Trent Press Release


FRIDAY, APRIL 25, 2003


Budget strategy includes action to address accumulated deficit


Trent University’s Board of Governors today approved a $63,044,000 operating budget for 2003-04 that would result in a fourth consecutive balanced budget in seven years. Budget highlights include:

  • a projection of 433 more first year students
  • total enrollment projected to increase by 14 per cent to 6,352 undergraduate FTE
  • 2 per cent increase in tuition across all categories (less 30 per cent devoted to student financial aid)
  • 26 net new Peterborough tenure track faculty and 178 teaching stipends, up from 96 stipends in 2002-03
  • 36 new permanent and temporary support staff
  • increased investment in information technology totaling $1,265,000
  • targeting of $686,000 towards deferred maintenance projects and facilities
  • balanced operating budget including a $364,000 contribution to the accumulated deficit

The Board was informed that the projected cumulative deficit, as a percentage of the operating budget, was reduced from 15.7 per cent in 2001-02, to 13 per cent in 2002-03 and is projected to decrease to 7 per cent in 2005-06.

President Patterson emphasized to the Board that double cohort planning and the need to address the accumulated deficit were two drivers that shaped this year’s operating budget. "With our projections for the next three years that the provincial grants will not be increased to cover inflation, combined with the continuation of the provincial policy that caps tuition at two per cent per year less 30 per cent for student aid, the model we use to deliver education at Trent University will continue to face cost pressures."

Patterson acknowledged that the provincial government’s Quality Assurance Fund, which provides universities with access to funding that starts at $75 million for the university system in 2004-05 and grows to $200 million by 2006-07, is very helpful. There remains a continuing challenge of approximately 500 student spaces at Trent for which the University currently receives no funding.

"Our students and alumni continue to affirm their support for small class sizes, increasing course availability, the need to provide students with contact with expert faculty in their classrooms, and staff who are responsive to their needs," says Patterson. "As we work our way through the double cohort and its flow through effects, Trent University will continue to face pressures as we manage unprecedented growth and balance the expectations that have traditionally characterized the ‘Trent learning experience.’

President’s Report

President Patterson reported on the recent Association of Universities and College Canada (AUCC) national meeting of university presidents held in London Ontario which was also attended by the Prime Minster. She updated the Board on the Framework of Agreed Principles on Federally Funded University Research that has been signed by the AUCC. The principles include a federal commitment to provide necessary levels of research investment, a doubling of university research and a tripling of university’s commercialization performance over time, and a commitment by universities to ongoing compliance with accountability and reporting requirements. The President showed AUCC’s video that profiled Trent University and Trent student Geoff Cameron, winner of a Canada Millennium Scholarship. President Patterson concluded her remarks by indicating that proposals such as Trent’s DNA Cluster hold the promise of assisting Trent to meet future commercialization targets.

Fundraising Council Report

Dan Coholan, Trent alumni and Chair of the University’s Fundraising Council, updated the Board on the foundation’s success in raising $515,000 towards its total goal of $3.6 million. He outlined a number of upcoming events and outreach activities, the number of fundraising calls completed to date, and reported on potential donor prospects.

By-Law Review

Approved, revisions to the Board By-law related to the transaction of the business and affairs of the Board of Governors. The 53 changes focused on fine tuning language in the policy, clarifying clauses, and the reordering of certain clauses.

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For more information contact:
Don Cumming, Senior Director, Public Affairs, (705) 748-1011, ext. 1224

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