Report: September 24, 2007


Report of the Resource Planning & Priorities Committee meeting of Erindale College Council held on Monday, September 24, 2007 at 3:10 p.m. in the Ante Room, #3129, South Building.

Present: R. Reisz (in the Chair), I. Orchard, R. deSouza, U. Krull, D. Crocker, T. Al-Sarraj, M. Jalland, D. Pond, C. Capewell, S. Munro

Regrets: P. Pliner, G. Rattan, K. Duncliffe, M. Levene

In attendance: Duncan Hill, timetabling officer, Bill McFadden, manger of retail planning, development and operations

The Chair welcomed all members back to the work of the Resource Planning & Priorities Committee and thanked outgoing committee members Michael Jalland, Patricia Pliner, Michael Georges, Gurpreet Rattan, and Ken Duncliffe for their service.

1) Approval of Minutes of the Previous Meeting (September 25, 2006; March 26, 2007)

The reports of both the September 25, 2006 (R. deSouza/M. Jalland) and March 26, 2007 (R. deSouza/I. Orchard) meetings were approved.

2) Reports of Committees and Officers:

a) Report of the Chief Administrative Officer, Ray deSouza

Mr. deSouza asked the Director of Business Services, Ms. Christine Capewell to commence her report on the operating budget of the U of T Mississauga.

Ms. Capewell reported that the 2007-08 budget allocation was $80, 166, 000, of which approximately 68% is attributable to direct teaching and research budgets, 6% to utilities and 26% to administration, library, and student services costs. She noted that U of T Mississauga was currently operating under the new budget model. This means that budget cuts were not going to be decided by central U of T administration, but rather U of T Mississauga must determine how to manage its own operations within the limits of its budget allocation.

Ms. Capewell reported that the result for 2007-08 showed a shortfall, which was funded by using carry forwards, by not filling vacant positions and by a 6% one time only cut imposed on administrative departments and the library. She added that U of T Mississauga was in a difficult position in that it was expected to get through the current year working within the confines of a break even budget. The current accumulated deficit balance was $20,227,000.

Ms. Capewell explained that the long range or 5 year budget plan was currently being finalized. From 2007-08 on, U of T Mississauga was expected to produce a balanced annual budget. Budget plans will be reviewed by the Office of the Provost in November. Budget development and negotiation was occurring at three different levels: meetings were occurring between the Vice President & Principal, the Chief Administrative Officer and the Provost; a budget steering committee has been established consisting of the directors of business services and financial officers; and a larger group consisting of divisional financial officers will also meet.

The Chair opened the floor to questions.

In response to a member’s question, Ms. Capewell explained that to date no interest had been charged to U of T Mississauga on its deficit.

A member asked about the Provost’s view of the $20M U of T Mississauga deficit. The Vice President & Principal explained that it would be worth recapping why the campus had a deficit of this size. Since 1999 U of T Mississauga had an agreement with U of T and the Provost at the time to expand student enrolment from 6000 to 11,000 and to hire faculty and build new facilities in anticipation of and ahead of the enrolment peak. The only way U of T Mississauga could accomplish this is by having an approved deficit, on the understating that by the time the campus reached a steady state of enrolment, it would be in a position to pay it back. This course of action had approval from each consecutive Provost. However, during the 2006-07 year, a 5 year budget model was taken through governance, which determined that the university had to show a balanced budget. Therefore, last year U of T Mississauga was unexpectedly asked to submit a balanced budget. As a result of the successive agreements with Provosts, interest charges are not expected to be imposed. Professor Orchard also explained that U of T Mississauga was in a position to generate increased revenue over the next 5 year. Increased revenue generation was expected from the following sources: the continued success of the Office of Advancement in fundraising; increased recruitment of international students (intake of international students has doubled in the last 5 years) and the expansion of professional masters programs. The Vice President & Principal emphasized that although U of T Mississauga was in a difficult budgetary position, the campus was taking steps to increase revenue and to begin to slowly pay off the accumulated deficit. He also expressed his confidence that U of T Mississauga will in the future receive a bigger share of university revenue than it had previously received.

The Chief Administrative Officer proceeded to give his report on campus planning. Regarding the Hazel McCallion Academic Learning Centre, he reported that the building had been occupied for approximately a year was near final completion. Currently work was being done on how to hook up the air-conditioning systems to regular campus operations. It is anticipated that the building would be fully-functioning by the end of the year. Regarding Oscar Peterson Hall, the university took possession on Friday, September 21. Mr. deSouza noted that overall the building systems were functioning well, and that some problems regarding elevator access were currently being solved.

Regarding the athletics centre, he reported that there were issues with how the building links to the campus and noted that these were being resolved.

