A regular meeting
of University Senate held Jan. 17, 2003.
Rector Frederick Lowy said he had deposited an internal report on Sept.
9 and an action plan with the Board of Governors on Jan. 15. He also drew
Senates attention to a poster mounted around campus by the group
Solidarity for Human Rights. It called for a demonstration at noon on
Monday, Jan. 20, in the Hall Building in support of students charged in
the Sept. 9 disturbance, whose hearing under the Code of Rights and Responsibilities
was scheduled to start that day. He said he was concerned about the wording
of the poster, and quoted from it. Student senator Ralph Lee said that
the demonstration would be a peaceful expression of solidarity.
Two motions were brought to Senate without having gone through the normal
process of Senate steering committee, and their acceptance on the agenda
was put to a vote. The first, presented by Dr. Lowy, was to increase the
number of chairs available to preside over student tribunals from six
to 10; this was added to the agenda, and passed. The second motion, presented
by student senator Youri Cormier, was to censure Concordias
Thursday Report for publishing excerpts in its Jan. 16 issue
from a letter-writing campaign in support of the student group Hillel,
on the grounds of unacceptable language. This resolution was at first
rejected as an agenda item, but it was introduced at the end of the meeting.
The question was put, there was no discussion, and the resolution did
Provost Jack Lightstone, chair of the Senate Committee on Academic Planning
and Priorities (SCAPP), said that a year ago, the government served notice
that it was changing the funding formula to universities. As this would
have cost Concordia some $4.7 million, the administration lobbied hard
against it. The government agreed to postpone the measure. Now a new funding
formula, not necessarily that proposed last year, is likely to be introduced,
which will again result in a significant loss to Concordia, though it
will not exceed $4.7 million, and may well be less. Funding under the
current formula will be frozen on the basis of the FTE (full-time enrolment
equivalent) for 2002-03; the university will be given a virtual
allocation according to the new funding formula, and the frozen
allocation will prevail until the gap between old and new method is closed,
i.e. until increased enrolment and indexation account for the deficit
in the allocation. The government has agreed to conduct bilateral discussions
to look at Concordias unique needs, like our bi-campus operation,
but Lightstone said that if the budget is frozen, it will be difficult
to hire more faculty, and the intake of students might have to be reduced.
Composition of the Board
A student senator asked the Rector where he stood on affirmative action,
and criticized ethnic representation among the senior administration and
on the Board of Governors. Dr. Lowy replied that the senior administrators
are chosen through a careful process for who they are, not their ethnic
origin, and regarding the Board, he has asked Muslim students to recommend
appropriate members of the Muslim community for nomination, but so far
has received no suggestions.
Next meeting: March 14.