Minutes: February 1, 2007

Report: February 1, 2007.


Report of the ERINDALE COLLEGE COUNCIL meeting held on February 1, 2007 at 3.15 p.m. in the Council Chamber, Rm. 3130, South Building.

Present: R. Beck (in the Chair), Cheryl Misak, Ian Orchard, Mark Overton, Len Paris, Sameer Al-Abdul-Wahid, Rishi Arora, Pat Ash, Marc Braithwaite, Carmen Bryson Christine Capewell, Lynda Collins, Diane Crocker, Ken Duncliffe, Lucy Gaspini, Paull Goldsmith, Kathy Hay, Charles Jones, Ulli Krull, Joe Lim, Mary Ann Mavrinac, James MacKay, Joan McCurdy-Myers, Chris McGrath, Louise Oliver, Martha Price, Jon Prince, Robert Reisz, Anthony Wensley, Ian Whyte, Linda Wilson-Pauwels, Gale Richter, Steve Miszuk, Anil Vyas, Kenneth Giuliani, Tejas Aivalli, Hamid Ansari, William Barnes, Vlad Glebov, Berkha Gupta, Vishal Gupta, Mohammed Hamza, Adam Hive, Aun Jaffery, Saloni Karl, Bilal Khan, Walied Khogali, Atufa Malik, Abdul Malik, Sai-Karen Malik, Ehsan Motamedi, Yaman Mujawaz, Jean-Paul Paluzzi, Khalid Pasha, Adam Peet, Preeti Purba, Adam Rybinski, Alida Sahadat, Ryan Singh, Nicole Shiels, Safia Farouk, Mariam Munawar, Ashley Uppal, Zeeshan Baig, Bassel Rashid, Rabaab Namazie

In Attendance: Bill McFadden, Alex MacIsaac, Golam Khan

The Chair, Professor Beck, apologized for the late start of the meeting. There had been questions about membership and voting procedures which he needed to answer before the meeting commenced. He requested that all non-voting members and spectators identify themselves, observing that they were not allowed to vote. He also noted that there was no provision for proxy voting in the by-laws of Erindale College Council. Voting was restricted to members of ECC and the right to vote could not be delegated.

1. Adoption of Agenda

The agenda was adopted (U. Krull/R. Reisz)

2. Minutes of Previous Meeting (December 8, 2006)

A member observed what he thought to be a clerical error in the Minutes of the December 8 meeting. Under the Social Sciences Curriculum Report on page 3, paragraph 7, the sentence that read Professor Aivazian responded that the changes had been made on the initiative of departments and that, to his knowledge, input had been collected from students should be changed to read Professor Aivazian responded that the changes had been made on the initiative of departments and that, to his knowledge, input had not been collected from students. It was agreed that the Secretary would consult with Professor Aivazian to confirm this, and that the Minutes would be brought forward for the March meeting of ECC.

3. Business Arising from the Minutes

There was no business arising from the December 8, 2006 meeting of ECC.

4. Report of the Acting Vice-President & Principal

Professor Misak introduced the newly appointed Director of the Academy of Medicine, Dr. Pam Coates, to ECC. She observed that Dr. Coates was currently Chief of Paediatrics at Credit Valley Hospital and welcomed her to the UofT Mississauga community. Professor Misak announced that the opening of the Academy would be delayed by one year until September 2008.

Professor Misak reported that the United Way Campaign had wrapped up. The goal was exceeded and she commended the Co-Chairs, Professor Wensley and Mr. Nicholson, for their fine efforts on behalf of the senior team.

The Vice-Principal, Research and Vice-Dean, Graduate, Professor Ulli Krull showed a DVD presentation regarding the 2006 World Leadership Award, which the City of Mississauga had won for its Healthy City Stewardship Centre (HCSC) initiative. He mentioned that the City of Mississauga had competed against Madrid, Spain and Lima, Peru to win the healthy category award. Our own Vice-President & Principal, Professor Ian Orchard, the Mayor, and the City Manager, had presented the Steward Centre initiative before a panel of judges, and they were on hand to accept the award in a ceremony held in December in the Royal Courts of Justice in London, England. The University of Toronto Mississauga served as the research arm in this partnership. He congratulated everyone involved.

