Report: January 16, 2006


Erindale College Council


REPORT OF THE MEETING OF THE RESOURCE PLANNING & PRIORITIES COMMITTEE of Erindale College Council held on Monday, January 16, 2006 at 3:10 p.m., in the Alumni Lounge, Room 3138, South Building.

PRESENT: R. Beck (in the Chair), D. Crocker, I. Orchard, C. Capewell, K. Duncliffe, M. Jaime, D. Pond, R. deSouza, N. Collins, U. Krull, G. Rattan, C. Jones
REGRETS: R. Reisz, R. Carroll, Z. Baig, M. Jalland, M. Lord, P. Pliner
In attendance: Chris McGrath, Director of Residence, Gale Richter, Director of Conference Services, Mark Overton, Dean of Student Affairs.

1. Adoption of the Agenda

Noted that move residence first. The Agenda was approved. (K. Duncliffe/C. Capewell)

2. Minutes of the Previous Meeting

The report of the November 28, 2005 meeting of the Resource Planning and Priorities Committee was approved. (I. Orchard/C. Capewell)

3. Business Arising from the Minutes

There was no business arising from the minutes.

4. New Business:

a) Overview of the Budget Process – Christine Capewell, Director of Business Services

The Chair called on Ms. Christine Capewell to give an overview of the budget process. Ms. Capewell described the four basic operating principles that guide all ancillaries. These are: 1) to operate without subsidy from the operating budget; 2) to provide for all costs of capital renewal, including deferred maintenance; 3) having achieved the previous two points, to create and maintain an operating reserve as a protection against unforeseen events (10%); and 4) having met all these conditions, the service ancillaries contribute their net revenues to the operating budget. She added that ancillary operations at UTM are viewed as service operations and financial planning is carried out with a view to providing service with reasonable expenses and revenues, and in the event that an ancillary operation realizes a surplus beyond growth requirements, a contribution is made to the operating budget of the Campus. She further noted that in recent years, UTM ancillary operations have not been in the financial position to contribute to the operating budget.

Ms. Capewell also explained that when an ancillary is planning a major expansion, the operation must meet two financial requirements: the 5 and 8 year rules. This means that after the 5th year, operating results before commitments have to be in the positive and that by the 8th year after opening a new operation, a positive fund balance has to be achieved.

She explained that Business Services develops the service ancillaries’ annual budgets and long-range plans in coordination with the ancillaries and several sub-committees. Following a review by the Resource Planning and Priorities Committee and Erindale College Council, the budgets go to the Financial Services Department, the Service Ancillary Review Group in early February (SARG), followed by the University Affairs Board and Business Board.

i) Residence Ancillary Budgets / Financial Plans: Mr. Chris McGrath, Director of Residence

The Residence Services Ancillary in its entirety is attached hereto as Appendix A.

Mr. McGrath reported that the development of the Residence ancillary financial plans is achieved in coordination with the Residence Finance Committee, which meets several times to offer its feedback.

He noted that the ancillary had a successful year, maintaining an occupancy rate near 100% and continuing to manage the capital renewal of the residences.

On the programmatic side, Mr. McGrath described several projects which continued to thrive. As part of the Living Learning Communities initiative, 20 students and 5 staff travelled to Guatemala to work with schoolchildren on literacy projects, and youth living with HIV/AIDS. There was also a successful launch of the rezONE program, which matches first year students in cohorts with outstanding upper year residence students in their academic discipline, who then complete a six-week series of core academic skill development seminars. This program is a partnership between Residence, the Academic Skills Centre, Student Affairs and the UTM Library and boasts very high participation, with 200 first-year students.

Mr. McGrath reported that during the summer, residences undertook a significant amount of capital renewal necessary as a result of the age of the existing townhouse complexes, which are between 30-50 years old. Upgrades to paint, flooring, lighting, fixtures, and window coverings were made to McLuhan Court residence. These renovations would continue for the next 3 years.

Mr. McGrath noted that there were several projects that incurred large costs. There was a significant upgrade of all exterior lighting in the residential phases to increase safety and security. It was also necessary to repave the Erindale Hall colonnade from slate to concrete, as the installed slate surface was subject to significant ice accumulation during the winter months. In addition, there was a successful remediation of moisture accumulation problems in MaGrath Valley residence, which included extensive cleaning, upgrading the ventilation systems, and starting installation of new windows.

He reported that utility expenses were considerably higher than budget as a result of the direct impact of hydro and gas rates across the province, which has resulted in an expense differential of $430,000.

There is also an increase in operating expenses as a result of the significant upgrade to the residence’s Information Management System (RMS) and the installation of security cameras in the common areas of residence buildings to enhance safety and security.

