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Meric Gertler Commends UTSC Community at the Outset of his Presidency

President Meric Gertler praised UTSC's focus on community engagement during his visit to campus on November, 14. (Photo by Ken Jones)

University of Toronto President Meric Gertler praised UTSC for its distinctive tradition of community engagement during his first official visit since his installation as the 16th president of the University of Toronto.

At a reception on November 14, Gertler made special mention of the ways UTSC is already addressing the three strategies he identified in his installation address: leveraging location, strengthening international partnerships and reinventing undergraduate education.

On leveraging location, Gertler mentioned the partnership between UTSC and East Scarborough Storefront and the Imani Mentorship Program.

“And then there’s the very exciting new Tamil Studies initiative, supported by the Boundless campaign,” he said. “Designed to make UTSC a world leader in the subject, the initiative is off to a good start, with the establishment this year of Canada’s first course in Tamil history and culture – a perfect fit given the global stature of the Tamil community here in Scarborough.”

“Inspiring all of these community-related initiatives is UTSC’s distinctive tradition of engagement, listening, and organic development of solutions through truly collaborative relationships.”

On strengthening our international partnerships, Gertler noted recent favourable coverage in The Globe and Mail of UTSC’s unique specialist program in Management and International Business – U of T’s only international business program, with more than 800 applicants this year for 40 spaces. 

“On undergraduate education, I’m delighted at the launch of the specialist in Statistical Machine Learning and Data Mining – a program that will place its graduates in a very competitive position in a crucial, cutting-edge field,” said Gertler.

“And of course there is UTSC’s justly famous expertise in co-op education. Among so many examples, I think of the continual conversation among students, employers, and faculty, to ensure the curriculum meets employers’ needs and equips students to succeed in changing circumstances.

“On this point, the Clinical Neuropsychology lab course for students in the Mental Health co-op, and the Cell and Molecular Biology lab for the Neuroscience co-op, are a couple of great examples.”

Gertler concluded by reiterating a key point from his installation address – there is a striking contrast between U of T’s high standing in major global university rankings and its comparatively low level of government funding.

“Simply put, this institution defies gravity,” he said.

Gertler thanked Principal Vaccarino and the leadership team at UTSC and the entire UTSC community for their contributions to U of T’s continued success, and offered praise for the growth and development of UTSC in recent years.

He also expressed his eagerness to collaborate in developing U of T’s unique tri-campus system and in advancing UTSC’s role within it.

© University of Toronto Scarborough