As approved at the November 26, 1998, 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.
The meeting was held at 3:30 p.m. in Room 330, Stevenson-Lawson Building.
PRESENT: Mr. W.W. Peel, Chair
Ms. J.K. Van Fleet, Secretary
Mr. S. Adams, Mr. R Bateman, Dr. W.A. Bridger, Mr. S. Castiglione, Dr. R. Colcleugh, Dr J.V. Collins, Dr. P. Davenport, Mr. J. Etherington, Ms. S. Grindrod, Mr. W. Gibson, Mayor D. Haskett, Ms. R. Ivey Thom, Prof. M. Lennon, Mr. D.J. McDougall, Dr. P. P. Mercer, Dr. G. Moran, Mr. M. Pickard, Mr. H. Rosen, Mr. M. Rubinoff, Prof. J. Starkey, Dr. J.L. Stokes, Mr. H. Taylor, Dr. A. Weedon, Ms. C. Weldon, Ms. L. Whittaker.
BY INVITATION: S. Desmond, K. Feulgen, J. Fried, K. Gee, L. Koza, P. Moore
The minutes of the meeting of September 24, 1998, were approved as circulated.
BG.98-216a Canadian Institutes of Health Research Initiative
Dr. Davenport reported that on October 5, 1998, a meeting held at the London Convention Centre featured Dr. Henry Friesen, President of the Medical Research Council of Canada, speaking on the developments of Canadian Institutes of Health. Dr. Friesen identified London as an ideal focal point for such an institute in southwestern Ontario. This initiative has been endorsed by the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada and received strong support from over 200 representatives of the research and health care, business, and government communities. This initiative will be promoted over the coming months in the hope it will be recognized in the federal budget which is to be released in February 1999.
BG-98-216b Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI)
On October 20, the CFI announced the projects which will proceed to final consideration in the major Institutional Initiatives Competition. This "short list" includes 9 of 14 proposals submitted by Western with a total value of $47.8 million. See Appendix 1 for the complete list.
BG.98-216c Activities of the President for the Month of October
A list of the activities of the President during October 1998 was distributed with the agenda, for the information of the Board.
BG.98-216d President's Priorities for 1998-99
The President is required by Board procedure to address Senate and the Board each fall "to outline goals and anticipated activities" which reflect the President's priorities as approved on an annual basis by the Board. These priorities, detailed in Appendix I, were approved by the Board on June 25, 1998. Dr. Davenport highlighted his priorities which include the same broad categories as last year: Setting Directions: Leadership in Learning; Keeping Academic Priorities First; Ensuring Open Administration and Effective Communication; and Strengthening Ties with the External Community.
Mr. Taylor stated that Western is absent from Maclean's list of top five in the categories highest quality, most innovative, and leaders of tomorrow. He asked what in the President's objectives could result in moving Western into the top five of at least one of those categories in the near future. Dr. Davenport replied that community leaders in business, industry and other institutions are surveyed concerning those categories and it is his understanding that other universities are very aggressive about contacting individuals on the list to ask that their university be given a favorable rating. Western has not taken such action.
Commenting on the issue of indicators, Dr. Davenport recalled that last June when he presented his list of priorities he included a list of 40 indicators. He intends to seek approval for setting these 40 indicators as the standard and that each June, in conjunction with the presentation of his priorities, he will update these indicators.
BG.98-217 Appointment of Design Team for the New Stadium
Dr. Colcleugh reported that at its meeting of October 19, 1998, the Property & Finance Committee awarded the consultant contract for the new stadium to the Stanley Consulting Group. Design fees for the project will be 6.75% of the construction and furnishing budget of $7.5 million. The members of the Project Planning Committee, after careful review and consideration, recommended that Stanley Consulting Group be retained to complete the design. The selection was based on many criteria including: comparable experience, capability of the firm, fees, previous designs, ability to work with the Project Planning Committee, ability to respond to concerns, approach to cost and schedule control, as well as sensitivity to barrier free access, security, and expertise in sports facilities. Further details can be found in Appendix II.
