Riley McEntee, Nipissing University Student Union (NUSU) president, believes provincial funding is a big reason for the need for an Auditor General's report.
According to the recent report conducted by Ontario Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk, North Bay's Nipissing University needs to manage its debt and improve the competence of its board of governors. That was one of more than a dozen issues outlined by the Auditor General about Nipissing University.
Read the complete report Financial Management in Ontario Universities.
"The lack of provincial funding for Northern Ontario schools has exacerbated the issues laid out by the Auditor General's report," McEntee told BayToday.
"While we understand that Nipissing University needs to be in a better financial position, it ought not be done at the expense of our students.
"This is especially true of our international students, who pay an increased tuition fee and face additional hurdles in their education journey. We recognize that international students are an asset to our university and that international student enrolment is quite low. However, prior to bolstering Nipissing University’s efforts in international recruitment, we must ensure that the university has adequate support and communication channels in place to assist them in their journey."
The report peers into key operations and governance structures at four Ontario universities including Nipissing, Algoma University, Ontario Tech University, and the University of Windsor.
The auditor general's report indicated that Nipissing University was $34.7 million in debt as of April 30, 2021.
See related: Nipissing University at high financial risk
McEntee says he has been reassured by University President Dr. Kevin Wamsley, that the university is committed to ensuring that it hears directly from students.
"With students being the biggest stakeholders of Nipissing University, NUSU will continue ensuring that student voices are being heard and listened to while keeping them accountable to the student body. NUSU is optimistic that the university will make the changes necessary as reflected in the Auditor General’s report, and we look forward to working alongside them in this process."