Earlier this month, the University of Toronto Mississauga’s Campus Council held their first meeting. Council discussed the new deadline for the Davis renovations, the over-acceptance of undergraduate applications and efforts to increase diversity on campus.
The Food Court in the DV building will be ready in January. The construction on the front entrance of Davis will be more accessible and inviting. The New North Building has a committee that will be naming the building, and the final renovations will be completed in the Fall of this year. The design review committee for the science building will be meeting next month.
UTM principal Ulrich Krull also stated that the unnamed Science Building is expected to be completed in 2021. The building will provide new laboratory space for the university’s current and planned research needs. In regard to the new building, Krull stated that it will propel UTM forward as an “internationally significant research university, with undergraduate, graduate and professional programs of excellent quality.”
Angela Lange, VP Academic & Dean, spoke of the university’s priorities for the upcoming year. On an academic level, there is interest in a certificate of sustainability and a conference on sustainability. There is also a plan for introducing literacy and numeracy skills by bringing foundational courses early on in undergraduate studies to enhance these skills.
The tri-campus review is currently underway. According to a U of T press release, the review will “provide critical opportunities for the university to reflect on its structure and administration,” which will allow the university to “address future opportunities and challenges.”
The council also discussed ways in which to increase diversity on campus in terms of faculty and students. The university has hired a research analyst to see how much diversity there is on campus. The university has also received funding from UF central programs for in-year allocations. A portion of the funds will go toward seven academic diversity positions, and three indigenous faculty positions. According to Lange, the funds were made available to allow UTM to “hire in academic areas where there had either been a gender imbalance or there was a lack of persons of colour.” A working group will develop ways to bring Indigenous topics into curriculums and other aspects of UTM, including research.
Some topics in the report of the Vice-President & Principal included the increase of Fall undergraduate enrollment and the university’s website redesign. This year, UTM received more acceptances than in past years. According to Principal Krull, UTM is approximately 400 students over target.
He was confident, however, that UTM had the capacity to support the rise in the student population, stating that “accommodations for services such as food and library services and academic programming were made to support [the] growth.”
Krull noted that the renovations in the North Building and William G. Davis Building would collectively provide another “thousand seating spaces for students.”
The Office of Communications is working with the Information & Instructional Technology Services to re-design its website in the coming months.
UTM has recruited three new faculty members to support the university’s Robotics Cluster. This comes amidst the university being in the process of proposing a robotics laboratory building that would offer research space primarily focused on machine learning.