SAULT STE. MARIE – EDUCATION – Algoma University Board of Governors have approved a $30.6 million operating budget for the 2015-16 year. Despite a slight decrease in revenues due to a projected drop in enrolment, the University was able to produce a balanced budget again this year.
“All universities in Ontario are entering a difficult enrolment environment and Algoma U is no different,” said University President Dr. Richard Myers. “The number of 18-20 year olds in the province is expected to decline by 10 percent over the next five years. The challenge for the University will be allocating resources appropriately to deliver an outstanding undergraduate education without putting ourselves in a risky fiscal position. We have accomplished that with this budget.”
The University was able to achieve a balanced budget by reducing costs across departments. Of note were reductions in the size of the University’s administration, in the number of courses taught by sessional instructors, in the Library’s acquisitions budget, and in the varsity athletics budget. Despite the reductions to the athletics budget, Algoma University will be able to fund all six varsity programs next year.
A decision was also made to close the Windsor Park residence. The residence proved extremely costly to operate and was not a popular choice for students. The University will still be able to guarantee single rooms to all first-year students with the closure of the Windsor Park residence.
The Board of Governors approved tuition increases of 3 percent for domestic students and 5 percent for international students. Algoma University’s domestic and international tuition rates remain amongst the lowest in Ontario.
The decisions made in this year’s budget place Algoma University in an enviable position amongst its peers. “Difficult decisions were required this year, but we feel that producing a balanced budget is the most responsible way to move forward,” said Vice-President Finance and Administration Sean Dwyer. “As part of the budgeting process, survey feedback was solicited from faculty, students, and staff. Their input was an important part of the process and assisted in producing a budget that puts us in a strong position to deal with the challenges facing the University next year.”