The meeting was held at 3:30 p.m. in Room 330, Stevenson-Lawson Building
As approved at the January 28, 1999, meeting of the Board of Governors. The "in camera" portion of the minutes have not been included herein. Copies of Appendices not included herein are available from the University Secretariat, Room 290, Stevenson-Lawson Building.
PRESENT: Mr. W.W. Peel, Chair, Ms. J.K. Van Fleet, Secretary
Mr. S. Adams, Mr. R. Bateman, Mr. S. Castiglione, Dr. R. Colcleugh, Dr. J.V. Collins, Dr. P. Davenport, Mr. J. Etherington, Mr. T. Garrard, Mr. W. Gibson, Ms. S. Grindrod, Dr. R. Harris, Ms. R. Ivey Thom, Prof. M. Lennon, Mr. D.J. McDougall, Dr. P.P. Mercer, Dr. G. Moran, Prof. H. Murray, Mr. T. O'Neil, Mr. H. Rosen, Mr. M. Rubinoff, Dr. J.L. Stokes, Mr. H. Taylor, Mr. T. Vine, Dr. A. Weedon, Ms. C .Weldon
On behalf of the Board, Mr. Peel welcomed Professor Harry Murray to his first Board meeting. Professor Murray was elected to the Board for a four-year term by the faculty at large .
The minutes of the meeting of October 29, 1998, were approved as circulated.
The Secretary advised that Dr. Bridger will provide a report at the next meeting about how Western handles research contracts.
Dr. Davenport reported that the document "Strengthening Ontario's Universities: 2000 for 2000", contained in the Report of the President, is a proposal for increased government investment in Ontario universities' operating grants and student aid programs. The proposal calls for a government commitment to increase the academic staff in Ontario universities by 2000 full-time faculty members over five years, beginning in 1999-2000. Dr. Davenport advised that Western's Unity Group, composed of student, staff, and faculty leaders, endorses this initiative which will be presented to government officials.
As mandated in the Strategic Plan (1995), the semi-annual update of progress in meeting the objectives set out in Leadership in Learning is provided in the Report of the President. The report is in a new abbreviated point-form format which lists significant achievements in each of the eight areas specifically addressed in the Plan.
Dr. Davenport reported that Western was successful in the initial round of the Canada Foundation for Innovation competition for the New Opportunities Fund and has had several major proposals advance to further stages of consideration in the Institutional Initiatives Competition. He provided an overview of the successful proposals and outlined the immediate future activities of Western's CFI team, lead by Dr. Bridger, Vice-President (Research). He highlighted his presentation with the use of slides, copies of which are attached as Appendix 1 to these minutes.
Mr. Etherington asked if the funding dollars are incremental or replacement dollars from research funding Western receives from other sources. Dr. Davenport replied that in the year that the CFI announcement was made the government stabilized the budgets of the granting councils so in that particular year the dollars were incremental; but in fact the $800 million of the CFI follows a period of over six years when the granting councils' budgets were declining. The appeal to the government is that even though the CFI is a worthwhile project, reinvestment in the granting councils is needed to ensure that the CFI dollars, in the long term, are incremental dollars.
Ms. Ivey Thom asked if the lack of success of some of the projects was particularly disappointing. Dr. Davenport said that some outstanding projects were not successful, but the main disappointment was the loss of several medically based applications which were team efforts. These applications will be re-evaluated and submitted in the second Institutional Initiative Fund opportunity. In particular, Western will focus on the Medical Sciences Building and biomedical research with the London partners. The researchers who apply for and receive granting council support have been through a terrible decade because grant funding has decreased, as has the success rate. Western looked to the CFI for funding and therefore it is disappointing that these projects were not accepted.
Mr. Garrard stated that although Western has eight projects going forward in the first round of the institutional projects, competition in the final round is fierce. Over $650 million in requests are in the phase 2 level of the competition for a fund of approximately $370 million. Western's ability to compete at this level relates to securing private sector support for the projects.
A list of the activities of the President during November 1998 was distributed with the agenda, for the information of the Board.
Dr. Davenport reported that at the Group of Ten meeting in Toronto on November 1, President Emeritus Donald Kennedy of Stanford University aided in a discussion of the challenges facing Canadian universities and reviewed his book "Academic Duty". Dr. Davenport stated that, in his view, this is one of the best books written on higher education.
Dr. Roma Harris, Vice-Provost (Academic) and Registrar, gave a presentation on student aid expenditures to date, including overall expenditures, bursaries awarded to date, and financial aid expenditures in Medicine & Dentistry. She highlighted her presentation with the use of overheads, copies of which are attached as Appendix 2 to these minutes.
