Report: January 24, 2008


Report of the ERINDALE COLLEGE COUNCIL meeting held on Thursday, January 24, 2008 at 3:15 p.m. in the Council Chamber, Room 3130, South Building

Present: A. Wensley (in the Chair), I. Orchard, A. Lange, S. Wahid, J. Lim, R. Reisz, R. deSouza, J. Delves, A. Vyas, K. Hay, L. Paris, G. Richter, C. Capewell, J. McCurdy-Myers, L. Collins, E. Martin, A. Bellerby, D. Kreuger, P. Goldsmith, B. McFadden, J. Stirling, J. Prince, R. DaSilva, L. Clark, K. Giuliani, B. Ben-David, I. Still, L. Wilson-Pauwels, A. Lange, N. Basiliko, S. Munro, V. Aivazian, C. McGrath, H. Hines, D. Mullings, M. Price, A. Iwaniw, L. Gaspini, C. Bryson, L. Oliver, H. Schepmyer, J. Bajwa, J. Cruz, D. Hassan, M. Josifovska, M. Kamal, A. Malik, M. Mitra, M. Naeem, S. Khwaja, N. Allison, A. Lopatriello, E. Zammit, M. Hashim, M. Billah, W. Khogali, W. Malik, A. Zaidi, A. Nicholson, I. Whyte, S. Senese, R. Mazar, J. Szurmak
Regrets: G. Averill, R. Beck, M. Jalland, U. Krull, M. Overton, R. Namazie, C. Boyd, J. Gillies

Professor Wensley expressed his appreciation to the Vice-Chair, Mr. Sameer Al-Abdul Wahid for chairing the December 11, 2007 meeting of Erindale College Council.
The Chair reminded members of the following speaking rules contained in the by-laws: members are to speak no more than twice on each motion and no longer than 10 minutes each time. Members should address their remarks through the Chair and keep a courteous tone. The Chair also noted that members’ comments should be kept germane to the motion at hand; for today’s agenda, this means that that member comments should be focused on the ancillary budgets; customer service type questions and comments would be ruled out of order and should properly be addressed outside a Council meeting to the appropriate department.

1. Approval of Minutes of Previous Meeting (December 11, 2007)

The minutes of the previous meeting were approved. (D. Kreuger /I. Still)

2. Reports of Standing Committees and Officers
a) Resource Planning and Priorities Committee: Report of January 14, 2008 meeting - Prof. Robert Reisz

Ancillary Budgets and Financial Plans

Professor Reisz, Chair of the Resource Planning & Priorities Committee gave a summary of the previous meeting of the Committee and called on the Chief Administrative Officer to give an overview of the budget development and approval process.

i. Overview of budget process: Mr. Ray deSouza, Chief Administrative Officer

The Chief Administrative Officer explained that the lengthy ancillary budgets development and approval process involves ongoing consultations throughout the fiscal year, leading up to the development of preliminary ancillary budgets in the fall. The parking ancillary budget is presented at an information session organized by the Council office, followed by a presentation to the Transportation and parking subcommittee of the Resource Planning & Priorities Committee for feedback and information. The ancillary budgets then go through the formal governance approval process at UTM (RPPC and ECC) and at central governance committees like SARG or the Service Ancillary Review Group, the University Affairs Board (UAB) and Business Board.

The ancillary budgets of all three campuses are submitted to SARG for review based on the following guidelines:

1. To operate without a subsidy from the University operating budget
2. To provide for all costs of capital renewal including deferred maintenance
3. To generate sufficient surpluses to cover operating contingencies
4. To contribute net revenue to the University operating budget, where possible
5. Where capital expansion has occurred, the operating budget is in a surplus position within 5 years of the building opening; the Total Fund Balance is in a positive position within 8 years of the building opening.

Mr. deSouza explained that SARG reviews rates, fees and financials and ensures that the budgets represent a responsible approach for each ancillary operation for the year; the group also ensures that revenue projections are realistic.

Professor Reisz reported that the last Resource Planning & Priorities Committee meeting saw the consideration and unanimous approval of the four ancillary budgets of Parking, Food, Residence and Conference services. The Resource Planning & Priorities Committee is now bringing these budgets forward for Council’s consideration. He called on Mr. Alex MacIsaac, manager of parking and transportation to begin his presentation of the parking budget.

ii. Parking Services – Alex MacIsaac, Manager Parking & Transportation

The Parking services management report and operating plan are attached hereto as Appendix A.

