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Financial Sustainability

Celebrating a historic decade of philanthropy

Funds donated during the Initiative Campaign have furthered the university’s top priorities in teaching, research and athletics and recreation.

Queen’s University is celebrating the success of the Initiative Campaign, the most ambitious fundraising campaign in its 175-year history, which concluded on April 30, 2016. Thanks to the collective dedication and generosity of volunteers and donors, more than $640 million has been donated to Queen’s University during the 10-year Initiative Campaign, surpassing the $500 million goal set at the beginning of the campaign in 2006.

Queen's Bands enter during the Initiative Campaign launch event held inside Grant Hall in October 2012. Queen's is celebrating the successful conclusion of the Initiative Campaign, the most ambitious fundraising campaign in the university's 175-year history. (University Communications) 

“This is a proud moment in Queen’s history. The university is enormously grateful to all of our volunteers and donors who recognize the value of a Queen’s education, and have invested in making one of Canada’s top universities even better,” says Daniel Woolf, Queen’s Principal and Vice Chancellor.  

More than 60,000 individual donors, including 35,000 alumni, contributed to the campaign since it was launched in 2006. Funds donated during the Initiative Campaign have furthered the university’s top priorities in teaching, research and athletics and recreation.

Over $85 million has been used to support student assistance programs, including the creation of 473 new student awards and 22 new chairs and professorships. Campuses and facilities at Queen’s have already improved greatly as a result of donations during the Initiative Campaign with further investments to be made in a number of priority areas.

“I would like to extend my most sincere gratitude to the volunteers, donors, alumni and supporters who have contributed to the Initiative Campaign over the past 10 years,” says Gord Nixon, Chair of the Initiative Campaign. “Their efforts have contributed greatly to the campaign, and the excitement and momentum that inspires others to make the same commitment to Queen’s.”

Campuses and facilities at Queen’s have improved greatly as a result of donations during the Initiative Campaign. These investments support the university’s programs and its people, including experiences beyond the classroom that enable the Queen’s community to make a significant impact on society as an informed citizenry, nationally and internationally.

In addition to the funds raised, support from the three levels of government provided an additional $94 million that was not included in the Initiative Campaign total. Queen’s partnered with the federal and provincial governments to build Queen’s School of Medicine, and received support from the federal, provincial and municipal governments to bring the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts to fruition. This support was essential in making these projects possible and the university is enormously grateful for these investments.

More than $115 million has been committed in future estate gifts against the university’s parallel goal of $100 million, which is counted outside of the Initiative Campaign total.

Site audits to resume May 2

Auditors from Honeywell will be resuming site audits to perform individual washroom counts and lighting fixture reviews in all spaces in the following buildings beginning on Monday, May 2:

  • Abramsky Hall
  • Agnes Etherington Art Centre
  • An Clachan – Units 6-12
  • An Clachan – Units 13-19
  • Beamish-Munro Hall
  • BioSciences Complex
  • Botterell Hall
  • Bruce Wing
  • Carruthers Hall
  • Cataraqui Building
  • Clark Hall
  • Chernoff Hall
  • Craine Building
  • Douglas Library
  • Duncan McArthur Hall
  • Dunning Hall
  • Dupuis Hall
  • Fleming Hall – Jemmett Wing
  • Grant Hall
  • Gordon Hall
  • Goodes Hall
  • Goodwin Hall
  • Harrison-LeCaine Hall
  • Humphrey Hall
  • Jackson Hall
  • Jeffery Hall
  • John Watson Hall
  • Joseph S. Stauffer Library
  • Kingston Hall
  • Louise D. Acton
  • Mackintosh-Corry Hall
  • McLaughlin Hall
  • Miller Hall
  • Nicol Hall
  • Old Medical Building
  • Ontario Hall
  • Queen’s Centre
  • Rideau Building
  • School of Kinesiology and Health Studies
  • School of Medicine
  • Sir John A. Macdonald Hall
  • Stirling Hall
  • Summerhill
  • Theological Hall
  • Walter Light Hall

These audits are part of the Energy Matters Project and will have no impact for the day-to-day activities in the above-referenced buildings. Auditors will be wearing either identification badges or clothing to identify their affiliation with Honeywell. See full story on An Investment in Sustainability

Any questions regarding these planned audits should be directed to Fixit by phone at ext. 77301 or by e-mail.

