Audit by Ontario Auditor General is a call for much-needed change

YUFA is calling for major reforms in management and governance at York University following the scathing Ontario Auditor General's Value-for-Money Audit of the university. 

The Auditor General’s report revealed major deficiencies in financial oversight, planning and accountability that prioritized expensive capital projects and put academic programs at risk.

In the past five years, the York University’s Board of Governors approved capital projects of over $900 million without fully evaluating the expected returns on the projects. Moreover, the university deferred $1 billion in maintenance of existing buildings, leaving many students and staff in poorly ventilated classrooms, ill-equipped laboratories, and aging facilities.

While slashing budgets for student programs and services and keeping unionized salary increases at 1%, the administration irresponsibly increased the number of senior managers by 37% and the amount of related compensation (salary, benefits, bonuses, and stipends) by 47%. During this time, salaries paid to Associate/Assistant Vice-Presidents increased by 73%, and salaries paid to Vice-Presidents increased by 48%.

“A Board of Governors composed primarily of members from the big business and banking sectors, making decisions behind closed doors, is ill-equipped to understand the needs and interests of a widely diverse student population, many of whom face serious financial and personal hardship,” notes Professor Agnes Whitfield Chair of YUFA’s Governance Committee.

YUFA looks forward to the Board of Governors acting on the serious shortcoming raised by the Auditor General of Ontario.