Tri-Campus Framework

Framework for a New Structure of Academic Administration for the Three Campuses

May 21, 2002


The prospect of enrolment expansion opens up a range of opportunities for the Scarborough and Mississauga campuses that have not until now been possible. It will allow each campus to build and maintain critical masses of faculty across a range of disciplines and areas of study, and to design its curriculum accordingly. It will support the development of academic and co-curricular facilities to enhance the vitality of each campus. And it will not only permit but will indeed necessitate changes in administrative structure suitable to the expanded responsibilities of the academic leadership on each campus. Appropriately designed, these administrative changes should also resolve structural tensions that have marked the relationship between the Scarborough and Mississauga campuses and the St. George campus throughout their mutual history.

This paper sets out principles to guide the design of a new academic administrative framework for the University of Toronto at Mississauga (UTM) and the University of Toronto at Scarborough (UTSC), and a restructuring of the relationship between these two campuses and academic divisions on the St. George campus. Although the focus of the present paper is on the relationship with the Faculty of Arts and Science, it is anticipated that this new design will accommodate and facilitate the relationships with other faculties that UTM and UTSC currently have and those that may develop in the future. At the core of this design is an essential balance: between the need to allow each campus to maintain and develop a distinct identity and the need to recognize that each is an integral part of the University of Toronto. In pursuit of those twin objectives, the framework described in this paper combines structural autonomy on each campus with formal mechanisms of horizontal coordination.

These objectives hold equally for all three campuses. Accordingly, the proposals in this paper would bring a greater degree of symmetry to the administrative structures on each campus. This paper has three sections: the first relating to the academic administrative structures themselves; the second relating to the implications of these structural changes for processes of academic planning and curriculum development; and the third relating to their implications for the handling of faculty appointments and career development.

This paper is based on an earlier discussion draft, and incorporates revisions reflecting input received in consultations with the academic administrative leadership and the Councils of UTM and UTSC, with the Dean, Vice-Deans, Chairs, and Principals in the Faculty of Arts and Science, and in preliminary discussions with the University of Toronto Faculty Association (UTFA). As next steps, we will be undertaking further discussions with UTFA and will seek approval in principle of this document through University governance. As the changes outlined in this paper are implemented, we will undertake consultations with other Faculties on the St. George campus, notably the Rotman School of Management, to develop the appropriate mechanisms of coordination with the new structures at UTM and UTSC.

A New Structure of Academic Administration

A. Principles Governing the “Central Administration”

  1. The Principals of the University of Toronto at Mississauga and the University of Toronto at Scarborough are the Chief Executive Officers of their respective campuses.
  2. In recognition of the expanded scale of their responsibilities, the Principal of each campus will assume the title Principal and Vice-Chancellor, and will report to the President of the University of Toronto with respect to overall campus management, and to the Vice-President and Provost with respect to matters of academic appointments, programming and budget.
  3. Reporting to the Principal and Vice-Chancellor will be a Vice-Principal (Academic) and Dean, who will be the Chief Academic Officer for the campus. Each Vice-Principal (Academic) and Dean will serve, together with the Dean and Vice-Deans of the Faculty of Arts and Science, on a Tri-Campus Decanal Committee for Arts and Science. Similar arrangements for tri-campus coordination will be made with other Faculties as appropriate.

The full extent of the planned expansion the University of Toronto at Mississauga and the University of Toronto at Scarborough would put each at about the scale of medium-sized Ontario universities such as Wilfrid Laurier and Brock, and considerably above the size of smaller universities such as Trent, Lakehead, and Laurentian. At that scale, it makes sense that the functions of the Chief Executive Officer and the Chief Academic Officer not be performed by a single individual, but rather that they be assigned respectively to a Principal and Vice-Chancellor and to a Vice-Principal (Academic) and Dean. (It is interesting to note in this regard that at the time of the establishment of Scarborough College and Erindale College, the offices of the Principal and the Dean were held by separate individuals. They were combined into a single position on each campus in the early 1970s.) Over time, it is conceivable that the position of Vice-Principal (Academic) and Dean will itself be split, to allow for the creation of more than one faculty at UTM and UTSC, each headed by a Dean reporting to the Vice-Principal (Academic). For the foreseeable future, however, these roles will be combined in a single position.