Preferred IT suppliers to visit campus

Queen’s Strategic Procurement Services (SPS) will host a special trade show on April 28 focused specifically on IT related goods and services.

With the closure of the Campus Computer Store, SPS has set up a straightforward process for departmental IT orders. The preferred suppliers that SPS recently qualified – many of them familiar to departments on campus – will attend the trade show to share more information about their latest products and services.

“This is a great opportunity for the campus community to meet or get reacquainted with our preferred IT suppliers,” says Andy Green, Director, SPS. “Departmental purchasers can ask sales representatives and technical specialists any questions they may have, and they can learn about the savings available when they make their purchases through the preferred suppliers.”

The trade show will take place in the Biosciences Atrium on April 28 between 10 am and 3 pm. Refreshments and a buffet lunch will be served. Attendees can also fill out a ballot to win an iPad mini courtesy of SPS.

Visit the SPS website for more information or contact Steve Young at ext. 32912 or via email.

New vice-principal to manage university assets and sustainability

Queen’s University is moving toward a more integrated approach to managing its real estate assets and sustainability initiatives, as Principal and Vice-Chancellor Daniel Woolf announced plans to recruit a new vice-principal of facilities, properties and sustainability.

“With roughly 180 buildings and 170 acres of land in Kingston alone, Queen’s has substantial real estate holdings that are currently managed through three different vice-principal portfolios,” says Principal Woolf. “Assigning responsibility for the management of all property and sustainability initiatives to one vice-principal will help Queen’s develop an integrated real estate strategy that best supports the university’s academic mission and helps to strengthen its financial and environmental sustainability.”

The new vice-principal’s portfolio will include responsibility for Campus Planning and Development, Physical Plant Services, and leased property such as Innovation Park.

The creation of the new portfolio will help ensure that facilities and properties are cohesively managed as the university moves forward with addressing priorities such as classroom renewal, major capital projects including the revitalization of the Physical Education Centre, deferred maintenance, and sustainability initiatives such as the Climate Action Plan. A key component of the new vice-principal’s duties will be the development of a real estate strategy that includes opportunities to generate revenue from properties not currently being used for core academic purposes.

An advisory committee will be appointed to lead a search process and advise Principal Woolf on the appointment of the new vice-principal. That process is expected to begin in the coming weeks.

Queen’s currently owns more than 80 large buildings and almost 100 houses, occupies roughly 170 acres on the main and west campuses (plus 7,500 acres at the Queen’s Biological Station), and manages satellite locations in Toronto and Shanghai, as well as Herstmonceux Castle in East Sussex, United Kingdom.

Queen’s welcomes post-secondary investments in 2016 budget

Queen’s University Principal Daniel Woolf welcomes the investment in students, research and innovation outlined in the 2016 federal budget.

“The 2016 budget includes important new investments in the post-secondary sector, including financial assistance for students, funding for fundamental research, and infrastructure renewal at Canada’s post secondary institutions,” says Daniel Woolf, Principal and Vice-Chancellor. “We look forward to hearing further details about the announcements made in the budget.”

The budget will see up to $2 billion invested over three years in infrastructure renewal, starting in 2016-17, through the new Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund. The new fund will support up to 50 per cent of the eligible costs of infrastructure projects at post-secondary institutions and affiliated research and commercialization organizations.

In addition, the budget announced a new investment of $95 million annually in discovery and research through Canada’s three granting councils. The budget also signaled the development of an “innovation agenda” to define clear outcomes, objectives and metrics to measure Canada’s progress, and announced a strategic review of the government’s supports for research and innovation funding.

