UTM’s Campus Council, convened on October 6, discussed the hiring of more faculty and the growing gap between the number of graduate and undergraduate students.
The council explained that the campus is currently in a state of a “pause period” of growth. Instead of focusing on increasing enrolment, UTM plans on focusing more on providing the necessary environment for existing students, including a need for more buildings, resources, and staff.
Among the other focuses that the council brought attention to was equalizing the discrepancy between the large amount of undergraduate students and the low enrollment of graduate students. Of the 14,000 total students enrolled at UTM, 1,000 are graduate students, while 13,000 are undergraduates.
According to Trevor Rodgers, the senior manager for planning and budget, UTM is below their goal for enrolling doctorate students.
Another point discussed in the meeting was that UTM’s growth in students has created a demand for more staff.
The Office of the Dean currently has 38 ongoing searches for new staff, which is expected to result in the hiring of 26 new faculty members.
The Office of the Dean is also reorganizing the hierarchy of their office, which will result in more staff being hired and new positions being created to divide work more efficiently inside the office. This includes the position of vice-dean teaching and learning, which will now have two associate deans, and one undergraduate and one graduate student to assist with the work.
According to Rodgers’ presentation on UTM’s 2016 operating budget, salary increases and new faculty hires are expected to cost $72 million.
Other items on the agenda included feedback regarding UTM’s Vision Draft and the Sexual Violence Action Plan, which is expected to move forward as of January 1, 2017.
As previously reported by The Medium, the Office of the Dean is welcoming student feedback for the new Vision Draft, and has now established a website for anonymous suggestions.
The anonymous forum can be reached through the webpage of the vice-principal, academic and dean. Dates for feedback sessions have been announced to be held on October 17 and November 22. Students and faculty will have the opportunity to meet with the dean to provide criticisms and suggestions on the draft during these meetings.
Professor Kelly Hannah-Moffat, vice-president for human resources and equity, also explained that the Action Plan will encompass all three U of T campuses in order to provide equal support and resources to all students. All campuses will have a physical center to offer a place for students to share their experience regarding sexual violence. It will also serve as a point of reference, helping survivors learn their options before moving forward with an investigation.
Hours of operation for the center have yet to be released, but according to Hannah-Moffat, there will be online resources available 24/7 for students. A telephone line may also be installed depending on demand. Hannah-Moffat said having this dual function would help minimize the amount of times a victim of sexual violence would have to tell their story to a stranger.
There is a current search to hire the director for the Sexual Violence Centre.
The next campus council meeting will be on December 7.
This article has been corrected from the print edition. The photo was incorrectly credited to Olivia Adamczyk.