Queen’s ends fiscal year with $3.3 million deficit

Board of Trustees returns in-person

The Board of Trustees adopted the new delegation Off-Campus Activity Safety Policy.

The first Board of Trustees meeting of the academic year took place on Sept. 30 at Richardson Hall—the first to take place in-person since March 2020.

“[Being in-person] is absolutely something to be celebrated, and it’s delightful to be back here and to see everyone who is able to be here in person as well as to be joined by some members virtually,” Board of Trustees Chair Mary Wilson Trider told the Board.

Trider noted the deaths of Queen Elizabeth and Isabel Bader, inviting separate moments of silence for both. Then, Principal Patrick Deane moved forward with the open session agenda.

University Reports

Deane referenced the new street parties task force, which he said has been a “very productive exercise.”

The task force looks at practical solutions to solve issues relating to street parties and has steadily made recommendations to the school, Deane told the Board.

The Board passed the Delegation of the Off-Campus Activity Safety Policy (OCASP) on the recommendation of the Audit and Risk Committee, which delegated the authority of OCASP and its future amendment or replacement to the University administration.

According to the memo, OCASP provides a framework for planning, risk assessment, preparedness, and support of all university-sanctioned off-campus activities, both academic and extracurricular. It’s concerned with the safety of Queen's students, faculty, and staff.

Deane said the Chancellor's installation will take place on Oct. 11, which will be a special ceremony recognizing Chancellor Murray Sinclair taking on his new role.

The University will work to raise its profile internationally in the coming year, Deane added.

“It’s a priority we continue to lift the university in its global profile and to do so through participating [and] by positioning ourselves on a global stage,” Deane said.

Queen’s received a final summer report on global engagement. Queen’s had excellent recommendations, meaning this is the year the university will begin to deploy their sources in a global engagement strategy, Deane explained.

Board member Alison Holt gave a report on external relations and development, explaining Queen’s current positive state of government relations, as well as relations being built with Ottawa and Ontario moving forward positively.

The Board also discussed the Draft Audited 2021-22 Consolidated Financial Statement report.

Board Vice-Chair Dean McCann explained the report aligns the processes used to evaluate procedures, which allow the University to evaluate policies around sexual violence, with the report highlighting Indigeneity and inclusion.

Board member Donna Janiec, vice-principal (finance and administration), outlined in the report the University ended the fiscal year with a deficit of $3.3 million largely due to weak investment returns in the wake of high inflation and rising interest rates.

Queen’s reserves funded this deficit.

Student Reports

Rector Owen Crawford-Lem discussed his work on student housing.

He’s engaged a group of student consultants to help him collect data on student housing, a project he hopes to update the Board on by December.

“I have made creating viable, sustainable, and long-term solutions addressing both community and student concerns a priority for me over the next two years,” Crawford-Lem told the Board.

Crawford-Lem also discussed community engagement initiatives he’s undertaking.

He’s struck a partnership with United Way Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington (KFL&A), and recruited two student chairs to bring in ideas on how to connect students with United Way and provide volunteer opportunities off-campus.

He mentioned the student experience survey, now known as the Shift Project, which encompasses the “cultural shift” Queen’s is experiencing.

Eric Sikich, AMS president, expressed the AMS’s goal to maintain transparency for the student body. He told the Board the AMS website has been fully redeveloped—the AMS worked on its visual identity standards in collaboration with the University.

Sikich also discussed issues regarding health and dental plan coverage.

“They [the insurance company] reached out to the registrar and unfortunately did not get a response on time […] so incoming students were not actually covered until around Sept. 21,” Sikich said.

“Thankfully, we were able to contact the Department of Student Affairs [DSA] who was incredibly responsive and helpful in ensuring we were able to get it back up and running.”

Sikich concluded by urging all board members to keep up to date with the riots and other developments happening in Iran, noting how Iranian and Muslim students will be impacted in the coming days and months.

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