Concerns that the controversial departure of then-president Judith Woodsworth in December of last year would affect the amount of pledged donations to the university revealed themselves to be unfounded, according to figures included in the audited financial statements presented to the Board of Governors on Thursday.
While on paper the amount of pledged donations fell from $7,3 million in 2009-2010 to $5,1 million, university controller Daniel Therrien noted in a meeting with student media that the drop was mostly due to accounting changes.
“In 2009-2010 […] the CSU student centre fund money and the CSU library fund, which are funds that are raised by students, were added to those figures last year,” Therrien said. “When we look at our financial statements this year, we considered that those two funds did not meet the definition of donation because they are CSU-imposed fees on the student population so we took them out of the equation, but we did not readjust last year’s figures.”
The funds were counted as donation revenue because it was part of funding available for university premises, Therrien explained.
To meet the criteria for donations, Therrien said, the funds have to be freely given.
At Thursday’s meeting, the BoG approved a motion that mandated that the university hold off on applying tuition increases affecting international international students in deregulated programs in the John Molson School of Business and the Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science until “a greater clarity on the MELS position is known,” according to the motion moved by President Frederick Lowy. The motion specified that the forfaitaire increase had not yet been set by the Ministry of Education, Recreation and Sports for the 2011-2012 year.
Revenue from tuition fees were up from $85,2 million in 2009-2010 to $94,6 million.
A two-year deficit in food services was also subject to questioning at the briefing. While the university’s ancillary services generated revenue of $18,5 million, food services, which are comprised in ancillary revenue, suffered a $203,000 loss.The category, which includes two administrative components as well as the unit that oversees food service operations, also ended 2009-2010 in the red, with a deficit of $150,000.
The food component, which includes services provided by Chartwells, reported a $51,000 loss for the 2010-2011 fiscal year, VP services Roger CÃ´tÃ© explained to student media. He attributed the loss to considerations such as the “impact of some retail food outlets on campus that we have,” renovations on campus and unused space owned by the university such as the Montefiore Club on Guy Street which could be used for catering events to bring in commission revenue.
“Those are factors that will be adjusted as we go forward,” CÃ´tÃ© said. He noted that the university wants vendors to serve the entire community on both campuses, not just the most popular areas.