McMaster University has been withholding fees collected for the McMaster Association of Part-time Students (MAPS) since the summer, it said in a recent statement. The University is conducting an investigation of “serious concerns that were raised regarding MAPS’ business practices.”
MAPS represents, and collects fees from, all McMaster students who take fewer than 18 units in an academic session. It is separately incorporated from the University and is managed by its own Board of Directors, but McMaster collects fees from students on its behalf.
Newly released statements from the University and from MAPS appear below.
McMaster Statement regarding McMaster Association of Part Time Students (December 2012)
McMaster University collects student fees from part-time students on behalf of the McMaster Association of Part-time Students (MAPS). The student fees are then remitted to MAPS to pay for a variety of services for the students it represents. MAPS is managed by its own Board of Directors, independently from the University.
Since this past summer, the University has been holding part-time student fees in-trust in light of significant concerns that were raised regarding MAPS’ business practices. The University has limited its release of funds to student-focussed activities and to ensure there is no interruption for students with scholarships and bursaries that are distributed by MAPS.
McMaster took this extraordinary measure to protect the interests of part-time students.
The University became actively involved in the process because of the impact such serious financial concerns could have on the services students fund. The process to fully understand the concerns and develop permanent solutions is still underway. We believe that the University’s financial reporting, expense, reimbursement and travel protocols would provide a model of best practice that the MAPS board could incorporate into its governance model and we continue to work with the MAPS Board to ensure that best practices are followed.
A Statement From McMaster Association of Part-time Students (December 21, 2012)
The McMaster Association of Part-time Students (MAPS) represents and provides services for McMaster University undergraduate students studying part-time and students earning diplomas and certificates. MAPS is an independent organization with its own Board of Directors which oversees all aspects of the operation. The University collects student fees on MAPS’ behalf.
Several months ago concerns were raised about some of MAPS’ spending practices over a period of time including, salaries, expenses and reimbursements, travel and office costs. The Board reviewed these significant and serious concerns, identified means to ensure it adheres to best business practices and committed itself to an enhanced governance structure for consideration by the membership at its next AGM.
Our focus is to address this situation in order to ensure that we are in the strongest possible position to provide part-time students with the support and resources they expect from MAPS. The University’s administration has made available a range of resources upon which MAPS can draw to continue to review our financial, accounting and payment processes along with our governance structure.
The process to review these concerns has been underway for many months and is ongoing. Once completed we look forward to providing our student members with a detailed accounting of our findings and corrective measures that have been or will be undertaken. We hope to be able to move forward with this part of the process early in the New Year.