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. R Bateman, Dr. W.A. Bridger, Mr. S. Castiglione, Dr. R. Colcleugh, Dr . J.V. Collins, Ms. S. Desmond, Dr. P. Davenport, Mr. J. Etherington, Mr. T. Garrard, Mr. W. Gibson, Mayor D. Haskett, Ms. R. Ivey Thom, Prof. M. Lennon, Dr. P. P. Mercer, Dr. G. Moran, Mr. M. Pickard, Mr. H. Rosen, Mr. M. Rubinoff, Dr. J.L. Stokes, Mr. H. Taylor, Mr. T. Vine, Dr. A. Weedon, Ms. C. Weldon, Ms. L. Whittaker.
BY INVITATION: A.S. Finlayson, R. Harris, E. DelMaestro, D. Riddell
funding to the Ontario Research & Development Challenge Fund (ORDCF) to be used to match
commitments for projects applying for support from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI)
as part of the "Access to Opportunities" program, $150 million to increase enrolment in computer science and electrical engineering programs
funding for graduate students in areas of science and technology and funds to assist outstanding researchers to employ more graduate students and post-doctoral fellows
The 1998-99 University budget includes proposals to increase fees significantly in Honors Business Administration (HBA), Medicine and Dentistry programs. Dr. Davenport announced that last evening he, the Registrar, and the Deputy Registrar met with 15-20 Faculty representatives and students from those three programs to discuss the fee increases and to provide assurance that Western is committed to ensuring that every student has access to funding required for any tuition fees that are above $4,500. As a result of the meeting, it has been determined that Western will allocate bursary support from the accessibility funds for students with assessed financial need who are entering programs in which tuition fees have increased by more than 20%. HBA students will receive grants of $2100 and students in the Medicine and Dentistry programs will receive $2600.
That the University's Operating and Capital Budgets for 1998-99 and supporting Tuition and Fee schedules be approved as shown on Appendix II, Annex 1 and Annex 2.
Dr. Mercer provided a comprehensive overview of the 1998-99 operating and capital budget, aided by overhead slides (copies of which are appended as Appendix 1 to these Minutes). He stressed that Western's budget planning for 1998-99 must be seen in broad context: per capita government grants in Ontario are lower than in any other Canadian province; in the period 1992-93 through 1997-98, the Ontario government grant to Western has declined by $44 million; and although tuition fees have risen substantially in the same period, the increase in total tuition revenue of $24 million still leaves a shortfall of $20 million. Dr. Mercer observed that tuition revenue as a percentage of operating revenue is rising dramatically; the government has pushed the responsibility for public education largely into the University's arena.
The University budget for 1998-99 is a budget of consolidation and opportunity. It builds on the reinvestment of initiatives of the previous year and positions the University to take maximum advantage of the unique opportunities presented by the Canada Foundation for Innovation and the Ontario Research & Development Challenge Fund. While preserving the integrity of academic programs across the Faculties, the budget directs resources to capitalize on the funding which is potentially available to enhance areas of resource-intensive research. This is in direct accordance with the strategies articulated in Leadership in Learning and promotes partnerships with other research institutions and the corporate sector.
Dr. Moran stressed that revenues derived from tuition fees are not discretionary "extra funds": they are badly needed for basic operations. In cases where there will be significant tuition increases -- HBA, Dentistry, and Medicine -- funds will be used for substantial expansion and reinvestment in those programs. Students who are already in these programs will be "grandparented" and will not experience more than a 20% increase.
Two primary considerations when identifying programs where fees might be raised substantially are: the cost of delivering the programs and the ability of graduates from those programs to pay back loans. Dr. Moran showed an overhead slide comparing the costs of delivering programs in Social Science and Dentistry (see Appendix 2 to these Minutes). These costs are based on direct costs in terms of the operating budget assigned to a Faculty, and on indirect costs for services such as information technology services, libraries, physical plant, and the like. Excluded from the calculation is the cost of teaching students from other Faculties. The cost of educating a student in Dentistry is five times the cost of educating a student in Social Sciences. On the other hand, even with a tuition fee which is double that of a program in Social Science, tuition fees paid by a student in Dentistry cover only about 20% of the cost of that education. By comparison, Social Science students are paying nearly 52% of the cost of their education. This is one of the factors leading to the conclusion that it is only fair to charge students in such programs as Dentistry, Medicine and Business tuition fees that reflect the cost of delivering those programs. However, the decision to charge substantially higher tuition is not driven only by the cost of delivering a program. Significant fee increases are not recommended for other high-cost programs such as Music, Journalism, and Library and Information Science, principally because the employment and earnings expectations of graduates of those programs are low compared to graduates of Business, Medicine, and Dentistry.