In June, the Senate and the Board of Governors approved in principle the draft Update of the Campus Master Plan (1998) and the concepts contained therein on the understanding that a public meeting would be held in the fall before a final document is proposed for approval Senate and the Board.
An informal public meeting was held on Tuesday, October 27, at 7:00 p.m. in the Althouse College Auditorium. The meeting was chaired by the Chair of the Board, and the President and other University officials participated in discussion. City officials, leaders of ratepayers' associations in the neighborhoods surrounding the campus, representatives of the Affiliated Colleges and Westminster College, Senators and Board members, were invited and invitations were distributed to each household in the surrounding area.
Mr. Peel reported that about 150-200 people attended the meeting which he believed was successful in that it provided an opportunity to exchange ideas with the neighbors and to hear their concerns.
Mr. McDougall voiced concern about the road safety issues raised at the meeting, in particular, the narrow section of Huron Street, just east of Western Road, and at the curve where Western Road becomes Wharncliffe Road. He suggested that from a governance point of view the Board might direct the administration to follow up on these safety concerns. Dr. Mercer accepted this direction on behalf of the administration. He advised that the issue concerning the narrowness of Huron Street near Western Road arose when Essex Hall was built. Mr. Adams asked that this issue be placed on the agenda of a future Board meeting.
The Board received the environmental and safety incident report on a spill in the Chemistry Building involving aqua regia and pyridine.
Annex 1 to Appendix II contains the report on new and revised scholarships, awards, and prizes which have been approved by the Property & Finance Committee on behalf of the Board.
On behalf of the Audit Committee, it was moved by J. Collins, seconded by J. Starkey,
That the Board of Governors approve the audited financial statements for the University for the fiscal year ended April 30, 1998, detailed in Appendix III, Annex 1.
The responses from management to the Ernst & Young audit results, detailed in Appendix III, Annex 2, were provided for information.
Ms. Ivey Thom asked if the Audit Committee is satisfied that management's responses to each issue raised by the auditors were sufficient. Dr. Collins confirmed that the Audit Committee discussed each area of concern highlighted by the auditors and that some of the responses contained in Appendix III, Annex 2, were given at the time of the Audit Committee meeting. Dr. Collins reiterated that one of the areas of concern is that of "safeguarding the intellectual capital developed through the training and experience of project team members and users in the implementation of PeopleSoft". The Audit Committee is very watchful in this matter and encourages the administration to keep this issue in the forefront.
Dr. Mercer reported that as a result of a discussion with the external auditor about the "bumpy" rollout of the PeopleSoft financial and student applications, Ms. Burke, a managing partner with Ernst & Young, was asked to name an individual who can monitor the plans being developed by Western to help avoid these difficulties with future roll-outs.
Responding to another question, Dr. Collins confirmed that the Year 2000 (Y2K) issues are under the purview of the Audit Committee and reports concerning progress in dealing with Y2K issues will be given to the Board from time to time. The most recent report was provided at the September Board meeting (BG.98-190). Western's administration is confident that the PeopleSoft project is addressing the issues associated with Y2K.
The question was called and CARRIED.
The Board was advised that the supplementary financial statements for the University for the year ended April 30, 1998, are available on request.
The financial statements for related companies and other organizations of The University of Western Ontario for the fiscal year ended April 30, 1998, detailed in Appendix III, were provided for information.
Mr. Etherington reported that the Campus and Community Affairs Committee held a public meeting on Monday, October 5, 1998. The focus of the meeting was on budgetary issues. Three presentations were given: Tuition Fees for MD and DDS Programs and Medical Residents; Analysis of the Cost of Educating Medical Students at UWO; and University Matching Funds for Campus Barrier Free Accessibility Projects. A summary of the three presentations and the conclusions reached by the Campus and Community Affairs Committee were provided in Appendix IV.
The Board's discussion of this report centred on the issues of tuition fees and accessibility. Mr. Bateman contended that Western, as a public institution, is obligated to ensure fair accessibility to its professional programs. He asked if the administration has taken into account that tuition increases may have excluded lower socio-economic groups from enrolling in programs. Mr. Etherington responded that the socio-economic concern was raised and discussed at the open meeting. He confirmed that CCAC and the Board are concerned about the impact of higher tuition on accessibility, and that Western is addressing the situation by making bursary funds available to students in financial need.
