Report: November 22, 2004


Erindale College Council

REPORT OF THE RESOURCE PLANNING AND PRIORITIES COMMITTEE meeting of Erindale College Council held on Monday, November 22, 2004 at 3:10 p.m., in the Alumni Lounge, room 3138, South Building.

PRESENT: R. Baker (in the Chair), I. Orchard, R. deSouza, D. Crocker, S. O’Connell, P. Calderon, K. Krupica, J. Linley, P. King, B. Branfireun, B. Schneider, M. Jalland, M. Georges, M. Lord
REGRETS: K. Hannah-Moffat, U. Krull
In attendance: Mark Overton

1. Adoption of the Agenda

The agenda was approved. (I. Orchard / B. Branfireun)

2. Minutes of the Previous Meeting (September 13, 2004)

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

3. Business arising from the minutes

There was no business arising from the minutes.

4. New Business


The Vice-President and Principal was pleased to welcome Mr. Ray deSouza as UTM’s new Chief Administrative Officer. Mr. deSouza joined the University in 1988 as the administrative officer in the Department of Physics responsible for budget, procurement, human resource management and facilities management. He was then recruited to the Dean’s office and became first Director of the Faculty of Arts and Science new office of Administrative Services and Planning, which was created to manage the physical infrastructure of the vast network of offices, laboratories, classrooms, computer labs, workshops and information technology networks and support services. Professor Orchard noted that Mr. deSouza is very sensitive to the needs of faculty, staff and students and will work closely with the UTM community to improve resources and services.

b) UTM Budget Priorities – Ray deSouza and Ian Orchard

The Chief Administrative Officer explained a major budgetary priority for UTM is dealing with various deficits through to the 2009 period. Space planning is also a major priority and UTM is actively working to address this ongoing challenge. Infrastructure needs are also a focus for planning. He emphasized the importance of integrating student needs into infrastructure needs. He added that he would report back to this Committee on these matters.

The Vice-President and Principal continued the report with an outline of UTM’s plans to accommodate base budget problems. He reminded members of the previous presentation to this Committee on the long range forecast, which planned for investing in projects upfront prior to receiving funding for the expansion. While this led to a large OTO deficit for each year of the expansion, no structural deficit in the base existed. These circumstances changed when the University introduced its last budget plan, with further cuts to each division. As a result, each division was asked to model a budget plan based on these cuts and to submit their new plans for approval to the Provost.

UTM introduced a new approach to its budget, building positive variance into the plan. In addition, Professor Orchard noted that UTM was asked to model a cautious enrolment figure and build in a negative variance, with a shortfall of 200 FTEs.

UTM will also focus its recruitment efforts on increasing educational and ethnic diversity by increasing international student enrolment. A projected 50% increase in international students over 5 years (10% each year over 5 years) has been modeled as an achievable target. For the 2005/06 year, this plan would mean 38 extra students. The budget has built in a positive variance for the corresponding international tuition into the base. He added that this international recruiting mission would be a tri-campus effort.

The Vice-President and Principal went on to outline UTM’s application for funding from the Academic Initiatives Fund (AIF). Among the requested items is funding for recruitment needs as they relate to international students. UTM has also requested that the University pay off the mortgages on the CABB and CCIT facilities, which would save approximately $890K per year in the base budget. In turn, UTM has specifically outlined how these ‘saved’ funds would be used in different areas around the campus to improve the quality of student services.

Positive variance has also been modeled into the budget in the form of achievable fundraising targets. The fundraising goal of the Academic Learning Centre is targeted at $7M, which would free up approximately $660K per year on the project’s mortgage. This same figure is projected at $270K resulting from the $2M fundraising goal of UTM’s new entrance, and the Alumni House and Alumni Gates projects.

Another factor that has been built into the budget is the success rate of academic hires. UTM had not previously modeled into the budget that new faculty searches are not always successful. The new budget projections take into account a 60-70% success rate in such searches, which would free up $500K per year. In addition, funding for five Canada Research Chairs and non-replacement of academic hires have also been built into the budget.

With the above projections built into the budget, the Vice-President and Principal noted that by 2005/06 UTM would be in a positive budgetary position by $2.5M, which would then go into paying off debt. Although UTM is allowed to carry a cumulative deficit, these plans allow it to go forward in a fiscally responsible way.

The Vice-President and Principal noted that the budget model was seeking to create long-term fiscal responsibility and asked for the endorsement of the Committee for the general direction and principles as outlined above.

The Chair opened the floor to questions.

A member asked for clarification of the purpose of the AIF, noting his opinion that this fund was intended for the establishment of new centres and not to fund previously established projects. The Vice-President and Principal explained that the AIF was developed by the previous Provost for funding new initiatives, but that the current Provost re-evaluated the Fund’s purpose in light of the current atmosphere of a lack of funding. UTM’s proposal specifically outlines how saved money from mortgages would be used, including funding for registrarial and accessibility services and funding for the Office of Advancement. For example, there is currently no budget line item to replace broken laboratory equipment or for entrance scholarships; UTM’s proposal asks for such improvements in teaching undergraduate students.

A member asked whether the long range budget figures included transfers from indirect costs on research grants. The Vice-President and Principal explained that the University of Toronto is developing a new budget model, in which UTM would get a bigger share of indirect costs. He emphasized that UTM had not yet modeled its long-range plan on the new budget model.

In response to a member’s question about fundraising targets, Professor Orchard explained that in addition to the projects discussed above, specific targets exist for the Recreation, Athletics, and Wellness Centre, and with respect to department specific fundraising. The budget has been modeled on the probable success of these major fundraising targets.

5. Other Business

The Chair remarked that one of the important aspects of planning for UTM is planning for research space and asked how this type of detailed planning will be accomplished. Professor Orchard explained that estimates for space needs exist for new hires and for replacements for retirees. The Chair noted that some retirees who did not conduct research will be replaced by research intensive faculty and that space planning also needs to take this into account.

The Chief Administrative Officer commented that the Vice-President and Principal and the Vice Principal Research will be working to address this issue. He added that one way departments can aid in this process is by identifying existing space that can be reconfigured for research space use. The Vice-President and Principal remarked that the existing Library, once reconfigured, would fulfil some of these space needs. A member commented that another factor that needs to be addressed is faculty who are retired, but are still active in research.

In response to a member’s question about whether a new science building is still part of UTM’s capital plans, the Vice-President and Principal explained that while the project had not been abandoned, an entirely new building may not be needed if existing space is reconfigured or if smaller additions or pods are made to the South Building, similar to the

CABB facility. UTM has also applied for funding through CFI grants, which would allow for building these pods for non-heavily serviced faculty needs, which in turn would free up heavily serviced areas.

The Vice-President and Principal added that the Space Planning Committee would be considering these issues in detail and would report to this Committee in the future.

6. Next Meeting

The next meeting of the Resource Planning and Priorities Committee is scheduled for Monday, January 10, 2005.

The meeting was adjourned at 4:30 p.m. (I. Orchard / B. Branfireun)

Secretary of Council _______________________ Chair ___________________

December 21, 2004