Alternative Funding Sources Advisory Group

This group was co-chaired by Cristina Amon, former Dean of the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering, and Brian Lawson, member of the Governing Council. The committee consulted widely with the community and submitted a final report to the President and Provost in the Spring of 2019.

The group noted the importance of building a foundation for the University to develop alternative funding sources to supplement its budget, especially in a context of declining government grant funding. The advisory group explored best practices and recommended strategies to diversify the University’s financial resources and create the flexibility needed to invest and support divisional collaboration in alternative funding activities.

The group articulated several potential sources of revenue-generation that take advantage of some of the University’s key strengths: its capacity to create and disseminate knowledge, its real estate holdings and physical infrastructure, and its significant financial capital. Each of the proposed strategies is underpinned by overarching principles to protect the University’s reputation, build on new ideas, increase physical capacity and financial flexibility at the institutional level to support divisional collaboration, and ensure transparent incentives and risk assessment for alternative funding sources.

The group made 16 recommendations in 3 categories:

  • Knowledge – to engage a broader age cohort in the University’s learning activities, especially through continuing education; to foster and scale-up multi-disciplinary research initiatives; to review inventions, IP and commercialization policies; and to consider investment of endowment funds in U of T start-ups.
  • Real estate and Infrastructure – to endorse the Four Corners strategy and expand on it to build a comprehensive real estate framework; to consider investing long-term capital in University real estate; to reassess the University’s faculty and staff housing strategy; and to expand partnerships for utilization of research facilities and infrastructure.
  • Financial Resources – to optimize investment returns on short-term investments; and to open up U of T Asset Management to co-investment.


The Alternative Funding Sources Advisory Group will include the following members:

  • Cristina Amon, Dean, Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering (Co-Chair)
  • Brian Lawson, Governor; Alumnus, Trinity College (Co-Chair)
  • Ben Alarie, Faculty of Law
  • Preet Banerjee, Governor; Alumnus, University of Toronto Scarborough
  • Randy Boyagoda, Principal, University of St. Michael’s College
  • Gilbert Delgado, Chief, University Planning, Design & Construction
  • Gary Goldberg, Governor; Alumnus, University College
  • Mary Lyne, Chief Administrative Officer, Rotman School of Management
  • Paul Santerre, Faculty of Dentistry; Institute of Biomaterials & Biomedical Engineering
  • Adam Sheikh, Undergraduate Student, Faculty of Arts & Science
  • Soo Min Toh, Director, Institute for Management & Innovation, University of Toronto Mississauga
  • Sally Garner, Senior Strategist, Operational Initiatives (Assessor)
  • Jeff Lennon, Director, Academic Planning & Analysis, Planning & Budget (Project Manager)

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