About the Alliance
Background and Principles
In Fall 2020, representatives of the Governing Council of Regis College, and the Collegium of the University of St. Michael’s College, met to explore a mutual desire to renew long-standing discussions regarding a closer institutional relationship between the two Catholic institutions. The meetings led to the establishment of a Steering Committee to oversee, on behalf of the two governing bodies, the formulation of an alliance between Regis and St. Michael’s.
The work of the Regis-USMC Steering Committee, its sub-committees, and the deliberations of the respective governing bodies, were guided by the following shared principles.
- The commitment to forge a world-class centre of excellence in Catholic theological study whose mission is to promote teaching, research, and formation to serve the needs of the Church and society, here in Canada and globally;
- The commitment to consult all stakeholders (including the administration, the faculty, staff, students and alumni/ae, of each institution, as well as the sponsoring religious orders/ congregations). The continuation and cultivation of a cordial relationship with the Archdiocese, while keeping the Cardinal informed of plans and on-going developments;
- The commitment to orient governance of Regis and St. Michael’s to a deepening union for the sake of enhancement of their mission.
In a time of crisis for the Church, the University of St. Michael’s College and Regis College recognize the importance of developing new approaches to theological education that will prepare pastoral leaders for ministry in this turbulent social and cultural context. The Regis-USMC federation will create an entity greater than the sum of its parts, well positioned to effect change. Our new approach to the theological education of pastoral leaders calls for a thorough examination of our existing curriculum to create opportunities for learning from people on the margins, while eliminating potential biases that can adversely affect attitudes and beliefs among pastoral leaders. In short, Regis and St. Michael’s are looking to create new ways of serving our neighbours while living the Gospel and Catholic Social Teaching.
Governance and Timeline
On September 25, 2020, representatives from Regis College and the University of St. Michael’s College met for a preliminary conversation about a closer relationship the two institutions. The conversation was facilitated by Peter Bisson, SJ.
President, Thomas Worcester SJ, Erik Oland SJ (Chair, Regis Governing Council; Provincial of the Jesuits of Canada), and Peter Warrian (Vice-Chair, Regis Governing Council) represented Regis College.
President, David Sylvester, Don McLeod CSB (Outgoing Chair, USMC Collegium), and John Bennett (Member, USMC Collegium) represented the University of St. Michael’s.
After agreeing that discussions should continue, the same institutional representatives began weekly meetings—starting October 9, 2020—as the Regis-USMC Steering Committee. Don McLeod and Peter Warrian were selected as co-chairs.
Since that time, the Steering Committee has agreed to common principles that will guide its work.
In April 2021, the Steering Committee received all sub-committee reports. The reports represent an enormous amount of hard work, and have contributed to significant progress toward our objectives. The Steering Committee has struck a drafting committee to prepare a report that will be presented to both the St. Michael’s College Collegium and the Regis College Governing Council in mid-June 2021.
- December 2020: Establish schedule of meetings and future work.
- March 2021: Sub-committee reports for consideration by the Steering Committee.
- June 2021: Steering Committee report for Regis Governing Council and the USMC Collegium.
- October 2021: Boards sign Memorandum of Agreement, federating the institutions to create “Regis St. Michael’s.”
Steering Committee Co-Chairs
- Don McLeod, CSB (USMC)
- Peter Warrian (Regis)
The co-chairs and Presidents Sylvester and Worcester serve as ex officio members of all sub-committees.
Sub-committees and Mandates
The Steering Committee discerned that the sub-committees below should explore the potential forms of a Regis & St. Michael’s future alliance and determined chairs for the sub-committees, their membership, and their mandates.
In addition to their mandates, subcommittees are guided by the three principles adopted by the Steering Committee. This information was sent to all sub-committee chairs on November 10, 2020.
What is the ideal academic model to achieve the stated goal of aligning the historical strengths of Regis and USMC to deliver an expanded new vision for Catholic higher education?
In this spirit, the Academic Sub-committee is asked to:
- Explore how Regis can enter into alliances with other academic components of USMC;
- Review existing programs for both overlap and weaknesses;
- Explore areas of potential program growth;
- Ensure existing agreements with U of T governing the structure and requirements of degrees are adhered to or, where necessary, amended (MOU review);
- Ensure the requirements for canonical degrees are adhered to in all relevant programs, including and especially those adopted as a result of this process;
- Determine optimal academic staffing for all programs (i.e., range of specializations required to ensure the highest academic standards are met);
- Explore how this new alliance Regis/USMC can serve to increase student enrollment.
- (Co-Chair) Susan Wood, SCL, Dean of Regis College
- (Co-Chair) John McLaughlin, Interim Dean of the USMC Faculty of Theology
- Gordon Rixon, SJ, Regis College Faculty (Elected)
- Michael Attridge, USMC Faculty of Theology Faculty (Elected)
- Mark McGowan, Interim Principal of USMC
Support: Diana Cappuccitti-Addeo (John McLaughlin’s EA)
The Advisory Sub-committee assists the Steering Committee by providing insight and foresight with respect to the federation and alignment of operations (administration, space, human resources, finance, and related processes) entailed by the federation of Regis College (Regis) and the University of St. Michael’s College (USMC).
The Advisory Sub-committee reports to the co-chairs of the Steering Committee until the ratification of the MOA, at which time it will report to the Governance Oversight Committee.