“Canada’s positon as a leader in research and discovery depends on continued support through the tri-councils,” says Steven Liss, Vice-Principal (Research). “This new funding represents a significant boost to the sector and we look forward to working with the government as it undertakes its review of research and innovation funding.”

Going forward, the Government will work with the provinces and territories to expand eligibility for Canada Student Grants so that even more students can receive non-repayable assistance. Under the new model, the existing low- and middle-income thresholds will be replaced with a single progressive threshold under which grant amounts will gradually decline based on income and family size. This will help make postsecondary education more affordable and open up new opportunities for those from low-income families, and ensure graduates can manage debt as they transition into the workforce.

The 2016 budget also proposes substantial investments in Indigenous education to help ensure Indigenous students have the same opportunities for success as other Canadian students. For more information on the 2016 federal budget, please visit the website.

Credit ratings remain high

Queen’s University has maintained its high credit rating on the strength of its prudent management practices, strong enrolment profile and successful fundraising operations.

Both the Dominion Bond Rating Service (DBRS) and Standard and Poor’s held Queen’s credit rating stable over last year, at AA and AA+ respectively. The rating, DBRS noted in its report, reflected that Queen’s has a “consistently strong applicant pool and profile… providing stability to tuition fee revenues and government operating grant allocations.”

“Maintaining a good credit rating is important to Queen’s as it demonstrates that the university continues to be soundly managed from a financial perspective,” says Caroline Davis, Vice-Principal (Finance and Administration). “However, both the DBRS and S&P reports do stress that there continue to be financial risks at Queen’s.”

DBRS said the most significant financial risk for Queen’s remains pension sustainability and the potential for significant special payments for the solvency deficit. It also noted that constraints on tuition fees in regulated programs means the university has limited ability to address increasing costs.

Queen’s recently received stage two solvency relief and has opted to defer payments on the solvency deficit for three years and then pay down the entire balance over the following seven. During the three-year deferral period, the university will build a reserve fund to offset the impact of the solvency payments that will begin in 2018. The university is also looking at establishing a multi-employer jointly-sponsored pension plan (JSPP) with other Ontario universities to achieve a solvency exemption.

Read the full report on the Queen’s Financial Services website

Statement from Principal Woolf on the 2016 Ontario budget

I wish to applaud the Government of Ontario for making some important changes to the student assistance program through Budget 2016. The result will be a more progressive system of financial aid for Ontario students and their families.

Changes to the Ontario Student Assistance Program and the introduction of the Ontario Student Grant will mean easier access to financial aid and more grants for the students who need it most.

In the coming days we will look closely at other aspects of the budget. Queen’s looks forward to working closely with the government on the implementation of the changes to student assistance over the coming months.

Daniel Woolf
Principal and Vice-Chancellor

Breathing new life into the PEC

Queen’s University recently has made progress in its plans to revitalize the former Physical Education Centre (PEC) as a centre for health, wellness and innovation. Jasmine Toor, Communications Specialist, spoke with Alan Harrison, Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic), to learn what the plan will mean for the university.

The revitalization plan for the former Physical Education Centre (PEC) sees the building transformed into a health, wellness and innovation centre.
Construction of the former Physical Education Centre (PEC) was completed in 1931, offering gymnasiums as well as swimming, diving and water polo facilities.

Jasmine Toor: What progress has been made on the university’s plan to revitalize the former PEC building?

Alan Harrison: The university has made significant progress. Queen’s retained CS&P Architects in fall 2015 to produce a functional program and conceptual design for the revitalized building. The preliminary business case for the project is complete and we have initiated the work that will yield a more reliable cost estimate (known as a class B estimate). Our hope is that the first phase of the project, the demolition of much of the interior, will commence early in 2017. Queen’s has raised a significant portion of the total cost of the project, the class D estimate for which is $87 million.   

