by Laurie Zack
At its Feb. 13 meeting, Concordias Board of Governors was given
an overview of the status of the major construction projects underway,
and significantly, an initial financial plan to meet the overall $350-million
price tag for the projects.
The presenters were Garry Milton (Executive Director of the Rectors
Cabinet), Vice-Rector Services Michael Di Grappa and CFO Larry English.
They proposed that the Board take advantage of the universitys excellent
financial situation, increasing enrolment and relatively low interest
rates to take out a long-term loan for roughly $212 million.
A key part of this financing would be a 25-year commitment on the part
of the Faculties to contribute to the project from their operating budgets.
This Faculty contribution would alone raise $100 million over 25 years.
In addition, the university would provide $67.6 million for the project
from its operating budget over 25 years.
The plan is predicated on several factors, including provincial government
contributions from infrastructure and special building funds, operating
budget increases through the provincial contrat de performance,
and an increase in FTE (full-time-equivalent) students at the university.
Other key factors are the lending rates that the university would get
from potential creditors and the success, both internally and externally,
of our fundraising campaign for the buildings.
The financial plan will be presented in the form of a motion at the Boards
March 20 meeting.
In the meantime, the Board approved a motion by real estate committee
chair Jonathan Wener to take advantage of a general lull in construction
by advancing, from a capital fund, $2 million for advanced planning of
the visual arts component of the engineering and visual arts complex and
$1.82 million for design development for the new home of the John Molson
School of Business.
This planning work will likely translate into further cost savings, as
well as help jump-start the downtown projects.
The Board also dealt with several issues related to student representation
on Board committees. The CSU Council will be asked to provide documentation
for the student representative chosen to sit on the evaluation committee
for the Director of Libraries.
After a long discussion, it was decided to adjust the proposed schedule
of the Board Appeals Panel examining the banning of Tom Keefer and Laith
Marouf to allow Graduate Students Association representative Rocci Luppicini
to sit on the panel.
Luppicini is acceptable to all sides but had to be out of town on the
meeting date. It was decided to change the date to accommodate him rather
than trying to choose another student representative. This may delay the
delivery of the appeals panel report to the Board, which was planned for
Discussion of a proposed motion concerning the suspension of the transfer
of funds to the CSU by the university was suspended because of a lawsuit
filed by the CSU against the university. Acting chair John Parisella agreed
to encourage dialogue in an attempt to avoid lengthy and expensive legal
proceedings for both sides.
Board member June Chaikelson questioned whether the lawsuit brought Patrice
Blais into a conflict of interest as a sitting Board member.
Provost and Vice-Rector Research Jack Lightstone announced that the deadline
for candidacies for the revised profile of the Dean of Graduate Studies
was March 15 and the open meeting for the short-listed candidates for
Dean of JMSB will be held on March 5.