A few notes from the Board of Governors meeting today for members who may be interested. Much of the work at today’s meeting was reports only and review of and voting on the 2021-22 budget. Look for a new branding of Continuous Learning. For those of you are interested in marketing, it may be interesting.

Regarding the budget, the College is good shape. The College is in receipt of $6.4 million in COVID relief, $2 million in an administrative grant from the province, access to $1 million per year for the next 10 years for a new trades wing and access to $15 million for “Micro-Credentials”.

Forecast is for a 2021-22 $2.89 Million deficit, which will be taken care of by reserves. Most tuition will remain frozen; unfortunately, international students will be faced with a 3% increase in tuition. New management positions were accepted, increasing the cost of salaries and benefits. Over the past year there were 8 retirements and 1 resignation of full-time faculty, none of which have yet to be restaffed. The Board approved 10 faculty positions today–8 replacement positions and 2 new positions.

For me, the most shocking piece of information and what we must remember is that over the next 5 years, the College is projecting a cumulative surplus of $30 million.

The budget was approved at the meeting in open session. If you would like to review it, I would suggest you ask your manager for a copy.

I shared with a Board of Governors a recent report from the Royal Society of Canada: Investing in a Better Future: Higher Education and Post-COVID Canada. A summary of recommendations begins on page 7 and notably recommends increasing the ratio of full-time faculty to students, freezing or reducing tuition, strengthening academic freedom, improving pathways and supports for international students, and pursuing indigenization of the curriculum, and increasing access to post-secondary education for members of indigenous peoples. There are further recommendations specific to the impact of the global pandemic.

As always, should you have any questions please feel free to contact me.

Grant Currie

President, Local 417