Brandon University trims fat but cuts no jobs

No teachers eliminated


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Brandon University has managed to cut about three per cent out of its budget without eliminating any jobs.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 27/05/2013 (3659 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Brandon University has managed to cut about three per cent out of its budget without eliminating any jobs.

The $1.23 million in cuts includes leaving some positions vacant or filled by part-timers for periods of up to a year.

“No teaching positions were eliminated, no layoffs occurred at our university,” vice-president of finance and administration Scott Lamont said Sunday.

The board of governors made two changes Saturday that improved the revenue forecast, Lamont said.

Tenured professors who retire this year will be replaced for the first year by sessionals or instructors on term contracts, before BU hires tenure-track position professors a year from now.

Students who decide to drop out in September will get all or some of their tuition during only the first three weeks of classes instead of the current four — after three weeks there’s no refund at all, Lamont said.

The $45-million operating budget included $3.5 million in increases, he said. The province capped tuition increases at 1.6 per cent, and 2.5 per cent increases in provincial operating grants — the province reneged on a previous promise to raise grants five per cent — covered about 25 per cent.

Dipping into its surplus provided another 40 per cent of the increased spending, leaving the rest to be found through cuts or new sources of revenue.

BU has recovered about half the students lost because of Manitoba’s longest-lasting faculty strike during the fall of 2011, he said.

The university has hired more student-success staff, including one focused on attracting aboriginal students.

“We’re going into communities and schools we haven’t before,” Lamont said.

BU will not join University of Manitoba president David Barnard and University of Winnipeg president Lloyd Axworthy in calling on the province to reconsider capping tuition increases at the rate of inflation.

The U of M cut about $4.98 million to balance its budget. The U of W board of regents will consider its budget in June.

However, if there are talks with the province, BU will be there, Lamont said.

“We haven’t elected to try to make it an issue,” Lamont said. “We do inform our board how tuition compares” to fees across Canada.

BU’s board of governors also approved a proposal to create what could be Manitoba’s first honours degree in M©tis studies.

The four-year degree program proposal now goes to the Council on Postsecondary Education for consideration of both its content and its cost.

The course would launch in September 2014 at the very earliest, Lamont said.

“It would be within native studies. We’ve certainly had a very good relationship with the Manitoba Metis Federation,” Lamont said.

Officials at both U of M and U of W said while both offer courses on M©tis within their native studies programs, they do not offer a major in M©tis studies.

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