by Chris Mota
The Faculty of Arts and Science has drawn up a five-year capital budget plan as it gears up for a state of "permanent fundraising." That's the way Dean Martin Singer described the future to the January 15 meeting of Faculty Council.
The budget, aimed at a zero deficit, is the result of a long-term academic planning process that was based on extensive consultations.
The Faculty must take financial responsibility for its future, Singer said. Step one has already been taken. Singer promised that by June 1, the Faculty will have hired an advancement officer to seek funding on its behalf. A communications officer and recruitment officer are also actively being sought.
An analysis of the Faculty's needs shows that about $600,000 is needed per year for capital expenditures. The amount currently available is approximately $350,000.
One way of addressing this shortfall is by concentrating efforts on recruitment, especially at the international level. In fact, internationalization is a priority for the Faculty. A $50,000 fund has been set aside for the development of co-operative projects abroad.
Another option in dealing with the budget shortfall is to privatize international students, something the Faculty of Commerce and Administration did successfully last year. Under the privatization plan, the University would recruit students from outside Canada on a self-financing basis, thereby eliminating the government subsidy for these students.
At present, the University remits the higher tuition fees paid by international students to the government, and then receives the same FTE (full-time equivalent) grant for international students as it does for Quebec students (ranging from $2,638 to $4,037). Through privatization, the University would retain the entire tuition fee and would not declare these international students as part of their FTE report. This would bring the Faculty about $680,000 per year, based on current enrolment. International students who are currently exempted from the government set rate would not be privatized.
According to Singer, the privatization plan fits in well with the Faculty's long-range goals. It would be based on two key principles: international students would be charged the international tuition rate set by the government, and the revenue generated by the program would be dedicated to internationalization efforts and providing scholarships and fellowships for international students.
Following a presentation by the Faculty Budget Manager Serge Bergeron and some discussion, Council supported the notion of privatizing undergraduate international students, beginning in the 1999-2000 academic year. The issue will now move to Senate and the Board of Governors for approval.
Jerry Tomberlin, Associate Dean of Commerce and Administration, feels Arts and Science has made the right decision. Since taking the same step last year, his Faculty has seen its international enrolment increase, despite charging a slightly higher tuition than set by the government ($10,000 vs. $8,700), and increased admission standards.
In other business, Arts and Science Faculty Council debated the merits of a "general education" as outlined by a task force studying the adoption of such a program here.
The overall feeling was that the concept is a good one, but that so far, it lacks direction. Members agreed to support the idea in principle, primarily because most elective courses are offered by Arts and Science, but they advised the Dean to take their concerns to Senate.
Singer announced that the Faculty intends to hire 20 new tenure-track professors by this summer, bringing the number of new faculty hired over the past three years to 50. The number of teaching assistants will also increase, thanks to an additional $250,000 per year set aside for this purpose.
A committee has been struck to look at the development of a new humanities college on the Loyola Campus. The members of the committee, which the Dean will chair, are Bill Bukowski, Bill Byers, Pamela Bright, John Drysdale, Rosemary Schade and Alex Carpini from the Board of Governors.