The Chair opened the floor to questions and comments.

In regard to the delay of the Academy of Medicine, which will occupy half of the old Library space, a member enquired about the plans for the use of the space in 2007-08, and also whether there was student involvement/representation regarding this space. The Dean of Student Affairs, Mr. Overton, responded that nothing had changed regarding the capital plan for the space, which was never planned to be ready by September 2007. He noted that the Student Services Plaza would occupy the bulk of this space, and assured members that there was representation on the South Building Master Plan Users’ Committee. The member responded that there was no representation from the part-time or full-time student unions on that committee and that student unions were not asked for their input. Another member observed that he sat on that committee as the Chair of QSS, and not as a graduate student, thereby representing students. He also mentioned that QSS hadn’t met recently as there had not been a quorum. Professor Misak pointed out that student representation was not always from formal student bodies.

5. Reports of Standing Committees

a) Resource Planning & Priorities Committee

On behalf of the Resource Planning and Priorities Committee, Professor Reisz reported that the Committee had met on January 22 to discuss and approve the budgets and financial plans for UofT Mississauga’s four ancillaries: Conference Services, Food Services, Parking Services, and Residence. He noted that there would be individual votes for each budget/financial plan and then an omnibus motion after all of them had been presented. Professor Reisz reported that the four ancillary budgets/financial plans had been unanimously approved by the Resource Planning and Priorities Committee.

Ancillary Budgets and Financial Plans

i. Conference Services

Ms Richter, Manager of Conference Services, provided an overview of its mission, issues, and services. She noted that Conference Services provided conference and event arrangements, including accommodation and food arrangements for a very diverse clientele. The primary goals of Conference Services were to make use of campus resources that might otherwise remain idle, to produce income for this campus, to cover both direct and indirect costs to produce a contribution to the operating budget annually, to maintain and replace campus resources used for Conferences and other things, and to maintain an operating reserve equal to 10% of the total annual expenses net of capital renewal and Conference Expenses (Food).

Ms Richter reported that revenues were expected to be $106,397 lower than the original budget in 2006-07, as a result of a change in presentation resulting in the inclusion of food revenues related to external conference and catering revenue only. Salaries, wages, and benefits would be $32,573 lower than budget due to lower than budgeted expenses for temporary employment. The annual maintenance expense would exceed budget as a result of unanticipated repairs as a result of damages. The equipment/furnishing repair/purchase would be $1,640 lower than budget. Other expenses would be higher than budgeted for by about $62,000 as a result of an increase in cleaning costs, laundry expenses, and higher volume equipment rental costs. Another contributing factor was the cost of $7,000 incurred to develop Conference Management software. Ms Richter observed that the operating result after commitments was $20,166. She also noted that there was no capital renewal reserve for Conference Services as it had no capital. The surplus closing balance was a deficit of $11,418 and the total fund balance would be $27,751.

Ms Richter informed the Committee that total revenues were expected to increase to $934,509 in 2007-08 due to higher accommodation and food revenues. The accommodation income was expected to increase by 2%. Total expenses would increase by approximately 3% ($24,000) as a result of inflationary increases and the higher service needs incurred by increased business. Other expenses would decrease slightly as no software costs should be incurred. The operating result after commitments was forecast at $54,186. The projected surplus closing balance was $42,768 and the total fund balance $82,924.

The Chair opened the floor to questions and then comments.

A member thanked Conference Services for providing this budget. He wondered where the approximate $55,000 in surplus funds would go. Ms Capewell responded that it would stay within that ancillary. She emphasized that Conference Services did not generate much of a surplus and that, until this ancillary reached a new plateau, whereby it was generating higher revenues, any surplus would remain within that operation. She observed that, previously, ancillaries had contributed any surplus funds to the University’s operating budget but that was not the case now. The member asked whether the reverse situation was ever true, i.e. whether the University’s operating budget ever contributed to ancillaries, and Ms Capewell responded that this was never the case.

