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12-16-2012, 03:07 AM
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Originally Posted by buddahsmoka1 View Post
Administrative expenses constitute nearly 20% of McGill's operating budget.

It doesn't have to be for free, you can pay a student half the wage of a full-time union worker.
I doubt you would find many students willing and able to clean toilets competently for minimum wage. If anything, the dilapidated and dirty infrastructure at McGill shows they spend too little, rather than too much money.

And virtually none would be qualified for administrative roles, let alone the senior administrative roles that take the most salary.

Originally Posted by buddahsmoka1 View Post
Why should universities buy thousands of computers, when everyone who needs them has access to their own computer anyways?
Because it doesn't make sense that McGill should be the only top-500 university in the world to not pay for business expenses.

A business expense should be paid by the employer.

I'll point out again that work computers and personal computers should be separate, for various reasons.

But by all means: don't cover business expenses. See what that does for recruitement and retainment.

Originally Posted by buddahsmoka1 View Post
You can now get lap top computers for around $1000 that can handle anything you need for work.
I just got a new laptop-based work computer, it was $3,500, though that might be $2500 in North America, things are more expensive down under.

About $2000 for the macbook air, $1200 for the thunderbolt monitor, $300 for various such as wireless keyboard and mouse. Am likely to be getting some external hard drives soon.

And my needs are not particularly large. Many people I know require tens of thousands of dollars of computer equipment for their projects. I have already nearly filled up my 500 Gig hard drive just from installing necessary software and importing data from my thesis.

If you need power you might go for an 8-core desktop. Some people I know got some a few years back. It runs for several thousand dollars.

Originally Posted by buddahsmoka1 View Post
Hyperbolic analogy for $500 Alex.
Not really, computers like business travel are business expenses that run into the four to five digits annually. They're very similar.

Originally Posted by buddahsmoka1 View Post
Average graduate student salary is just over $23,000. Within a couple of thousand for the national Canadian average.
I'm guessing they need to pay tuition out of the $23,000, so it's not really $23,000.

McGill physics pays $21,400, but that's before the tuition waiver:

I was paid $25,000 at Ohio State, in addition to a tuition waiver. It was typical for friends in the USA, One guy I knew went to Stanford in 2006, he got $30,000/year. Another one got about that at UC Irvine with a $10,000 starting bonus. Another guy I knew went to John Hopkins in 2006, he got $40,000/year to study biostatistics. All with a tuition waiver of course.

Originally Posted by buddahsmoka1 View Post
Montreal does not have an extremely high cost of living, not sure what on earth you are talking about. Montreal is the cheapest major city to live in Canada, and is lower than major cities in the US. Comparatively speaking, for a city it's size, Montreal is one of the cheapest cities to live in in the developed world.
I'm talking about cost of living for a graduate student or other academic, i.e. the cost relevant to our discussion. It's a bit different than for the rest of the public so I understand if you're behind.

That same article would tell you that New York City is more expensive than Montreal, but the reality is that Columbia University owns a lot of real estate, and if you're a Columbia academic you can get a respectable apartment, in the middle of manhattan, for $700/month. A friend of mine got that, she just moved there to get a PhD in English lit.

This wasn't the case when I was at Ohio State, but within a 20 minute walk to you could get a respectable apartment for $600/month utilities included, without needing to pay extravagant heating costs. To have such an apartment in downtown montreal you would need to spend $1000/month ... either that or you could devastate your career by spending 2 hours a day commuting total.

Your article also mentions health care cost. The private health insurance you get at US universities is almost always paid for anyway, and provides vastly superior service to the Quebec health care system. The one time in my five years I needed to go the ER it only took ~10 minutes to see a doctor, I was in and out with treatment in a few hours. The health insurance also covered dental.

Your article then mentions tuition fees. Tuition fees are usually waived for graduate students.

Finally your article says clothing is cheaper in Montreal. That is true compared to some other countries such as Australia, but not compared to the USA. That said if Montrealers want cheap groceries, plane tickets, clothing, and alcohol they have the option of driving to Vermont or New Hampshire. That's what I often did in Montreal and it's what a lot of people do.

Last edited by DAChampion: 12-16-2012 at 03:30 AM.
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