Much of the expanded mandate of the Principal relates to overall campus management and external relations, including facilities management and capital construction, relationships with local authorities and partner institutions, fundraising, etc. In that capacity, it is appropriate that the Principal report directly to the President of the University, and that the title be changed to Principal and Vice-Chancellor. With regard to academic appointments and programming and the operating budget, the Principal and Vice-Chancellor should retain ultimate authority and should continue to report to the Provost. With regard to these latter elements, however, the sheer size of the Principal and Vice-Chancellor’s portfolio together with the increased scope of academic activities demands that the day-to-day leadership of the academic enterprise be vested in a senior colleague: a Vice-Principal (Academic) and Dean, reporting to the Principal and Vice-Chancellor.

As the University of Toronto at Mississauga and the University of Toronto at Scarborough assume their new size, structure, and curricular configuration, it is of crucial importance that there be close collaboration among academic leaders on all three campuses, especially with regard to graduate programs. To facilitate and formalize this collaboration, the Vice-Principals (Academic) and Deans of UTSC and UTM should meet on a regular basis with the Dean and Vice-Deans of the Faculty of Arts and Science as a Tri-Campus Decanal Committee for Arts and Science.We expect that similar arrangements will be made with other Faculties as warranted by the development of academic programs in cognate areas at UTM and UTSC.

B. Principles Governing Departmental Structure

  1. Each campus will have its own departmental structure, as appropriate to the structure of the curriculum and the critical mass of faculty.
  2. In some areas of study (e.g., Psychology, Economics), the departmental structure will likely be the same on two or all three campuses; in other areas (e.g., Biology, vs. Botany and Zoology) it will differ.
  3. Graduate departments, within the unitary School of Graduate Studies, will continue to span all three campuses, although the base for administration and student residency may be located on any one campus.

The increased scale of UTM and UTSC will make possible groupings of faculty, by discipline or interdisciplinary area, which are large enough to function as distinct academic departments, with their own appointing authority and budgets. (Such appointment and budget units exist at UTSC at present, but the divisional structure will evolve into a departmental structure.) This new structure should allow for a resolution of the ambiguity in the current structure regarding the relationship of Chairs in the Faculty of Arts and Science to divisional Chairs at UTSC on the one hand and Associate Deans at UTM on the other. It will bring a greater degree of symmetry to these relationships and will make it possible to clarify the roles and responsibilities of the respective Chairs as outlined below.

The departmental structure on each campus will need to be determined according to divisional objectives and resources, taking into account the need for departments to be of a size and coherence that represents a critical mass of faculty. The structures will therefore not be identical, although there will be a number of cases in which departments will exist on two or three campuses with the same name and disciplinary or interdisciplinary base. This departmental structure will need to be established through a thorough process of academic planning, as further discussed below. This process should allow for departmental structures that recognize emerging interdisciplinary areas of study, particularly but not exclusively at UTM and UTSC, as well as established disciplinary areas.

Some concerns have been raised about possible difficulties in maintaining a coherent University of Toronto “brand” and base of faculty identity given separate departmental structures on each campus. One important set of mechanisms for maintaining an academic community that embraces the three campuses in a given area of study is at the graduate level, where a single graduate department will continue to comprise faculty and, as appropriate to the nature of the program, students from all three campuses. The maintenance and fostering of three-campus academic communities will nonetheless also require the types of linkages around issues of academic programming and faculty development set out below.

For the immediate future, in order to allow the new structures to become established without additional complexity, the normal practice of having the position of Chair of a given graduate department held by the Chair of the St. George-based fiscal department should be continued. This practice should be re-examined in five years, however, with a view to establishing policies and processes through which the position of graduate Chair could be held on any of the three campuses.

The new structure is sketched out in Figure 1.

Academic Planning & Programming

A.  Principles Governing Academic Planning Processes

  1. Chairs of related departments should form joint committees for purposes of information sharing and consultation in matters of strategic planning for given disciplinary and interdisciplinary areas.
  2. The Tri-Campus Decanal Committee for Arts and Science will be responsible for developing broad planning directions for arts and science across the three campuses, for ensuring that consultation across related departments for purposes of academic planning occurs as appropriate and facilitating such consultation, and for working to resolve issues that remain outstanding at the departmental level.
  3. AH academic plans, including new departmental structures, require approval by the Provost, who will recommend allocation of the necessary resources for approval through University governance. Such plans will be judged for the degree to which they further the mission of the University and the objectives of the University-wide planning framework as issued by the Provost to guide multi-year cycles of academic planning.

The new structure will establish a greater degree of symmetry in the relations between UTM, UTSC, and the Faculty of Arts and Science than is currently the case. Both UTM and UTSC will be formally distinct multi-departmental divisions, with similar organizational levels. This will allow for the formation of consultative Tri-Campus Committees of Chairs in related areas, analogous to the Tri-Campus Decanal Committee for Arts and Science. It is also proposed that the Principal and Vice-Chancellor and the Vice-Principal (Academic) and Dean of both UTM and UTSC serve as members of the Provost’s Principals and Deans group. This structure should facilitate horizontal communication and coordination at the departmental, decanal, and central levels.

