Twenty‑one and counting

- June 26, 2008

Balancing the books has become a modern tradition at Dalhousie, one continued Tuesday as the Board of Governors approved the university’s operating budget for the 2008-09 fiscal year. With revenues and expenditures each of $270.6 million, it represents Dalhousie’s 21st consecutive balanced budget.

The budget accounts for the tuition freeze across all programs made possible by the new Memorandum of Understanding with the Province of Nova Scotia. The budget adds $4.5 million in strategic initiatives funding, including $1 million for facilities renewal and a new component of $450,000 to begin addressing the university’s backlog of deferred maintenance. It also includes a 3.1 per cent increase in scholarships, bursaries and student assistance, in addition to the provincial bursary program that will provide $761 to each full time student from Nova Scotia. To help balance the budget, a base reduction was applied to all units: 1.75 per cent to faculty budgets, 0.5 per cent to non-faculty units receiving strategic initiatives allocations and one per cent to remaining units.

In other business, the board is bidding farewell to five of its members. Lorne Clarke, Don Mills, Cathy MacNutt and Robert Radchuk and have all have completed three terms of service on the board and will not be returning. Joining them is faculty representative Richard Evans, who is retiring from the university. In their place, the board appointed three new members at Tuesday’s meeting: Michelle Awad, partner in the law firm McInnes Cooper; Stan Spavold, executive vice-president of Clearwater Fine Foods Incorporated; and Nancy Barkhouse, incoming president of the Dalhousie Alumni Association. A second faculty representative to replace Mr. Evans has yet to be nominated by Senate.

Also, Senator James Cowan is stepping down as chair of the Board of Governors after eight years in the role. Replacing him will be Dr. Jim Spatz, chairman and CEO of Southwest Properties who has served on the Board since 2001. Senator Cowan will remain on the board’s governance committee as member at large.


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