Mr. MacIsaac reported that the plan proposes to reduce parking permit rates by 5% and pay and display machine rates from $13 to $12 per day. These reductions are the result of improved management practices and the related revenue increases and expense reductions. Revenues have increased, most notably for Pay & Display meter revenues, due to more effective enforcement practices. Therefore, revenues are expected to exceed budget by a total of $290,995 mainly due to Pay & Display revenues, which continue to rise due to improved parking management.

Mr. MacIsaac also noted that since the parking operation moved office location to Alumni House, it was able to reduce wait times for ticket sales purchases.

Mr. MacIsaac pointed to schedule 2 of the ancillary budget and noted that $450,000 will be contributed to the Storm Water Management Pond project, to recognize the new surface that this project will provide for the ancillary for lot 4 when it is complete.

It was duly moved and seconded,
THAT Erindale College Council approve the Parking Services 2008-09 operating plan and management report. (A. MacIsaac/S. Munro)

The chair opened the floor to discussion of the motion.

A member expressed support for the proposed parking budget and thanked Mr. Alex MacIsaac, Ms. Christine Capewell and Mr. Ray deSouza and members of the Resource Planning & Priorities Committee for their work in bringing these budgets forward. He noted that students were pleased with the break in the parking rates for the coming year.

The motion was approved.

iii. Food Services – Bill McFadden, Manager of Retail Planning, Development and Operations

The Food services management report and operating plan are attached hereto as Appendix B.

Mr. McFadden explained in addition to the SARG guidelines, the Food Services ancillary has a number of objectives as follows:

• To serve a variety of quality products in clean and relaxing, engaging food service outlets, at prices that provide value to customers
• To operate a financially viable ancillary
• To reduce the overall food capacity shortfall by finding and developing new conveniently located, engaging and efficient food services spaces, which are in keeping with the quality of new buildings on campus.

Mr. McFadden listed all of the food service outlets on campus, in addition to noting that UTM also accommodates the joint program students at Sheridan and UTM, through a meal service that is provided to students at Sheridan College.

He noted that it had been a busy year for food services, with the opening of the Colman Commons Dining Hall, the launch of the new residence student meal plan, campus value plan for non-residence students, faculty and staff, the opening of the new Starbucks café in the Library and other enhancements on campus.

The budget for 2007-08 reflects the increased sales associated with the above new locations. It also reflects the start up costs associated with these facilities and the infrastructure required in administering a declining balance a la carte resident student meal plan. Forecasted revenues are expected to exceed budget by a total of $497,335 mostly due to higher than budgeted cafeteria cash sales and catering sales. Forecasted expenses are expected to exceed budget by $278,197. This is largely due to increased cost of sales, a result of increased sales. The furniture and equipment repair expense will exceed budget by $33,303 due to the unexpected cost of repairing refrigerators and other equipment in Spigel Hall, the meeting place and other outlets. Additionally, garbage and recycling expense exceeded budget by $8,360 due to higher than expected waste management costs associated with the new Colman Commons dining hall. Finally, salaries, wages and benefits are expected to exceed budget by $67 561. This is a result of the need for additional I.T. support required during the implementation of the systems related to the resident student meal plan. The forecasted operating result after commitments is a surplus of $138,491 and the forecasted closing total fund balance is a negative $414,477 at the end of 2007-8.

Mr. McFadden reported that the budget for 2008-09 reflects an increase in meal plan revenue associated with planned higher occupancy in residence and reduced catering revenue to reflect the uncertainty of a number of conference customers. He referred members to schedule 6 of the budget, which outlined meal plan rates, noting that Group A represented the mandatory meal plan for first year students and that Group B was the plan for returning undergraduate students. Within Group A, he reported that plan 1 was increasing by $155, plan 2 by $170 and plan 3 by $95. Group B prices remain the same as in the previous year, with no increases planned in order to retain members.

Mr. McFadden explained that with respect to expenses furniture and equipment repair costs remain high, as the old equipment needs to be maintained and repaired. Space costs will increase due to the full operation of the new Colman Commons and Starbucks. The operating result after commitments is a surplus of $78,392 and the closing total fund balance is a negative $336,085 at the end of 2008-09.

It was duly moved and seconded,
THAT Erindale College Council approve the Food Services 2008-09 operating plan and management report.