Mr. McGrath discussed the 2006/07 budget and future challenges and opportunities. The budget for 2006-07 reflects residence rate increases of 3.5%. He stressed that the proposed rates are competitive within the University of Toronto (lowest) as well as other peer institutions (below the median.) He referred to scheduled 6 in the ancillary for details on the proposed rate changes. He explained that generally expenses increase by 2% or 3% annually, while salaries and benefits increase by 5% to reflect 3% increases across the board plus step and merit increases. Capital renewal expenses increase by 3-5% based on past experience, and are influenced by specific projects that will be completed over the next five years. Utilities expenses are budgeted at 5% over the 2005-06 actuals, and will continue to be closely monitored.

Mr. McGrath concluded his report by noting that the residences look forward to the opening of Phase 8 in 2006-07.

It was duly moved and seconded,

THAT the Residence Services Operating Plan and Management Report be recommended to Erindale College Council for approval. (C. McGrath/I. Orchard)

The Chair opened the floor for questions.

A member asked whether there were any plans to encourage students to reduce electricity use. Mr. McGrath noted that the residence dons do spend time on educating residence students and that an energy awareness campaign is in progress, but added that these efforts may take a long time to change long-established habits. In reply to a member’s question regarding the budget for the summer session, Mr. McGrath explained that there is a limited summer market because of the smaller academic offerings during this time.

The motion was called to question. The motion was carried.

ii) Conference Services Ancillary - Christine Capewell, Director of Business Services

The Conference Services Ancillary in its entirety is attached hereto as Appendix B.

Ms. Capewell reported that revenues for 2005/06 were higher than budgeted by $26,260 due to higher food service and facilities and space rental income. As a result of how these items are reported, if there is an increase in food business, it is not reflected in Conference services. She noted that a review of Conference services showed that much of the existing work and time of staff was spent on internal university services, for which the ancillary received no revenue. As a result, salaries and benefits associated with this work was removed from the budget, which now reflected conference external business only.

Ms. Capewell explained that similar to the Residence ancillary, utilities expenses, especially hydro, were extremely high. The operating result after commitments is expected to increase from $28,322 in 2007-08 to $59,325 in 2010-11. Regarding long-range plans, this ancillary is not expecting significant changes from previous years, but the addition of Phase 8 may provide the ancillary with much needed facilities to service client needs.

It was duly moved and seconded,

THAT the Conference Services Operating Plan and Management Report be accepted and recommended to Erindale College Council for approval. (C. Capewell / K. Duncliffe)

The Chair opened the floor to questions.

Ms. Gale Richter noted that Conference services and Athletics have agreed to work together to produce a business plan with respect to summer sports camps. The Registrar noted that classes are scheduled to end two weeks earlier than in previous years and hoped that this would help conference services in its preparations for summer business. Ms. Richter explained that the residence phases will not be available for conference use for 4 weeks during the summer as indicated by the Residence office.

A member commented that the budget has a large projected increase in revenues with respect to accommodation. Ms. Capewell explained that this was done to set a mandate for the ancillary and added that it was an aggressive plan, which if not accomplished, would signal a need for changes in the way that the ancillary operates.

The Motion was called to question. The Motion was carried.

iii) Food Services - Christine Capewell, Director of Business Services

The Food Services Ancillary in its entirety is attached hereto as Appendix C.

Ms. Capewell reported that the ancillary was in the midst of a transformation. The ancillary has made some investments in its outlets and is making preparations for the residence meal plan. She noted that currently the ancillary is incurring costs that will not produce a revenue until a full state of growth is achieved.

Ms. Capewell explained that total cafeteria sales have increased 18% over 2004-05 actual sales, but several outlets are not selling the volume that was originally forecasted. Lower than planned sales exist in PizzaPizza, Pita Pit, Spigel, Spice and the Circuit Break. Sales in the Faculty Club are extremely low. Positive results have been experienced by Mr. Sub and Tim Horton’s.

She noted that the sales as shown in the ancillary report represent the sales of the food outlets, which means that UTM’s income is actually shown as a negative expense. The ancillary will incur increased expenses next year, which are associated with the meal plan. Revenues are projected for 2008.

It was duly moved and seconded,

THAT the Food Services Operating Plan and Management Report be accepted and recommended to Erindale College Council for approval. (C. Capewell/ D. Pond)

The Chair opened the floor to questions.

In response to a member’s question about whether private vendors had to pay a share of maintenance costs, Ms. Capewell explained that they pay UTM a negotiated commission.

A member remarked that the CCIT food space is not user friendly, having minimal and uncomfortable furniture. Ms. Capewell explained that the capital plan for that building did not include a food area, which meant that there was no input from food services into the plan. The Dean of Student Affairs reported that the low ceiling in the CCIT food area was increased recently and more comfortable benches had been installed to serve a capacity of 50.

In response to a member’s question the negative results at the specific food outlets mentioned previously, Ms. Capewell explained that high costs were incurred due to large staff and equipment break downs. She added that it was very costly to operate many outlets in different locations. A large consolidated food area would be more profitable. She further explained that the Spice food outlet in the North Building will help with any overflow stemming from the residence meal plan.

