Job vacancies, extra gov’t cash helped U of W balance books


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The University of Winnipeg's Board of Regents has passed a $125 million balanced budget, thanks to $1 million in extra provincial money and the university's ongoing strategy to leave $4.5 million worth of jobs vacant.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 22/06/2015 (2908 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

The University of Winnipeg’s Board of Regents has passed a $125 million balanced budget, thanks to $1 million in extra provincial money and the university’s ongoing strategy to leave $4.5 million worth of jobs vacant.

The vacant management strategy amounts to a 3.6 per cent savings.

The U of W said in a news release that the budget provides fiscal stability along with key strategic investments while U of W officials work in collaboration with the provincial government to address the historical funding imbalance UWinnipeg faces compared to other post-secondary institutions.

Winnipeg Free Press
University of Winnipeg
Winnipeg Free Press University of Winnipeg

U of W said that the province provided a 2.46 per cent increase in operating grants this year, along with $1 million in extra cash as catch-up with other schools. It amounts to a four per cent increase, the university said.

Officials said the budget includes “an additional $500,000 in savings will be realized by insourcing informational technology management services. “

The university expects to generate 1.9 per cent more in tuition revenue, thanks to the province allowing fees to rise at the rate of Manitoba’s growth. The U of W calculates that the average student with a maximum course load will pay an extra $44 in tuition. 

The regents approved several improvements:

  • Student success by adding two new counselling positions to enhance student wellness, fulfilling a commitment to have three full-time, in-house counsellors on staff; providing support for the annual student Powwow; maintaining U of w’s academic strength by replacing a number of retiring faculty members.
  • Research by reallocating two positions to assist faculty in obtaining external research funding and to identify new sources of grant revenue; strengthening partnerships such as creation of the first Chair in the History of Indigenous Arts of North America, a shared position with the Winnipeg Art Gallery; and a new shared faculty position with Canada’s national laboratory for particle and nuclear physics, TRIUMF.
  • New Indigenous initiatives as recommended by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission including development of an Indigenous course requirement for all students; and introduction of Indigenous language programs this academic year.

President Annette Trimbee said in a prepared statement that, “I am confident that both Premier Greg Selinger and Minister of Education and Advanced Learning James Allum are committed to ensuring the long term fiscal sustainability of the University of Winnipeg. I know there is strong support for the University of Winnipeg’s unique mission, which aligns with the province’s goal of making education accessible to all.”

U of W Students Association president Peyton Veitch praised the administration for avoiding program cuts, but said students had not expected to be hit with higher fees.

“The budget outlines a number of important investments that our association has been calling for. The University’s investment in three full-time, in-house general counsellors will improve access to mental health services on campus. Supporting initiatives such as the student PowWow, implementing TRC recommendations that help advance the process of indigenization, and hiring new tenure-track faculty bodes well for the student experience and quality of education at the U of W,” said Veitch.

“We’re disappointed to see the inclusion of fee increases for both domestic and international students. Several ancillary fees are rising above the rate of inflation, two by almost nine per cent. International students taking science, business, education or kinesiology courses are already paying 3.7 to 4.3 times more than their domestic peers and will now shoulder tuition fee increases between 5.8 and 9.9 per cent, he said.

“Students were not consulted about these fee hikes, which will put a further squeeze on personal finances and exacerbate upfront barriers to education,” Veitch. “While the University of Winnipeg deserves credit for rejecting the slash and burn approach that we’ve seen at the University of Manitoba, this budget falls short in terms of ensuring affordability.”

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