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Concordia's Thursday Report is interested in your letters, opinions and comments. Letters to the Editor must be signed, include a phone number, and be delivered to the CTR office (BC-121/1463Bishop St.) in person, by fax (514-848-2814), by e-mail ( or mail by 9a.m. on the Friday prior to publication. If at all possible, please submit the text on computer diskette. Limit your letter to 500words. The Editor reserves the right to edit for space considerations, although the utmost care will be taken to preserve the core of the writer's argument. Letters disparaging the behaviour or decisions taken by an individual which are not of a public nature, letters quoting exchanges between two or more parties in private conversation or personal correspondence, and letters venting an opinion about the integrity of colleagues will not be published.

A promise to do better with registration

The following is an open letter to undergraduate students in the Faculty of Commerce and Administration from the Dean:

At the start of this semester, a number of you experienced difficulty registering for commerce courses. Many of you, finding that the sections you wanted were closed, attempted to contact the staff of our Undergraduate Program Office. As a result, there were delays in responding to your telephone calls and there were long line-ups and at some point, for safety reasons, lines were formed outside the building in the cold winter weather.

During the registration period, the staff at the Office worked from very early in the morning until very late at night. They had more than 1,000 face-to-face meetings with students. In most instances, they were able to shuffle schedules and section sizes to accommodate the requests. As hard as they worked, however, it was not possible to meet everyone's demands, and certainly, it was unfortunate that there were delays in the process.

The root cause of the problem was the fact that we were short about 40 course sections which, in turn, was caused by the unavailability of professors and physical facilities. Please keep in mind that the number of students entering our AACSB-accredited Faculty is increasing significantly. This is despite the fact that we now have probably the highest admission standards of all business schools in Quebec.

All of you are entitled to the great education we provide at this Faculty. All of you are entitled to receive an adequate level of service. We will re-double our efforts to hire new professors and to gain access to extra classrooms in order to offer all the courses you need.

In addition, we will introduce the following four changes: 1) one more academic advisor will be hired; 2) more course sections will be offered in the summer to compensate for some of the shortage in the winter term; 3) the number of courses for next academic year will be increased; and 4) we will take steps to improve the physical facilities of the Undergraduate Program Office.

We know that you rightly expect a lot from us. We know that because of many factors, some within and some outside our control, we let some of you down this semester. We apologize, and we promise to do better.

Mohsen Anvari, Dean
Faculty of Commerce and Administration

Faculty merit, student need

Among the four Montreal universities, Concordia has the unique distinction of allocating the lowest percentage of its operating budget for scholarships and bursaries. While we allocate 1.3 per cent of our annual budget for this purpose, the corresponding figures are 4.8, 5.7 and 7.2 per cent for McGill, UQAM and the Université de Montréal respectively.

Perhaps one way of increasing the amount available for scholarships and bursaries would be to reduce the amount allocated for merit pay to faculty members from the current level of $300,000 per year to $50,000 per year, starting June 1, 2000.

This would save us from the awkward situation of explaining why Concordia does so poorly in the Maclean's annual survey of Canadian universities while most of its faculty members have been awarded merit pay for their performance.

S.K. Goyal
Decision Sciences and MIS


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