Investments in people, processes, and technology support recovery from pandemic
(BRAMPTON/ SAULT STE. MARIE/ TIMMINS- April 29, 2021): The Algoma University Board of Governors has approved a balanced $58.7 million operating budget for the 2021-22 fiscal year. The “Algoma University Operating Budget 2021-22: Reopen, Reimagine, Revitalize” provides the framework to begin the safe and gradual transition back to campus in Brampton, Sault Ste. Marie and Timmins, while the University continues to pursue its long-term enrolment goal of growing to 3,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) students.
“This is a good news budget! We are proud of our progress and accomplishments over the past year. Through the challenge, we have continued to grow momentum based on sound strategy, strong partnerships and the support of the broader community, ” said President and Vice-Chancellor, Asima Vezina. “Algoma’s long-term financial sustainability is supported through prudent multi-year planning. This has helped us ‘navigate the storm,’ keeping our attention on the present while never losing sight of our long-term vision.”
Vezina acknowledged the generous support of the Cities of Brampton and Sault Ste. Marie, the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation, FedNor, the Government of Ontario and Contact North throughout the past year. This support has helped prepare the University well for a post-pandemic recovery.
Investments within the 2021-22 budget provide a 64 percent increase in funding for student supports, including increased support for student mental health and wellbeing and $3.3M allocated for scholarships and bursaries. New investments in academics, research, and innovation will enable the development of a dedicated Teaching and Learning Centre to support high-impact pedagogy, teaching innovation, and eLearning. Innovation will be supported through a new Academic Plan scheduled for completion this fall.
The budget also includes a 31 percent increase in funding to support a range of targeted capital and technology investments required to ensure the success of campus modernization efforts, including the completion of select infrastructure projects outlined within the Sault Ste. Marie Campus Master Plan. Construction of new facilities for the School of Computer Science and Technology and renovations to the Speakeasy, a project funded by the Algoma University Students’ Union in Sault Ste. Marie, are already underway and will be completed this fall. Completing Phase II developments at Algoma’s Brampton campus, generously supported through funding secured through the City of Brampton in 2020, is also on the horizon. This includes the development of the Centre for Social, Cultural and Economic Innovation (SCEI), a project that will also have a presence in Sault Ste. Marie.
The budget, which includes no tuition increase for domestic students, is based on an enrolment of 2,360 full-time equivalent (FTE) students, the highest enrolment forecast in the history of Algoma University. Key enrolment drivers include further developing virtual learning options, and the refinement of new marketing strategies focussed on growth in Brampton, Timmins, Sault Ste. Marie and Anishinaabe communities throughout the region. Further diversification of international markets, including expanded recruitment activity in Africa and China, is currently underway.
“The Board of Governors supports the investments outlined within the 2021-22 budget presented this evening which will guide our recovery and revitalization efforts,” said Shelley Schell, Chair of the Board of Governors. “Strategic investments, including the adoption of new technologies and improved campus facilities, help ensure our students, faculty and staff have the necessary tools and modern learning environments required to support their long-term success.”
The Algoma University Board of Governors will next convene on June 24th, 2021, for their Annual General Meeting.