St. Thomas Senate briefs Feb. 16

President, vice-chancellor and chair of senate Dawn Russell was not present on the Feb. 16 meeting. Vice-president academic and research Kim Fenwick chaired this meeting.

Provincial budget reaction

On Jan. 27 a government press release indicated general pieces of information: Four years of predictability in tuition for students and funding for universities but there were no numbers given. Significant funding will be set aside for universities to fund pilot projects and they would provide minor monetary increases to universities. The government also said it will limit tuition increases and have universities set up a four-year tuition schedule. It also indicated it will be exploring each university’s individual strengths and areas of expertise.

“We don’t really know what they mean by that so we’re waiting to see what that means,” Fenwick said.

The government also said universities will have to appear before a legislative committee to report on their operations.

“That’s an unusual step for our government to take since we’re not a crown corporation and they haven’t announced what legislative committee they’ll have us appear before … Normally universities would not want to appear before government but at this point our president is not really opposed to appearing.”

The budget said STU will get a one per cent increase on its operating grant per year for the next three years and two per cent in the fourth year.

“Which, gain, is not enough to cover the cost of inflation … It’s better than nothing but it’s not really giving us what we need,” Fenwick said.

Vice-president advancement search

The university is continuing its search for someone to fill the vice-president advancement position. The search committee has met and finalized the job ad and the job description and that is supposed to be going on soon. Fenwick said the search is at a national scale but the university has not engaged a search firm.

“The ads will be posted on line and in the newspaper but we’re not engaging the services of a search company because we didn’t feel that it was necessary and it costs a lot of money … We hope to have somebody in this position by mid-May.”

Graduates approved

The motion to approve the full list of graduates was approved unanimously.

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