A regular meeting of University
Senate, held March 14, 2003
Studies unit: Dean of Engineering and Computer Science Nabil Esmail
introduced a motion to recommend to the board the establishment of the
General Engineering and Computer Science Studies Unit. He explained that
about one-third of the courses required for engineering and computer science
programs are now administered by the deans office, which creates
The GENCS unit would give these programs an academic home. The resolution
was passed unanimously without discussion.
Tribunal hearings: Two lawyers were proposed as additions to the
tribunal hearing pool, which is made up of volunteers who are qualified
to chair all first-level an appeal hearings under the code of rights and
responsibilities, code of conduct (academic) and academic re-evaluation
Several student senators said that students should have an opportunity
to examine the candidates.
Rector Frederick Lowy replied that it is difficult enough to find qualified
volunteers for this task, and he would not like to see them subjected
to public quizzing, but it may be possible to set up a committee for this
purpose. The recommendations of Kurt A. Johnson and Georgia Pagidas were
CSU elections: Graduate
student senator Rocci Luppicini proposed a motion that senate recommend
that the provost strongly encourage faculty to allow, insofar as
they deem it possible, students to leave class 15 minutes early on March
25, 26 and 27 to vote in the CSU election, and that senate mandate
the provost to write to the faculty informing them of senates resolution.
Luppicini asked for the framer
of the motion, Tyler Woodsworth, to have speaking privileges. CSU senator
Adam Slater objected on the grounds that Woodsworth himself is a candidate
in the election, and asked if he had had contact with the administration.
Woodsworth said he had not,
that he had found the senate steering committee through the University
Secretariat Web site, and that the experience of presenting his motion
to the committee had inspired him to present himself as a candidate. He
said that the policy of letting students out of class early provided both
a reminder of the election and an opportunity to vote.
Several faculty members remarked
that this motion had been brought to senate every year, and was invariably
supported. Sabine Friesinger, CSU president, also supported the motion.
However, Slater read from
several documents to support his view that senate was meddling in the
affairs of the CSU. Youri Cormier (CSU) proposed an amendment that would
have required the provost to consult with the CSUs chief electoral
officer before informing faculty; Dr. Lowy said he could not accept it,
as senate is paramount in academic matters such as this. The amendment
was defeated. Slater proposed another amendment that would have removed
the phrase insofar as they deem it possible from the motion.
CSU electoral officer Stephan Herman arrived and was given speaking privileges.
He said that the deans had always been co-operative, even proactive, in
giving students an opportunity to vote, and he didnt feel this motion
was necessary. Slater tried to have the motion tabled, but this was defeated.
Ted Stathopoulos (ENCS) said it was the insofar clause that
made the motion possible; the provost said that early release from class
remains the professors decision; Dr. Lowy said that the amendment
was contrary to common sense and good academic practice. Slater withdrew
the amendment. The question was called on the main motion, and it was
carried. This discussion lasted over an hour.
Budgets: Chief financial officer Larry English presented the final
results of the operating budget 2001-02 and a preliminary operating budget
for 2002-03. The results for 2001-02 show a surplus of $1,846,000 and
an accumulated surplus of $25, 003,799. However, ultimately, there will
be an accumulated deficit of $11,164,058. This is due to expenditures
that are committed but do not yet appear in the financial statements as
He showed graphs to illustrate Concordias success in greatly reducing
a $36-million accumulated deficit during the lean years of the mid-1990s,
and contrasted it with some other Quebec universities. As a result, when
the government provided deficit relief on a pro rata basis, this became
a windfall for Concordia.
Dr. Lowy added that virtually eliminating the deficit would not have been
possible without the co-operation of the faculty and staff unions and
associations, which made large numbers of early retirements possible.
It was also achieved through careful academic planning.
Regarding the budget outlook for 2002-03, English said that changes in
ministry of education are slowing the emergence of a clear picture.
He explained that the governments money for higher education is
a fixed sum that must be divided among the universities and colleges;
as a result, allocations are relative.
The latest funding formula
is based on relative costs of academic programs, and is likely to be to
Concordias disadvantage. The programs that are attracting the largest
increases in en-roment, such as computer science, will show the lowest
cost, and therefore, according to the funding formula, will receive the
English welcomed requests
for his full budget package, which can be obtained electronically at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Inquiry into racism:
Frie-singer said that at a CSU general assembly on March 5, members voted
in favour of holding an inquiry into racism.
Advocacy files: Lightstone
said that measures are being taken to respond to CSU requests to provide
more information to students whose cases have been denied.
Lawsuit against CSU: The civil suit by Hillel against the CSU is moving
through the court system.
Next meeting: April 4.