Board of Trustees in brief
Prior to the principal’s report, the Board observed a moment of silence in memory of Habib Khan, the student who died after a fall at Duncan McArthur Hall. Principal Daniel Woolf expressed his sympathies on behalf of the university to Habib’s family and friends. He also sent wishes for a full recovery to Stephen Nagy, the other student injured during the incident.
The principal also offered updates on external relations, his recent trip to India, and Advancement work. Highlights of his external relations activities since the last Board meeting included a speech at the recent Queen’s-Kingston Community Breakfast highlighting the economic benefits of strategic City-Queen’s-business partnerships; the successful Military and Veteran Health Research Forum; and working within the provincial pre-election climate. His trip to India with other Canadian university executive heads incorporated several meetings with high level government officials and raised Canada’s profile as an educational destination. He announced new scholarship funding directed at Indian students.
Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic) Bob Silverman reported on a meeting held in late November between the university and the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities to discuss Queen’s capital planning submission. Of the projects submitted for consideration, MTCU was most interested in a proposed Teaching Space Complex and repurposing spaces for teaching. Provost Silverman is hopeful the provincial government will provide more capital funds, but he says he doesn’t expect an announcement in the near future.
The budget process is ongoing and difficult decisions will need to be made this year. Overall budget planning for the next three years will be challenging.
To illustrate Queen’s efforts to further its international presence, Provost Silverman pointed to the new Centre for Canadian Public Policy Studies at Fudan University. The centre was made possible through efforts of the Queen’s University China Liaison Office and funding from the federal Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. Queen’s China Liaison Office was also instrumental in organizing the Roundtable for Environmental Governance in Canada and China last month in Shanghai.
Chris Conway, director of Institutional Research and Planning, provided an update to the Board on differing criteria used in specific national and international rankings and Queen’s rationale for participating or not. He also shared a proposed “dashboard,” a web-based graphic representation of data that is specific to the university’s plan or mission. Mr. Conway said dashboards could be used to monitor progress on the goals coming out of the academic plan.
After some discussion, the Board passed a motion requesting the principal to proactively bring the thinking regarding annual university rankings in advance to the Board for discussion, indicating how the administration intends to go forward.
International tuition fee increase
The Board of Trustees approved the international tuition fees structure for 2011-12 on a recommendation from the Board finance committee.
There will be no increase to the international graduate student tuition fees from 2010-11 levels for 2011-2012 for research-based masters and doctoral students in the School of Graduate Studies. The Board approved international tuition fee increases of between four and 10 per cent for various other undergraduate and professional programs.
Quarterly Financial Report
According to the Quarterly Financial Report, the projected budget deficit for the current year will be $4.6-million, which is $800,000 higher than originally projected. The primary reason for the change is lower investment income returns on the pooled investment fund. Lower-than-planned doctoral enrolment has also impacted the budget but has been partially offset by the net growth in undergraduate programs.
The Board of Trustees approved:
• the appointment of KPMG LLP as the External Auditor for Queen’s University for the fiscal year ending April 30, 2011.
• the revised Signing Authority on Investment Related Transactions Resolution. The resolution consolidated and updated existing resolutions.
• the Policy Statement on Environmental Management and Policy Statement on Health and Safety.
• the rededication of the Edith and Carla Eisenhauer Chair in Clinical Cancer Research in the Faculty of Heath Sciences.
• the dedication of Classroom 001 in Sir John A. Macdonald Hall in recognition of a generous pledge from Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP and its employees.
• the dedication of the Alan G. Green Fireplace Reading Room in the Joseph F. Stauffer Library in recognition of Professor Emeritus Green’s outstanding service to Queen’s.
• the relocation of the dedication in honour of Leslie Doucet to Mackintosh-Corry Hall, Room A-408, in recognition of her extraordinary service to Queen’s.