A member observed that Conference Services was taking in revenue for accommodation and enquired why there was no attribution to the Residence operation for a portion of this. He felt that there should be a direct attribution. Ms Richter emphasized that Conference Services was utilizing space in the Residences which would otherwise remain idle, noting that Conference Services also paid for the operating costs incurred during the summer. Ms Capewell agreed, adding that there was a maintenance attribution in that utilities and other building costs were being borne by Conference Services. She also noted that all other residence ancillaries operated on this principle. Professor Misak added that this could be seriously considered only if and when Conference Services returned a healthy profit year after year.

A member thanked Ms Richter and Conference Services for their assistance with conferences.

IT was duly moved and seconded,
THAT the Conference Services budget and financial plan be approved as circulated. (G. Richter/R. Reisz)

The motion was approved.

ii. Food Services

Ms Capewell, Director of Business Services noted that the University of Toronto Mississauga’s Food Services clearly needed to expand and improve to accommodate this campus’ growth. More outlets and more variety were warranted. There were, however, both financial and space constraints. She reported that immediate expansion plans included Starbucks in the HMALC and the new Residence Dining Hall and related meal plans, both slated to open in September 2007. There were plans to close Spigel Hall, which generated much lower revenues than it should, primarily because of its poor location.

Ms Capewell reported that the Food Services Ancillary had incurred losses in recent years, largely attributable to costs incurred to make improvements for the expanding campus population and to gear up for the introduction of the meal plan to be introduced in the fall. For 2006-07, revenues were expected to exceed budget by a total of $468,215 primarily as a result of higher than budgeted for cafeteria cash sales. Expenses would exceed budget by $506,069 largely due to increased Cost of Sales. Annual maintenance expenses had also exceed budget by $16,846 as a result of unanticipated and costly equipment repair. Other expenses exceeded budget because of consulting fees for the new outlets, higher than expected software costs, and training costs regarding the implementation of the new meal plan. The operating result after commitments was a deficit of $174,158.

Ms Capewell observed that the budget for 2007-08 reflected the introduction of the meal plan, which would result in a large increase in revenues and expenses. Capital Renewal costs would also increase. Space costs would increase substantially with the opening of the Dining Hall and Starbucks. Although a deficit was still being predicted for next year, Ms Capewell said that the operation should start to turn around in the future, and felt that it would indeed be a profitable organization in the coming years.

The Chair opened the floor to questions and then comments.

A member emphasized the need for more Halal and Kosher food choices. Spice in the North Building provided some options, but closed at 2.30 p.m. each day. Ms Capewell responded that this was indeed a priority, noting that the new Residence Dining Hall would have more convenient hours for students.

A member asked about an expense line item in Schedule 5 regarding Operating Equipment Purchases. Ms Capewell responded that this was regarding the purchase of equipment/furnishings for the Library Café and Residence Dining Hall. UofT Mississauga would purchase all of the equipment and then lease it back to Chartwells. This was being done because it was more cost-effective.

A member enquired about the impending closure of Spigel Hall and what it would be used for. Ms Capewell responded that this was a UofT Mississauga decision, not one that could be made by Business Services. She noted that this food outlet clearly could not justify further investment to replace equipment, etc. It would be a huge challenge to find an alternative Food Service area. The Chair, Professor Beck, asked Professor Misak if she had any further information. She responded that this was part of the South Building Master Plan which was still unfolding, and assured members that there would be continuing consultation with community members in this regard.

A member thanked Ms Capewell and Mr. McFadden (Manager, Retail Planning, Development & Operations) for including the Blind Duck Pub in the meal plan. She noted that the meal plan was GST-exempt. Ms Capewell responded that this was true, adding that, in some cases, there was a PST exemption as well. Unfortunately, the Blind Duck Pub was exempt from this, i.e. taxes were still applicable. She noted that the tax issue was extremely complicated, but that this might be something that could be re-examined in the future.

A member stated that a major concern was that there be healthy food options. Ms Capewell assured members of ECC that this was a priority.

