COVID-19 Response and Adaptation Committee


The University of Toronto is closely monitoring the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Across the University, we continue to take steps to respond to the disruption to our regular on-campus operations and activities due to the pandemic. 

As we continue developing plans for the safe and gradual return to our campuses for students, faculty, other academic personnel, and staff our top priority remains the health, safety, and well-being of our community.

We are following the advice of public health authorities as we focus on three guiding principles: 

  1. Promoting health and safety 
  2. Advancing academic excellence 
  3. Meeting the needs of our community 

In March 2020, the University activated its Crisis and Emergency Framework to manage our coordinated response to the emerging COVID-19 pandemic. Through to mid-July, the Incident Leadership Team (ILT) successfully guided the University through an incredibly complex and ever-changing landscape.    

As we move from crisis response to a ‘new normal’, the ILT will be replaced by a standing Committee.

As Special Advisor to the President and Provost, Professor Vivek Goel will lead the University’s operational response to the pandemic on a day-to-day basis. Professor Cheryl Regehr, Vice-President & Provost, will remain involved in many aspects of the COVID-19-related work as co-lead with Vivek, as almost every aspect of the university’s operations will continue to be informed by the pandemic on so many fronts.  

To assist Vivek and support our academic and administrative leaders navigate the incredibly complex and uncharted territory ahead, the University has created the Response and Adaptation Unit, a small, dedicated team housed in the Provost’s Office, and a tri-campus Response and Adaptation Committee (RAC). This committee will assist all portfolios across the institution with COVID-related issues, projects, and other matters.    


The Response and Adaptation Committee will include the following members:   

  • Vivek Goel, Special Advisor to the President and Provost (Chair) 
  • Sandy Welsh, Vice-Provost, Students 
  • Susan McCahan, Vice-Provost, Academic Programs and Vice-Provost, Innovations in Undergraduate Education 
  • Joshua Barker, Vice-Provost, Graduate Research & Education and Dean, School of Graduate Studies 
  • Lori Ferris, Associate Vice-President, Research Oversight and Compliance 
  • Ron Saporta, Chief Operating Officer 
  • Erin Jackson, Chief Human Resources Officer 
  • Anne MacDonald, Assistant Vice-President, Ancillary Services 
  • David Jang, Executive Director, Marketing and Communications (UTC) 
  • Amanda Pautler, Director, Operations and Chief of Staff (GRO) 
  • Andrew Arifuzzaman, Chief Administrative Officer (UTSC Liaison) 
  • Susan Senese, Executive Director, Strategy (UTM Liaison) 
  • Anuar Rodrigues, Senior Lead, COVID-19 Strategy and Implementation 
  • Elizabeth Church, Senior Lead, COVID-19 Strategy and Communications 

Related Documents & Resources

Materials related to the Committee will be posted here as they become available.