Volume 95, Issue 28

Tuesday, October 23, 2001
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Two Fanshawe students attacked

The world at war

Long wait for beer money... err... OSAP

Call psychic Bob: Western plans future

Tainted water study sickens Walkertonian

Harris leaving; lefties still pissed

More Western Anthrax scares

Call psychic Bob: Western plans future

By Joel Brown
Gazette Staff

Western's strategic plan is steps closer to completion after a second draft was brought to Senate last Friday.

Fifteen changes were made to the document that is meant to guide the university through the double cohort and expected funding changes.

Many of the alterations involved more specified goals, such as accessibility to students.

"We are a public institution and proud of that fact – we define our role in the context of our local, regional, provincial and national communities," reads an alteration made by the Strategic Planning Task Force to the report's introduction, outlining the overall scope of the university.

"It was a good document when it was brought to Senate," said student senator Chris Sinal. "A lot has now been put in to it – it's a good outline of where the university is going in the next few years.

"I like the fact that the changes really emphasized academic integrity, which will be maintained at the university," he said.

A concern for some of the senators was the budgeting, much of which accounts for money the university does not yet possess. The school is hoping more funding will come from both alumni and the government.

"A lot of it depends on the money the university doesn't have control of," Sinal said. "We're going to need money – specifically, government money – to do it."

Much of the meeting's debate focused on the size of Western's student population.

According to the report, first-year student enrollment will gradually increase until 2004-05 to accommodate the double cohort and then drop to its current level.

"We're increasing enrollment to help the province and the schools in the city, but we're not interested in sustaining that type of expansion," said Western president Paul Davenport.

But, while Davenport said the increased size of the undergraduate program will not be maintained, he hopes government funding will be focused toward graduate programs.

"Society needs those people," Davenport said. "It's not about servicing us, it's about servicing all the post-secondary and private institutions in the province."

Dean of science Fred Longstaffe said he was concerned the plan made little mention of hiring more faculty during the planned expansion period.

"A smaller herd is better than a starving larger one," he said. "We must lower faculty-to-staff and student-to-staff ratios."

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Copyright The Gazette 2001