Trent Manages Budget with Focus on Growth


University to focus on recruitment, conversion, retention and balanced budget

From the Board of Governors Meeting - Friday, April 29, 2011, Peterborough

For the tenth year in a row, Trent University’s Board of Governors has approved a balanced budget for the upcoming 2011-12 fiscal year.

“This is an important milestone for the University,” said Dr. Steven E. Franklin, president and vice chancellor.  “While some other public institutions have faced cutbacks and pension issues that are not dissimilar to Trent’s current challenges, there are many sound fundamentals in place adding to Trent’s financial stability.  While we have much more work to do, the approval of another balanced budget is significant.”

Since 2001, Trent has presented balanced budgets each year for approval to the Board.  This accomplishment has been achieved despite the fact that tuition increases are regulated, operating expenses are increasing and no funding for inflation is provided.

While recruitment remains an important organizational priority issue, progress continues to be made on the University’s finances. 

“Between 2002 and 2010, the accumulated deficit has been reduced by $2.5 million,” said President Franklin.  “The financial stability we are working towards will be supported by our longer term Integrated Planning process and our continued focus on the Strategic Enrolment Management Plan,” said President Franklin.  The University’s program mix will also be a focal point for discussion and consultation in the coming year.

President Franklin noted that solid progress is being made to strengthen Trent’s engagement with prospective students, to convert applicants into registered students and to continue the process of strengthening the University’s overall financial position. 

“As of April 25, our domestic accepts are up 14.1 per cent, accepts for the Peterborough campus are up 14.4 per cent, accepts for Oshawa and the International program are up 10.4 per cent and 13.2 per cent respectively.” 

Dr. Franklin stressed, “These are encouraging numbers but we must be mindful that recruitment, conversion and retention are shared responsibilities among all academic and administrative departments, and not just the responsibility of one department.  Between now and the traditional November count date, we will have more work to do together.”

According to President Franklin, it is vital that members of the University community are made aware that there is an intense effort across departments to build Trent’s application numbers and optimize its conversion outcomes. 

This past year saw additional budget reductions due to shortfalls driven by lower than projected enrolments.  While this has posed some challenges within the University community, the reductions have focused on minimizing the impact on faculty and staff positions, rationalizing courses with lower enrolments, and preserving the integrity of all academic programs. 

Students will not be hindered in their abilities to complete their degrees in any of the programs affected by cuts.  Departments have been given freedom to allocate resources within their departments; departments have decided which courses and staffing levels to offer. 

Trent’s Board of Governors has listened carefully to students’ concerns about the changes to the budget.  “Every effort has been made to listen to students’ real concerns and to implement the budget reductions in a way to be as equitable as possible to all departments,” said President Franklin.  “I would like to commend the students for how they have interacted with the Board to share their commitment to the institution and their desire to see it strengthened even further.”

The University recognizes the challenges this has posed for some faculty, staff and students, and thanks members of the broader Trent community for their patience during the budget planning and approval process.

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For more information contact:
Don Cumming, Associate Vice-President, Public Affairs and Government Relations, (705) 748-1011, ext. 6181