MAPS update

A motion going to June’s Board of Governors meeting recommends that the University suspend collecting any student fees from members of the McMaster Association of Part-time Students (MAPS).

“We have been meeting with the new MAPS board since it was elected in February,” said provost and vice-president Academic David Wilkinson. “While we know the board is still quite new and is working hard to return MAPS to an organization in good standing, there has been little progress in meeting the changes in governance, accountability and improved financial practices that the University requires.

“Our concern has always been focused on protecting the interests of part-time students. We don’t believe we can continue to collect the fees when MAPS has not ensured transparency, accountability and clarity on the services it provides in return for student fees.”

MAPS is an independent organization that represents approximately 4,000 part-time students at the University. As a self-governing organization MAPS has full decision-making authority over its finances, human resources, spending and governance practices and policies.

Last fall the University provided the then MAPS Board with a clear set of expectations about the changes in governance, procedures, policies and practice that needed to be met.  These requirements have been the focus of ongoing discussions with the current board members.

These include:

  • Greater financial transparency ensuring audited financial statements are fully up to date and publicly disclosed on the MAPS website
  • Best practices are implemented including adherence to university policies regarding compensation, expense reimbursements, conflict of interest and financial reporting
  • Governance is strengthened through a review of the Board structure to ensure broader representation and university involvement
  • A human resources plan for future MAPS staffing is developed and communicated
  • By-laws are revised to allow for the meaningful involvement of MAPS members in its activities
  • A more structured agreement with strengthened university oversight in place
  • Review of membership criteria
  • Development and approval of a written agreement outlining these and any other measures required

The University has been holding MAPS fees in trust since last summer.