Today, Friday, March 4, the Cape Breton University Board of Governors approved a $91.1 million operating budget for the 2022/2023 fiscal year. This budget allows for investments in Strategic Enrolment Management, the evolution of learning models for online delivery and overall allows for an enhanced student experience. The budget contemplates CBU returning to its pre-pandemic enrolment levels with the dollar value of the budget representing a 12% increase from the previous fiscal year and an 83% increase from the 2017/18 budget.
As part of the current Strategic Enrolment Management plan, the first of its kind in CBU history, 59 faculty hires have been prioritized. Of these 59 hires, 22 are tenure track positions, 5 are full-time nurse practice educators, 2 are full-time lab instructors and 2 are full-time lecturers. More than half of the positions are permanent, and the additional positions are annual or multi-year terms.
“Based on analysis and consultation through the Strategic Enrolment Management process, it became clear that immediate investments in faculty hires are required in some program areas to ensure we maintain a quality student experience and meet program demand,” says David C. Dingwall, President and Vice-Chancellor. “These investments will give us the space needed to continue developing our Strategic Enrolment Management Plan while also being flexible and strategically focused.”
Other investments in the 2022/23 budget include student and academic support services which will allow for further work in areas of quality assurance, decolonization, enrolment services and the Open Education Resource Program, as well as areas of academic advising, research and campus recreation. Investments will also be made in areas of IT support for enhanced cyber security needs and audio-visual supports to strengthen online learning offerings.
With growing enrolment, CBU has innovatively and creatively utilized off-campus space at Cineplex Theatres Sydney, to ensure post-baccalaureate program students receive the exceptional student experience that CBU is known for.
An Energy Manager will also be added this fiscal year to lead carbon reduction strategies as CBU looks to bolster the overall health and development of the campus community, but also of Cape Breton Island.
CBU will also invest in student financial aid through scholarships and bursaries, and is actively working to increase international student financial aid. With this budget, CBU will see a 3% tuition increase, the equivalent of $26 per 3 credit course. This increase ensures CBU is competitively priced, provides quality experience and education, and remains under the provincial average.
“This budget allows CBU to invest in our students, empower our faculty and staff, champion the Island’s prosperity, indigenize the L’Nu way and globalize with a difference, while being fiscally responsible,” says President Dingwall. “We are very aware of the financial realities of the post-secondary education sector in Nova Scotia, and must balance those realities while focusing on quality and innovation. This budget is the result of dedication and smart work by my colleagues, especially Gordon MacInnis, Vice-President of Finance and Operations who leads this process. The investments announced today will further strengthen CBU’s commitment to our students and the Cape Breton community.”