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UTSC goes to the polls for new Campus Council

UTSC will elect members to a new Campus Council early next year, under a governance plan intended to improve effectiveness and increase autonomy for the campus.

Under a new structure approved in principle by the University of Toronto Governing Council in June, the new 28-member Campus Council and its two standing committees will be made up of administrators, teaching staff,  students, alumni and community members who will be elected and appointed to the positions.

“It means more direct governance on this campus,” says Bill Gough, faculty governor of Governing Council representing UTSC, and a member of the committee that recommended the changes. “The Campus Council will view things in terms of what is good for this campus, while being fiscally responsible and making sure all the right people have been consulted.”

The new council will replace the old 400-member UTSC Council, which included 46 elected undergraduates, all appointed teaching staff, and most top administrators. In place of the Academic Committee and Planning & Budgeting Committee, there will be a 60-member Academic Affairs Committee and a 35-member Campus Affairs Committee, all with more devolved authority for local decision making.

The change is part of an overall adjustment to the university’s governance structure, which also will make some changes to the composition of the Governing Council itself. For UTSC, the main effect of the change will be to allow the Campus Council to make many more decisions locally.

The new council will be able to approve capital projects up to $3 million without seeking approval from the Business Board of Governing Council. It will also be able to make more local decisions, such as those having to do with parking, food services, and student residences, and some aspects of programs and curriculum and academic policy.

The change also gives the UTSC council a direct line to the Governing Council. Under the existing system, UTSC’s Campus Council business is funneled through the Academic Board and its committees. The proposed new system has the campus councils dealing directly with Governing Council via its Executive Committee.

Final details of the new plan and the election timelines are expected to be approved by the Governing Council at a Dec. 13 meeting. More information about nominations and elections will be available later in December.




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