University tables $132M budget
Modernizations plans include a classroom redesign, new collaborative spaces, one-stop student services, and a new front door welcoming centre, according to a press release. The budget was approved alongside a multi-year budget until 2017-18 aligned with the outcomes identified in the university’s five-year Strategic Plan.
“We have aligned our budget with the university’s key goals and aspirations and are investing in high quality academic programs, research excellence and student supports,” Dominic Giroux, president and Vice-Chancellor of Laurentian University, said in a press release. “We are focused on achieving the outcomes set out in our strategic, academic and research plans.”
The budget was presented to the board of governors after a broad consultation process, with more than 300 students, faculty and staff in Sudbury and Barrie weighing in over 16 different sessions.
Some of the notable investments include:
- $42.6M for the new School of Architecture;
- $7.9M by 2017-18 to address deferred maintenance;
- $6M for the rehabilitation of the Single Student Residence (SSR);
- $4.1M by 2017-18 to support the international accreditation of the Faculty of Management;
- $2.8M by 2017-18 to reintroduce men’s and introduce women’s hockey in the Fall of 2013;
- $2.1M by 2017-18 to launch the School of Mines;
- $2M to modernize food services on campus, including a new Starbucks in 2012 and full renovation of the Great Hall in 2013;
- $1.8M by 2017-18 to increase staff training and professional development;
- $1.4M by 2017-18 to enhance services through the Centre for Academic Excellence;
- $1.05M by 2017-18 to secure full funding for the construction of the Indigenous Sharing and Learning Centre, enhance proactive hiring practices for Aboriginal faculty and staff, and increase Indigenous content in courses.
The plan calls for enrolment growth of 1,150 students by 2017-18, and the university will do so while raising the average entry grade even higher, from 81 per cent to 83 per cent and continuing to diversify and grow its international student population, according to the university.
Barrie operations will see an increased investment of $0.8 million in 2012-13, including three new faculty members to support program expansion and a new associate vice-president, administration and external relations. The university has committed $14 million toward a new campus in downtown Barrie, a pledge which has been matched by the City of Barrie.
The approved budget includes significant investments in faculty and staff renewal. Key 2012-13 hires include a Canada Research chair in Geochemistry, a Canada Research chair in Environmental Microbiology, a Research chair in Occupational Health and Safety, 20 other faculty hirings, more full-time counsellors, an additional technologist in the Bharti School of Engineering, the executive director of the School of Mines, additional staff in Sudbury for security, marketing and capital projects, additional administrative and student recruitment support in Barrie.
“We are one of the few Canadian universities in a strong financial position,” Laurentian vice-president of Administration, Carol McAulay, said. “We have balanced budgets projected for at least the next six years; we have a solvent pension plan and low long-term debt ratios. This allows us to move forward with so many game-changing investments. It’s an exciting time to be at Laurentian.”
Posted by Arron Pickard