Selkirk College will move into the next fiscal year with a balanced budget after receiving approval from its Board of Governors earlier this month.
After months of hard work by administration and staff, the 2015-2016 Selkirk College budget was passed at the June 2 board meeting. The college can now proceed with its $43.1 million budget that represents expenditures in the West Kootenay-Boundary region that have an overall direct and indirect economic impact of $200 million.
Selkirk College graduated more than 750 students in a variety of different diploma and certificate programs this past April. With a balanced budget heading into the coming fiscal year, the educational opportunities and mission of lifelong learning will continue to flourish in our region.
“The Board of Governors appreciates how difficult the budget process can be,” says Board Chair Bruce Morrison. “Selkirk College is a vital part of our region and in light of all the fiscal challenges faced, everyone involved in putting forward this balanced budget did an excellent job of ensuring students will continue to be well served.”
Provincial government grants through the Ministry of Advanced Education and the Industry Training Authority represent $27.9 million—or about 65 per cent—of the college’s budget. The remainder of the revenue is derived from tuition, ancillary service sales, contracts and applied research activity.
All provincial grant monies go directly toward the operation of credentialed program delivery to maximize return on taxpayer investment.
"The Selkirk College budget is a very complex process that reflects our desire to provide students with the highest quality of education in an impressive range of programs,” says Selkirk College President Angus Graeme. “Our challenge is to ensure we allocate the right resources in the right place, while always looking at how we might do our work more efficiently and effectively.”
Budget Process Requires Strong Leadership
The budget was balanced despite a 1.35 per cent reduction of provincial operating grant. Higher enrolments this year and further growth expected next year in both domestic and international students helped mitigate this impact and has allowed for plans to expand in program areas in high demand.
Tuition rates were increased by two per cent for domestic students, the maximum allowed under government policy. International tuition was increased by four per cent.
The Board also approved the budget for capital maintenance projects worth an additional $1.6 million from the province to address maintenance priorities at its facilities across the region. The college continues to advocate to the province for a major capital investment for the renovation of the trades-based Silver King Campus in Nelson.
“It's always a monumental achievement to balance a $43 million operation and I'm grateful for our competent staff and leaders who do this work,” says Graeme. “Selkirk College is such an integral part of the West Kootenay Boundary landscape. The budget has to reflect the best use of resources for the delivery of educational services to our students and communities."
The college finished the 2014/2015 fiscal year on target with no deficits or surpluses.