for a computer science cluster focused on machine learning. We are also working towards outfitting the library as a digitization centre to contribute to U of T’s research collections.

This year, we continue to bolster our faculty ranks with more than 30 new members joining us, bringing expertise in a wide range of research and pedagogy. Without a doubt, you will be hearing more from these brilliant young minds who have recently joined the UTM community including David Sampson, who studies sleep and evolution; Derek Denis who examines language variation and change; and Vivienne Luk who teaches forensic science and testifies as an expert witness in courts of law.

Finally, this fall UTM’s Blackwood Gallery in partnership with the City of Mississauga hosts a one-of-a-kind contemporary art festival – The Work of Wind: Air, Land, Sea – that will provide new perspectives on climate change, environmental violence and resilience. Over 10 days in September, visitors will view and interact with 13 commissioned projects that range from a flying museum of recycled plastic bags to a Thread House exploring Chinese symbolism and questions of belonging and climate refuge.

I hope that you will embrace a sense of unlimited opportunities in the unique mix of people, places, activities and ambitions that have converged to become UTM, and that this rich environment will help you on your journey of learning and growth. Let this be your invitation to explore and participate.