Report: January 27, 2005



MINUTES OF THE ERINDALE COLLEGE COUNCIL meeting held on Thursday, January 27, 2005 at 3:15 p.m., in the Council Chamber, South Building, UTM.

PRESENT: B. Branfireun (in the Chair), R. Beck, I. Orchard, B. Khan, G. Bunker, L. Wilson-Powels, J. Seel, F. Ahmed, A. Khan, S. Miranda, D. Crocker, J. Griffin, L. Collins, M. King, L. Gaspini, C. Bryson, L. Vanderwees, A. Bellerby, L. Paris, A. Wensley, J. Lougheed-Laycock, B. Louie, T. Carlile, J. McCurdy-Myers, I. Still, E. Kobluk, C. Thibault, G. Richter, K. Krupica, S. Prior, A. Vyas, K. Piascik, R. deSouza, C. Misak, I. Haq, J. Linley, H. Gunz, M. Overton, D. Leeies, A. Nicholson, S. Hook, I. Whyte, M. Massey, R. Reisz, J. Tyios, S. O’Connell, S. Kibria, A. Iwaniw, B. Thompson, N. Collins, H. Aboghodieh, S. Abrahim, Z. Baig, J. Hendricks, N. Hendricks, P. Ash, G. Bunker
REGRETS: K. Duncliffe

1. Adoption of Agenda

The agenda was approved. (D. Leeies/I. Orchard)

2. Minutes of Previous Meeting (December 8, 2004)

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

3. Business Arising from the Minutes.

There was no business arising from the minutes.

Professor Beck announced that he chaired the last meeting of the Resource Planning and Priorities Committee to replace Professor Baker, who took on the position of Chair of Zoology at the University of Toronto. As a result, for the report of the Resource Planning and Priorities Committee, Professor Branfireun would chair the Council meeting.

Professor Beck welcomed Ms. Carmen Bryson, who was elected as an administrative staff member in the January by-elections of Erindale College Council. He further welcomed guests to the proceedings of Erindale College Council, but stressed that only members of Council could exercise their vote.

Professor Brian Branfireum took the Chair.

4. Reports of Standing Committees

a) Meeting of the Resource Planning and Priorities Committee (Report of January 10, 2005) – Roger Beck

Professor Beck reported that the Resource Planning and Priorities Committee met on January 10, 2005 to review the ancillary budgets. He stated that the four ancillary budgets were approved as presented and that there was a long and full discussion of the issues related to parking and residences. The presentation also included a review of Service Ancillary Review Group (SARG) requirements. He called on Ray deSouza to commence the ancillary presentations.

i) Overview of the SARG process – Ray deSouza

The Chief Administrative Officer 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. He noted that in recent years, UTM ancillary operations have not been in the financial position to contribute to the operating budget.

He also added that provincial funding does not allow Universities to use government funding for capital expenditures and that these funds have to be generated within the university.

ii) Parking Ancillary Budget – Ray deSouza

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

The Chief Administrative Officer reported that the above-ground structure, which was debated and approved in principle by Erindale College Council in January of 2004, was currently in the Request For Proposals phase. The parking structure will provide a net increase of 543 parking spaces to give total of 3200 spaces campus wide and is scheduled to open in July of 2006. Mr. deSouza explained that the projected total number of parking spaces still falls short of the 30 spaces per 100 users as recommended by Council.

Mr. deSouza noted that in order to finance this new construction, increases in parking rates would have to continue as predicted in the previous year’s budget. He reported that approximate costs of the parking garage include $20M in capital construction costs for the garage structure itself, and an additional $1M for the surrounding storm water management system.

The Chief Administrative Officer continued his report of the parking budget with the financial figures for the current year. He reported that revenues are expected to exceed budget by approximately $117K and expenses are close to budget, but significant expenses exist associated with the final payment for the construction of Lot#8 and improvements to the roadway in front of the South Building. This results in a net operating surplus of $88,500.

