The use of money at York University

David Bakan (
Sat, 13 Dec 1997 13:51:14 -0500 (EST)


[Caution: There are some tables here. E-mail sometimes distorts columns.]

The order of columns is year, income, the number of full time faculty and
professional librarians, and part-time faculty.

Income and number of faculty at York University

Year Income Full time facultyand professional librarians Part time faculty
1992 377.8 1285 1317
1993 399.6 1262 1018
1994 362.2 1216 860
1995 366.1 1206 796
1996 382.1 1160 702
1997 386.1 N/A N/A

Source: York financial reports, and York fact book.

I keep reflecting on these figures.

Note stabilities and increases in income versus decline in faculty!.

Questions: Have the effects of the cuts by the province been exaggerated?
Where is the money going? Why have they allowed the faculty complement to go
down while the income has been stable to up?

The answer to the first question is yes. This is due in large measure to
compensating rises in student fees.

On the second question: I have been told that to look only at the total
income is deceiving because money that comes in is specifically earmarked
for other things than faculty, and cannot be used to pay faculty.

This is explained as follows: The university maintains its money in five
fund groups as follows: Operating, Capital, Ancillary, Sponsored Research
and Trust/Endowments.

They say that the money cannot be transferred among funds. Thus, because of
the cuts by the province in the operating fund they had to cut faculty.

Is that an explanation or a red herring?

Note that there something labelled "Inter-fund transfers" in Statement 2 of
the financial reports.

The administration appears to feel quite free to move money around among
these funds.

It is not that they failed to move money from other funds into the Operating
fund so as to pay for faculty.

They took MONEY OUT of the Operating Funds, as well as out of Sponsored
Research and Trusts and Endowments, and put that MONEY INTO Capital and
Ancillary Funds!

Below the data from the last two years.

[The columns in order are year, operating funds, capital, ancillary,
sponsored research and trusts and endowments.]
1996 [1258] 2546 478 [840] [926]
1997 [3258] 3431 2358 [582] [1679]
[In thousands] Source: York financial reports.

If I am making some kind of mistake, and someone can point it out to me, I
will be glad to acknowledge it.

Frankly, I would be more glad than anyone to be wrong.

David Bakan

cc:Lorna Marsden, Michael Stevenson, Phyllis Clark, Harry Arthurs, Board of
Governors c/o M. Ransom, The Senate c/o M. Ransom, Faculty of Arts
Governance Committee