Concordia's Thursday Report

Vol. 29, No.2

September 23, 2004


Senate Notes

A regular meeting of University Senate, held Sept. 10, 2004.

Deputy Speaker: Speaker John O’Brien introduced former professor R.O. Wills, who holds this new post.

President: Dr. Lowy said a report on a recent senior administrators’ retreat would be presented to a future Senate meeting that would include enrolment, hiring, teaching, research, physical plant, real estate and alumni relations. He appealed to student senators to encourage participation in the Shuffle walkathon on Oct. 1, as it raises funds for scholarships. He also said that there are plans to give retroactive Concordia degrees to alumni of the two founding institutions, Loyola College and Sir George Williams University, as a gesture of inclusiveness.

Provost: Martin Singer reported that for the first time in several years, it appears enrolment is up only slightly, 1.66 per cent. He said that 19 Canada Research Chairs [50 research chairs in all] have been filled or nominated; a few are left still to fill. He announced that he is restoring the post of associate vice-provost, and has appointed Danielle Morin as Vice-Provost, Academic Programs. She was congratulated by Senate. Truong Vo-Van is Vice-Provost, Research. There will be a third post, Vice-Provost, International Relations.

Graduate Studies: Dean Elizabeth Saccá reported that a restructuring of admissions is underway. She offered congratulations to Stephanie Fulton, whose doctoral thesis won her the Great Montrealer designation (CTR, Sept. 9).

International tuition: Katherine Childs (CSU) asked what the university was doing to counteract the government’s movement toward deregulating fees of international students.

Dr. Lowy referred to the government-imposed tuition freeze, and said it is distressing that no compensating mechanisms have been provided as in some other provinces. There is a direct relationship between university finances and the quality of education. International students cost the university more than is apparent, and taxpayers are underwriting these costs. They include recruiting and admissions, for which painstaking searches must often be undertaken to ensure eligibility. Fees are lower than many other universities, and the number of international students continues to climb; there are now a record 4,000.

Dean Jerry Tomberlin added that international fees in the JMSB, while higher than last year, are the same as they were in 1991; the number of scholarships to these students had increased, and much of the tuition was clawed back by the government, not kept by the university.

Asked by another student to approach the government on this issue, Dr. Lowy said that lobbying is constant. Despite the Charest government’s vaunted priority for education, he had not seen any evidence of it, so every student and faculty member must use whatever leverage they have, and he was prepared to make a joint representation with the students.

Academic code of conduct: The annual report indicates a 30 per cent increase in incidence reports in two years. Alison Best asked why. University General Counsel Pierre Frégeau explained that the report reflects increased emphasis on plagiarism. Faculty had been made more aware of the problem, and it is no longer left to the discretion of the professor, but has to be reported.

Next meeting: Oct. 22.