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Everyone’s talking about recession: at UNBSJ it’s business as usual

November 26, 2008

A document released recently contains some interesting information on the financial affairs of UNB. 

While the Annual Financial Report (November 2008) persists in providing aggregated information for UNB–as if the funding allocated to the Saint John campus is the same as that applied to the Fredericton campus–there is an interesting table on page 16 that actually provides insight as to why many on the Saint John campus (and no doubt in the community itself) harbour a sense of grievance on this issue.

If we assume that the enrolment of UNB Saint John is 2000–a number that has been exceeded consistently in recent years–it would appear that the Saint John campus should be receiving an annual allocation of $48,918,000 rather than the $32 million of late.  According to Table 2.1 (Revenue and Expenditure: source cited–CAUBO) UNB revenues per FTE equal $24,459.  The table also points out that the average revenue per FTE in all New Brunwick universities is $22,415. (data source cited: CAUBO)

If Saint John were to receive even $22, 415 per FTE, the institution would be in a better financial position as it would receive $44,830,000 per year –again versus the $32 million it has been limping along with.

To add insult to injury, the report notes (page 2) that “the outlook for the Saint John campus is of particular concern as the recent declines in enrolment have caused a significant decrease in tuition fee income.” 


Apparently UNB Saint John has to pay the bills using monies generated through tuition while the other campuses have the luxury of using public funding–some would say funds that should be re-directed our way.  The operating budget of the Saint John campus is more tuition dependent than any other campus in this province–having a budget where some 50% of the revenues come from tuition.   As noted in the Betts-MacDonald Report (2007) the budgeted operating revenues for 2006-07 indicate that at $32.9 million UNBSJ received 53% of those monies from tuition, while at $123.5 million UNBF received 33% of those monies from tuition.   An updated calculation provided in the UNB Annual Financial Report states that for all four New Brunswick universities, the percentage of total university revenue (per institution) generated by tuition amounts to 25.3%  (page 20: data source cited–CAUBO)  Because UNB Saint John is factored into that calculation, the reality is that the percentage of income generated by tuition is actually lower at the other campuses.   Where is the transparency?

Despite the fact that the Presidents and Principals Committee established a bi-campus commission to examine these inequities–a report expected momentarily–another budget is being planned without consideration of the dire needs of the Saint John campus.  

I know the wheels turn slowly, but if they turn any slower we’ll be going backwards.

One Comment
  1. November 26, 2008 6:07 pm

    Some would say we were under the wheels …

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