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 members, 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 moved from crisis response to a ‘new normal’, the ILT was replaced by a standing Committee.

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

To assist Sal and support our academic and administrative leaders as they navigate this incredibly complex and uncharted territory, the University 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 includes the following members:   

  • Salvatore Spadafora, Special Advisor to the President and Provost (Chair)
  • Meredith Strong, Senior Lead, COVID-19, Student Matters.
  • Susan McCahan, Vice-Provost, Academic Programs and Vice-Provost, Innovations in Undergraduate Education
  • Brian Desrosiers-Tam, Assistant Dean, School of Graduate Studies
  • Lorraine Ferris, Associate Vice-President, Research Oversight and Compliance
  • Ron Saporta, Chief Operating Officer
  • Cathy Eberts, Director, Enterprise Applications & Deputy CIO
  • Erin Jackson, Chief Human Resources Officer
  • Cherilyn Nobleza, Executive Director, HR Transformation & Analytics
  • Anne MacDonald, Assistant Vice-President, Ancillary Services
  • Jane Stirling, Interim Executive Director, Communications Strategy & Stakeholder Relations (UTC)
  • Marny Scully, Deputy Chief, Government Relations Office
  • Gina Trubiani, Executive Director, Occupational Health & Safety (EHS)
  • Andrew Arifuzzaman, Chief Administrative Officer (UTSC Liaison)
  • Anuar Rodrigues, Director of Strategy (UTM Liaison)
  • Amanda Pautler, Senior Lead, COVID-19 Strategy and Implementation
  • Elizabeth Church, Senior Lead, COVID-19 Strategy and Communications
  • Kevin Temple, Special Projects Officer

Related Documents & Resources

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