Hurricane Hazel is about to hit UTM.
Former Mississauga mayor Hazel McCallion was appointed as yearlong special advisor to vice-president of U of T and principal of UTM Professor Deep Saini on February 9.
After retiring from her position as one of Canada’s longest-serving mayors, the 94-year-old will continue to contribute to Mississauga.
When asked about the areas in which McCallion is expected to advise, Saini said that her help in developing a master’s program in urban innovation will “primarily be advisory”, adding that her “36 years of experience in fostering innovation” in Mississauga suit her to the role.
Saini added that McCallion would also provide advice to UTM’s senior administration on ways to further develop the campus in the changing political and economic environment.
McCallion is also expected to “help open doors through her network of connections, create new courses, and assist us in our Boundless fundraising campaign,” he said.
The former mayor’s other duties will include helping to develop a new non-credit training course for students interested in entering politics. The course is expected to help students to prepare for and participate in running for a public office.
“A lot of times [people say], ‘How do I get elected? I want to get into public office, I want to run for office, what advice could you give me?’ I’m constantly being asked that,” McCallion told The Globe and Mail.
McCallion, who will also serve as an occasional guest lecturer at UTM, will provide advice to students who have similar concerns.
“A small honorary sum is expected to be paid to Ms. McCallion for her contribution as advisor to UTM,” said the university’s communications and marketing advisor Blake Eligh.
The Toronto Star reported that a university spokesperson had said that the position of a special advisor was created especially for McCallion.
“She is a close friend of and an ardent advocate for the university and has played a pivotal role in helping transform UTM into the mid-size comprehensive university campus that it is today,” said Saini in a press release.
In an interview with The Toronto Star, McCallion said she has seen the campus grow “from a little acorn to a big oak” and said it had “very much been a part of [her] life”.
Upon McCallion’s retirement, UTM celebrated her time as mayor with a musical play, She Shoots, She Scores.