The CAO reported that the campus had completed phase 1 and 2 of the campus electrical grid installation, which means that the campus now has enough power to feed buildings and enough cable ducts to install future wiring. He added that unfortunately some of the existing wiring cannot be replaced until U of T Mississauga receives some substantial funding and that he was in the process of negotiating such funds with the Office of the Provost. He reported that the campus purchased and installed a new central chiller was in the process of negotiating how to pay for it. In addition, roadways have been upgraded by re-installing speed bumps and upgrading cross walks. Campus roadway improvements may have to be suspended until all construction work on campus is complete.

The Chief Administrative Officer listed summer 2007 renovations as follows: a new 70 seat classroom in the North Building; a new 60 seat classroom in the Kaneff Centre; consolidation of departmental space in the North Building; consolidation of programme space in the Kaneff Centre and consolidation of classrooms and computing facilities in the CCT building. Classrooms in the Kaneff Centre have almost exclusively been dedicated to the professional masters program. Mr. deSouza reported that the above renovations cost the university approximately $3M.

Regarding the Mississauga Academy of Medicine, he reported that the new building site had been confirmed and that the project planning report was nearing completion and would be presented to Business Board in October. Building occupancy is expected for August 2010, with a building program of two thirds space for the Faculty of Medicine and one-third dedicated to U of T Mississauga.

Mr. deSouza concluded his presentation by giving a report of planned infrastructure improvement. He listed the following proposed capital projects planned for development between 2007 and 2010: the storm water management system, the academy of medicine, South Building master plan, classroom additions through the academy and/or through the Kaneff Centre, office accommodation, science laboratories and related support space and renovations of theatre and drama facilities. The storm water management system construction is planned to commence in May of 2008 and the projected cost is $2.7M.

The Chair opened the floor to questions.

A member asked what the CAO meant by consolidation of programme space in the Kaneff Centre. Mr. deSouza explained that there was a need to put the MMPA groups together, which required Economics and Political Science to be moved. The member expressed concern about faculty from the above two departments being asked to move out of the Kaneff Centre and asked about the process for making these decisions. Mr deSouza noted that a project planning team would be commissioned made up of representatives of all of the occupants of the building. Mr. deSouza added that this was a stop gap measure in the absence of a full Kaneff Centre expansion. Also in response to a member’s question, he explained that the process for establishing a project planning team has started and that information is being gathered on related classroom activity.

3) New Business:

a) Report from retail planning and operations – Bill McFadden, Manger of Retail Planning, Development and Operations

On the subject of the resident student meal plan launch, Mr. McFadden reported students could choose between five meal plan options on the Food Service website. The introduction of the meal plan has resulted in a doubling of transactions and has put increased stress on the campus’ food service contractor. Mr. McFadden thanked computing services, in particular, Ms. Diane Mesch, for their work on the online meal plan selection module.

He explained that students are invoiced in two installments on ROSI, similar to the way academic fees are paid. He noted that U of T Mississauga food services was the first e-commerce site utilizing the U of T Blackboard community module. Through this system, students can add funds, check balances, and deactivate and activate meal plan accounts on their T-cards.

Regarding new facilities, Mr. McFadden reported that the Colman Commons dining hall has been receiving favourable reviews on food quality and service. He also noted that the new Starbucks café in the library was already becoming a very busy location.

Mr. McFadden reported that the following facilities were upgraded: Pizza Pizza in the South Building, Circuit Break in the CCT building and the North Building cafeteria. He noted that U of T Mississauga was still approximately 15000 square feet short of food service facilities for a campus of this size. He noted that the On the Go kiosk area in the South Building Meeting Place was not a very popular location for buying coffee and therefore the Ritazza coffee was going to be replaced with self-serve Starbucks coffee.

Mr. McFadden acknowledged the work of Chartwells, who have doubled their staff campus and were adjusting to the new business levels on campus by continuing to build to a full staff complement. He noted that Chartwells had done a great job in servicing Colman Commons.

The Chair opened the floor to questions.

In response to a member’s question about how the 15000 square foot service facility deficit would be filled, Mr. deSouza explained that the Meeting Place renovations plan includes an expansion of food services. Also in response to a member, Mr. deSouza answered that revenue generated by food services would be reinvested in its facilities, but it is hoped that in the long term, the ancillary could contribute to the operating budget.

Mr. McFadden concluded his report by discussing some recent changes in the Blind Duck Pub. He reported that in August, previous management was terminated and a new manager, Mr. Shane Madhani, was appointed. Physical renovations were also implemented, which have resulted in a warmer environment and a more efficient access to the kitchen. The menu has also been changed to make it more focused and to introduce increased ethnic choices. He added that the pub management board has ratified these changes, which were initiated by UTMSU.

As there was no further business, the meeting adjourned at 4:00 p.m. The next meeting of the committee will be on Monday, October 22, 2007.

Chair _______________________________ Secretary _________________________________