(B. McFadden/A. Lange)

The Chair opened the floor for discussion of the motion.

A member asked how much occupancy space budget is allocated towards the use of Oscar Peterson Hall and how that is decided. Mr. McFadden explained that the use is consistent with the University policy and set guidelines on allocating space cost to ancillaries. The Director of Business Service, Ms. Christine Capewell explained that the allocation of space cost is consistent with how ancillaries across the university do it; she added that there was an occupancy cost paid to residence.

In response to a member’s question about why rate plan prices were increasing, Mr. McFadden explained that food service consults with the Canadian Restaurant and Food Services Association to discuss supply costs and inflation. Current trends for food services and other relevant costs are as follows: food supply are on the increase by 7%; paper and cleaning chemicals are going up by 5-9%; there are labour increases in minimum wage; and finally, the employment agreement of Chartwells would likely be increasing by 4%. Taking all of these factors together and doing a weighted average would result in rate plan increases of approximately 6 or 7%. Other organizations are taking through increases of between 4.5 and 6%. At UTM, a total increase of 3.2 % is being proposed, much lower than the called for weighted average.

A member thanked Mr. Bill McFadden and Food Services for the changes to food offerings throughout the year and expressed his support for the establishment of a committee to review meal plans in the coming year.

A member spoke in favour of the motion and thanked food operation for its progress over the last couple of years.

The motion was carried.

iv. Residence – Chris McGrath, Assistant Dean of Student Affairs

The Residence management report and operating plan are attached hereto as Appendix C.

Mr. McGrath reported the consultation process for the residence budget included the residence council executive and the association of graduate students.

He noted that the opening of Oscar Peterson Hall in 2007 had a significant impact on residence operations in the current year. UTM has added 812 beds to the residence inventory in support of campus’ expansion plan.

He reported that the forecast for 2007-08 was better than initially planned. The budgeted operating result was a deficit of $1.324M, reflecting the rapid expansion of student residences in the past seven years, including the addition of 812 new undergraduate beds to support the campus’ enrollment expansion plan. The forecast for 2007-08 then, is an operating deficit of $977,385, $346,723 less than the plan. A number of factors contributed to this result, including a lower than anticipated occupancy rate, at 92%, which resulted in a revenue shortfall of $745,238. Mr. McGrath added that the university continues to operate under the first-year residence guarantee. All other expense areas are close to plan. Savings were made associated with the mortgage on Oscar Peterson Hall, resulting in the ability to improve performance on SARG requirements: the operating budget will be in a surplus position within 4 years (SARG requirement of 5 years) and the total fund balance will be in a positive position within 10 years (SARG requirement of 8 years) instead of last year’s projected 13 years.

Mr. McGrath reported that for the coming year undergraduate residence fees are planned to increase by 8% in 2008-09 as compared to 8.8% in 2007-08. Family and graduate rental rates are planned to increase by 4% in 2008-08, as compared to 5.13% in 2007-08. He noted that undergraduate room rates, when combined with mandatory meal plan fees, remain competitive compared to other residence ancillaries within the university and within the Southwest region of Ontario. With respect to family and graduate housing, rates remain competitive in comparison to off-campus accommodation.

Mr. McGrath emphasized that the residence budget is healthy given the amount of expansion it has undergone and the large range of programs and services offered to students living on campus.

It was duly moved and seconded,
THAT Erindale College Council approve the Residence 2008-09 operating plan and management report.

(C. McGrath/S. Wahid)

The Chair opened the floor to discussion of the motion.

In response to a member’s question about what rate increase was projected last year, Mr. McGrath referred the member to the residence management report and explained that for undergraduate housing this year’s increase is 8% and last year it was 8.8%, while for family and graduate housing, the increase is 4% this year, and was 5% in the previous year.

The motion was approved.

v. Conference Services – Gale Richter, Manager of Conference Services

The Conference services management report and operating plan are attached hereto as Appendix D.

Ms. Richter explained in addition to the SARG guidelines, the Conference Services ancillary has a number of objectives as follows:

• To utilize campus resources that might otherwise remain idle to produce income for UTM
• To maintain and replace campus resources which can be used for both Conference and other uses
• To further the academic mission and recruiting efforts by providing opportunities for academic conferences and youth conferences

Regarding the 2007-08 budget, revenues are expected to be $152,789 higher than the original budget, due to an increase in food revenue, facilities/space rental and accommodation revenue as a result of higher registrations at a number of conferences as well as two new conference groups.

