(Sherbrooke) Bishop’s University submitted a new restructuring plan to the Ministry of Education and Higher Education. Bishop’s, which provides an operating deficit of $ 4.5 million for fiscal year 2015-2016, wants Quebec does not retain the conditional grant of about $ 2.1 million.
When universities end the fiscal year in red ink, Quebec can retain their conditional grant.
The Bishop’s Principal Michael Goldbloom, also stipulates that the conditional grant for the 2014-2015 year was adopted, following a deficit of about $ 2.2 million. In this light, the direction of Bishop’s is therefore expected that this grant be used for 2015-2016, and that’s what she wants to avoid.
Mr. Goldbloom met with Minister of Higher Education Hélène David recently. It awaits news from Quebec, including in relation to this request.
“To receive the grants, you must have a recovery plan,” he says, stressing that the government must accept it.
“We work for several months on a recovery plan. We have submitted to the government last week. ”
It is a return to balance in 2019-2020.
Increase in unrealized tuition
Bishop’s filed a reorganization plan in 2009, the institution was able to observe during the first four or five years.
The budget had also been balanced in 2014-2015.
But the plan was an increase in tuition fees, he points out, adding that the government has finally decided not to increase them. Budget cuts, applied in recent years, representing a shortfall of $ 6.2 million for Bishop’s.
Since the English-speaking university awaits news of Quebec, the management decided to postpone the adoption of its 2016-2017 budget. This one is of the order of $ 49.5 million. “We hope to reach an agreement with the government. ”
What does this plan? Without going into details, Mr. Goldbloom lists including higher revenues, with anticipated increase in student enrollment. Moreover, the students agreed in May an increase in their costs of 8%, or $ 94 for a year on average.
As for the reduction of expenditures, several elements are studied, including increased ratios relative to the number of students in classes.
As some aspects must be negotiated with unions, the principal of Bishop’s is not going too far. He believes that the measures could “affect the academic curriculum.” “Are there any ways to deliver the same quality programs by reviewing some aspects? “If he asks.
In parallel, negotiating with its Bishop’s lecturers and support staff. Teachers and librarians have agreed to extend their collective agreement last year. It will expire in July, so that the talks could start in September.
Bishop’s currently has some 2,350 full-time students and approximately 305 full-time employees; including data exclude part-time employees.
Like other institutions, Bishop’s Fingers crossed, these days, waiting to know the projects to be funded by the Strategic Investment Fund (SIF) of the federal government.
The institution leaders expected to know these days the projects to be funded by the new program announced by Ottawa in the last federal budget.
Bishop’s has already taken the first step, since Quebec has given permission to the project to be submitted to the federal.
Bishop’s hopes to receive financial assistance in order to achieve a major facelift of its library, a project of about $ 15 million.
According to the scenario on the table, the institution hopes to support $ 5 million to Quebec, $ 7.5 million federal and $ 2.5 million calculated from the Bishop’s Foundation. The management of the institution hopes to get $ 5 million with the support of FIS, and approximately $ 2.5 million from another federal program.
The English institution still has not ruled on the fate of his old WB Scott Arena, which was replaced with the arrival of a large sports complex.
“If the library project goes ahead, we will have to clear that building for two years. One of the options we look at, is to move the library into the arena. The decision is not taken, we are studying it. This is one of the reasons we’re in no hurry, it can be a necessary space … “The renovations to the library are expected in 2017.
The university has also submitted a request to rejuvenate laboratories, an approximately $ 3.2 million initiative.
Mr. Goldbloom points out that although Bishop’s exceeded the target of its $ 30 million capital campaign, donors choose for which project they want to invest. These funds therefore are not intended for the operating budget.
The direction of Bishop’s has still not ruled on the fate of Divinity House, a building that had to be closed because of its age.