From the President's Desk
2023-2024 Budget Update
I am pleased to confirm that the Acadia University Board of Governors has approved the 2023-2024 Operating Budget, including tuition and fee recommendations for the upcoming year.
The operating budget plan aims to support the University's academic mission and strategic priorities in a fiscally sustainable manner. It includes compensation of faculty and staff, scholarship support, maintenance of campus facilities and infrastructure, and other operating expenses. It also includes all operating revenue for the upcoming year, such as tuition revenue, residence revenue, the Provincial Grant, and residence and meal plan revenue.
One of the challenges faced by Acadia, as with many other institutions in the higher education sector, is the discrepancy between increasing operating expenses and the funding received from the government. The 2023-2024 plan involves managing expenses, creating a more flexible tuition model, generating additional revenue, and investing wisely to create more sustained revenues in future years.
2023-2024 Budget Highlights
The Acadia 2023-2024 budget includes the following:
- A 3% tuition increase and the adoption of a new per-credit-hour tuition model to increase competitiveness and offer a flexible approach to degree completion beginning in Fall 2023.
- A 3% increase in residence rates compounded with an increase in residence occupancy and meal plan commissions.
- Increased activity with Events Acadia and Open Acadia providing additional revenue.
- An increase in cash management revenue.
- Wage increases as per Collective Agreements for unionized employees, a 2.5% increase for non-unionized employees, and a cluster hire of three Mi’kmaw/Indigenous and three African Nova Scotian/Canadian Black faculty.
- Continued investment in facility renewal and technology infrastructure supported by a $22 million provincial deferred maintenance grant received in March 2022.
- An increase to student assistance in scholarships of $0.4 million and additional student support positions in Open Acadia and Counselling.
- An additional increase of $0.8 million in funding represents an investment in enrolment growth through increased recruitment and retention to generate revenue to close our funding gap.
At Acadia, we recognize the importance of embracing change to ensure long-term sustainability. Our budget has been designed to implement measures that will improve our financial stability, and address the priorities outlined in the Acadia 2025 strategic plan, The 2023-2024 budget represents an improved financial position compared to the start of my term in 2017 and a healthy recovery from the financial impacts of the pandemic. For the first time in many years, we have been able to invest in new faculty and staff positions without implementing cuts in other areas. Our investment in the Colleague Student module allows flexibility and the ability to implement a per-credit-hour tuition model for our students. This change to our tuition model provides greater flexibility to address retention and equity issues. The investment in strategic enrolment growth and retention strategies supports long-term financial sustainability.
On behalf of our leadership team, I extend gratitude to every campus member and Board Governor who has dedicated their efforts to finding innovative solutions to the challenges we face. As we navigated through the pandemic, we laid out a path of survive, revive, and thrive. Because of your work, our incoming president can shift their focus from surviving and reviving to thriving.
Dr. Peter Ricketts
President and Vice-Chancellor