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Board Approves Balanced Operating Budget for 2007-08


Friday, April 27, 2007 Peterborough

Trent University’s Board of Governors today approved a balanced operating budget of $85,902,000 for the 2007-08 fiscal year.

Don O’Leary, Vice-President of Administration emphasized that presenting a balanced budget in the current fiscal environment has been a challenge.  “Once again, Trent is projecting no inflationary increases in provincial grants per student despite the fact that the rate of inflation for the university sector is running at 6 per cent annually.”  The 2007-08 budget represents the eighth balanced budget plan presented to the Board.

Factors shaping the budget:

  • While the provincial Reaching Higher plan made commitments to provide increases in funding for university enrolment growth, the government has yet to flow all funding to universities.
  • Although targets for graduate student enrolment growth have been established for each institution, funding for each university will not flow until after the February 1, 2008 graduate student count date – as a result, the amount of Trent’s share will not be known until that time and the university will receive its funding after 10 months of the fiscal year are completed.
  • The balanced 2007-08 budget was achieved due to the province’s decision in March, 2007 to provide one-time funding for purposes identified by each university.  While this investment is appreciated, it is one-time funding only and will result in an unavoidable shortfall in the 2008-09 year due to growing enrolments, the need to ensure a quality experience is provided to students, and the need to have in place necessary infrastructure to support students and professors.  Ontario’s universities will continue to engage in dialogue with the province to ensure that new federal funding for universities contained in the federal budget is delivered to universities in its entirety.

Highlights from the budget include:

  • International student fees increase of 4 per cent
  • Domestic undergraduate tuition rates to increase by 4 per cent for continuing students, and 4.5 per cent for first year students
  • Domestic graduate tuition rates to be frozen at 2006/07 levels
  • Increased number of positions for Graduate Teaching Assistants and Research Fellows
  • New and replacement tenure track hiring of 22 positions in 2007-08 and 2008-09
  • Increase in the base instructional budget by approximately $500,000
  • Increased investments in Development, Marketing and Communications and Alumni Affairs of $600,000
  • Increased investments in academic and student support of $139,000
  • A continued strategic investment of $493,000 over and above our core budgets in recruitment and marketing activities predominantly in the Office of the Registrar and Marketing and Communications.
  • A number of small investments in areas that have a positive return on investment i.e. international student scholarships, distance education courses

Dr. Roberta Bondar Fellowship in Northern and Polar Studies

Bonnie Patterson, President and Vice-Chancellor, was pleased to announce on behalf of the Board the creation of a new endowed fellowship titled The Roberta Bondar Fellowship in Northern and Polar Studies (RBFNS). 

“With the burgeoning importance of northern issues such as environmental change, the opening of the Northwest Passage and future resource development, we are pleased to create a sustainable mechanism that will attract the best northern scholars to Trent for the benefit of our students,” said President Patterson.  “Dr. Bondar’s excellent work through artistic and scientific means drawing attention to the transformations underway in the Canadian north made this a natural way to recognize her enduring support of Trent,” said President Patterson.

Endowment Lands

The Board accepted a report from the Task Force on Endowment Lands Management and Governance recommending that rather than creating a separate real estate corporation, or other alternative ownership structure, that the Board adjust its committee structure and membership to accommodate this new area of university business.

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For more information contact:

Brittany Cadence, Communications Officer, (705) 748-1011, ext. 5371