He further reported that the 2005/06 budget reflects rate increases of 30% for reserved and underground permits, and 25% for unreserved permits, which is expected to provide UTM with total budget revenue of $1.8M. He noted that although the increases were approved in last year’s long-range budget, approvals are required for each budget year. Mr. deSouza explained that the increase in expenditures is twofold: UTM assumed the mortgage for the CCIT parking garage and introduced a capital reserve of 10% of total expenses net of capital renewal expenses, as required by SARG guidelines.

The Chief Administrative Officer concluded his presentation by noting that the long-range plans take into account the 1000-space parking garage and the rate increases.

It was duly moved and seconded,
THAT the Parking Ancillary report be accepted. (R. deSouza /I. Orchard)

The Chair opened the floor to discussion.

The Vice-President and Principal thanked those who contributed to the development of the ancillary budgets and reminded members that rate increases were predicted and approved by Council in the previous year. He added that parking plans were consistent with UTM’s Grow Smart, Grow Green mandate and the results of recent debates about whether the campus should build less costly surface lots, versus more costly above-ground parking structures. He noted that the campus has endorsed a mandate that preserves existing green spaces, by building on top of existing surface lots and relying on the introduction of an above-ground garage.

Although recognizing that the proposed budget was a way to finance the parking garage, a member expressed his disagreement with the parking plan, commenting that former proposals included two separate garages, which could be implemented at a slower pace, potentially passing on costs to users over an extended period of time. The member further noted that improvements to inner circle were well received.

The Chair of the Resource Planning and Priorities Committee stated that the budgeting process has a narrow window during which members can be informed. He noted that the Resource Planning and Priorities Committee discussed the limited time members had to consider budgetary figures and were informed about the complex process and the need to base the budget on realistic and accurate figures, which may not exist as early as some might wish. He further noted that measures were discussed which may better prepare members to make an informed decision. This issue and the introduction of information sessions was also discussed at the Executive Committee, which will make a recommendation to the next meeting of the Resource Planning and Priorities Committee.

A member commented that the increase in rates would only make the CCIT garage more difficult to fill. Another member suggested lowering the parking rates in that building. The Chief Administrative Officer explained that the CCIT garage is part of the overall inventory of parking spaces called for in preparation of the 60% enrolment increase in 2007/08 and beyond. The Vice-President and Principal explained that it is anticipated that these spaces would be filled in response to the enrolment increase.

In response to a member’s question about increased rates for unreserved parking, Mr. Linley explained that that the reasons are two-fold: annual maintenance costs, which include a expenses incurred on an annual operating basis, such as overhead, wages, and security; and secondly that the capital costs associated with the new above-parking structure, which will be classified as unreserved spaces.

A member asked about the reason for the difference in rate increases between reserved and unreserved parking permits. Mr. Linley explained that the difference between the two types of permits is a result of the convenience provided by reserved lots, which are not oversold as opposed to unreserved lots, which are oversold. He added that overall rates represent a consistent model, used throughout the University of Toronto.

A member stated that currently two floors of the CCIT garage are not being used and suggested using current resources to subsidize unreserved parking rates. The Dean commented that UTM was not only experiencing increased enrolment, but increases in faculty and staff as well, suggesting that any current unused spaces would be filled. The member asked that CCIT parking spaces be decreased in price during the 2005-06 academic year and while construction of the parking garage is ongoing. The Vice-President and Principal commented that the underground parking lot only came into use in September of 2004, which is a short time for community members to get accustomed to this new lot. He pointed out that the ancillary business plans were developed by professionals and represent best possible business models.

A member remarked that UTM has adopted an overly aggressive growth strategy and that projects have been taken forward based on a very short consultation process. Professor Orchard explained that the growth strategy had been actively debated at UTM beginning in 1999, with the expansion starting in 2000. He confirmed that UTM is on an ambitious growth plan in response to demand from Ontario citizens. He added that these business plans would further be scrutinized by SARG.