Dr. Davenport reported that the University Students' Council, at a meeting earlier today, stressed the point that feedback received from students, particularly from the dental students, indicates that the students do not have difficulty paying back loans after graduation, but they do have difficulty financing their studies while at Western. Dr. Davenport stated that Western made a commitment, when the budget was approved, that money would be available to these students. In many cases these financial issues are resolved during meetings with financial aid officers. He advised that the Vice-Provost & Registrar will report on this issue at the November Board meeting.
Dr. Moran advised that the accessibility issue is of paramount importance and will be monitored, although it is difficult to obtain good data on socio-economic status on a year-year basis. Meetings with the student groups to discuss tuition and accessibility are scheduled for November 12 and 13.
On behalf of the Senior Operations Committee, Dr. Davenport gave a presentation on tuition fee issues. Western's policy is that a specific program is not revenue neutral. Revenues and expenses are not matched in the determination of tuition fee levels. Dr. Davenport highlighted his presentation with the use of slides, copies of which are attached as Appendix 1 to these minutes.
Referring to the graph detailing "Expenditure less Revenue by Faculty", Mr. Bateman asked why Western would not want to achieve some type of equilibrium across the board. Dr. Davenport replied that Western sets its priorities for expenditures apart from the vagaries of the BIU formula that drives the allocation of the government grant. If Western were to have done so in the past, Western would have lost accreditation in many of its professional programs.
Mr. McDougall asked why Western does not consider the percentage of the cost to educate a student when determining tuition fee levels. Dr. Davenport referred to the graph showing tuition as a percent of total expenditures by Faculty, 1997-98, where the Faculty of Social Science is 50% and the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry is 11%. This information is significant because it shows the relation between the cost of the program and the tuition fees charged. The expenditure minus revenue data does not drive tuition fee decisions. Western does not attempt to equalize expenditures and revenues by Faculty, much less by programs within Faculties. Mr. McDougall asked if the Board would consider a policy that as a target over time 33%, for example, of the cost of the programs would come from tuition. Dr. Davenport agreed that this is an issue that should be debated but suggested that if a number/percentage is set one must also think about a mean and a range. He advised that the question to be discussed with students is whether the percentage should be higher than 11%.
Responding to concerns about accountability, Dr. Davenport advised that the government asked that where the proposals for tuition fees involve increases, the University must report, in the Quality Improvement Plan, how tuition revenue will increase quality for students. This year's budget will contain a report detailing the commitments in last year's Quality Improvement Plan to show what was achieved and a similar exercise will be done this year. In addition, this year the government requires universities to prepare 12 indicators such as the average income of recent graduates, their debt loads, how they feel about their education, are they employed or unemployed. These data will be collected by the central admissions office in Guelph and will be included in an information booklet that is issued to high schools. Dr. Davenport voiced concern that the government intends to measure the employment and income status of graduates within six months of graduation. In his view this is much too soon following graduation and will result in a very poor reading. He advised that Western will use data that is five years after graduation and Statistic Canada data for comparison.
[Conflict declared by S. Adams]
K. Gee, L. Koza, S. Desmond, J. Fried, K. Feulgen, and P. Moore were in attendance to respond to questions about the proposal.
It was moved by J. Collins, seconded by W. Gibson,
That the Board of Governors authorize the establishment of a program, administered by the Department of Pensions and Benefits, under the guidance of the Academic and Administrative Staff Pension Boards and Pacific & Western Group of Companies, that provides Life Income Funds, Registered Retirement Income Funds and Spousal Registered Retirement Savings Plans (as detailed in Appendix V, Annex 1). Investments for these retirement savings products will have an investment and administrative structure that is similar to that which is currently offered under the Pension Plan for Academic Staff and the Pension Plan for Administrative Staff.