Salaries, wages and benefits expense will be $45,713 lower than budget. This is offset by cleaning expense which is now shown on a line separate from salaries, wages and benefits. Conference expense related to food is more than budget due to higher than expected conference bookings. Supplies expense is $14,076 more than budget due to the addition of temporary linen cart rentals and laundry services being taken over by a linen supply contractor. Additional expenses are attributable to need to replace linens damaged as a result of a break-in at Thomas Cottage and one additional conference registration & travel expense. Finally, other expenses will be $40,661 lower than budget due to the carpet cleaning contract moving to a cleaning contractor and the laundry services contract moving to a linen supplier. The operating result is expected to be $174,042. The unrestricted surplus balance is expected to be $211,639.

With respect to the 2008-09 budget, Ms. Richter reported that total revenues are projected to decrease to $897,642 due to lower accommodation and food revenues. She noted that this budget was taking a conservative position given that some of UTM’s current customers have yet to confirm their intentions to return. Total expenses will decrease by approximately $63,000 due to the decreased customer base. The operating result is forecast at $47,503. The unrestricted surplus balance is expected to be $262,995.

It was duly moved and seconded,
THAT Erindale College Council approve the Conference Services 2008-09 operating plan and management report. (G. Richter/L. Gaspini)

The Chair opened the floor for discussion of the motion.

A member suggested that the Resource Planning & Priorities Committee look at the remuneration of other ancillaries with respect to the residence operation. The Chair of Council referred the matter to the Chair of RPPC and one of the Committee’s upcoming meetings.

In response to a member’s question about why there may be fewer returning customers, Ms. Richter explained that customers are shopping around for better rates and available facilities which can be confirmed early; in addition, many associations travel across the country, only returning to Ontario approximately every four years.

The motion was approved.

b) Computing Committee: Report of the January 15, 2008 meeting – Joe Lim

Mr. Lim reported that the committee received a presentation on scheduled or planned system outages, which are planned for every third Friday between 5:00 and 9:00 p.m. He noted that areas affected will be communicated to the UTM community approximately one week before the planned scheduled maintenance. The Computing Committee also received an update from the Chief Administrative Officer on the Storm Water Management Pond, the South Building renovation and the Medical Academy project, all of which will have significant impact on information technology on campus. Regular announcement will be distributed to the UTM community about possible disruptions on a timely basis as these capital projects get underway.

The Chair opened the floor to questions.

A member asked for an update on the UTORmail transition and how problems have been dealt with. Mr. Lim explained that a project was currently underway on moving the university’s mail system to an exchange system sometime in the spring of 2009. All UTM faculty and staff users will be included in this shift, which will mean that all Oracle calendar users will be moved to an exchange calendar. He added that there would be a more detailed update on the UTORmail transfer at the next meeting of the Computing Committee.

3. Vice President and Principal's Report

Professor Orchard thanked all the service managers and their teams for their presentation on the ancillary budgets and for the services they provide.

Regarding the Academy of Medicine, Professor Orchard reported the planning reports were approved through Governing Council and that the project planning committee was currently finalizing specific plans. Construction is scheduled to begin in the fall of 2008.

The Vice President and Principal also reported that the Storm Water Management Pond was approved through Governing Council and that construction was scheduled to commence in May 2008, to be completed by September 2008.

In closing, Professor Orchard thanked the Health and Safety committee, the Cancer Society and Peel Health for taking part in the campus’ non-smoking campaign.

4. New Business

Mr. Khogali thanked Mr. Ray deSouza and Mr. Paull Goldsmith for making temporary prayer space available; he expressed his hope that a permanent solution for prayer space would be found in the near future. Mr. Khogali also thanked Mr. Jason Nicholls, a staff member leaving Residence, for his support of UTMSU and the Student Centre in general over the past several years.

Mr. Khogali announced that UTMSU was hosting a town hall event on the post secondary act and urged faculty, staff, and graduate and undergraduate students to attend the event, scheduled to start at 5:45 p.m. in the Council Chamber.

The next meeting of Erindale College Council will be on Thursday, March 6, 2008.

The meeting adjourned at 4:15 p.m. (S. Wahid/J. Lim)

Secretary ___________________________________ Chair ___________________________________