In response to a member’s question, Ms. Capewell explained that the meal plan will not be limited to students or to the residence dining hall. She added that a meal plan will also be available to staff and faculty.

The motion was called to question. The Motion was carried.

iv) Parking Services - Christine Capewell, Director of Business Services

The Parking Services Ancillary in its entirety is attached hereto as Appendix D.

Ms. Capewell referred members to Schedule 7 of the parking ancillary, which detailed demand and supply figures. She pointed out that the current parking to people ratio is 25.8% and that this figure is inclusive of all of the lot changes made during the year, including the addition of 84 spots in Lot #9. She noted that this ratio is projected to decrease over the next several years, as a result of the loss of approximately 276 spots in Lot#4 associated with the necessity of building a pond. In the past, UTM governance had reaffirmed the position that the supply of parking psaces should not significantly vary from about 30-spots-per-100 of campus population. Recent experience shows that with efforst to schedule classes more evenly throughout the day and week, and other factors, including the increased price of gas and the lower average age of the student population, a ratio of 25% appears to be acceptable. Ms. Capewell remarked that it is not known how low this ratio can go, before causing demand problems. She explained that overall, too much capacity is being experienced in residence, accessible and carpool spots.

Ms. Capewell continued her presentation by discussing variances. She explained that higher than budgeted costs were incurred as a result of the expansion of Lot#9, which yielded 84 additional spaces. With respect to salaries, wages and benefits, UTM acquired the services of the Manager of Parking Services from the St. George campus on a part-time basis. In addition, parking services now reports to Business Services and no longer to Facilities. These changes have not resulted in large financial changes. She further reported that maintenance costs were higher because of the condition of the lots and the increased need for repairs. The operating result after commitments is a loss of $480,000 mainly associated with the Lot #9 expansion.

Ms. Capewell continued with a discussion of the 2006/07 budget. During that year, the ancillary is projecting a loss of approximately $352,000 due to major paving that UTM must undertake related to lots 1, 7 and 4. These costs would be incurred during the same time that the pond is being installed. Following the 2006/07 year, costs are expected to decrease and an overall fund balance is positive in 2009/10.

The budget for 2006/07 reflects rate incrases of 5% for outdoor reserved and unreserved permits. There is no price increase in for the CCIT underground garage permits since this is the one area where demand is still slightly less than supply. These same rate increases are planned for the next several years. Ms. Capewell noted that previously this figure was predicted to be at 25% and 30%, but was lowered because the parking structure was abandoned.

It was duly moved and seconded,

THAT the Parking Services Operating Plan and Management Report be accepted and recommended to Erindale College Council for approval. (C. Capewell /I. Orchard)

The Chair opened the floor to questions.

A member complimented Ms. Capewell on being able to keep the rate increases so low compared to previous years. A member suggested that since there was a high demand to park in Lot #2, and much lower demand in Lot#4, that the parking operation consider implementing a premium unreserved rate for those that can park anywhere and a lower unreserved rate for those that only use Lots 8 and 4. Another suggestion was to charge a larger amount for Lot#9 because of its close proximity to the South Building. Ms. Capewell explained that campus traffic patters will undergo large changes with the addition of the new athletics and library buildings, and noted that revising the pricing structure will be considered once the effects from these capital projects are known. She added that changing signage is very costly and should be done frequently.

In response to a member’s question, Ms. Capewell confirmed that improved class scheduling and the completion of the new entrance have helped the traffic situation on campus. However, she stressed that more needed to be done to schedule classes on Fridays and outside of the still most popular 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. timeslot. The Registrar noted that a plan to improve scheduling is underway.

In response to a member’s question on the status of the UPass implementation, the Dean of Student Affairs noted that student governments have endorsed having a referendum on this issue this spring. If it passes, Mississauga Transit indicated that it will commit to adding more routes to the campus.

In response to a member’s question, the CAO explained that the proposed pond was being built to manage storm water runoff associated with the large number of capital projects on campus and that it is a requirement by the Credit Valley Conservation Authority. He added that although the engineering report calls for a very large pond, UTM is working to ensure that maximum use of the existing pond is made to minimize the impact and size of the new pond.

A member asked what plans were in place to deal with the anticipated parking shortage expected for 2007. Ms. Capewell explained that current plans are focused on managing demand and added that there is no plan to build a parking garage, or to extend paving. She commented once the pond is completed and traffic patterns associated with the athletics and library buildings emerge, the demand can be gauged more accurately.

The Motion was called to question. The Motion was carried.

5. Other Business:

There was no other business.

6. Next Meeting

The next meeting of the Resource Planning and Priorities Committee will be on Monday, February 27, 2006.

7. Adjournment

The meeting was adjourned at 4:27 p.m. (I. Orchard/C. Capewell)

Secretary _________________________________ Chair ________________________________

February 17, 2006