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CNC allowed to run $3.5 million deficit due to pandemic

College of New Caledonia president Dr. Dennis Johnson.

The College of New Caledonia’s (CNC) Board of Governors passed a budget that will maintain student services during the COVID-19 pandemic, running a small deficit for the 2021/22 fiscal year. The approval took place during a regular meeting via video conference April 30. 

To help with the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Province of British Columbia approved requests from post-secondary institutions to run deficits offset by surpluses earned in previous years.  

CNC President and CEO Dr. Dennis Johnson said the college has sufficient accumulated surplus to absorb the potential $3,569,000 deficit projected in the 2021/22 budget.  

“While much uncertainty remains around the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the college, this budget is prudent and responsive to the times,” he said. “The 2021/22 budget will maintain student services and support student success as we work to transition to increased activity on our campuses and help us to strengthen vital college systems as we prepare for students’ needs into the future.”

CNC’s 2021/22 Operating Fund budget totals $69,631,021 in revenues and $72,458,930 in expenses. This results in a deficit of $2,827,909 due to an anticipated decrease in enrolments and additional expenses to support the health and safety of students and employees, such as technology and additional faculty in areas where class sizes have been trimmed to allow for appropriate safety measures. 

The budget also reflects anticipated $202,673 deficit for Ancillary Services, which is comprised of the College Bookstore, Food Services, Printing Services, Student Housing, and Parking Services, due to fewer students and employees being on campus during the pandemic. Finally, a resulting $538,417 deficit is anticipated for amortization of capital assets. 

The budget reflects some reallocation of resources towards strategic initiatives including strategic enrolment management, student services and supports, and technology improvements. 

“We’re taking a conservative approach with our budget projections,” said CNC Vice President Finance and Corporate Services Tara Szerencsi. “Last year, CNC mitigated a potential deficit through savings and receiving more tuition revenue than expected. We will continue to review our budget and work to ensure that we are allocating funds in the most effective manner for student success and to achieve the College’s strategic goals.” 

The CNC Board of Governors also held its annual general meeting. CNC’s current Board Chair Gil Malfair was re-elected by acclamation for another term. He was first appointed to the CNC Board December 2016 and has served as Board Chair for the past three years.

Vice Chair Regina Toth was re-elected by acclamation to a second term in her position. She was first appointed to the CNC Board July 2018.

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