To members of the NSCAD community,
NSCAD University’s Board of Governors approved its 2015/16 budget for the university at its meeting last night. I wanted to provide an update on the details contained in the budget and how it was developed over the past year.
The $18.5 million budget was prepared by the VP Finance and Administration, through the Board’s Financial & Physical Resources Committee. It was developed in consultation with the Budget Advisory Committee, comprised of nine faculty, staff and student reps. The committee met eight times throughout the year and five of those meetings were broadened to include NSCAD’s Chairs and Directors Group and/or the Academic Resources Committee.
NSCAD’s costs continue to increase. This year, salaries, energy bills, property taxes and utilities are all going up more than the increase in the provincial government grant, which is held to one per cent.
To close the gap, the university continues to put great effort through our Admissions Office to recruit the best-suited students for our art and design programs, including transfer and international students.
In regards to tuition, the budget includes a three per cent increase, consistent with other Nova Scotian universities.
Any decision to raise tuition is not taken lightly, and NSCAD continues to boost its scholarship and bursary funds to be able to offer assistance to students. This year, the university will have more than $550,000 to distribute to students in terms of scholarships, which are awarded for academic excellence, and bursaries, which are based on financial need. As well, tuition for Nova Scotian students is offset by the Nova Scotia Bursary Program, which offers a break of $1,283.
The Province recently announced that universities could make one-time market adjustments to tuition, after which it will re-instate a three per cent cap on tuition increases for Nova Scotia undergrads. As this change was just announced in the provincial budget two weeks ago, NSCAD will investigate this matter fully and consult widely before making a recommendation as part of next year’s operating budget.
Over the past few years, NSCAD has made significant strides to keep costs in check and reduce its deficit. Through the Bilateral Agreement with the Province, signed last year, and our own Framework for Sustainability, passed by the Board in 2012, NSCAD is committed to the financial sustainability of the university.
Professor Dianne Taylor-Gearing
President, NSCAD University