Board approves compensation package, Mactron plan of action and financing for new student residence


A compensation package for members of the management group, a course of action to resolve concerns about Mactron, and the location of and financing for a new student residence were among the items approved by the Board of Governors at its meeting on Thursday, June 15.

The Board also approved the 2000-01 operating budget recommended by the Budget Committee and a request from University Advancement for post-campaign financing.

Following is a brief summary of items approved by the Board. Additional details for some items will follow in future postings on the Daily News.

Compensation Package for TMG

The Board approved a compensation package for the management group. Members will receive a one per cent across-the-board increase and a portion of a two per cent merit pool, as determined through the merit allocation process. The increase is effective June 16 and will be included on the July 2000 pay period.

In the past, TMG members have been extended whatever was negotiated as a compensation increase for the broader staff complement. This package precedes any negotiated settlement with the McMaster University Staff Association.


A course of action to resolve complaints and concerns about the video message board, also known as Mactron, was proposed by the President and approved by the Board. The President reported that third-party advertising was removed from the message board at the end of May. The Board has been rotated and now faces the Ivor Wynne football field.

New Student Residence

Board approved a proposal for the new student residence to be built west of Matthews Hall and across Scholar's Road. An earlier, preferred site, west of the E. T. Clarke Centre, was dismissed due to future plans to expand the Clarke Centre. The Board also gave the go-ahead for the University to seek external financing for the project. Capital costs are estimated at $21 million.

Operating Budget 2000-01

The University is projecting a budget surplus of about $666,000 at year-end April 30, 2001. Budgeted expenses for 2000-01 are estimated at $182.931 million, while budgeted revenue for the same period is estimated to be $183.597 million.

Vice-president adminstration Karen Belaire said the projections only take into account revenue for which the University has already received a letter of confirmation.

“This is a very good, sound operating budget driven by academic priorities and one that meets the financial objectives set out by the Board of Governors,” said President Peter George.

The University's basic operating grant for 2000-01 is estimated at $ 97.8 million. The operating budget was developed within the context of the University's Academic Plan.

Financing of Post-Campaign Fundraising

The Board of Governors approved a motion to increase the levy on the University's General Endowment and General Trust Funds to one per cent from 0.55 per cent. The levy will fund the ongoing fundraising activities of the institution when the current fundraising campaign (Changing Tomorrow Today) ends.

Some Board members expressed concern about using interest from the endowment to support campaign activities. Executive director of University Advancement Roger Trull explained that universities across the country are using a similar funding mechanism to fund their fundraising activities.

University President Peter George told members he would “be sorely exercised if the Board (defeats) this proposal.” He remarked that the current campaign is a capital-building campaign and one that is aimed at increasing the resources of the University. The funding is needed, he added, to maintain and enhance the cultivation and stewardship of donors.

Approval of the levy brings the post-campaign operating budget for University Advancement up to $4.7 million (from $2.6 million).

Online Elections to Board

And following lengthy discussion, the Board approved a motion to endorse the continued evaluation of the use of online elections for faculty, staff and student representatives to the Board.

Board members debated the pros and cons of moving to an online system of electing members with some suggesting the traditional form of voting (handwritten ballot) be continued and others saying there are still bugs to iron out of the online system.

Voter turnout for the online elections held this spring was the lowest in the history of elections to the Board of Governors. Only 45 faculty and 168 staff cast ballots.