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University of Toronto Mississauga Express
University Updates
Woman sitting cross-legged doing yoga, text reads: Focus on Fall: summer wellbeing
Focus on Fall with Principal Alexandra Gillespie
Using questions collected during May’s community reflection forums, UTM’s Vice-President & Principal Alexandra Gillespie has created a new video series: Focus on Fall. Below are the first two videos in the series that answer some of your questions related to fall planning:
1. How does UTM plan to create space to recharge before the start of the fall semester?
2. Will the University of Toronto mandate COVID-19 vaccines on its three campuses?
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‘We want everyone to feel safe and welcome’:
New Special Advisor on Anti-Racism and Equity sets priorities
Stories Published This Week
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In The News
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The return to normal: An illusion?
Universities are mostly resuming face-to-face teaching this fall. This will not be a return to normal; the success of online education has fostered a historic disconnect.
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Does campus free speech extend online?
What are the limits of student speech and how should institutions judge incendiary social media posts? Should student social media posts be punishable, even if they are made off-campus?
Learn more
Clipboard next to a laptop computer and open fountain pen. Paper on clipboard reads "My Resume" at the top and has bullet points that have yet to be filled in.
Punitive government funding models
Provincial governments are redirecting public funds to private interests, pushing universities to become vocational assembly lines by aligning with labour market demands.
" "Amanda Pautler has accepted the position as UTM’s inaugural director of external relations. Pautler brings extensive experience in government relations and higher education administration, where she has excelled at translating priorities into plans; building collaborations with internal and external partners; and providing evidence-based advice to senior leaders. After earning a BA at U of T and an MA at the University of Alberta, and holding roles in Ontario’s public service, Pautler moved to U of T’s Government Relations Office, where she has held progressively senior positions, most recently as director of operations and chief of staff. At U of T, Pautler integrated government relations into strategic decision-making and amplified U of T’s presence at provincial and federal tables. A gifted communicator with a proven commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion, she has also written successful funding proposals on a range of key priorities including infrastructural development, Indigenous learning and first-generation students. At UTM, Pautler will build on this outstanding record as a top advisor, enacting the campus’s mission in community leadership, public impact and reciprocal external relations.
" "Ajay Rao has been appointed the new vice-dean graduate for a four-year term, which started July 1, 2021. Rao is an associate professor in the Department of Historical Studies at UTM and the Department for the Study of Religion at U of T. He has taught several undergraduate and graduate courses and is a highly regarded teacher with extensive experience with administration. Rao is currently the director of the Centre for South Asian Civilizations (CSAC) at UTM, director of graduate studies in the Department for the Study of Religion and the chair of the Study of Religion Sanskrit Committee. Rao has injected great energy into increasing the profile of the CSAC and is highly regarded by graduate students in his Department at FAS for his enthusiasm, mentoring skills and scholarship. The first year of Rao’s term will be a sabbatical leave. Biology professor Bryan Stewart, who served as vice principal of research from 2013 to 2017, has agreed to serve as acting vice-dean graduate from July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022.  
UTM Media Mentions
  • LCBO pulls vodka brand after complaints the name refers to Stalin. Assistant professor of political science, Alison Smith, explains to CBC News that the term explicitly refers to Stalin the person.
  • The Arctic’s Last Ice Area is losing twice as much ice compared with the rest of the region. Professor Kent Moore spoke with CBC News, The Globe and Mail, The Toronto Star and Digital Journal about his recent study using satellite data and ice models to examine sea ice in the Wandel Sea.
  • Don’t ban plastics, they help green the Earth. Geography professor Pierre Desrochers and Librarian Joanna Szurmak argue that, if handled properly, plastics are better and greener than substitute products made of plants and animals, via the Financial Post.
  • Sociology professor and Canada Research Chair on Metis Women, Politics and Identity Jennifer Adese comments on calls for the Vatican to address the issue of residential schools, via 580 CFRA. Adese also calls for the resignation a Mississauga pastor who defended residential schools, via City News.
  • It wasn’t just you – the pandemic really did make it hard to focus on anything. Associate Professor Sarah Sharma tells CBC News that TikTok’s universal appeal is how it seamlessly fits into the flow of the day.
  • Public health rules retreat further as Ontario enters stage 2 of reopening. Associate Professor Jacob Hirsh tells FR24 News that some people find it difficult to stay inactive and feel pressured to be productive.
  • Sociology professor Akwasi Owusu-Bempah provides comment to CTV News regarding a Black lawyer who found herself in a Hudson’s Bay diversity campaign without her permission.
Virtual Events
Family Care Office:
July 12:
How to Cope with Burnout

UofT Centre for Learning, Leadership and Culture:
July 13: Masterful Virtual Meetings

Centre for Student Engagement
July 14:
Kairo's Blanket Exercise (open to staff and faculty)

Aug. 18: 
Smarti Gras - Undergraduate Summer Research Celebration
Spotted On Social
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Emergency cute dog alert!
Follow Chewie the mini Brenedoodle on Instagram @myboychewie
UTM Together
Share your stories and photos
We want to hear about what our UTM community is doing during these unprecedented times, whether it's finding creative ways to work and play, rallying to support the community or taking time to snuggle with your pup. You can send your story tips and photos to UTM's Office of Communications by emailing
Check here for up-to-date information regarding COVID-19
Resource page for UTM staff, faculty and librarians
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