With respect to a comparison parking fees for similar institutions, a member remarked that other university campuses have better access to public transportation. The Vice-President and Principal explained that UTM continues to works very closely with Mississauga Transit to improve bus routes to the campus and that these efforts have already been rewarded with the addition of new bus routes in the previous year. He added that when Council discussed and approved parking rates in 2003 and 2004, it recommended the implementation of measures that would reduce the number of cars entering the campus. As a result, UTM is continuously working on increasing the availability of public transportation options and has implemented a successful carpooling program.

Another member expressed his thanks to those who developed the parking ancillary, which in his opinion was a well thought out document. He further noted that the increase of unreserved parking by a lower percentage than reserved parking was an effort to reduce the total financial load on students. The member also informed Council that public transportation costs per day at $5.50 per round trip are more expensive than parking on campus, which costs $3.00 per day based on this year’s proposed fees.

A member commented that UTM was considered to be a commuter campus and added that students were upset with the proposed rate increases, in light of unused parking spaces in the CCIT building.

In response to a member question about why rates were increasing when 400 parking spaces were being lost, the Chief Administrative Officer explained that UTM is in fact gaining a net increase of approximately 543 parking spots with the addition of the 1000 spot above-ground parking garage being built on top of Lot#4. Temporary parking would also be provided to ameliorate the loss of parking spaces resulting from this capital project.

Referring to the ancillary handout, a member noted that he observed a decrease as opposed to an increase in annual maintenance costs and questioned why parking rates were increasing when maintenance costs were going down. Mr. Linley pointed to the total expense line in schedule 1 of the ancillary report, which showed an increase in total expenses. He further explained that annual maintenance costs were in fact increasing and were due in part to the final payment for the extension of Lot#8 as described in the Executive Summary of the ancillary distributed to all Council members. He reported that maintenance financial figures were based on studies conducted by facilities staff on equipment age, deterioration, and estimates for replacements. He emphasized that rates were based on all direct and indirect costs, and not just on maintenance costs.

A member commented that rate increases would have the effect of decreasing subscription to parking permits and asked whether this had been taken into account in the financial model. The CAO stated that the CCIT garage had not yet completed a full year of operations, and at the end of the full year of operation those figures would be reflected in next year’s budget.

The Chair of the Resource Planning and Priorities Committee noted that there was a long and full discussion at the January 10th meeting of that Committee and that an opportunity for long discussion has been provided at the current Council meeting. He called for the previous question.

It was duly moved that the question on the main motion be put. The motion was called to question. The Motion was carried.

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

iii) Conference Services Ancillary Budget – J. Linley

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

Mr. Linley reported that the ancillary is continuing to face challenges associated with continued recovery because of SARS, marketing the campus to new groups for conferences, utilizing space in an expanding and constantly changing environment, and attempting to grow the business within the constraint of renovations during the summer to some Residences.

Mr. Linley stated that traditionally, this ancillary was in a position to contribute to the operating budget of UTM, but financial circumstances have not allowed it to do so for the past two years. Conference services is working more closely with Residence to plan and coordinate the stock of rooms affecting summer conference business. The operation is also planning to market its services more aggressively. Total revenues are expected to increase modestly by $60,000 from the 2004-5 forecast due to anticipated recovery of the business combined with the lack of accommodation space owing to UTM Residence renovations. Mr. Linley explained that the contract of the Toronto Argonauts Football Club with UTM ends at the end of 2005, at which time other opportunities may be pursued.

Total expenses are expected to be approximately $20,000 less than budget, mainly due to a lower expenses for food costs. Mr. Linley concluded his presentation by stating that the operating result before commitments for the 2005-06 budget is expected to be a small deficit of $4,450.