JT: What was the impetus that led to the decision to redevelop the building?

AH: A structural assessment by an external consultant found that the building was in excellent shape and thus could provide a considerable amount of additional space at a relatively low cost per square foot, if renovated, in comparison to a newly constructed building. The Queen's Health, Wellness and Innovation Centre affords us a wonderful opportunity to utilize and revitalize valuable space in the heart of campus.

JT: What will the revitalized building be used for?

AH: The major constituent parts of this project are engineering, innovation and health and wellness. The revitalized building will enhance both the quality of our student experience and the quality of our research facilities by aligning academic and non-academic uses for the building.  Queen’s has a longstanding reputation of offering our students an exceptional educational and extra-curricular learning experience. When completed, the project will be a prominent symbol of Queen’s as the quintessential balanced academy, the Canadian research-intensive university with a transformative learning experience.

The Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science will be a major occupant of the revitalized building. Undergraduate learning in engineering will be supported by an interactive Learning Commons that will allow more than 500 mechanical and materials engineering students to work individually or collaboratively on projects and assignments in an environment that offers state-of-the-art information and computing technology. Additionally, a number of high-technology, leading-edge teaching and design studios will each support between 75 and 150 undergraduate students.

Interdisciplinary laboratory space will support more than 20 faculty researchers working on bioengineering, environmental and biomedical research. This laboratory space will allow considerable expansion of interdisciplinary research, primarily but not exclusively in the areas of chemical and civil engineering. The benefits of this laboratory space will accrue not only to the researchers but also to their graduate students.

The Queen’s Health, Wellness and Innovation Centre affords us a wonderful opportunity to utilize and revitalize valuable space in the heart of campus.

— Alan Harrison, Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic)

JT: How does this plan align with Queen’s commitment to enhanced health and wellness related facilities?

AH: The Wellness Centre is an integral part of the revitalization project. The new Wellness Centre will allow us to co-locate services, so anyone seeking counselling is assured of privacy.  By combining health, counselling and accessibility services together in one centrally located and visible location, along with three gymnasia and other athletic and recreation facilities, the revitalized building will provide opportunities to integrate physical and mental health, connecting them with the student experience.

Furthermore, the new Wellness Centre will be able to provide us with the increased capacity and flexibility to meet the rising demand across the spectrum of wellness services and expand in response to the evolving needs of our student population. This was acknowledged by the 2012 report of the Principal’s Commission on Mental Health, which recommended a new and centralized location for student wellness services.

The completion of Queen’s Gymnasium in 1931:
“It is modern in every respect; we can hold up our heads and boast of one of the finest gymnasiums in Dominion. The undergraduates will reap the benefits and it behooves them to carry on and bring more athletic honors to Queen’s. Swimming and diving and water-polo facilities are now open for the Queen’s natatorialartists and soon graduates should hear that Queen’s is once more carrying off championships in this new athletic field.”

JT: How does the revitalization project align with Queen’s commitment to innovation?

AH: Queen’s has committed to increasing the number of new opportunities for experiential and entrepreneurial learning, improving intra-university collaboration through new programs and curriculum innovation, and creating new and innovative ways for students to develop fundamental academic skills. The new engineering space of the building will include an Innovation Hub. This and other space in the refurbished building dedicated to innovation will result in a considerable expansion of the Queen’s Innovation Connector (QIC), which will support and allow the development of a core strength of the QIC, which is its interdisciplinary nature.

Students from across the university will have access to the resources, the networks and the mentors that will help transform their ideas into products and services. They will work in diverse teams to address important problems and identify the solutions that will yield benefits not only for our region, but nationally and globally too. The innovation component of the redevelopment plan also aligns with the federal government’s focus on innovation as an important component of university research.

A strategy for success

Imagine leaving the office at the end of each day knowing that you made a difference. For Roger Billings, this is the most rewarding aspect of his work as an external consultant with Queen’s Organizational Development and Learning.

