Please enable Java in your browser's "Options" (or "Preferance") menu to view this page Concordia's Thursday Report____________September 24, 1998  

Senate Notes

Compiled by Barbara Black

A regular meeting of Senate, held September 18, 1998.

Rector's remarks: Rector Frederick Lowy said that he and several other members of the administration had made another plea to the government to stop cutting back university funding. Enrolment figures are quite promising, although the increase in several Faculties is cause for some tension regarding space and teaching requirements. Our standing in the Maclean's rankings, due in November, is not likely to show improvement because the ratings system puts Concordia at a disadvantage. The Capital Campaign is picking up momentum again.

Response to L'Université devant l'avenir: There was some discussion of Provost Jack Lightstone's response to this government paper. It is sharply critical of some of the document's implications, e.g., that Quebec universities are not performing well, that the government must remedy this with a "social contract," that universities operate exclusively within the Quebec milieu, that programs should be harmonized or even homogenized across the network, and that there is a gulf between teaching and research that must be breached.

Budget: Chief Financial Officer Larry English gave Senate a more optimistic update on the 1998-99 operating budget. Revenue is up somewhat, since out-of-province students are now being charged tuition fees of $50 per credit more than others, a $10 increase over last year (although this is all clawed back by Quebec), and universities were cut a bit less than expected. On the expenditures side, interest on the debt increased somewhat ($285,000), and the anticipated pension-plan savings were adjusted downward from $3 million to about $2.7. These adjustments mean that while the University is still expected to run a deficit this academic year, it is likely to be $3.3 million, not $5.3 million, as forecast last June. However, Senate Finance Committee Chair Abol Jalilvand said that if annual deficits continue, debt will pile up alarmingly; deficits should be aimed not at merely balancing the budget, but to increase revenue, as is done by corporations.

Next meeting: October 16.

Copyright 1998 Concordia's Thursday Report.