QUFA UPDATE: News that Matters

Queen’s spending limited by legislative, contractual rules
The Kingston Whig Standard
Letters to the Editor
Saturday, July 18, 2009

When discussing spending from Queen’s University’s budget, it is
important to understand that the budget has a number of parts — the
operating budget, research activities, the capital budget, ancillary
operations such as parking, trust and endowment activities, and
funding through the School of Medicine Alternative Funding Program
(SEAMO). The total Queen’s budget in 2009-10 is projected to be more
than $780 million.

The only part of the overall budget the university has discretion on
spending in support of its core academic and administrative activities
is the operating budget. This budget is $360 million in 2009-10, of
which salaries and benefits are projected to be $275 million, or 76%.

The other parts of the university budget are typically mandated to be
spent in accordance with legislative or contractual agreements.
Research funds target new and ongoing research projects. Principal
investigators are required to ensure that funds are spent in
accordance with the terms set by granting agencies or contracts.
Capital funds from donors or government sources support specific
building and capital projects on campus. Formal agreements outlining
the purposes of these funds make it impossible for the university to
re-direct them to cover operational expenses. SEAMO funds are directed
through the School of Medicine. They primarily cover clinical members’
fees.

Queen’s is fortunate to have loyal alumni, staff and faculty support.
These donors to endowments or trust funds stipulate how the funds are
to be used. In many cases, they support core operations, such as
chairpersons for faculty positions and student financial assistance.

We continue to raise money to support the Queen’s Centre. In the
meantime, carrying costs for debt financing are part of our operating
expenses. The more successful we are at fundraising, the sooner we
will repay the debt and the less we will need to pay for carrying costs.

Task forces on cost reduction and revenue generation appointed in the
spring have already reported on, or continue to look for, savings and
projected savings within departments, and creative ways to generate
revenue. A centralized procurement process is one initiative that is
moving us in this direction. While it does not generate revenue, the
savings allow our operating dollars to go further.

The university has been transparent and open to its community,
providing financial updates since November 2008. If you are interested
in further information about Queen’s financial situation, the budget,
task force and financial update reports are posted on the principal’s
web-site at http://www.queensu.ca/principal/finan cialupdate. html.

Bill Bryck

Acting Vice-Principal, Operations and Finance
Queen’s University, Kingston

Queen’s Faculty Association supports non-union staff
The Kingston Whig Standard
Letters to the Editor
July 15, 2009

Queen’s University has made a very low salary and benefits offer to
its non-union workers and has couched the announcement in terms of the
overall compensation budget at the university. Members of the Queen’s
Faculty Association (QUFA) support the Queen’s Staff Association in
its ongoing discussions with the university. We respect and value the
support staff’s contributions to our community. They deserve to be
compensated fairly for their outstanding work. Without them, the
university cannot work.

QUFA’s analysis of the financial state of the university has
demonstrated that employee salaries are not the problem at Queen’s.
The board of trustees and the university administration need to
rethink their priorities.

Cathy Christie President
Queen’s University Faculty Association Kingston

Employees shouldn’t pay for university’s bad decisions
The Kingston Whiog Standard
Letters to the Editor
July 15, 2009

Re: the story “No agreement at Queen’s” (July 10).

Employee salaries account for 13.7% of the total revenue at Queen’s,
not 70% of its budget, as claimed by the university.

The total revenue for Queen’s is $780 million. The operating budget
that pays for the day-to-day operations at Queen’s is only 37% of
total revenue, or $288 million. The non-operating revenue is 63% of
total revenue, or $492 million.

In May, the board of trustees told the principal to reduce costs in
future negotiations with employee groups. Why is the board not
directing its attention toward the non-operational items that use 63%
of the total revenue?

In April, Principal Tom Williams said that the report to the board
regarding the non-operational items would not be available until the
fall of 2009. Why the delay? Why is the board protecting properties
instead of university employees?

Queen’s administration continues to blame external factors — the
slumping economy and rising costs — for the university’s financial
problems rather than taking responsibility for past financial
decisions. For example, Queen’s announced it has raised only 12% of
its $130-million commitment for the Queen’s Centre, the largest
building project on campus. Some $107 million will come from the
operating budget sometime in the future. The operating budget should
be paying for educational programs, not capital projects.

Why are Queen’s employees being asked to pay for poor decisions by the
board of trustees and university administration? The board of trustees
and administration need to rethink their priorities.

Joyce Davidson
Yarker

U.S. students flock to Canada
The Kingston Whig Standard
Monday, July 13, 2009
By PETER ZIMONJIC, SUN MEDIA

Stefani Greco has only been to Canada a couple of times and never to
Nova Scotia, but this fall she will join some 9,000 other American
students flocking north to weather the recession at affordable
Canadian universities.

Even after the Portland, Maine native pays the $20,000 annual
international tuition fee at Dalhousie University in Halifax, she will
get her arts degree for half of what it would have cost her to study
at her second choice, the University of Rhode Island.

“Money was part of the reason but only part,” says the 18-year-old.

“The whole Canada experience interested me. I have family in Montreal
and it just seemed like the experience I was looking for.”

Many American families are now looking north to Canada as an option
for a university education.