On March 3, Roger Billings, an external consultant with Queen’s Organizational Development and Learning, will facilitate Strategic Thinking, one of several HR Learning Catalogue workshops he leads.

“I greatly enjoy what I do, because the results are immediate,” says Mr. Billings. “When you deliver a workshop, the energy from the participants is contagious.”

Seeing participants benefit from using the knowledge and tools they’ve gained is incredibly fulfilling, he says.

“They stay in touch with each other, which creates a very powerful network. They share their successes, their frustrations, they support each other. They know that I can be reached any time and I believe they trust me enough to seek further help. I can't think of anything more satisfying than hearing their success stories,” Mr. Billings says.

On March 3, Mr. Billings will facilitate Strategic Thinking, one of several HR Learning Catalogue workshops he leads. Developing a strategic plan or vision can be a difficult process. He notes that all staff would benefit from learning the theory and techniques of strategic thinking – the step before any planning can happen.

“People typically don’t see their piece of the puzzle, and if they do it as a group, that’s even better,” he says.

A facilitator with more than 30 years of coaching experience, Mr. Billings also leads workshops on delivering and receiving constructive feedback, emotional intelligence, effective relationship-building and team-building. Individual departments have also retained him for custom programming. He co-designed and facilitates the Foundational Leadership and Emerging Leaders programs with Queen’s Organizational Development and Learning.

“The learning experiences are truly amazing, mainly because many of the participants do not realize their potential until they are well into the program,” he says. “By the conclusion, they feel very capable, secure and strong. Yes, at times they may feel the commitment is substantial, and it is, but I believe they are so empowered when they reach the end.”

The Emerging Leaders Program, which pairs an experienced manager with a new or aspiring manager, has also proven to be a great success. Some participants have mentioned it should be called the mentors/mentors program, because the mentors learn as much as the mentees, he says. “All participants have been so willing to help and generous with their time, I can't say enough about the response and support for this program for staff, from staff.”

Before starting his own training organization, Mr. Billings began his career with IBM Canada and was the Canadian president of several companies. His experience in many fields from industry to universities has enabled him to appreciate and understand the complexities of organizations and the challenges associated with developing professional skills and competencies.

“There is very little I have not seen," he says. "This gives me the ability to take a calm and collected approach to difficult situations, seeing them from a distance in order to give my clients the support and advice they seek.”

For more information, visit the Human Resources website and click on Learning and Development under Quick Links. 

Queen's sees rise in applications

Queen’s University remains a leading choice among Ontario university students with continued strong growth in applications, according to data recently released by the Ontario Universities’ Application Centre.  

[Fall preview]
Applicants and their parents tour Queen's campus during Fall Preview last year. First-year applications from Ontario high school students are up 7.3 per cent from this time last year. (Photo by Bernard Clark) 

First-year applications from Ontario high school students to study at Queen’s in fall 2016 are up 7.3 per cent from this time last year. This compares to a 1.5 per cent increase province-wide.

Queen’s has already received more than 30,000 applications in total for more than 4,400 spaces in direct-entry, first-year programs across all faculties and schools, as of Jan. 15.

“Not only is Queen’s attracting a higher number of applications, more high school students are ranking Queen’s as their first choice, which reflects the strength of our programs and the quality of our student experience,” says Alan Harrison, Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic). “We look forward to welcoming the Class of 2020 in the fall, which will be the 175th entering class in the history of Queen’s University.”

Queen’s preliminary application statistics also indicate the university is progressing in two key priority areas. Applications from international students are up 31 per cent compared to this time last year. Furthermore, applications from self-identified Aboriginal students have increased 58 per cent from 2011-12. Acceptances by self-identified Aboriginal students have jumped 133 per cent during that time period.

Queen’s, which is still receiving applications, will continue to make offers of admission until approximately mid-May. The first-year enrolment target for 2016-17 is 4,422, which is unchanged from 2015-16.

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