CORRECTION: A previous version of this article stated that senator Paul Percival was once a student at SFU. Percival came to the university as a professor in 1979, though he did not study here.

Senate discusses university revenue

Simon Fraser University senators reviewed the 2017 financial report at the SFU Senate meeting on September 11.

According to the report, the institution has earned $689 million in revenue with students making up the bulk of the contributions followed by the provincial government at 36% and 31% of the total amount, respectively.

Senator Paul Percival commented that when he first started as a professor at SFU, the percentage of revenue from tuition fees was much lower.

“It has gone up enormously,” he said.

In addition, what has gone down proportionately “is the fraction paid for by the province of British Columbia,” Percival continued. “The students are contributing more [in tuition] than [what] the provincial government is doing.”

In essence, “the provincial government pays less than a third of the costs for SFU,” noted Percival.

SFU President Andrew Petter added that international student tuition accounts for the majority of the increase in student contribution to the university’s revenue.

“The share of our revenue that comes from students’ tuition has risen significantly and our share of our [funding] from the government has not and therefore you see [these] results,” he explained.

Senate approves certificate in biological anthropology

Effective spring 2018, students in the department of archaeology can pursue a certificate in biological anthropology after a motion for adopt the program was passed by SFU Senate.

However, during a period of discussion, senator Daniel Leznoff, expressed his concerns with the certificate because it only requires students to take a first-year biology class and all other requirements can be completed within the department of archeology.  

The purpose of a certificate is to highlight a concentration within a discipline and encourage students to take classes outside of their department.

“I think it’s a serious issue that we are giving what is effectively two credentials for price of one” said Leznoff. “This is not a new issue. I think there’s a significant number of certificates in the university that [does] this.”

Senator Aoife Mac Namara spoke in support of the certificate citing the ability of students in other faculties to gain a substantive understanding of the field, even though it’s not a minor. “It is a mistake to underestimate the value of [a certificate because it] could change your direction and lead you into a different area,” said Mac Namara.

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