Update on Restructuring Student Life Programs and Services

PDAD&C #18, 2007-08


To: Principals, Deans, Academic Directors and Chairs
Staff in Student Life Programs & Services
Members of the Restructuring Task Force & Working Groups
From: Vivek Goel, Vice-President and Provost
CC: University of Toronto Students' Union
Association of Part-time Undergraduate Students
Graduate Students' Union
Date: September 28, 2007
Re: Update on Restructuring Student Life Programs & Services

I am writing to update you on the status of the restructuring process that is underway in the student life programs and services area.

As has been previously reported, with the departure of David Farrar as Deputy Provost & Vice-Provost, Students, Jonathan Freedman has been appointed Vice-Provost, Student Life and Cheryl Misak as been appointed Deputy Provost. Until there is an appointment to the new position of Assistant Vice-President, Student Life, Prof. Freedman has assumed senior oversight of the student life programs and services portfolio. This fall, I will be reviewing the mandate of the vice-provostial portfolios.

With respect to the restructuring process, a number of significant changes have already taken place:

  • Staff members in the divisions of Student Services and Student Affairs are beginning to work together as a single division and with their colleagues at Hart House. While individual units will continue to have their own identity, the objectives of the restructuring process related to collaboration will begin to be realized through bringing people together as a single division known as St. George Student Life and by establishing cross-functional groups focusing on specific issues, programs and services.
  • Last spring, the Early Learning Centre, the Family Care Office, and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered, and Queer (LGBTQ) Resources and Programs were relocated structurally to be under the auspices of the Vice-President, Human Resources & Equity.
  • The Office of the Vice-Provost, Students is in the final stages of being established. This office will be responsible for University-wide (tri-campus) student policy issues and initiatives, institutional student communications projects, and assessment and research of the student experience across the three campuses. This Office will also have responsibilities associated with policy regarding critical incidents, students in crisis, and related matters dealing with community safety.
  • The position of Assistant Vice-President, Student Life was created and the search continues. The original posting for the position has been revised and the position was advertised again in the summer. The advisory committee is currently considering candidates for the position.

At the beginning of the summer, careful thought was given to how to proceed with the restructuring process. It was concluded that activity related to the restructuring should pause in order to take into account the feedback received in the spring with respect to the restructuring working group reports, and to wait for staff and the student governments to re-engage in September.

Over the next few months, there will be a concerted effort to integrate further the work and services of the portfolio. Additional changes to structure arising from the restructuring process will involve continued dialogue with members of the staff, students and other members of the University of Toronto community.

I strongly encourage members of the University to provide input and advice related to the restructuring process. Information about the process and the proposals made to date, including the reports of the working groups, are available on the restructuring website:


Comments, feedback, questions and advice concerning the restructuring process should be sent to:

Student Life Programs & Services Restructuring
Office of the Vice-President and Provost
University of Toronto
27 King's College Circle, Simcoe Hall
Toronto, ON M5S 1A1
Fax: 416-946-0678

Please provide your input by October 31, 2007.

I wish to express my gratitude to the staff in the student life programs and services portfolio for their on-going feedback and for their continued involvement in this restructuring process as it paused over the summer. I am also thankful for the professionalism and dedication demonstrated by the staff throughout this process. I am confident that the portfolio will continue to strengthen in our collective support for students' learning and their success.

I am also very grateful for all of the help contributed by those who were involved in the review process. They have worked very hard and have provided invaluable advice and feedback.