Update from the Provost – McMaster Association of Part-time Students (Jan.18)

In the early part of 2012, significant concerns were raised about the financial and business practices of the McMaster Association of Part-time Students.  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.

Over the past several months the University has worked with MAPS to try and fully understand the decisions that have been made and the processes that were in place to guide its decisions. The University has now completed its review which revealed substantial and serious issues that have created deep concern for the University.

These concerns have made it clear that substantive changes are required in MAPS’ governance, procedures, policies and practices.  The University requires that MAPS fulfills a number of conditions to protect and strengthen the interests of part-time students.

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
  • Correcting past reporting of all remuneration and taxable benefits received by staff and volunteers
  • 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 will continue to hold MAPS fees in trust until it is satisfied that these commitments have been implemented in a timely manner.  We look forward to engaging with the Association’s new leadership following its Annual General Meeting on February 5th.