The new structure should thus make possible a greater degree of coordination across campuses in academic planning than has been the case in the past. As in the past, it is expected that academic plans will be developed at the departmental and divisional level within the overall planning framework issued by the Provost, and will ultimately require the approval of the Provost and the allocation of resources in accordance with approved plans. The next planning cycle will be a particularly active one for UTM and UTSC, as new departmental structures and programs are put in place.

B. Principles Governing Academic Programs

Graduate Programs

  1. The University of Toronto will offer only one graduate program of a given designation in any given field.
  2. All doctoral-stream graduate programs are open to participation by U of T faculty and graduate students regardless of their campus base. Students should be resident on the campus on which the bulk of their coursework and/or research is concentrated.
  3. Non-doctoral-stream master’s programs may draw faculty from across the three campuses. Students in these programs, however, will be resident on the campus on which they are offered.

Undergraduate Programs

  1. Each campus should identify an approach to undergraduate education that offers the best possible programming given its scale, resources, and intended student recruitment base. In some areas of study, this will lead to similar offerings on all three campuses. In other cases it will lead to a distinctive focus on a given campus.
  2. Campus distinctiveness must exist within a framework of common standards for the University of Toronto. The elements of such a framework are three-fold:
  • Common standards for faculty: all tenure/tenure-stream faculty at the University of Toronto are to have a graduate appointment, as discussed below. In the development of undergraduate programs, care should be taken to identify the graduate home departments of potential faculty teaching in the program. No undergraduate program should be adopted unless such graduate linkages can be identified.
  • Consultation: From the earliest stages of the development of an undergraduate program on any campus, care should be taken by those responsible to consult with those in cognate areas on all three campuses. This process can be facilitated by the Tri-Campus Decanal Committee for Arts and Science, described above.
  • University of Toronto approval: The ultimate mechanism of oversight for undergraduate programs is the University’s governance process, through the Committee on Academic Policy and Programs of the Academic Board.

At the graduate level, the University of Toronto can draw upon the full range of its resources on all three campuses. In recognition of the University-wide sweep of graduate programs, the School of Graduate Studies (SGS) plays a lead role in overseeing the development of new programs, in the evaluation and assessment of existing programs, and in setting standards for graduate study across the three campuses; and this role will continue under the new framework. There are nodes of great strength in sub-areas of many disciplines on all three campuses, and this “nodal” distribution of strength is likely to increase with enrolment expansion. Nonetheless, most doctoral-stream programs will continue to depend for their full scope upon their three-campus reach. To take full advantage of this sweep, as well as to maintain a clear identity for our doctoral-stream programs, the University of Toronto will continue to offer unitary doctoral-stream programs across all three campuses. This principle is independent of the locus of administration of the program. As noted above, for established doctoral-stream programs the Chair of the graduate department and the graduate office will normally continue to be located on the St. George campus, with this practice to be reviewed in five years. It is likely that there will be a growing graduate student presence at Scarborough and Mississauga in areas of campus-based strength within established doctoral programs. New graduate departments offering doctoral-stream programs, administered at UTM and UTSC, may also be established in the future.

Non-doctoral stream programs, such as professional master’s programs, may be established on any campus where there is an appropriate base of faculty and other resources in the relevant area. These are less likely to be University-wide in their reach, although they should be similarly open to participation by faculty and students across the University. Given their specialized nature, it would not seem to be a sensible use of resources for the University to offer competing professional master’s programs in a given area.

At the undergraduate level, it is not feasible to offer a single program open to all students across the three campuses. Nor, in most cases, is it feasible to replicate the same program on each campus. Even after expanding, the Scarborough and Mississauga campuses will each have less than half the undergraduate enrolment of the Faculty of Arts and Science on the St. George campus, and cannot be expected to mirror its offerings. In some cases, parallel programs will be offered on two or three campuses, each with its own scope and “flavour.” In other cases programs will be unique to a particular campus. In all cases, it is essential that these programs be of a quality consistent with the University’s mission to rank with the best public research universities in the world and to offer a standard of education commensurate with that rank.

