Message from Dan Patterson: Board of Governors approves balanced budget for 2015-2016

Dan PattersonI am pleased to advise you that our Board of Governors has approved a Business Plan for 2015-2016 – the centrepiece of which is a balanced budget for the year ahead.

The key objectives for our 2015-2016 business plan are to sustain program quality and a program mix that supports economic development in Niagara and Ontario; to support continuous improvement in our program and service delivery – with a significant focus on student success and experience, and customer service; increasing the levels of research and innovation; and continued revenue diversification, including growth in our international revenue sources. The balanced budget provides a solid financial foundation for these important goals.

We’ve also unveiled exciting plans for the future through the Achieving Dreams capital campaign.

The balanced budget was achieved through the strategies of cost containment, revenue diversification and the prioritization of resources. Specifically, we’re pursuing initiatives that include enhancing marketing and student recruitment, including increased out-of-region marketing; international growth; collaborative purchasing and strategic procurement; and pursuing funding to support economic development.

Highlights of the budget include:

  • A balance between revenues and expenditures of $148.4 million;
  • A projected overall enrolment increase of 2.3 percent, based on 0.7 percent domestic growth and 10 percent international growth;
  • Support for new programs, including a Graduate Certificate in Industrial Automation; a four-year Bachelor of Business Administration (Human Resources) degree; and the development of programs in Agribusiness (Beekeeping); Distillation and Fermentation Sciences (Brewery); and Health Records Management;
  • Support for new partnerships and articulation agreements, including our first-ever agreement with the University of Toronto;
  • Support for research and innovation, including the Walker Advanced Manufacturing Centre; Agriculture and Environment Innovation Centre, the Canadian Food and Wine Innovation Centre, along with an increase in course-based research opportunities.

Achieving a balanced budget amid such a transformational time in postsecondary education is a significant challenge, and I want to thank all who were involved in its development. Just as we all have a role to play in the recruitment, success and satisfaction of our students, we also share a responsibility for our financial strength. Our resourcefulness, entrepreneurial thinking and our ability to be innovative continue to serve us well in that regard.

Click here to read the 2015-2016 Business Plan is available online – I encourage you to review it. If you have any questions about the plan, please feel free to contact your vice president, or contact me directly with your feedback at dpatterson@niagaracollege.ca.

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