The town hall meeting held last Thursday discussed UTM’s vision and a new $15 billion funding proposal.

According to UTM interim-principal Ulrich Krull, the Canada Foundation for Innovation proposed funding of $15 billion to UTM for research in the molecular and functional architecture of membrane-based receptors in order to help get new insights into drug strategies.

“We have other great ideas coming through, and the intention here is to move all boats by raising the water for everybody,” said Krull.

The Faculty of Medicine is also looking to expand its programs to the undergraduate level by introducing a pre-medicine degree to prepare students to meet the requirements of medical school. Through this program, students will be able to do patient rounds and learn more about operating with the usage of technology.

Krull also discussed UTM’s vision plan, stating that he wants to focus on what UTM has to offer, how it can differentiate itself from other universities, and the need to have a mission statement that represents the community of around 15,000 students and 1,000 staff members on campus.

“We present ourselves as part of University of Toronto, in name we are,” said Krull, “but my concern is that if you look at University of Toronto and how it describes itself, it says this is a research-intensive institution which takes the value of that research intensity into the undergraduate level, and creates a special experience for those undergraduates.

“I look at UTM and stand back and ask: does that describe UTM?” Krull added.

Krull also stated that the Department of Language Studies drafted an idea for building an Institute of Global Fluency. The institute will identify a student’s progression in a language, and based on this information, will create the necessary educational experience to fill in the gaps of their language. Krull explained that this will allow students to learn and become comfortable with spoken or written language.

The institute will also deal with newcomers and help them integrate into society, and will work with their difficulties with digital language for communication.

Krull also said that UTM as a campus has no intention of building a campus in Brampton, but if the University of Toronto wants to go ahead with that plan, then UTM will assist and participate.

The next town hall is scheduled to take place in January.