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March 28, 2002 Rector Frederick Lowy's term continues to May 2005



Frederick Lowy

Rector Frederick Lowy

by Barbara Black

The university’s Board of Governors has approved a motion to continue the term of office of Rector Frederick Lowy until May 2005, allowing him to complete a full second five-year term.

The decision was made on the basis of discussions in the Faculty Councils, a strong consensus in the senior administration and the recommendation of the Board’s own executive committee.

His first term as rector and vice-chancellor began August 15, 1995. In June 1999, he was persuaded to stay on for three more years.

Remaining in his post until May 31, 2005, will give Dr. Lowy the opportunity to complete the building projects that started under his leadership. The projects are expected to cost $350 million in total.

At the Board of Governors meeting held March 20, financing was approved for the downtown buildings in an atmosphere of renewed optimism about securing major provincial funding.

Under the plan approved by the Board, the university will take out a long-term loan for about $212 million. The plan also calls for a 25-year commitment on the part of the Faculties to contribute to the project from their operating budgets; this contribution will raise $100 million. An additional $67.6 million will be required from the university’s operating budget, also over 25 years.

At the March meeting, the Board approved construction of the downtown Integrated Engineering and Computer Science and Visual Arts Complex for a total cost not to exceed $165 million; the John Molson School of Business building, for a total cost not to exceed $68 million; and the renovation of the Drummond Building, on the Loyola Campus, for a total cost not to exceed $9.5 million.

Board vice-chair Richard Renaud said that several major Canadian universities had embarked on similar long-term financing for major building projects, and that Concordia’s financing plan was very strong. After the $450 million capital and interest charges are paid off, he explained, there would still be $132 million remaining in the coffers of the University Foundation.

Jonathan Wener, chair of the Board’s real estate planning committee, talked of the effort undertaken on many levels to secure the building project, and said he was proud that Concordia had accomplished in three years what other universities hadn’t succeeded in doing in decades.

Some concern was expressed by Board representatives from Arts and Science about the planned renovations of the Hall Building not being part of the approved funding package. The estimated cost of the Hall Building renovations is $23 million.

They were reassured by Vice-Rector Services Michael Di Grappa and Chief Financial Officer Larry English that the renovations would begin as soon as the move to the Loyola Science Complex was done, and that there were strong funding possibilities from the internal capital renovations budget and also funding opportunities with the federal government.