The basic guarantor of the quality of undergraduate programs is the quality of the faculty who develop and teach in them. The following section of this paper addresses questions of faculty appointments and career development, and places great emphasis on the importance of faculty involvement at the graduate as well as the undergraduate level. Participation in the three-campus academic community of the University with its common threads of graduate programs and research is a defining feature of faculty life. It is of central importance, therefore, that in developing undergraduate programs careful attention be paid to the graduate homes of potential faculty involved, and no undergraduate program should be adopted unless such graduate linkages can be identified. Given the rich intellectual diversity of the University, this requirement should be a constraint only as to the standards to which faculty will be held, not to their area of expertise. But if few or no graduate homes can be matched to a proposed area of programming at the undergraduate level, that is probably not an area in which the University of Toronto should be involved.

As well as considerations of quality, undergraduate programming on each campus requires attention to questions of the appropriate positioning and presentation of different program options to students. In both of these respects, it is of great importance that there be consultation among relevant parties across the three campuses at the early stages of program development and periodically throughout. The new administrative structure proposed in this paper should facilitate such consultations. As noted, mechanisms for regular sharing of information and consultation among the Chairs of related departments on all three campuses should be put in place. The Tri-Campus Decanal Committee for Arts and Science will have both the purview and the authority to ensure that such consultations occur and to mediate any disputes.

Ultimately, both graduate and undergraduate programs must be brought to the Committee on Academic Policy and Programs for University approval. The Committee seeks to ensure that considerations of program quality have been fully vetted at the divisional level (and, for graduate programs, the SGS level), and that appropriate inter-divisional consultations have taken place before proposals are brought to the Committee. Accordingly, the Provost will not support proposals unless these conditions are met.

Academic Appointments

Principles Governing Base of Academic Appointments

  1. The primary appointment of each faculty member is to be campus-based.
  2. Every tenure/tenure-stream faculty member is to have a graduate appointment and teaching/supervisory responsibility at the graduate level.
  3. Every tenure/tenure-stream faculty member is to be a recognized member of the department in which the graduate appointment is held, and will be listed as such in the undergraduate calendar of the Faculty of Arts and Science, as is currently the case for both Scarborough- and Mississauga-based faculty.
  4. Search committees will be chaired by the Chair of the campus-based department in which the appointment is to be held. The Chair of the graduate department in which a faculty member’s graduate appointment is to be held will serve on the search committee, and will be consulted regarding the description of the field to be advertised. Letters of offer must be co-signed by the Chair of the campus-based department and the Chair of the department in which the graduate appointment is to be held. In some cases, the Chairs of related departments on two or all three campuses may mutually agree to establish a single search committee, with the chairing of the committee to rotate according to the campus base of the appointment to be made.
  5. As feasible, all search committees will have representation from the three campuses.
  6. Tenure committees will be chaired by the Chair of the campus-based department. The Chair of the department in which the graduate appointment is held will serve on the tenure committee and will be closely consulted by the committee Chair in preparing the dossier.
  7. Recommendations for promotion to full professor will be made by committees of the campus-based department. For individual cases, the Chair of the graduate department in which the individual’s graduate appointment is held will serve on the committee. In some cases, the Chairs of related departments on two or all three campuses may mutually agree to establish a single committee for recommendations on promotion to full professor, with the chairing of the committee to rotate according to the campus base of the appointment. The cooperative arrangements at the decanal level, in the form of a three-campus arts and science committee for decisions on promotion to full professor in arts and science, will continue and could be emulated for other faculties.
  8. For purposes of PTR, the pool will be the campus-based unit. The Chair of that unit will seek an evaluation from the Chair of the graduate unit to which each faculty member is appointed with regard to performance in graduate teaching and research.
  9. In the case of PTR grievances or anomaly reviews, the relevant comparator group will be members of the campus-based unit, on which the comparative assessments at issue were based.
  10. Members currently appointed at UTM will have the option to continue to have their tenure review managed through the process prevailing at their time of appointment.
  11. Faculty members in the teaching stream will have appointments in the campus-based department, with cross-appointments to departments on other campuses as appropriate. In some cases, in which members of the teaching stream are involved in graduate teaching, the appropriate appointment would be to the relevant graduate department. In other cases cross-appointment to another campus-based department may be appropriate to recognize the faculty member’s involvement in undergraduate teaching or other departmental activities. Decisions regarding promotion and PTR for teaching-stream faculty should involve the Chair of the department in which the cross-appointment is held as appropriate to the faculty member’s engagement in the activities of that department.

