As approved at the November 27, 1997, meeting of the Board of Governors. The "in camera" portion of the minutes has not been included. Copies of Appendices noted below are available from the University Secretariat, Room 290 Stevenson-Lawson Building.
The meeting was held at 9:30 a.m. in Ballroom III, the Convention Centre, London, Ontario.
PRESENT: Mr. W.W. Peel, Chair, Ms. J.K. Van Fleet, Secretary
Mr. R. Bateman, Dr. W.A. Bridger, Dr. P. Davenport, Ms. S. Desmond, Mr. J. Etherington, Mr. T. Garrard, Mr. W. Gibson, Dr. J.D. Hewitt, Acting Mayor Grant Hopcroft, Mr. C. Keith, Prof. M. Lennon, Dr. P.P. Mercer, Dr. G. Moran, Mr. R. Parks, Mr. H. Rosen, Mr. H.W. Taylor, Ms. C. Weldon, Ms. L. Whittaker.
BY INVITATION: S. Grindrod, R. Harris
Mr. Peel announced that Mr. Ryon Bateman was recently re-elected by the graduate student constituency for another two-year term, November 15, 1997 - November 14, 1999. Mr. Sam Castiglione was elected by the undergraduate student constituency for a two year term, November 15, 1997 to November 14, 1999. On behalf of the Board, Mr. Peel thanked Mr. Ryan Parks, whose term on the Board ends November 14, 1997, for his contributions to the deliberations of the Board of Governors.
Mr. Peel welcomed Mr. Grant Hopcroft, in his capacity as Acting Mayor of the City of London, to the meeting.
BG.97-221 Minutes of the Previous Meeting
The minutes of the meeting of October 2, 1997, were approved as circulated.
BG.97-222 REPORT OF THE PRESIDENT [Appendix I]
The President's Report included information on the following topics.
BG.97-222a Federal Government Relations
Dr. Davenport, who is Chair of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, advised that AUCC will continue to lobby the government for renewed commitment to improve student aid and the restoration of funding for the large federal research funding councils - MRC, NSERC, and SSHRC.
BG.97-222b Provincial Government Relations
Dr. Davenport reported that the Council of Ontario Universities will continue to solicit the Provincial Government on the issues of student assistance, government grant, and tuition fee flexibility.
BG.97-222c The University and UWOFA
Dr. Moran reported that for the past several months a team from the administration and a team from The University of Western Ontario Faculty Association worked to establish a new comprehensive agreement for faculty. However, talks broke off last month when the UWOFA withdrew its negotiating team, claiming that talks had reached an impasse. At the October 28th UWOFA meeting the membership voted to pursue certification under the Ontario Labour Relations Act, and as a result a certification drive is underway. Dr. Moran stated that he regrets that the talks have been terminated but respects the right of faculty to determine how they will be represented. A number of open meetings for faculty have been scheduled to explain the issues that were central to the "new relationship" discussions that would be an alternative to certification.
BG.97-222d Activities of the President for the month of October
The President's activities for the month of October are contained in Appendix I, distributed with the agenda.
BG.97-223 Government Grant
Mr. Keith asked if the university sector should be concerned given that the government is allegedly cutting $500 million from the primary/secondary school sector. Dr. Davenport replied that one should not draw a correlation between government budget cuts to the primary/secondary school sector and the university sector. The government is aware that currently Ontario's universities rank last in the country in funding per capita and 33% below the average of the other nine provinces in terms of government grant per student.
Mr. Parks referred to a leaked government document, purportedly the job description of the Deputy Minister of Education, which sets as an objective a revenue generating program linked to OSAP; he asked Dr. Davenport to comment. Dr. Davenport stated that he has reviewed the document briefly. He found the language very troubling and questioned whether such an initiative would be possible. The document implies that part of the reform of the student loan system in Ontario would involve a net saving of expenditure. Dr. Davenport reaffirmed his conviction that the student loan system must be reformed to include an income contingent repayment plan as well as assistance following graduation.
REPORT OF THE PROPERTY & FINANCE COMMITTEE [Appendix II]
BG.97-225 Policy on Overhead on Contract Research
On behalf of the Property & Finance Committee, it was moved by C. Weldon, seconded by S. Desmond,
That the policy on overhead on contract research be increased from a standard 30% of direct costs to 40% of direct costs and be distributed as set out below:
Overhead on Contract Research
1.00 The standard overhead rate on contract research shall be 40%, distributed as follows:
Dean of Faculty 12%
Contracting department or unit 5%
Contracting laboratory 5%
Corporate UWO 9%
Research Promotion Fund 9%
Total 40% of direct costs
2.00 Exceptions to the standard rate of 40% may be made as required by negotiated agreements with government or through negotiations with the Industry Liaison Office.
Dr. Bridger clarified that the proposed policy relates to contract research only.
The question was called and CARRIED.