It was duly moved and seconded, THAT the Conference Ancillary report be accepted. (J. Linley/D. Crocker) The Motion was carried.

iv) Food Services Ancillary Budget – J. Linley

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

Mr. Linley reported that Food Services has experienced a year of transition with Chartwells Compass Group of Canada and is working through the marketing of new concepts and the renovations of food outlets to provide service to the UTM community. He explained that extensive renovations had been completed during current academic year. Williams Coffee Pub and the Spice cafeteria in the North Building outlets remain to be completed, and this delay has affected revenues negatively.

Expansion plans for the future include a Residence Dining Hall and Meal Plan (2007) and a Library Café (2006), however, the current long-range financial plan is based on current operations with no assumed increase in revenues for these outlets. A campus card system woudl be implemented to facilitate the use of the meal plan.

Mr. Linley commented that space is currently insufficient, poorly located and pressed by other needs. This situation results in much lower revenues than should be generated by Food Services at UTM. In the 2004-05 forecast, total revenue is expected to be approximately $125,000 less than the original budget related to the delays of some of the outlets as decribed above. Total expenses will be approximately $47,000 less than budget. The operating result before commitments is $77,000 lower than budget due to the negative revenue variance and the costs of renovations and transition. The increase in the capital reserve is being maintained to finance future capital expenditures required for growth.

A negative total fund balance of $71,614 is projected, which is expected to improve in 2005-6 and be positive by 2006-7 as revenues exceed expenditures annually with the completion of space and growth in the operations.

Mr. Linley concluded with estimates for the 2005-06 budget. Sales are expected to increase due to enrolment increases and a full year’s operation of Williams Coffee Pub and Spice in the North Building. Total revenues have been conservatively budgeted at approximately $108,000 higher than forecast in 2004-5.

It was duly moved and seconded, THAT the report of the Food Services Ancillary report be accepted. (J. Linley / I. Orchard)

The Chair opened the floor to discussion.

In response to a member’s question about when Spice would open, Mr. Linley explained that there had been delays associated with the design, renovations, contractors, and City of Mississauga code requirements, but it is expected that the facility would open at the end of February. Also in response to a member’s question, Mr. Linley explained that a meal plan would be fully implemented when the new residence opens, but that a modified meal plan is under discussion beginning one year prior to the building opening.

Mr. Linley reported that the delay in the opening of Williams Coffee Pub and Spice, the UTM community is experiencing a shortage of food options, but added that these problems would be addressed by September of 2005. In the interim, UTM has introduced a hot dog cart to somewhat ameliorate the shortage of food options. Also in response to a member’s question, Mr. Linley reported that vending machines and convenience copiers would be installed in the CCIT building by September of 2005.

A member suggested that Spigel Hall remain open late into the evening for study purposes.

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

v) Residence Ancillary Budget – Chris McGrath

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

Mr. McGrath reported that the Residence ancillary financial plans were developed in coordination with the Residence Finance Committee, which meets several times to offer its feedback. He referred members to the document from members of the Residence Finance Committee, showing that Committee’s full support of the budget plans.

Mr. McGrath described the following key accomplishments during the 2004-05 year, which expanded programs and services offered to students:

  • Successful launch of Residence Academic Mentorship program, which matches first year students with outstanding upper year residence students in their academic discipline, for ongoing support and mentorship;
  • Collaborative integration of 2 student academic programmers into the Residence Life staff, whose focus is on programming with an academic focus and integrating success programs into the residence community;
  • Successful recruitment and hiring of a 66% FTE Personal Counsellor for Residence students, in our commitment to ensuring the personal health and wellness of our students during their time on campus;
  • Continued success of our Living Learning Communities, including sending 28 students on a service trip to Salama, Guatemala in May of 2005 to work with schoolchildren on literacy projects, and youth living with HIV/AIDS;
  • Successful completion of beginning stages of design process for the new Phase 8 student residence;
  • Moved a lot of application and operational processes on-line for students and moving toward a web-based student self-service module
  • Introduction of four study lounges and renovated and overhauled all of the laundry rooms, so that laundry rooms now exist in all of the phases of residence
  • Installed a new roof and internal upgrades in Leacock Lane
  • Converted a row of townhouses in Leacock lane to natural gas heating, contributing to UTM’s fuel cell initiative
  • Interior redesign of undergraduate units in Schreiberwood Residence, including new paint, carpet and furniture;
  • Successful investigation into mould problems in MaGrath Valley Residence and collaborative determination of remedies with students, including the installation of new exhaust fans and the replacement of all windows over a five-year period

