University of Manitoba president and vice-chancellor David Barnard says that although he is disappointed the provincial government was unable to fulfill its previous commitment to increase university funding by five per cent in Budget 2013, he appreciated that it avoided cuts implemented in other jurisdictions.
“We recognize our province is facing fiscal pressures and we appreciate that this is a tough budget year,” says President Barnard. “We also know that it is even more important during difficult times to invest in post-secondary education since our graduates will drive our economy out of its current challenges.”
The Manitoba government increased funding to universities by 2.5 per cent. Alberta reduced its post-secondary education funding by seven per cent, Nova Scotia cut funding by three per cent, and British Columbia reduced support by $46 million while New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island froze funding.
Barnard notes that while the change in funding will result in retooling of its financial plans, the university is committed to meeting the needs of students while balancing its budget.
As part of the university’s strategic resource planning exercise, units were requested to consider budget cuts of three to five per cent. Units made those presentations earlier this year.
Next steps include consultation with the Budgetary Advisory Committee regarding possible reductions based on those unit submissions. A budget will be put forward for consideration by the Board of Governors at its May meeting.