In 1997-98 only 2,317 U. S. students came to Canada to study, but by
2007-08 that had risen to 8,909, according to the Canadian embassy in
Washington.

In contrast, there were almost 30,000 Canadian students studying in
the U. S. in 2007-08, the embassy said.

Now that the shrinking economy is putting ever greater pressure on the
average American family’s finances, the cheaper cost of studying here
is becoming a much more attractive option than studying at home.

Canadian students can expect to pay about $5,000 a year for tuition
while U. S. students have to pay international student rates of about
$20,000 a year. But even at those prices, and with the cost of health
insurance factored in, it’s cheaper than the $40,000 a year they would
pay at home.

“They’re getting an international education without having to go
across an ocean to get it,” says Janet Hurd, director of student
recruitment at the University of Toronto.

“And we know from experience this is helpful when it comes time to
apply to graduate school or look for a job.”

Hurd says the University of Toronto has been recruiting aggressively
in the U. S. for the past seven years and its number of American
students has climbed.

At the University of Calgary the story was similar.

The number of applicants from prospective American students there has
risen by about 10% over there the last five years and it is expected
to keep growing.

McGill University in Montreal has seen perhaps the greatest spike in
interest with a more than 20% growth in the number of American
applications over the last five years.

Other universities, such as Queen’s University in Kingston and the
University of Ottawa, have seen the number of American student
applications hover at around the same level over the same period.

peter.zimonjic@sunmedia.ca
Article ID# 1653026

The Gift: $10-million The Cause: Queen’s University The Reason: To
improve mining education.

Globe and Mail,
Saturday, Jul. 18, 2009
By Paul Waldie
pwaldie@globeandmail.com

Robert Buchan came to Canada 40 years ago to study mining at Queen’s
University and went on to an impressive career, which included
founding Kinross Gold Corp., named after his hometown in Scotland.

But in the past few years Mr. Buchan has become concerned about the
state of mining education in Canada. An industry downturn, low
commodity prices and foreign takeovers have left Canada with fewer
mining engineers.

“I was getting quite concerned that we were going to lose one of our
fundamentally important advantages, which is the quality of our
engineers,” he said. “I felt that one of the things we needed to do
was enhance engineering education to include disciplines like social
studies, community studies, cultural studies and political studies.”

Mr. Buchan said the world has become a more complicated place for
mining companies and engineers need to be attuned to political and
social realities in different countries.

“You really have to understand the community, you have to be focused
on what the community wants and understand that, or else you are going
to have problems.”

Last year he approached Queen’s about a $10-million gift aimed at
developing new programs at the university’s mining engineering
department. The university unveiled the donation this week, saying
that $2-million will go toward curriculum development and the
remainder to fund academic positions.

Mr. Buchan said that while Canada’s economy is changing, “this is
still a resource country.”

“We’re never going to get away from the fact that it’s a resource
country and we have always been perceived as being among the leaders
in how the mining industry is developed,” he said.

“I just want to make sure it stays that way.”

Mining School Receives Record Donation $10-MILLION GIFT
The Kingston Whig Standard
Wednesday July 15 2009

Queen’s University’s Department of Mining Engineering yesterday
received the largest single donation to mining education in Canadian
history.

Mining entrepreneur Robert M. Buchan, who got a master’s degree from
Queen’s and went on to found Kinross Gold, announced a $10-million
gift in Toronto.

“This was the right gift and the right time for the right program,”
Buchan said yesterday in an interview from Toronto, where he announced
his gift at the Toronto Stock Exchange.

“This country is still a resource- based country, and although I might
be talking to you on a product made by RIM, resources will continue to
be this country’s greatest asset.”

Queen’s mining school, although little known beyond the Queen’s
campus, is the pre-eminent mining school in Canada, Buchan said, and
he wanted his gift to position the school for the future.

The school will put $8 million into an endowment for hiring new
faculty and staff and use the other $2 million for new curricula,
student facilities and distance learning initiatives.

It will also develop a master’s-level program in minerals resource
management, the first of its kind in Canada.

In recognition of his gift, the department will be renamed the Buchan
Department of Mining.

“This is an historic day for Queen’s,” said Queens principal Tom
Williams.

“Mr. Buchan’s generosity allows us to build on Queen’s’ long tradition
of excellence as one of the nation’s leading engineering institutions
and a global leader in mining education.”

Buchan said he is honoured to support the school.

“The department is fostering the industry’s next generation of
leaders,” he said. “Providing them with the best possible education
ensures the Canadian mineral sector has a bright and sustainable
future in this rapidly evolving global mineral-resources industry.”

Part of Buchan’s gift will be used to start a series of cultural,
political and social studies classes for prospective mining engineers
in recognition that their careers could potentially take them all over
the world.

He said engineers need more than technical skills to be successful.

“Look, we’re not going to be turning out diplomats,” he said, “but
what we are going to be doing is giving these young people an
understanding that they are a guest wherever they go, and the school
has to teach a component of social responsibility.

“That doesn’t just apply outside Canada. It’s also an issue with the
mining industry and the First Nations here in Canada.”

Buchan also said that mining, while lacking the kind of high-tech
cachet that other industries offer, continues to offer young people a
lucrative future. He started Kinross with a handful of employees and
when he sold the company, it had thousands.

“It’s worked out pretty well for me,” he joked.

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