Concordia's Thursday Report

Vol. 29, No.7

December 2, 2004


Senate Notes

A regular meeting of Senate, held Nov. 19, 2004.

Exam policy: In reference to a query from a student senator at the Oct. 22 meeting, Registrar Linda Healey said students with special physical needs should inform the invigilator of the examination.

Curriculum changes: Further to a discussion on how best to deal with upcoming curriculum changes that must be included in the 2005-06 calendar, a motion was adopted. It authorizes Senate steering committee to review and approve changes that would normally have been reviewed and approved by Senate at the Nov. 26 meeting, with the understanding that all curriculum changes approved by steering committee will be included on the Jan. 14 agenda.

Charity: Chaplain Daryl Lynn Ross spoke to Senate about the importance of the Student Emergency Fund, which operates all year, but makes a special effort at this time. She called it an in-house safety net that touches hundreds of students, usually one time only. Giving to the fund is both humane and practical, as it is easier for students to study effectively if they are well fed and housed. Professor Catherine Mulligan spoke about Centraide, the annual fundraising campaign for Montreal-area charities. She said that $100,000 has been raised so far toward the $140,000 goal. President Frederick Lowy added that he is the chair this year of Centraide’s universities and hospital division.

Financial: Vice-President Michael Di Grappa presented the capital budget for 2004-05.

Vice-President Finance Larry English presented the final results for 2003-04, which shows a modest surplus ($1,812) instead of the $6-million deficit projected. Among other adjustments, the university received $3,853,724 from the government four months after the academic year ended. Other items to note: revenue showed an increase of almost $6 million, due to late adjustments to the operating grant, underestimation of the federal indirect-costs grant, plus more in miscellaneous fees due to the rise in enrolment. The John Molson School Business ended the year with a $1.437-million deficit due to the loss of privatized revenues. In expectation of staff collective agreements, $2.692 was accrued in anticipation of a payout in 2004-05. A surplus of $1.686 million was realized due to premium holidays taken for dental, health and vision and long-term disability, plus retroactivity salary adjustments.

English showed graphs to illustrate that Concordia is the only Quebec university with an accumulated surplus. He said that the number of FTEs (full-time equivalent students) is down this year by 47, “a negligible figure, but a warning” that growth is ceasing. The funding formula will be changed, and the FTE increase now financed at 100 per cent will be financed at only 58 per cent in 2005-06. Incoming exchange students will no longer be funded by the MEQ, but outgoing students will be; we have only one-tenth the outgoing exchange students that we receive. Details of these financial statements will be supplied on request, from

President’s remarks: Dr. Lowy said the Barak affair seems to be dying down. “We did something we perhaps should have done earlier,” he said, referring to the intention to secure appropriate facilities. He is waiting for a feasibility report.

He also discussed a recent meeting of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, which has effectively lobbied the federal government for more research assistance. The strategy is to keep what we’ve got, i.e. 25 per cent of indirect costs of research. (U.S. universities get 40 per cent, but until recently, Canadian universities outside Quebec got nothing.) Dean Nabil Esmail (Engineering & Computer Science) said that developing universities were at a disadvantage, as the research-heavy universities naturally got more of this money; he would rather see the federal money go to the granting agencies. Assistant Vice-Provost Vo-Van said that small universities receive 40 per cent, while larger ones get 25 per cent.

The Senate meeting scheduled for Nov. 26 was cancelled. The next meeting is Jan. 14, 2005.