In the next decade, as a result of a large wave of retirements as well as enrolment expansion, the University of Toronto will be appointing new faculty in unprecedented numbers. It is of utmost importance for the future of the University that this process, which will shape the professoriate well into this century, be done well. The academic administrative leadership on all three campuses will be critical to our success, and each academic leader will need to have the tools necessary to attract, retain, and foster outstanding faculty. The present ambiguity as to roles and responsibilities in this regard for faculty at UTM and UTSC does not serve us well, and a consolidation of responsibility at the local level is required. At the same time, we must recognize that much of the attractiveness of the University of Toronto for faculty, in the first instance and on a continuing basis, lies in full membership in an intellectual community of related scholars within the University as a whole. The primary vehicle for the expression of this intellectual community is the graduate department. Membership in the community means more than participation in graduate teaching, however, as important as that dimension is. In the Faculty of Arts and Science, the convention has been to recognize these broader dimensions of membership by involving all members holding graduate appointments in a given department in all departmental scholarly activities, and by listing them in the undergraduate calendar as members of the department. This is a commendable practice that should continue under the new structure.

Our processes for faculty recruitment, retention, and development must marry the need to consolidate responsibility locally with the recognition of the importance of three-campus intellectual communities. We believe that the way to accomplish this marriage is to vest primary responsibility for searches, appointments, promotion and annual PTR awards with the Chair of the unit in which a faculty member’s campus-based appointment is held, while ensuring the involvement of the Chair of the graduate unit to which the faculty member is appointed in each of these steps as outlined above. Given the importance to be placed on graduate teaching and research as well as undergraduate teaching in the tenure decision, it is appropriate that the Chair of the department in which the faculty member’s graduate appointment is held play an active role on the tenure committee.

In some cases, departments on two or three campuses, through their Chairs, may mutually agree to integrate their process for searches and for recommendations to full professor in the form of single committees with rotating chairs, depending upon the base of the appointment. In a number of disciplines a version of this practice is currently followed. Given the strong departmental base for recommendations for tenure in the University of Toronto system, single cross-departmental committees for tenure would not be appropriate. The role of the Chair of the graduate department in the tenure recommendation nonetheless recognizes the importance of participation in the University-wide graduate department in the life of the tenured faculty member.

Faculty members in the teaching stream are key contributors to a number of campus-based departments and often play an important role in the activities of a discipline on more than one campus. This involvement should continue, and should be recognized and facilitated through formal cross-appointments and taken into account in managing the career steps and professional development of these members of the faculty.

Implementation & Transition

The structures and processes described in this paper are those that are foreseen in the “steady state,” once enrolment expansion and related additions to faculty complement, staff and physical facilities have been accomplished. Through the process of expansion, there will be a need for transitional arrangements. In particular, it is anticipated that a stronger involvement of the University central administration — the President, the Provost, and other vice-presidential portfolios — will be necessary to support the transition.

The proposed changes cannot be accomplished all at once. The first steps will be to make the constitutional changes necessary to establish UTM as an academic division separate from the Faculty of Arts and Science, to establish the new configuration of responsibilities and reporting relationships for the Principal and Vice-Chancellor and the Vice-Principal (Academic) and Dean at each of UTM and UTSC, and to put in place the Tri-campus Decanal Committee for Arts and Science and appropriate horizontal linkages with other Faculties at the decanal level. The subsequent steps will be to develop a departmentalized structure at UTM and to elaborate the departmentalized structure at UTSC as appropriate to its increased size.

The implementation of the proposed framework will require changes to some divisional constitutions and University policies, which in turn will variously need to be negotiated with the University of Toronto Faculty Association and approved through University governance.

Accordingly, we envisage the following timetable for implementation: May to June 2002:

  • Presentation of A New Structure of Academic Administration for the Three Campuses to University of Toronto governance for approval in principle.
  • Negotiation with UTFA of changes to Policies and Procedures on the Appointment of Academic Administrators necessary to establish the positions of Principal and Vice-Chancellor, and Vice-Principal (Academic) and Dean at each of UTM and UTSC and changes to Policies and Procedures on Academic Appointments re composition of tenure committees.

Fall, 2002

  • Approval by the Councils of UTM and UTSC of changes to their constitutions necessary to establish the positions of Principal and Vice-Chancellor, and Vice-Principal (Academic) and Dean, and in the case of UTM to remove the provision for approval of decisions by the Council of the Faculty of Arts and Science.
  • Approval of changes to Policies and Procedures on the Appointment of Academic Administrators and Policies and Procedures on Academic Appointments, changes to UTM and UTSC constitutions, and re-naming of UTSC divisions as “departments” by University of Toronto governance.

Academic Year 2002-03

  • Establishment of initial departmental structure at UTM.
  • Initiation of academic planning process for the 2003-04 to 2007-08 planning cycle, including departmental structures.