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February 7, 2002 Concordia University will not recognize an illegitimate CSU executive



by Laurie Zack

At its Feb. 13 meeting, Concordia’s 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 Rector’s Cabinet), Vice-Rector Services Michael Di Grappa and CFO Larry English.

They proposed that the Board take advantage of the university’s 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 Board’s 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.

Student representation

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 March.

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.