A member requested clarification regarding the GST rebate. Ms Capewell reiterated that this was complex, that tax laws had to be adhered to, and at the same time the campus had to be managed as a whole. She invited him to set up a meeting with Mr. McFadden to discuss this further.

The Chair emphasized again that members must focus strictly on the business at hand.

A member indicated that students would be surprised and concerned about the impending closure of Spigel Hall. Ms Capewell hoped that the students would join her in working towards something better. There were no firm plans yet, as a comprehensive plan for food service on campus needed to be pursued first. Another member agreed that something better than Spigel Hall was warranted. He said that students should participate in the process. He also felt that the cost of the mandatory meal plan ($1300) was too steep, and suggested that bursaries might be offered to those students in financial need. He asked and encouraged administrators on this campus to live like a student for one week. Ms Capewell said that she would discuss the possibility of bursaries with the Registrar’s Office. She also encouraged students to contact her or Mr. McFadden about the meal plan.

The Chair reiterated that members should focus on the business at hand.

A member requested that all student unions (part-time and full-time) be consulted and represented in discussions around Food Service, meal plans, etc.

It was duly moved and seconded
THAT the Food Services budget and financial plan be approved as circulated. (C. Capewell/R. Reisz)

The motion was approved.

iii. Parking Services

Mr. MacIsaac, Manager, Parking & Transportation, reported that, for 2006-07, revenues were expected to exceed budget by a total of $580,333 due to higher than budgeted for permit sales and Pay & Display revenues, largely as a result of improved parking management. Salaries were expected to be $95,996 higher than budget, due to a greater than planned for use of St. George Parking Services to manage this operation and implement several operational changes, as well as plans to hire staff to assist with the demands of this operation. Mr. MacIsaac observed that the expense for Parking Attendants had been eliminated due to the fact that the City of Mississauga was now enforcing parking. The major maintenance expense under Capital Renewal had not reached budget because the storm water management pond construction had been delayed, along with the related resurfacing of Lot #4. As a result of the changes in parking management practices, the budget deficit had been eliminated. The operating result after commitments was $3,128.

The budget for 2007-08 includes a rate increase of 1% for all annual parking permits. He observed that there would be an adjustment in unreserved permit parking, which would include an adjusted zoning scale to reflect the change in demand of some unreserved lots over others as outlined in the report. Premium unreserved permits would be introduced which would be $20 more than unreserved permits. The price of the unreserved parking permit would actually drop by .6% from the 2006-07 rate. An hourly rate of $1 would be introduced on weekends.

The Chair opened the floor to questions and then comments.

A member observed that there was a clerical error in Schedule 5 regarding Premium Unreserved rates. Ms Capewell responded that the $ increase amount was incorrect, but that the 2007-08 rate was accurate.

A member enquired how long the City of Mississauga would be enforcing parking. Mr. MacIsaac replied that there were ongoing discussions with the City in this regard, but he expected it to continue over the next two to three years. He noted that the City was offering this free service in exchange for ticketing revenue.

A member asked whether Residence permits were included under reserved rates. Ms Capewell responded that Residence rates, which were GST-exempt, were not shown.

A member urged students to vote against the parking budget, arguing that since this ancillary was in a minor surplus, fees should not be increased.

Professor Misak encouraged all students to vote for the parking budget, observing that the surplus is required for minor and major maintenance expenses (such as the paving of lots and renewal of the storm water management system). The choice was to run a surplus to be able to pay bills such as these or to cut into other budgets such as the academic budget.

A member thanked Ms Capewell for holding the Parking Stakeholders’ Meeting. He also mentioned that students were often being wrongly ticketed. Mr. MacIsaac responded that at the Stakeholders’ Meeting he had said that this was human error and that such tickets could be cancelled. He noted that Campus Police liaised with the City in this regard. Another member observed that staff in the Parking Office did not seem to be informed and were advising people that they were not responsible for tickets issued in error. Mr. MacIsaac agreed to look into this.

The Chair urged that members debate agenda items in a proper and timely manner.

A member thanked Ms Capewell for holding the Stakeholders’ meeting and for keeping the increases low. She hoped, however, that this campus could work towards a goal of no increases in the future, adding that she would be voting against the parking budget.

