On September 13, the UTM Campus Affairs Committee met to discuss priorities and proposals for the campus.
Committee members approved a proposal for a new Student Services Hub, which would house student support services and other programs, opening in 2023.
Committee members also heard a proposal to begin the search for 34 new faculty hires, which brought up concerns from committee members about an already crowded campus. Members also voted on a motion for a number of program changes in the humanities and science departments.
Proposed Student Services Hub
Mark Overton, dean of student affairs and assistant principal, brought forward a proposal to open a Student Services Hub in 2023 as an addition to the Davis Building.
The goal of the hub is to “bring together departments that are currently scattered throughout the Davis Building” and put services for students seeking personal support and developmental opportunities into one location.
“We just kind of have to make things work until we get big chunks of new space opening,” Overton said.
The meeting ended with an in-camera session that consulted the financial aspect of the Student Services Hub. The report estimates that construction of the hub would take around 15 months, and would begin in December 2021, to be completed in February 2023, with a projected move-in date of March 2023.
New hires and lack of space
Professor Rhonda McEwen, vice-principal academic and dean, proposed in her presentation of the Report of the Campus Affairs Committee, that not only is UTM looking to promote equity, but it is looking to oversee faculty growth and renewal with 34 searches planned.
With plans to welcome 34 new faculty members to UTM, some are concerned about the lack of space already creating “pressures on campus.”
“[UTM] already have faculty this year that don’t have offices who were hired last year,” one concerned attendee said.
McEwen said she is well aware of the “squeeze” this will have on campus. She assured attendees that this issue is one of the ideas outlined in the overall planning. Some of these new hires will also be replacing faculty who are retiring, and will be filling space that will soon be empty.