Student Financial Aid
Dr. Harris, Vice-Provost & Registrar, outlined features of the 1998-99 budget relating to student aid. The University wants to ensure that students are not denied access to a university education as a result of tuition increases. The Ministry of Education and Training requires that 30% of all new tuition revenue be set aside for student aid. This policy, along with the Ontario Student Opportunity Trust Fund (OSOTF) program, results in a dramatic increase in the amount of money available within universities for distribution to students. At Western, funds available for bursaries and work/study have grown from less than $1 million in 1995-96 to over $6 million. Additional funds are available through endowments created through the OSOTF and private gifts: in 1998-99, there will be approximately $650,000 in income from investments that will be available for distribution to students. Beyond the student aid and awards that the University provides, students also have access to hundreds of part-time and summer jobs on campus; every year more than $8 million in wages is paid to students.
Dr. Harris outlined the goals of Western's undergraduate student financial aid programs: to ensure accessibility; to make allocations based on need; to respond as quickly as possible; and to be accountable for the way the funds are distributed. Support can come from a variety of sources which include the student's own personal resources and a mix of grants, Ontario Student Assistance Plan (OSAP), bank loans, scholarships, awards, bursaries, work/study and other employment opportunities. Financial Aid Services assists each student to obtain sufficient sources of support from these various sources. Normally students are expected to rely first on OSAP and other government programs before looking to the University for financial support. However, need that is not met by OSAP is met by University-administered funds for first degree programs, and in the case of some second-entry programs, with a mixture of awards, scholarships, bursaries, employment and bank loans at preferred interest rates. In the forthcoming year, Financial Aid Services will work closely with Faculties, particularly with those whose programs will have significant tuition increases, to develop specific programs and plans for student assistance that will make the most sense, given the particular needs of the students in the particular program. The key components of the 1998-99 financial aid plan include continued emphasis on work/study, an Accessibility Fund for full-time and part-time students, continuing bursaries, and developing preferred-interest loan agreements with banks. As well, in compliance with new MET regulations, the University will be developing income contingent loan repayment plans for the second-entry, high tuition programs.
Dr. Harris reported that in response to the concerns of students whose tuition fees have increased by more than 20% (HBA, Medicine and Dentistry), a bursary fund is available as follows: $2100 for HBA students and $2600 for Medicine and Dentistry students. Monies in that fund will be directed to students on a case by case basis taking into account the wide range of students' needs. A handout detailing financial aid for undergraduate students for 1998-99 was distributed at the meeting.
Discussion and Debate
Responding to a question from Mr. Rubinoff about the bursaries for HBA, Medicine, and Dentistry students, Dr. Harris explained that if a student qualifies for OSAP, the student is entitled to the bursary. If the financial need is not met by OSAP it will be met by University-administered funds. At the moment, fewer than 50% of students in the Medicine and Dentistry programs are OSAP-eligible. It is expected that there will be an increased number of students enquiring about financial aid from programs where the tuition has increased by more than 20%. The bursary arrangement for the incoming students in the HBA, Medical and Dentistry programs in no way precludes those students from continued access to financial support in the event they have additional unmet financial needs.
Mr. Castiglione asked about negotiating preferred-interest loan agreements with banks; Dr. Harris advised that arrangements remain to be negotiated.
In response to concerns about the fee level proposed for the program in Medicine, Dr. Moran acknowledged that next year Western will have the highest medical fees in the province, but over the next two years the University of Toronto will be raising MD fees to $11,000, and Queen's will be raising fees to $9,600. Dr. Harris added that medical students who qualify to receive the $2600 bursary will pay tuition fees in the amount of $7400 in the first year which will keep Western's program competitive.
Mayor Haskett asked if the Provost will report back to the Board next year about the effects of the tuition fee increases so that the Board will know the impact of its decision. The general issue of competitiveness must be taken into consideration in the long run. Dr. Moran assured the Board that the situation will be monitored closely.
In response to a question about the competitiveness of the HBA program offered by the Ivey School of Business, Dr. Davenport stated that the program offered by Ivey is a cut above the broader bachelor of commerce programs available at other Canadian universities. The competitive environment is more difficult to judge, but given the quality of the Ivey HBA, he believes that it will remain competitive in recruiting outstanding students. He recalled that when the MBA fees were increased dramatically two years ago there was concern that the best students would go elsewhere, but in fact the demand for admission to the MBA program has increased. There is already tremendous demand for admission to the HBA program and the number of spaces in that program must be expanded to meet those demands.