A member appreciated the lower after-hours rate which was being implemented. He mentioned that users of the Recreation, Athletic, and Wellness Centre were not charged for parking permits, as parking was included with membership, but that they were also being wrongly ticketed.

A member felt that the process this year was the best to date and appreciated how consultative it was. He also lauded the fact that the increase was minimal at 1%, and that students’ concerns were taken into consideration. There were still areas were the Parking Ancillary needed to improve communication however.

A member appealed to all members to vote against the increase.

IT was duly moved and seconded,
THAT the Parking Services budget and financial plan be approved as circulated. (A. MacIsaac/R. Reisz)

A member requested a roll call vote. The Chair moved that we conduct such a vote. The majority voted in favour and the roll call vote proceeded. The Chair requested that voting members give their name and indicate whether they were voting for or against the Parking Services budget.

The Secretary counted 30 votes in favour and 25 opposed. There was uncertainty about the count and whether everyone who voted was, in fact, eligible to do so. The Acting Vice-President & Principal suggested that a recount take place, but a member objected, saying that some of the students had left immediately after the vote. The Chair decided that he would not call a recount, and declared the motion approved.

[Subsequently, after going through the attendance and voting lists very carefully, the Secretary has determined that the count was 33 ‘yes’ votes and 31 ‘no’ votes as follows:

Those in favour of the Parking Services budget and financial plan: 33

Rishi Arora
Pat Ash
Marc Braithwaite
Carmen Bryson
Christine Capewell
Lynda Collins
Diane Crocker
Ken Duncliffe
Lucy Gaspini
Paull Goldsmith
Kathy Hay
Charles Jones
Ulli Krull
Joe Lim
Mary Ann Mavrinac
James MacKay
Joan McCurdy-Myers
Chris McGrath
Cheryl Misak
Louise Oliver
Ian Orchard
Mark Overton
Len Paris
Martha Price
Jon Prince
Robert Reisz
Anthony Wensley
Ian Whyte
Linda Wilson-Pauwels
Gale Richter
Steve Miszuk
Anil Vyas

Those opposed to the Parking Services budget and financial plan: 31

Tejas Aivalli
Hamid Ansari
Zeeshan Baig
William Barnes
Safia Farouk
Vlad Glebov
Berkha Gupta
Vishal Gupta
Mohammed Hamza
Adam Hive
Aun Jaffery
Saloni Karl
Bilal Khan
Walied Khogali
Atufa Malik
Abdul Malik
Sai-Karen Malik
Ehsan Motamedi
Yaman Mujawaz
Mariam Munawar
Rabaab Namazie
Jean-Paul Paluzzi
Khalid Pasha
Adam Peet
Preeti Purba
Bassel Rashid
Adam Rybinski
Ashley Uppal
Alida Sahadat
Nicole Shiels
Ryan Singh]

On motion duly moved and seconded, it was agreed that the meeting be extended to complete substantive business. (S. Al-Abdul-Wahid/C. Misak)

iv. Residence

Mr. McGrath (Assistant Dean, Student Affairs) outlined the objectives of the Residence operation as listed in the Management Report circulated to members. A crucial objective was “to encourage the creation of an inclusive and highly supportive living environment that advances the academic mission of the University by encouraging respect for critical and independent thought, intellectual discussion, and academic achievement.” He noted that there had been 812 beds added to Residence operation over the past eight years.

Mr. McGrath highlighted some of the key accomplishments in 2006-07, which included increased participation in and satisfaction with the rezONE First Year Experience program, which matched first-year students with outstanding upper-year residence students in their academic discipline. The new residence, Oscar Peterson Hall, was under construction and slated to open in September 2007. This would add 423 beds to the Residence operation.

For 2006-07, revenues were expected to be slightly over budget, as a result of meeting the goal of 98% occupancy, increased summer session revenue and increases in commissions and other income. Capital Renewal - annual maintenance was higher than budget as a result of extensive repairs needed throughout the residences. The greatest variance was under Capital Renewal - major maintenance as a result of significant roof repairs in Schreiberwood . The overall positive revenue variance was approximately $41,000.