On behalf of the Academic and Administrative Staff Pension Boards, Ms. Koza presented the proposal to establish a program to provide Life Income Funds, Registered Retirements Income Funds and Spousal Registered Retirement Savings Plans to Western employees. Distributed with the agenda was a full explanation of the proposal in a booklet entitled "Proposals for Expansion of Retirement Savings Products under UWO Pension Investment Structure" (October 7, 1998), prepared by the Department of Pensions & Benefits. Ms. Koza's presentation was aided by the use of overheads, copies of which appear in Appendix 2 to these Minutes.
Mr. Taylor asked about financial risks should Pacific & Western Trust (PWT) close down its operations. Ms. Koza explained that if PWT were to close down, the creditors would not have access to the securities under investment in this program because the assets are segregated and are held in trust by CIBC Mellon. Western would then have to seek another financial institution to provide the products.
Responding to Ms. Ivey Thom's question about the benefits to PWT, Ms. Koza explained Pacific & Western will earn some money as a result of this program: it is proposed that once the asset base is $60 million, PWT will receive about .1% of the assets. PWT will charge a fee to recover the cost for maintaining the licence.
Professor Starkey referred to the Management Expense Ratio (MER) which is the ratio of aggregate fees and expenses for a year to the average asset value for the year. He asked if the figures shown are the present MER, what they will likely be if this plan is established, and how sensitive is that will be to the size of the fund. Ms. Koza stated the MERs shown are the current pension plan expenses. The pension fund is $650 million, so the denominator in that calculation is high. She referred to page 17 of the report which provides a projection of assets under the program over the next ten years. It also provides the MER expected as the asset base grows.
Referring to the costs on page 16, "As % of Assets Managed", Dr. Davenport explained that members will pay a custodian fee for the services, a specific fee to Pacific & Western that declines dramatically as the fund grows, and an investment management fee of .20% which is extraordinarily low because there are no costs associated with advertising and selling.
The question was called and CARRIED.
Effective September 1, 1999, a Four-Year Honors Bachelor of Health Sciences (BHSc) program will be introduced in the Faculty of Health Sciences.
Effective September 1, 1999, a Rural Health stream will be introduced into the Four-Year Honors Bachelor of Health Sciences (BHSc) program in the Faculty of Health Sciences.
The following annual reports were provided in Appendix VI of the agenda package for information: Senate Committee on Promotion and Tenure I (Annex 1);Senate Committee on Promotion and Tenure II (Annex 2) and the Senate Committee on Appeals (Annex 3).
Starting in 1999, Spring Convocation will consist of eight ceremonies, rather than seven as in the past. The order of Convocation for Spring 1999, scheduled for June 8 - 11, appears on page 2 of Appendix VI.
A list of recent senior administrative appointments appears on page 2 of Appendix VI.
Dr. Collins asked how Western deals with matters involving research contracts and whether there is any risk that Western's faculty members could end up in a predicament like that which has occurred at the Toronto Hospital for Sick Children.
Dr. Davenport stated that Western has good rules for researchers with regard to issues such as conflict of interest, researchers' ability to publish their findings, protection of their academic freedom when entering into contract research. There are grey areas and Western takes seriously what happened at the Hospital for Sick Children -- a situation in which a researcher felt that she was unable to release information that she discovered and that she believed to be of vital importance to the public. Dr. Davenport suggested that the Vice-President (Research) provide a more complete response at the next meeting.
Mr. Etherington asked for clarification of the situation involving the UWO Football Team. With the Chair's agreement, Dr. Davenport advised that this item will be discussed in the confidential session of the Board meeting because a criminal case is associated with the situation. However, for those Board members who were unfamiliar with the situation, he reported that Western's football coach announced last week that he would step down as coach for the final two games of the regular season because football players had engaged in initiation/hazing activities that were in violation of the codes of conduct. The Football Coach and the Director of Athletics announced a number of other sanctions involving the football team. A football player has been criminally charged for an accident that occurred involving other football players and students from the Faculty of Engineering Science. The Director of Athletics is the University's spokesperson concerning this situation.
W.W. Peel, Chair
J.K. Van Fleet, Secretary of the Board