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UTSC Campus Council plans for more in-person options in fall, plenty of remote options to remain

Council gives updates on fall and winter course delivery, campus operating budget
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The UTSC Campus Council chambers. SHANNA HUNTER/THE VARSITY
The UTSC Campus Council chambers. SHANNA HUNTER/THE VARSITY

On May 20, the UTSC Campus Council detailed plans for a flexible fall semester in the coming academic year, adding that it expects all classes to be held in person by winter 2022. 

The council also recommended turning the Centre for Critical Development Studies (CCDS) into a department, and discussed ideas for a new funding campaign to succeed the Boundless campaign, which concluded in 2018. During the meeting, members also discussed the campus operating budget for the 2021–22 academic year.

It was also mentioned that this year’s convocation will be conducted through a pre-recorded livestream on June 23, much like last year’s ceremonies.

Course delivery for the 2021–2022 academic year

UTSC is offering limited in-person instruction during the 2021 summer term for course content that could not be replicated online. William A. Gough, the UTSC’s vice-principal academic & dean, remarked that the university is moving toward having more classes with an in-person delivery system in fall 2021. 

UTSC has planned for a flexible semester due to the “uncertainty” of public health guidelines. This will allow the campus “to either shrink or expand” restrictions as the situation evolves.

Given the tentative availability of more in-person options in the fall, Gough noted that “a robust set of remote offerings” will also be available to students who are unable to attend or to those who are apprehensive about attending in-person course offerings.

Departmental changes

Gough presented the proposal to convert the CCDS into the Department of Global Development Studies. It is currently an extradepartmental unit that, as a flexible and multidisciplinary entity, focuses on research and teaching across multiple fields. 

Currently, its classification means that its 13 members must seek the majority of their appointment from another department. However, a departmental status would allow the new Department of Global Development Studies to fully appoint eight faculty members.

This recommendation was approved by the council, and Gough presented the proposal to the Academic Board on May 27.

Boundless campaign’s successor 

After the conclusion of the Boundless fundraising campaign in 2018, Lisa Fenton Lemon, the executive director of Development and Alumni Relations, shared updates on the plans for a new 10-year campaign that has been in the works since 2019. 

Lemon discussed how they are identifying the goals and values of the campaign, in part by consulting with students and campus leaders. They have given the campaign the placeholder name “the Bicentennial campaign” and set its fundraising goal for the campus at $75 million. 

Lemon also acknowledged that in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is uncertain “how willing people are to make large investments.”