In response to questions, Dr. Harris made the following points:
• Information about student aid is provided to prospective students in a number of ways: the recruitment package sent to high schools contains literature about financial aid; information is available through the financial aid home page and its links on the Internet; and financial aid workshops are offered during the summer academic counseling program and in special programs prior to when students actually register at Western. The financial assessment form is helpful in focusing the attention of students and their parents on financial issues.
• First year students eligible for the special bursary this fall were those who were eligible for OSAP, specifically: 80% of students in Medicine were OSAP eligible, 85% in Dentistry and 65% in the HBA program.
• Financial aid officers work with individual students to find a work study program that is compatible with the demands of their academic program. Students in certain programs with rigorous demands are not permitted to participate in the work study program. Western uses the work study program as a recruitment tool because many students want the opportunity to work at Western and reflect that experience on their résumé.
• With respect to the distribution of work study funding for this year, a large portion of the $1.5 million identified as unspent will be spent by mid-December because much of this unspent balance is in the form of endowed bursaries that are currently being dispersed based on applications received by the October 31 deadline.
• The Ministry of Education and Training permits the University to draw a 5% administrative fee from the bursary funds. This fee was used to hire additional financial aid officers. It is important that counsellors work with students early on to obtain the information needed to facilitate early adjudication of applications. Students know before they arrive on campus whether or not they are OSAP-eligible. Counsellors are able to advise students how much support they may expect in the form of bursary or work study, get them signed up for work study when they arrive on campus, and then invite those who believe they will need additional financial support to submit their applications. It is hoped that by Christmas students have a good idea of their financial situation for the rest of the term. When students return for the winter term, a few run into financial difficulty and cannot quite make it through the last few weeks, so emergency funding is used. It is for this reason that some of the bursary funding is not dispersed before Christmas.
Ms. Weldon reported that the Property & Finance Committee has approved, subject to Senate approval on December 4, an academic space expansion project and related space realignment projects (described in Appendix II, Annex 3). The project involves Elborn College, Somerville House, Talbot College, Althouse College and a location on Western Road, and a total preliminary budget is estimated at $4.4 million. She referred the Board to a memorandum from the Provost & Vice-President (Academic) and the Vice-President (Administration) [Appendix III, Annex 2], that describes the urgent need to increase and improve Western's undergraduate teaching facilities and to have the new facilities available for students in the Fall of 1999.
An open meeting to discuss academic space realignment was held on November 25. Members of Senate and Board, Deans, Associate and Assistant Deans, Department Chairs, Directors of Research Centres, Senior Directors, and Directors of administrative units were invited.
Dr. Davenport advised that broad approval is needed to proceed with the scope of the project but specific plans for each area will be presented for approval. Since the Property & Finance meeting, discussion has continued with affected units about the proposal to relocate the Peacock Room and Café Somerville to Talbot College. The cost of relocating those operations to Talbot College is such that serious consideration will be given to an alternative plan which would involve renovating Room 3320 in Somerville House (across from the main entrance of the Great Hall) to accommodate the Peacock Room and using part of the Great Hall as an overflow area for lunch.
Following on a submission to the Campus & Community Affairs Committee at its October 5 public meeting about the expenditures and revenues attributed to Faculties, the administration provided the Property & Finance Committee with the final figures for 1997-98, by Faculty. The presentation is summarized in Appendix II, Annex 4.
Dr. Davenport reported that Dean McMurtry is preparing a document with alternative approaches to the individual costs and teaching students outside the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry. This document, once prepared, will be the subject of discussion at a future meeting of the Deans. Dr. Davenport agreed that he or the Provost will give a report to the Board on this document.
Annex 5 of Appendix II contains the report on new and revised scholarships, awards, bursaries, and prizes which have been approved by the Property & Finance Committee on behalf of the Board. One correction to page 2 of Annex 5 was reported: "Government of Ontario - A.M. Cuddy Graduate Research Scholarships in Neuroscience" will provide four (not three) scholarships.
On behalf of the Board, and on the recommendation of the Dean of Engineering Science, the Senior Operations Committee has appointed the following members to the Engineering Science Advisory Committee:
(I) = Industry (F) = Faculty
The report of the Academic Colleague on the 242nd meeting of the Council of Ontario Universities, detailed in Appendix IV, was provided for information.
A list of senior administrative appointments appears on page 2 of Appendix IV.
Dr. Collins asked if Western has identified a "Millennium Project" and if not, will it do so. She suggested "Beautify Western" as a possible project. The Board agreed that this matter might be discussed at a future meeting.
Professor Lennon reported that the McIntosh Gallery has submitted a millennium project application for funding to the Canada Council. The project is a site-specific outdoor sculpture to celebrate the millennium; the sculpture will then be part of Western's heritage.
W.W. Peel, Chair
J.K. Van Fleet, Secretary of the Board