The Advisory Sub-Committee acts to advise the Steering Committee by anticipating operational challenges posed by the federation of Regis and USMC, and by proposing processes to overcome these challenges when so directed.
- Michael Knox (co-chair)
- Gerard Ryan (Faculty Rep)
- Susan Goncz (Gov. Council)
- Rick Blickstead (Gov. Council)
- Support: Julie Cachia
- Rick Alway (co-chair)
- Mary Ann Leon (Collegium)
- Darren Dias (Faculty)
- M.A. McCarthy, CSJ (Collegium)
- Support: Greg Rupik
Community Life & Spiritual Formation
What is the ideal model of community life and spiritual formation to achieve the stated goal of aligning the historical strengths of Regis and USMC in order to deliver an expanded new vision for Catholic higher education?
How will we ensure that the vocation, charism, and mission of each institution is preserved, respected, enhanced, and advanced in partnership—in the service of the common good and of the Church and the world?
In this spirit, the Community Life & Spiritual Formation Sub-committee is asked to:
- Explore how Regis and USMC can together offer formation for those with academic and/or pastoral vocations;
- Explore what sorts of retreats can be offered for students, faculty, staff, alumni/ae;
- Consider what housing can be made available for those interested in community with a spiritual aspiration;
- Determine the need for new/different worship spaces;
- Consider how campus ministry can be reimagined in the light of this new alliance.
- (Chair) Sarah Rudolph, IBVM
- Mike Rosinski, SJ, Superior of Regis Jesuits
- Emily VanBerkum, Dean of Loretto College, USMC Campus Ministry Advisory Committee
- Carmen Cachia, Regis College Student (Elected)
- Josefine Leventhal-Noble (USMC Faculty of Theology Student)
Support: Adrian Ross (Mark McGowan’s EA)
Facilities & Campus Resources
How can both institutions’ facilities and campus resources best be used to achieve the stated goal of aligning the historical strengths of Regis and USMC in order to deliver an expanded new vision for Catholic higher education?
How will such an alliance require or elicit new needs and possibilities for venues, spaces, resources, etc.?
In this spirit, the Facilities & Campus Resources Committee is asked to:
- Determine what spaces or buildings will be needed for classrooms, offices, chapels, meeting rooms, housing, etc.;
- Explore nuances of current properties and facilities (owned, leased etc.), and overall viability going forward;
- Determine how human resources needs, services, and locations will change with this new alliance;
- Consider how the location of Regis/USMC in Toronto can be leveraged for creative engagement of various kinds with alumni/ae;
- Determine what resources may be required to meet changing locations and delivery methods of academic programming (e.g., on campus or remote);
- Understand the venues and best practices for the libraries of each institution in the context of a new alliance.
- (Chair) John Kostoff, USMC Collegium, OCSOA Executive Director
- Darren Dias, USMC Faculty (Elected)
- Teresa Helik, Regis College Faculty (Elected), Head Librarian
- Effie Slapnicar, USMC CAO and Bursar
- Julie Cachia, Regis College Director of Administration
Support: Barb Power (Effie Slapnicar’s EA)
What is the ideal financial model to achieve the stated goal of aligning the historical strengths of Regis and USMC in order to deliver an expanded new vision for Catholic higher education?
In this spirit, the Finance Sub-committee is asked to:
- Explore the financial implications for the creation of an alliance of Regis and USMC;
- Create a sustainable financial plan to support this mission and a new Academic Plan;
- Review financial reports and trends for both entities for the past five years and future projections;
- Determine areas in which economies can be implemented without sacrificing program quality;
- Establish the financial opportunities and challenges of an alliance of both institutions’ human resources;
- Consider the necessary structure for cooperative fundraising to support this initiative;
- Research potential sources of additional income to support both USMC and Regis, including foundation grants and prospective new donors;
- Ensure that ATS and other standards relating to financial stability are met.
- (Chair) John Bennett, USMC Collegium
- Rick Blickstead, Chair of Regis Finance Committee
- Barry Leidl, Head of Jesuit Advancement Office, former Jesuit Treasurer
- Effie Slapnicar, USMC CAO and Bursar
- Mary Ann Leon, USMC Chair of Finance
Ex. Officio: Scott Vaincourt Sr. Finance, Regis
Supports: Greg Rupik (D. Sylvester’s EA)
What is the ideal governance model to achieve the expressed goal of aligning the historical strengths of Regis and USMC in order to deliver an expanded new vision for Catholic higher education?
In this spirit, the Governance Sub-committee is asked to:
- Devise and recommend adoption of a governance structure that:
- Respects and supports the mission of each;
- Meets all governance legal/canonical/TST and other requirements;
- Encourages ongoing engagement of all stakeholders, including and especially the canonical sponsors of each;
- Meets the standards of ATS and relationship with existing partners such as TST.
- Considers an expanded relationship with USMC beyond the Faculty of Theology (i.e., considerations of SMC’s relationship to UofT FAS)
- Determine points of convergence and divergence between current governance documents and practices.
- Identify any respective governance legal/canonical impediments and possible solutions.
- (Chair) Richard Alway, Praeses, PIMS
- Gilles Mongeau, SJ, Socius to the Jesuit Provincial Superior of Canada
- John Bennett, USMC Collegium
- Roseanne Rocchi, USMC Collegium
- Carolyn Tuohy, Former Regis Board Member
Support: Cynthia Watson (Richard Alway’s EA)