BG.98-098b It was moved by M. Rubinoff, seconded by S. Castiglione,
That there be no consideration of tuition fee increases for 1999-2000 until the presentation of the budget in the Spring of 1999.
Speaking in support of the amendment, Mr. Rubinoff stated that he realizes the government has given the universities the ability to increase tuition above 9% next year and that students can reasonably expect such a possibility, but the University must continue to lobby the government for an increase in grant revenue. For the Board to commit to the proposed tuition levels for 1999-2000 at this time would, in his view, impede lobbying effectiveness.
Dr. Davenport stated the same amendment was proposed at Senate and was defeated. He argued that students and Faculties want as much advanced notice as possible on tuition fee increases. Approval of the amendment would mean that there would be no reference to 1999-2000 tuition fees until presentation of the budget model in the Spring of 1999; this would be a very unfortunate move. The administration strained, despite being very uncertain about the budget, to respond to the government's two-year announcement on fees. Adoption of the amendment would also remove all of the certainty for undergraduate students in Arts, Science and Social Science about what their fees will be in a year. He asserted that setting fees for 1999-2000 will in no way discourage Western from lobbying the government for the maximum amount of government grant.
Mr. Castiglione stated there is a significant debt issue associated with the first-entry undergraduate program. Certainty is important, but one condition that exists is the financial position of students. Debt levels change. The effects of last year's increases on students' debt loads are not known nor the effect of tuition increases on enrolment.
Ms. Weldon stated that she understood the position behind the amendment, but argued that it benefits the University and students to have a two year announcement of tuition fees. The ability to take out that one item of uncertainty in budgeting year to year brings the budget process closer to a comfort level. Dr. Harris added that from the perspective of student recruitment, Liaison Officers report that students want to know what to expect in the way of fees in order to plan ahead.
The AMENDMENT was called and was DEFEATED.
The MAIN MOTION was CALLED and CARRIED.
That the 1998-99 budgets for Ancillaries, Academic Support Units, Student Fee Funded Units and related Activity Fee rates, be approved as summarized in Appendix II, Annex 3.
Mr. Castiglione reported that the USC has received positive feedback about the implementation of the universal bus pass.
a. A summary of the budgets for the University's Associated Companies (Appendix II, Annex 3, Table 1)
b. The 1998-99 budget for Platt's Lane Estates Inc. will be presented for approval at their next Board meeting.
c. The budgets for the Richard Ivey School of Business Foundation, Ivey Management Services, and Richard Ivey School of Business (Asia) Limited have been approved by the Finance Committee of the Richard Ivey School of Business.
d. The 1997-98 actual results and 1998-99 budget for the UWO Research and Development Park and Windermere Manor Ltd. will be presented to the Board of Governors at a later date with an updated long term financial plan.
e. The 1997-98 actual results and 1998-99 budget for the London Museum of Archaeology will be presented to the Board of Governors at a later date.
On January 29, 1998, the Board of Governors approved the project budget and design of the new residence. The total project budget was approved at $20 million. The Property & Finance Committee reported that the contract for the new residence was awarded to Bradscot (MCL) Limited, in the amount of $15,373,000, plus GST.
Professor Lennon asked whether faculty were involved in the discussions concerning this proposal, whether the committee examined information about how people react to such ads, and whether the $20,000 revenues generated from the sale of advertising space per annum sufficient. Mr. Garrard explained that faculty and staff representatives comprise the committee responsible for vetting this proposal. The committee believed that this request fell within the acceptable guidelines and is less intrusive than other advertising requests received. After a three-year period there will be an opportunity to renegotiate the advertising rate.
Fire Incident - Chemistry Building
Lead Survey - Alumni Hall
Accidental Release of Freon - North Chiller Plant
Complete details are found in Appendix III, pages 1-3.
The report included reference to the appearance of AUCC before the Standing Committee on Finance on April 30 to present its views on the Millennium Scholarship Foundation. In response to a question about AUCC's position in this matter, Dr. Davenport stated that AUCC urged the government to begin the fund a year earlier, i.e., September 1999, and to base the fund on need rather than on both need and merit.
W.W. Peel, Chair
J.K. Van Fleet, Secretary