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March 8, 2011

The college’s Board of Governors approved a balanced budget for fiscal 2011-2012 at its regular monthly meeting last night. Speaking to the Board of Governors, Chair Lynda Farmer said this year’s budget presented increasing challenges for the college. “The combined effect of three years of flat funding from government has the potential to seriously impact Camosun’s programs, students and our community. We are hopeful that government will respond by renewing their commitment to post-secondary education in British Columbia,” she concluded.

An expected 5% drop in operating funding from the Industry Training Authority for apprenticeship programming in addition to three years of flat funding, combined with unavoidable increases in costs of operation due to inflation and contract obligations, have meant tough choices needed to be made in delivering a required balanced budget according to Camosun President Kathryn Laurin. The college also expects its Annual Capital Allowance (ACA) funding to remain at the same level as last year ($620K down from $2.4M) and, if this is the case, $250K of operating dollars will be needed to look after critical maintenance issues.

“Arriving at the $104 M balanced budget and working toward a financially sustainable position for the college has been and continues to be challenging. Although we’ve worked hard to minimize them, the impacts will be widely felt,” says Laurin. “At the same time, we need to reinvent ourselves to be able to meet the needs of tomorrow’s learners and communities in a financially sustainable way, and to reposition ourselves to take advantage of our strengths and opportunities.” 

The college is one of the highest performing colleges in the province and has been active advocating for higher levels of operating funding, a challenge in these economic times. New revenue sources and opportunities for further efficiencies have also been sought in conjunction with reductions in a number of areas. Attempts have been made to minimize the impact on educational programs and essential services.

The budget that was approved last night includes the following impacts:

Six programs will have reduced student intakes. They include Adult Basic Education, Tourism, Business Administration, Engineering Graphics Technician, Applied Communication and Dental Hygiene.  Reductions in the first four programs will happen in September 2011 and the other two programs will experience reductions in September 2012. Also reduced will be the number of apprenticeship sections offered, a result of cuts to Industry Training Authority funding.

The reduced intakes will affect approximately 245 potential student seats for 2011-12 academic year. There will also be reductions in services to students.

The approved budget also includes the elimination of 19 full time equivalent positions, most of which will be achieved by not renewing term contracts and through the cutting of several vacant positions, retirements and the elimination of two administrative positions.  In addition, non-personnel expenditures were cut across the board by an average of 2%.

In speaking to the budget, Laurin said that the reality was that these reductions will only serve to balance this year’s budget. “The college is in extraordinary times but we also have extraordinary strengths and opportunities. It is going to take our best ideas and our focused energies but we have never been more committed to serving our students and this community with exceptional learning experiences. Together, as a community united, Camosun will prevail.”

Contact

Kathryn Laurin, President 
Camosun College
250–370–3410 
laurink@camosun.bc.ca

Last updated: March 8, 2011 12:36 pm

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