Nipissing University’s 2017-18 operating budget has been approved and it includes a projected deficit of nearly $3.9-million.

“This budget allows for some key investment in areas that strengthen our commitment to our students and our community, and we are pleased to report that our planned deficit is getting smaller year over year,” said Cheryl Sutton, Vice-President Administration and Finance. “This year’s deficit is significantly less than we projected last year and we are getting closer to a balanced budget.”

The fiscal plan includes increased investments in academic supports, student services and Indigenous education.

Highlights include:
– Increased investment for academic support and the Harris Learning Library by eight percent or $486,925.
– The budget for Student Services increased by five percent to $7,089,380.
– The university also increased the amount earmarked for student financial aid by over six percent or $246,546, money that will help pay for scholarships, bursaries and awards.
– Projected expenditures for the Office of Indigenous Initiatives have increased by 13 percent this year to $790,884, mainly the result of a new mentorship/recruitment initiative.

Expenditures relating to academic departments and academic supports make up 62 percent, or $46,343,579, of the total university expenses. Salaries comprise the largest portion of the budget, accounting for 71 percent or $52,764,599, a six percent increase from the previous year.  This increase is in part due to investments in additional positions in the Nursing Program, which is growing, as well as in the recently launched Social Work Program.

The Board also approved a $39-million loan to refinance existing debt. The university expects to see an annual savings of approximately $1million as a result of this debt refinancing.

“There is much to be happy about in this budget,” stated Sutton. “The university’s financial picture is moving in the right direction. It’s been a lot of work and there have been some difficult decisions, but our faculty and staff deserve kudos. They have continued to perform at a very high level and remain entirely dedicated to our students, our community and our vision and mission.”

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