Working Groups: Key Areas of Consideration

The purpose of the exercise is to augment the University of Toronto’s global stature as a result of a participatory process to develop a shared and coherent plan for a bold future of inclusive excellence for our campus - one that offers a breadth of high quality and accessible programs; attracts and inspires the best minds from everywhere; has a reputation for global prominence in several unique areas of scholarship; and leads partnerships that connect communities, generate solutions, and enhance social justice. To support this purpose, eight (8) working groups have been formed to address the corresponding key priorities.


Please see the UTSC Strategic Plan 2019 Working Group Membership (pdf) document to view the full membership of the aforementioned working groups, along with the key areas of consideration made available further down on this page.

Key Areas of Consideration

Research and Scholarly Excellence

Key Areas of Consideration:

  1. Based on evidence of a critical mass of expertise, of productivity and impact (as defined by respective fields), and comparison with peer institutions, what are our established and emerging areas of scholarly strength?
    1. How do we support these areas in order to give UTSC a prominent reputation in unique areas
    2. How do we promote synergies and inter/multidisciplinary collaboration in these areas?
    3. How should these areas of strength get reflected in undergraduate and graduate programs and the student experience?
  2. How do we enhance the research experience, support, engagement and recognition of undergraduate students, graduate students, post-doctoral fellows and faculty across disciplines?
    1. How do we support equity, diversity and inclusiveness (EDI) in our research practices and support for all stakeholders?
    2. What EDI data do we need to be collecting to inform our research support?
    3. How do we enhance our support to help faculty maximize opportunity to acquire research funding?
  3. How do we enhance the research culture and reputation of the campus and cultivate partnerships in support of that culture?
    1. How do we build capacity in community engaged and partnered research?

Community Connections, Partnerships, and Networks

Key Areas of Consideration:

  1. What kinds of community partnerships and networks, ranging from local to global, should we pursue to support the academic mission and contribute meaningfully to city, and community building, in Scarborough, Toronto, and the Eastern GTA?
  2. How do we effectively promote internal collaboration to facilitate these connections and share our knowledge internally and externally?
  3. How do community partnerships and networks support UofT and UTSC values and priorities and how do we ensure that they are grounded in reciprocity and mutual benefit for all involved?
  4. How should these partnerships, connections, and networks get reflected in undergraduate and graduate programs, the student experience, and scholarship?

Indigenous Peoples & Truth and Reconciliation

Key Areas of Consideration:

  1. How can UTSC continue to respond to ‘Answering The Call:  Wecheehetowin’ [1] with regard to the academic mission and the larger campus experience, including scholarship, teaching and learning, recruitment, outreach activities, and the wider Scarborough community?
  2. What are the strengths and weaknesses of the response to date?  
  3. How can the response be made accountable to indigenous communities, an accountability that guides permanent change in a way that is sustained by and supportive of wider UTSC priorities?

[1] Answering The Call - Wecheehetowin, Final Report of the Steering Committee for the University of Toronto Response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. December 31, 2016.

Equity & Inclusion

Key Areas of Consideration:

  1. How can we the faculty, staff, students, community stakeholders of UTSC ensure equity and inclusion in our institution?  
  2. How do we establish, strengthen and sustain a climate (i.e., a common set of shared practices, expectations, processes, policies and systems) that promotes equity and inclusion across units and departments?
  3. How do we create and sustain mechanisms of accountability in the leadership of our community and ensure that we are all responsible for equity and inclusion in the pursuit of the academic mission?
  4. How can we evaluate the current state of our climate and our mechanisms of accountability?  
  5. How can we intentionally contribute to and promote a sense of belonging for students, staff and faculty members through our institutional processes, programs and engagement?

Healthy Learning and Working Environment

Key Areas of Consideration:

  1. What defines a Health Learning and Working Environment?
  2. What infrastructure is required to support a healthy learning and working environment and what infrastructure is currently available at UTSC? Please give specific examples.
  3. What principles should be considered, if decision making is to support a healthy learning and working environment?
  4. What are known evidence-based practices, supported by research, that foster healthy learning and working environments?
  5. What top five changes or new practices, if adopted would lead to definite positive improvements in the learning and working environment?
  6. What tools would be beneficial to support a healthy learning and working environment, and why would you choose these?

Collaborative, Synergistic, and (Inter)disciplinary Academic Programs

Key Areas of Consideration:

  1. How do we leverage our collective resources to strengthen existing academic programs?
  2. Where do we have potential to develop unique, highly reputable new programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels?
  3. In what ways do we foster collaboration in these endeavors at the campus and UofT levels, and beyond?
  4. What criteria should we use to determine whether we start new programs or retire existing ones?
  5. What initiatives should we take to balance enrolment growth (undergraduate, graduate, domestic, international) with our capacity to deliver and to support high quality, attractive, and competitive programs?

Transformative Teaching and Learning

Key Areas of Consideration:

  1. What kinds of pedagogical approaches and partnerships should we pursue and strengthen? What competencies should be core to a UTSC education?
  2. How do we incorporate these approaches, partnerships and competencies into the learning experience both inside and outside the classroom?
  3. How do we enhance inclusivity in teaching and learning for all members of our internal community and ensure that our programs are attractive to and generate best outcomes for prospective students?
  4. How do we develop intentional supports for a diverse student population to facilitate academic success and enhance valuable student experiences and engagement?

Institutional Processes and Structures

Key Areas of Consideration:

  1. How do we enhance our decision-making processes and structures to ensure transparency, accountability, and achievement of our strategic goals?
  2. How do we promote inclusive and participatory decision making in support of the academic mission?
  3. How should we re-think our administrative processes to make them simpler, more efficient, and more effective to support that mission?
  4. How do we enhance our capacity for building and sustaining a solid complement of excellent leaders for all units to support the kind of shared leadership that will bring prominence to our academic mission?
  5. How do we continue to foster alignment between our academic mission and our capital programs?