Announcing the Convocation Advisory Review Committee (PDAD&C #76)

From: Claire Kennedy, Chair of the Governing Council
Meric Gertler, President
Date: March 29, 2018
Re: Announcing the Convocation Advisory Review Committee (PDAD&C #76)

Convocation remains one of the largest, most important and inclusive celebratory events held at the University of Toronto involving all academic divisions and a number of administrative offices. The reach of this event extends beyond the physical campus with the live world-wide webcast capturing a global audience.

In light of the impact of the growth in the size of graduating classes and the limited capacity of Convocation Hall we are commissioning a review of Convocation.

The Convocation Advisory Review Committee (CARC) will be comprised of representatives of both academic and administrative staff.

The mandate of the CARC is to:

  • Examine the feasibility of the current model taking into account the trend and forecast of the number of ceremonies, number of dates in Spring and Fall convocation periods and limited venue capacity;
  • Examine and recommend possible venue alternatives and possible changes in the delivery of ceremonies, and;
  • Make recommendations that will allow the University to continue to provide an exceptionally positive, memorable experience for graduands and their families and guests.

The full Terms of Reference is available here. The CARC will commence work in April 2018. We have asked that its final report be delivered to us in early 2019.

The work of the CARC will be informed by extensive consultations with the University community. This will include meetings with the Principals and Deans, outreach to divisional faculty and staff with involvement in convocation, the 2018 spring and fall graduating class, and the alumni community. Outreach to graduating students and alumni will be achieved through surveys.

We are pleased to announce the Committee membership is as follows:

  • Sheree Drummond, Secretary of the Governing Council (Co-Chair)
  • Bryn MacPherson, Assistant Vice-President, Office of the President & Chief of Protocol (Co-Chair)
  • Steve Bailey, Director, Office of Academic & Campus Events
  • Althea Blackburn-Evans, Interim Executive Director, Communications Partnerships, University of Toronto Communications
  • Joseph Desloges, Professor and Principal, Woodsworth College
  • Barbara Dick, Assistant Vice-President, Alumni Relations, Division of University Advancement
  • Jonathan Hamilton-Diabo, Director, Indigenous Initiatives
  • Janet Hunter, Faculty Registrar & Director, Enrolment Services, Faculty of Medicine
  • Brenda Ichikawa, Director, University Events & Assistant to the Chancellor
  • Richard Levin, University Registrar
  • Don MacMillan, Faculty Registrar, Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering
  • Don McLean, Professor and Dean, Faculty of Music
  • Mark Overton, Dean of Student Affairs, University of Toronto Mississauga
  • Carolyn Peralta, Alumna (HBA 2015, MA 2017)
  • Mary Pugh, Professor and Acting Vice-Dean, Undergraduate & International, Faculty of Arts & Science
  • Ben Poynton, Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) Officer, Office of the Vice-Provost, Students
  • Silvia Rosatone, Director, Office of Convocation
  • Fiorella Sabadin, Associate Registrar & Director of Student Services, University of Toronto Scarborough
  • Elizabeth Smyth, Professor and Vice-Dean, Programs, School of Graduate Studies
  • Sandy Welsh, Professor and Vice-Provost, Students
  • Joseph Wong, Professor and Associate Vice-President & Vice-Provost, International Student Experience

The Committee is supported by Ms. Ayako Ariga, Special Projects Officer, Office of the Governing Council. Please direct any inquiries to Ms. Ariga at or 416-978-1916.

The Committee welcomes input from the University community. Comments or suggestions can be provided by filling out an online form by November 30, 2018.