Regarding the 2007-08 budget, Mr. McGrath observed that the operating result after commitments was a deficit of $1,650,589, which reflected the construction of Oscar Peterson Hall and the related mortgage and interest costs compounded by the opening of Erindale Hall and Roy Ivor Hall. It was predicted that in four years, by 2010-11, the annual operating result before commitments would be positive.

Mr. McGrath noted that the budget for 2007-08 reflected residence rate increases of 8.8% for undergraduate residence and 5.13% for family/graduate residence. He emphasized that the process to determine the increases had been highly consultative and had been discussed at two Town Hall meetings as well as at Residence Council meetings. Residence rates for undergraduates continued to rest in the mid-range of the competitor market with other colleges and universities and the off-campus housing market. CMHC data showed that the family/graduate rates continued to be about 20% lower than similar housing in the surrounding areas of Mississauga North and Mississauga South.

The Chair opened the floor to questions and then comments.

A member commended Mr. McGrath for this excellent presentation.

A member expressed concern about the 24 hour rule, whereby outgoing residents moved out and incoming residents moved in within a 24 hour period. Mr. McGrath responded that this rule had been made in consultation with students. It was determined that, if this period was extended, there tended to be excessive partying which impeded academia. He added that there was some flexibility.

It was duly moved and seconded
THAT the Residence budget and financial plan be approved as circulated. (C. McGrath/R. Reisz)

The motion was approved.

It was duly moved and seconded
THAT all four ancillary budgets and financial plans be approved as circulated. (R. Reisz/C. Misak)

The motion was approved with 1 opposed.

b) Academic Affairs Committee

i) On behalf of the Academic Affairs Committee, Professor Wensley reported that the Committee had met on January 23 to discuss and approve the creation of the UofT Mississauga Professional Graduate Programs Centre (PGPC) as an EDU-B on this campus. He noted that this proposal had indeed been unanimously approved by the Academic Affairs Committee.

Professor Krull, Vice-Principal, Research and Vice-Dean, Graduate elaborated on the proposal being put before ECC. He noted that this was necessitated because new professional masters programs were evolving on this campus that were cross-disciplinary and interdisciplinary, with a diverse set of programmatic requirements, and as such did not fit into any one graduate department. The proposed Professional Graduate Program Centre (PGPC) would serve as an administrative and academic centre for new campus-based cross-disciplinary professional graduate master and diploma programs. The Centre would facilitate matters related to the administration of the programs, including managing the process of appointments, assisting with administrative matters such as the development of suitable space plans and support of student registration and awards, fostering interdisciplinary research development between programs, and developing and offering programming that bridges the academic and research interests of students, faculty and others associated with professional graduate programs. The Centre would be the responsibility of the Dean or designate, who would in essence serve in the equivalent role of the “Graduate Chair/Director” for such programs on this campus. Curriculum-related work of the graduate programs would continue to be governed in accordance with SGS and University policies. Professor Krull noted that each professional graduate program had an independent operating budget, that the programs could share certain administrative needs, and that components of program budgets would be pooled where feasible. He emphasized that this would not impact programs that already exist. An offer would, however, be made to existing Professional Graduate Programs regarding the sharing of resources. He noted that the financial implications would be minimal. The PGPC administrative office would be housed in the office of the Vice-Dean, Graduate, and there were no new space requirements.

The Chair opened the floor to questions and then comments. There were none.

It was duly moved and seconded
THAT ECC approve the proposal for the establishment of the UofT Mississauga Professional Graduate Programs Centre (PGPC) as an EDU-B at the University of Toronto Mississauga. (A. Wensley/U. Krull)

The motion was approved.

c) Computing Committee

This report would be tabled at the next meeting of ECC scheduled for March 8, 2007.

6. Other Business

There was no other business to report.

7. Next Meeting

The Chair reminded members that the next meeting was scheduled for Thursday, March 8, 2007.

8. Adjournment

The meeting was adjourned at 5.35 p.m. (S. Al-Abdul-Wahid/J. Lim)