He outlined significant plans for 2005-06, including the following:

  • Collaboration with UTM Computing Services to provide residence students with a comprehensive telecommunications package (telephone and internet) in every student room;
  • Upgrade of the interior finishes in McLuhan Court Residence including new paint, carpet, lighting and plumbing fixtures
  • Ongoing monitoring and remediation of mould problems in student residences including installation of new exhaust fans in all MaGrath Valley apartments and the first phase of window replacement the same complex;
  • Upgrade and replacement of all exterior lighting fixtures throughout each residence complex;
  • Increased use of more energy efficient fluorescent bulbs throughout all residences;
  • Renovation of Erindale Hall Board Room to become a music studio for residence student use;
  • Ongoing Development of web-based residence admission processes for 2005 admissions cycle including launch of a web-based student self-service module;
  • Ongoing development of the Phase 8 Residence project, including beginning of construction.

Mr. McGrath explained that expenses were more than budgeted for two major reasons: the natural gas conversion of one of the residences costing $360,000 and the relocation of the main telephone and internet hub equipment for all the residences related to the construction of Phase 8, costing $212,000.

Mr. McGrath proceeded to discuss the budget for the upcoming year. A 6% increase is proposed in rates across the board for both undergraduate and family and graduate housing as compared to last year’s differential rate increase of 6.5% for undergraduate housing and 2.9% for family and graduate housing. The Tenant Protection Act (TPA) capped increases in the rental rates for graduate and family housing units at lower permissible amounts and these sections of the Act were previously thought to have applied to UTM. He commented that if UTM continued differential rate increases, undergraduate students would be taxed to a larger extent to offset expenses that are needed in order to maintain and improve the facilities and the programs and services offered to graduate and family students. Rate increases would go to cover costs associated with the construction of Phase 8 Residence and the need to do considerable maintenance upgrades to MaGrath Valley, in addition to anticipated similar expenses related to Schreiberwood Residence.

Mr. McGrath emphasized that the stability of the residence ancillary provides a solid financial foundation for the growth of programs and services and that the Residence department is committed to ensuring zero deferred maintenance each year, by allocating a substantial amount of money towards annual maintenance and capital renewal.

With the opening of Phase 8, another area of investment for Residence is in the human resource area and the budget includes up to an additional 7 FTE positions in the next two to three years. Mr. McGrath pointed to the rate comparison document distributed to members, which showed that UTM’s rates are below average when compared to similar institutions across Ontario and community rental rates.

It was duly moved and seconded,
THAT the Residence Ancillary report be accepted. (C. McGrath /D. Leeies)

The Chair opened the floor to discussion.

A member suggested that in order to help students cope with rate increases, UTM should work with OSAP to ameliorate the resulting financial strain on students.

The Vice-President and Principal congratulated Mr. McGrath and his staff on their work and on creating a positive residence environment and thanked the residence finance committee for their contributions to the development of the residence ancillary.

In response to a member’s question about the withdrawal of the cap on residence rates, Mr. McGrath explained that UTM had historically abided by this guideline. He further added that in the past UTM was not experiencing current growth rates and the corresponding programming expansion, which necessitate the resulting rate increases. He noted that the goal for next year’s budget and beyond is for lower increases rental rates.

It was duly moved that the question on the main motion be put. The motion was called to question. The Motion was carried.

