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Senate discusses budget cuts, Code of Student Conduct

While presenting an overview of the 2013-2014 budget at Senate on April 17, Provost Anthony Masi highlighted the budget’s uncertainty in the upcoming year, the $38.3 million in government imposed cuts, and the $18 million in loss due to rescinded tuition.

“This is not the easiest presentation for me to give,” Masi said.

Masi compared McGill’s financial standing with those of other Quebec universities, highlighting the university’s strengths.

Unlike other universities, who plan their budgets one year at a time, “we project a budget out for a multi-year period,” Masi said.

Another key difference to which Masi pointed exists in the structure of teaching at McGill. Other Quebec universities hire a significant number of instructors to teach courses, which allows them to enroll more students, but McGill has a relatively higher proportion of tenured professors. Masi said that this is because of McGill’s commitment to a high quality of instruction.

Students’ Society of McGill University (SSMU) Vice-President University Affairs Haley Dinel asked Masi about the effect of the new budget on students, which is predicted to impact library hours, class sizes, course selection, and number of staff, professors, and instructors.

Masi responded that there would not be an impact on courses required to fulfill programs, but added that “these are Draconian cuts.”

Dean of Students Andre Costopoulos and Associate Provost (Policies, Procedures and Equity) Lydia White also presented revisions to the Code of Student Conduct and Disciplinary Procedures.

Revisions included changing the definition of plagiarism to be the same as in other official McGill documents, clarifying to some extent of the term “obstruction,” and making the code easier to understand for students and faculty.

Senate passed the motion to adopt the changes beginning in the next academic year with an overwhelming majority.

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