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CFRC Report, Board of Directors

October 03, 2012

KINGSTON, ON – via Rob Gamble, Chair of the AMS Board of Directors

This year, CFRC is celebrating 90 years as a campus-community radio station.

The AMS’ relationship with CFRC was solidified in 2003 out of a transfer agreement which moved the station from University control to the Society in 2006.

Since that date, CFRC has run yearly deficits of between $15,000 and $20,000.  The AMS, as a not-for-profit corporation, has closed all of the past 5 years within 1% above or below breakeven.  Service deficits in one area must be covered by operating surpluses found elsewhere in the Society. A critical look is taken at any service with a deficit to ensure that concerted efforts are being made to mitigate the deficit moving forward.

The AMS Board of Directors is tasked with ensuring that its corporate services are accountable to the Society, keeping in mind the role students play as financial stakeholders.  As such, 8 of 11 voting members of the board are elected student representatives.  Each year, the Board analyzes the AMS’ corporate services based on past year’s actuals, as well as the budgets they submit for the coming year. All AMS services are required to submit budgets to the Board for approval in August.

This year, CFRC submitted a budget with a deficit of $18,917. They currently receive a mandatory student fee from all AMS members of $5.03.

In April 2012, an agreement was signed by the AMS and Radio Queen’s University Inc. (CFRC’s license holding body) outlining a two-year transition period leading to CFRC becoming independent – both financially and operationally – from the AMS in April 2014. This agreement outlines a gradual transfer of financial, operational, and human resources responsibilities from the AMS to RQU.

Per the agreement signed this past April by the AMS and Radio-Queen’s University Inc. (CFRC’s license-holding body), the AMS will cover the station’s deficit up to $8,000 this year.  Any deficit accrued in excess of that coverage will be taken from the $15,000 in grant funding CFRC as the station transitions to independence over the next two years.  The $15,000 in grant funding was an act of good will by last year’s AMS Board, signifying the AMS’ commitment to CFRC’s long-term sustainability after independence.  Once separated, the station will be singularly responsible for debts accrued.

CFRC’s proposed budget, with a deficit of $18,917, would have left the station with $4,000 of that transitional grant funding.  The AMS Board of Directors was concerned by this prospect and its long-term implications for the station. On August 12, the Board unanimously rejected the proposed budget.  CFRC was asked to revisit the budget and maximize revenue while attempting to decrease expenses.

The station responded with an open letter to the Board explaining why they were unable to do so; citing a relatively low student fee and constant financial constraints posed by a lack of student funding for the station.

The AMS Board of Directors proceeded by instructing AMS Management to draft a proposal which would address budgetary concerns.  Salaries alone represent 60% of CFRC’s total expenses.  A new position was created for the station: Sponsorship and Outreach Manager. This position, which replaced the Business Manager’s role, is aimed to fuse the revenue-generating responsibilities of CFRC’s former Business Manager position with the task of reviving student engagement.

Throughout this process, the primary concern of the AMS Board of Directors has been CFRC’s financial sustainability. By making the Sponsorship and Outreach position voluntary in nature — compensated with an honorarium and 40% commission on all advertisement sales — it reduced the load CFRC’s management salaries bore on their budget by approximately $10,000.

The AMS Board maintains its decision to dissolve the position of Business Manager at CFRC in favour of the newly-created Sponsorship and Outreach Manager. While the Board hopes to continue a positive relationship with CFRC moving forward, all further discussions are conducted under the understanding that this decision is indeed final and necessary actions to follow-through on it have been taken as per AMS HR policy and in consultation with legal counsel.

The AMS is confident that this decision reflects a commitment to the continued success of CFRC.

Please direct all media inquiries to Taylor Mann, AMS Communications Officer, atcomm@ams.queensu.ca or (613) 533-6000 x 75850.

BACKGROUNDER 

Alma Mater Society (AMS) - http://www.myAMS.org

The central undergraduate student government at Queen’s University, the AMS represents over 14,200 students and is the oldest student government in Canada. The constituency is represented through 12 faculty and residence societies. The AMS Council, which is made up of a three-person executive, six commissioners, and three directors, oversees all day-to-day activities within the Society, including 14 corporate services and various government committees that address virtually all matters of student life at Queen’s.

Board of Directors - /about-your-ams/board-of-directors.aspx

The Board of Directors fulfills three key roles within the organization of the Alma Mater Society; strategic management, financial, and support. In the strategic management role, the Board provides oversight of the business planning process, ensuring that the organization is adhering to its long-term business and financial plans. The financial role of the Board is fulfilled by monitoring the management of the Society and ensuring its continued financial viability. Furthermore, the Board approves all budgets and capital expenditures. Through the support role, the Board provides long-term guidance and direction in specific areas of AMS operations which often include, but is not limited to, oversight of the permanent staff, direction over AMS-wide remuneration, and membership on the Student Life Centre Council.