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

The Chair of the Resource Planning and Priorities Committee further reported that at its January 10th meeting, a member suggested that consideration of the parking ancillary be delayed until an upcoming meeting with Transportation Minister Harinder Takhar, at which she hoped to discuss UTM’s parking and transportation issues. Professor Beck reported that Committee members agreed that if discussions with Minister Takhar yielded a positive funding opportunity to UTM, the parking budget could be reshaped to reflect such changes. The member added that this meeting is scheduled for March 1, 2005.

It was duly moved and seconded,
THAT the report of the Resource Planning and Priorities Committee be accepted. (R. Beck/I. Orchard)

A member stated that there was not enough time to properly consider the ancillary budgets. Another member expressed his view that the budgets were being pushed through without due consideration. The Vice-President and Principal reported that in recognition of the narrow timeframe for consideration of the ancillaries, members of the Executive Committee discussed how the time constraint issue could be addressed and recommended the introduction of Information Sessions, similar to those organized by Governing Council. He explained that Governing Council conducted information sessions on select issues to provide members with a framework and background for decision making. These sessions also provide members with an opportunity to ask questions in a less formal setting and show how proposals presented for approval are developed. Actual details of the proposals may not be available for these meetings, but estimates would be given. This type of service would allow members to gain a more thorough understanding of ancillaries before they would be asked to approve them. A similar process is proposed for the consideration of curriculum matters.

It was duly moved and seconded,
THAT the motion regarding the Parking Ancillary be reconsidered.

The member requested a roll call vote. The member was informed that because of the size of Council membership and since all faculty were members of Council, it would be unfeasible to call out each member’s name alphabetically for a vote; instead each member present rose and announced their vote as follows:

Those in favour of reconsidering the motion regarding the parking ancillary: 10

Husain Aboghodieh
Shawn Abrahim
Zeeshan Baig
Shaila Kibria
Karla Krupica
Melissa Massey
Sean O’Connell
Konrad Piascik
Christelle Thibault
Michael Wright

Those against reconsidering the motion regarding the parking ancillary: 30

Pat Ash
Roger Beck
Andrew Bellerby
Carmen Bryson
Greg Bunker
Teresa Carlile
Kathy Chadder
Lynda Collins
Diane Crocker
Ray deSouza
Lucy Gaspini
Hugh Gunz
Jonathan Hendricks
Aubrey Iwaniw
Ulli Krull
Douglas Leeies
Jim Linley
Joshua Lougheed-Laycock
Elizabeth Martin
Joan McCurdy-Myers
Chris McGrath
Cheryl Misak
Andrew Nicholson
Ian Orchard
Mark Overton
Gale Richter
Ian Still
Anil Vyas
Anthony Wensley
Lynda Wilson-Powels

The motion was defeated.

The motion to accept the report of the Resource Planning and Priorities Committee was called to question. The motion was carried.

5. The Vice-President and Principal’s Report

Professor Orchard indicated that as a result of time limitations he would defer his report to the next meeting of Erindale College Council.

Professor Beck took the Chair.

6. Other Business

a) A member commended Ms. Kibria for her efforts in trying to work with the Minister of Transportation and called on members of UTM’s senior administration to aid in this regard. The Chief Administrative Officer replied that he had met with student leaders and had offered to meet with Minister Takhar to discuss transportation and parking issues. The Vice-President and Principal added that the university invests considerable resources to lobby the government for increased funding and advocating on behalf of students. The Dean further remarked that substantial efforts were also being made in fundraising.

b) On behalf of the University of Toronto at Mississauga and Erindale College Council, Professor Orchard expressed his deepest sympathy to Mr. Mike Lavelle, a long time UTM staff member devoted to the student experience on the tragic loss of his wife.

7. Next Meeting:

The Chair reminded members that the next meeting was scheduled for Thursday, March 10, 2005, commencing at 3:15 p.m. in the Council Chamber.

The meeting adjourned at 5:15 p.m. (G. Richter / A. Vyas)

Secretary of Council __________________________Chair______________________

February 28, 2005