University takes new approach in challenging times
The university is going to have to radically change the way it conducts business if it expects to emerge from its current financial crisis, says Bill Young, chair of the Board of Trustees.
“I don't think we can continue with business as usual,” said Mr. Young, referring to Principal Tom Williams's Sept. 25 report to the community outlining how costs are running away from revenue. (See story this page.) “For 15 years, the provincial government has been transferring less than inflation, and our response to the province's growth priorities has cost us money.”
At a marathon meeting on the evening of Oct. 3 and that reconvened the following morning for three more hours, trustees resolved that new ways of doing business are essential to retain Queen's reputation of excellence.
It will take the next year or two to get the university's operating budget back into balance, said Mr. Young. “We need to reinvent the operation model.”
A full house packed Policy Studies 202 both days, with nearly all the university's academic leaders and administrators in attendance, signifying the pivotal importance of the meeting.
Trustees approved two significant motions involving the strategic use of debt to support the university's mission: a plan to borrow up to $180 million in short-term loans from Infrastructure Ontario to support the Queen's Centre and Queen's Centre and Tindall Field parking projects and a Liability Management Policy to provide guidelines for the strategic use and issuance of debt by the university.
For more see page 1 of the Oct. 14 Gazette.