BG.97-226 Affinity Program for Financial Services for Faculty, Staff and Alumni
It was moved by C. Weldon, seconded by W. Gibson,
That the Board of Governors authorize the establishment of a business relationship with Canada Trust to develop an affinity program to provide financial services to alumni, staff and retired staff.
Dr. Hewitt asked what benefit the University will derive from implementing this program. Mr. Garrard advised that Western will receive a commission based on the volume of new business generated by the program. The types of financial services under consideration include mutual funds, registered retirement savings plans, life income funds, general banking, loans and mortgages, financial planning services and credit cards. Canada Trust will invest internal resources in the amount of $100,000 to complete the research necessary for this program and has also offered to pay $25,000 to the University to assist with costs related to the research and data gathering.
The question was called and CARRIED.
BG.97-227 New Residence Feasibility Study and Initiation of Design Phase
It was moved by C. Weldon, seconded by J. Etherington,
That the Board of Governors accept the Feasibility Study for a new student residence and authorize initiation of the design phase.
Ms. Weldon advised that funding for the initial design phase will be provided from the Student Housing budget.
Mr. Taylor acknowledged that guaranteeing residence space to first year students as a recruitment tool gives Western a competitive advantage over its direct competitors, but he questioned whether Western could find itself in a negative demand for residence space if the competitors build more residences. Dr. Mercer advised that Western is playing "catch up" relative to the number of residence spaces available. The University of Guelph and Queen's University have been able to offer residence space to all of their first year students for some time. A new residence will address Western's continuing efforts to offer residence space to first year students and will also meet the demand for rooms in residence for upper year students.
Mr. Taylor asked if Western will be able to access the upper year student demands for residence space in time should the demand for residence space from first year students fall short. Dr. Davenport stated that every effort will be made to do so. One problem now is the timing of offers of admission and acceptance deadlines for first year students. Currently all Ontario universities, by agreement, send their offers of admission at the same time, i.e., mid-June, and responses are received by the beginning of July. By that time, upper class students who have been unable to secure a place in residence have found alternative accommodation. The Admissions Task Force of COU, of which the Provost is a member, is looking into the possibility of changing the offer date, such that residence spaces could be assured to first year students and upper class students much earlier in the spring.
The question was called and CARRIED.
BG.97-228 Report on Environmental and/or Safety Incidents
The Board was informed that on September 23, 1997, a fire occurred at 1130 Western Road. Two UWO plumbers were repairing a broken water line with a torch when a wooden wall ignited. A quick response to the accident limited damage to approximately $3,500. An investigation has been conducted and a number of procedural recommendations have been made and are being implemented.
BG.97-229 Report on Scholarships
The Board received for information a report on changes in existing awards, prizes and bursaries detailed in Appendix II, page 4.
REPORT OF THE CAMPUS AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS COMMITTEE [Appendix III]
BG.97-230 Public Meeting - October 6, 1997
Mr. Etherington reported that the Campus & Community Affairs Committee held its first public meeting on Monday, October 6, 1997. The focus of the meeting was budgetary issues. Details about the meeting were contained in Appendix III. Other than the recommendations to the administration and to the presenters, no specific recommendations are directed to the Board or to another Board committee on the matters raised at the meeting. The next public meeting is scheduled for December 8, 1997.
As noted in the Summary of the Report, CCAC was very impressed by the submissions made to it at the open meeting, by audience participation during the discussions of the presentations and by responses given by members of CCAC.
Dr. Hewitt asked how the Board can address the graduate students' concern about the payment of full fees in each of three terms per year given that during the summer term only about 50% of departments offer courses, faculty supervisors are often unavailable, and library hours are cut back. Dr. Moran advised that he and the Dean of Graduate Studies are scheduled to meet with graduate representatives in the near future to discuss these concerns. He stated, however, that it must be recognized that graduate tuition is not a fee for service, it is a fee for being involved and having access to graduate programs.
Mr. Bateman remarked that one might have a better understanding of the graduate tuition fee charged by Western if the cost of offering a graduate program were known. He expressed concern that some graduate students leave Western with a bitter attitude which could have a negative impact on Western's reputation.
ITEMS REFERRED BY SENATE [Appendix IV]
The Board received for information a listing of appointments detailed in Appendix IV.
QUESTIONS FROM MEMBERS
BG.97-232 Off-Campus Access to Western's Computing Services
Dr. Hewitt suggested that a topic of discussion at a future Board meeting should be computing services offered by Western. She explained that it is difficult to get access to e-mail from off campus in the evening, service is slow, and the system goes down frequently. Dr. Moran stated that Western is doing well to keep up with the demand for dial-in modem access, given that such access is offered to the University community free of charge. Western is exploring other forms of modem access such as those offered by Rogers Communications and Bell.
W.W. Peel, Chair
J.K. Van Fleet, Secretary of the Board