Nipissing University’s Board of Governors approved the 2014-15 budget at their regular meeting yesterday and it .projects a deficit of $11,865,864, but isn't looking at layoffs yet.
The university is projecting revenues of $67,592,720 and expenses of $79,458,584.
The university is implementing a three per cent tuition rate increase as per the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities guidelines to continue providing the quality academic resources and financial aid for students. The budget includes approximately $4 million for student financial assistance including scholarships, provincial bursaries, institutional financial aid and student work-study placements, an increase of 3.5 per cent over last year.
“It is vital that we uphold academic quality and the student experience that is our hallmark while managing current budget shortfalls,” said Richard Onley, Vice-President Finance and Administration.
“This budget allows for investments in student services, recruitment and program opportunities to help grow enrolment and contribute to future prosperity. We will work to minimize the deficit by continuing to exercise fiscal responsibility while striving for efficiencies. The university is not planning any major restructuring or layoffs at this time,” Onley stated in a news release.
Factors contributing to the deficit include reduced interest in the Education program, inflation of costs relating to utilities and services, and personnel; the latter comprises almost 70 per cent of the university’s operating budget.
“The Board supports the need to invest in the university through this budget,” said Colin Dennis, Chair of the Nipissing University Board of Governors.
“Strategic investments in key areas are essential to capitalize on opportunities and enhance current strengths. In establishing this budget, we considered numerous longer-term scenarios that outline key elements for a return to a balanced budget. ”
Nipissing University relies on two primary sources of revenue: tuition and grants from the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities. Both sources are sensitive to enrolment, and grants are subject to provincial finances.