February 24, 2005
241 Arts Building
Attendance: See Appendix A.
1. Opening Remarks
The Chair expressed, on behalf of Council, condolences on the passing of Professor Donald M. Gray, Professor Emeritus, Department of Agricultural and Bioresource Engineering, 1961-1995. Dr. John Pomeroy paid tribute and expressed condolences on behalf of the University. Council stood for a moment of silence.
2. Adoption of the Agenda
COLE/RICHARDSON: That the agenda be adopted.
QUALTIERE/COLE: That the minutes of the meeting of January 27, 2005 be approved as amended.
4.1 Search and Review Procedures for Senior Administrators
Discussion deferred to March 17th Council meeting.
5. Report of the President
The President spoke about the Rae report in Ontario. This is significant beyond the boundaries of Ontario because former Premier Rae made five particular points. With present policies and funding levels, we risk mediocrity. Everyone is asked to do more and better. Rae proposed a major infusion of money from government to the universities. Public funds going into university operating budgets from governments is vital. Rae also said that there should not be tuition caps. He recommended that universities should be at liberty to set their own tuition fees. Universities should be able to set priorities and should know the long term financial commitments from governments. Rae also said that Ontario has to be clearer in commitment for research and innovation. The fifth point in the report relates to accountability. Quality of education must be maintained. Performance measurements of outcomes are all indicators. The public expects that universities will have to be accountable. The President said that he supports much of this report and hopes that these principles can be applied here in Saskatchewan.
President MacKinnon spoke about the recent federal budget. He outlined some of the priorities and themes of the budget. The budget continues the trend for support for the granting agencies, and the funding will be increased by about 5%. The budget also provides more money for the indirect costs of research program. Investment in the indirect costs is important to the federal government and the universities. At first, it appeared that there would be an increase in CFI funding but this proved to not be the case. CFI still has money in their budget and hopefully will be able to continue its mandate.
There was not a further transfer of money from the federal government directly to universities. Mr. Rae recommended that this dedicated transfer of funds should be re-implemented.
A member asked about the provincial budget. The President said that we do not know yet what will be in the budget and more particularly the position on the question of tuition. There has not been any signal that the province will impose a tuition freeze. He said that all sides of this debate will be considered and hoped that tuition freezes will not be implemented.
A member asked about the Auditor General’s report on CFI funding. Will this mean that there will have to be more accountability by the university? The President said that the various universities have been vigorous in their response to the Auditor General’s report. There never has been an inference that funds have been missing. There is a concern about the vehicle of the foundation for the disbursement of the funds. The President said that CFI is a very well run foundation.
A member asked about the Rae report and the growing crisis in replacing faculty and the need for more graduate students in Ontario universities. He said that this will lead to greater competition for grad students in the future. The President said that it is a very competitive world but our numbers of grad students have been going up which is very positive.
A member asked about the funding to Genome Canada. It is not too applicable to Saskatchewan because the provincial government has not been inclined to match the funding and thus the programs are not available. He expressed concern about this. The President said that we will have to work hard to convince the provincial government that this matching funding is very important.
A member spoke about the Rae report. He said that he is afraid that the government will ask the universities to be more accountable and yet will not put in more money.
A member said that he was concerned that there was no special mention of post secondary education in the budget. The President said that he agreed with this concern and that he is hopeful that the federal government will agree to increase funding for universities.
6. Report of the Provost
In addition to the written report, the Vice Provost addressed Council and updated Council on Integrated Planning. He referred members to the web site for further updates.
7. Student Society Reports (USSU, GSA)
Malvina Gersher spoke to Council. She updated Council on the elections that are underway. She said that she is trying to find ways of encouraging student members of Council to be more active on Council Committees. USSU is encouraging more professors to put books on “Hold” in the library to assist students. Regarding the lack of left handed desks, she praised the University for its quick response to this issue.
Melanie Dyck updated Council on GSA efforts and events. She spoke about the extra funding for graduate students and appealed to members for support for space for graduate students to socialize.
8. Bylaws Committee Report
8.1 Appointment to the Nominations Committee
ZIOLA/POST: That Council approve the appointment of John Russell, Department of Accounting, to the Nominations Committee of Council, effective immediately until June 30, 2006.
The Chair asked if there were any nominations from the floor. There being none, the motion was CARRIED.
8.2 Amendment to Student Academic Dishonesty Rules
ZIOLA/POST: That Council approve the amendments to the Student Academic Dishonesty rules as outlined in the attached report.
8.3 Amendment to Student Appeals in Academic Matters
ZIOLA/POST: That Council approve the amendments to Form B Request for and Report of Re-Read as outlined in the attached report.
8.4 Guidelines for Election of College representatives to University Council
This item was provided for information.
9. Planning Committee Report
9.1 Second Degree entry option for NEPS
SAWATZKY/CANEVARI DE PAREDES: That Council approve the admission standards and increased number of admissions for the Second Degree Entry Option for the Nursing Education Program of Saskatchewan.
10. Joint Board/Council Committee on Chairs and Professorships
10.1 Approval of Meyers Norris Penny Scholar, George Baxter ICAS Scholar, and the Iver and Joyce Graham Small Indiana Professorship in Psychiatry
ZIOLA/BECK: That Council approve the establishment of the Meyers Norris Penny Scholar, the George Baxter ICAS Scholar, and the Iver and Joyce Graham Small Indiana Professorship in Psychiatry enhancement chairs.
11. Other business
12. Question Period
Council adjourned at 3:40 p.m. until Thursday, March 17, 2005 at 2:30 p.m. in 241 Arts Building.