More funds for Cape Breton Univer­sity in wake of dis­clo­sure of money for Aca­dia

Cape Breton Post - - Front Page -

CBU get­ting more money af­ter Aca­dia con­tro­versy.

Cape Breton Univer­sity is get­ting ad­di­tional money from the prov­ince af­ter it emerged pub­licly that Aca­dia Univer­sity has been re­ceiv­ing ex­tra fund­ing.

Both Premier Stephen McNeil and Labi Kousoulis, the min­is­ter of ad­vanced ed­u­ca­tion, said Thurs­day that the Cape Breton school is now also on track to get fund­ing, though they won’t say how much.

Fig­ures re­leased last week in pub­lic ac­counts doc­u­ments showed that Aca­dia re­ceived $10.5 mil­lion in ad­di­tional ap­pro­pri­a­tions the last fis­cal year.

The money in­cluded $7 mil­lion to cover a fed­eral loan and an ex­tra $3.5 mil­lion for the school’s op­er­at­ing grant. In ad­di­tion, the school re­ceived $3.5 mil­lion in the pre­vi­ous three years, for a to­tal of $24.5 mil­lion since 2008.

Board mem­bers at Cape Breton Univer­sity have said they hadn’t heard of this ad­di­tional fund­ing, which they too had sought since 2008. Kousoulis said he’d be fill­ing them in dur­ing an af­ter­noon meet­ing.

Kousoulis said af­ter a cab­i­net meet­ing Thurs­day that his depart­ment has looked at the two univer­si­ties’ fi­nances and made changes to their fund­ing lev­els.

He said they were the only two col­leges hurt in 2008 when op­er­at­ing grants were changed to pro­vide more fund­ing for univer­si­ties with higher en­rol­ments.

“We’ve looked at the sit­u­a­tion for Aca­dia Univer­sity and Cape Breton Univer­sity, the only ones that were neg­a­tively im­pacted.

We looked at why they were neg­a­tively im­pacted and we ad­justed their base fund­ing ... go­ing for­ward,’’ he said.

Aca­dia has said it lost about

$7 mil­lion as a re­sult of the 2008 changes to its op­er­at­ing grant.

That change also hurt Cape Breton Univer­sity, but Kousoulis said the over­all fi­nan­cial sit­u­a­tions of the two univer­si­ties dif­fered at the time.

The cab­i­net min­is­ter said their re­quest “was not war­ranted at the time.’’

He said the univer­sity’s mea­sures to con­trol costs and in­crease en­rol­ment have changed the as­sess­ment of its el­i­gi­bil­ity for in­creased fund­ing.

“Both univer­si­ties have made sig­nif­i­cant strides in man­ag­ing their fi­nances. The gov­ern­ment ex­pected them to be ac­count­able with their fi­nances and if they weren’t mov­ing along that road they wouldn’t be re­ceiv­ing more fund­ing,’’ he said.

Kousoulis said Aca­dia had made the most progress in the prov­ince in re­duc­ing its costs, and is re­spon­si­ble for about half of the prov­ince’s over­all en­rol­ment in­crease of about 2,000 stu­dents.


This file photo shows the sign near the en­trance of the Cape Breton Univer­sity. CBU is get­ting ad­di­tional money from the prov­ince af­ter it emerged pub­licly that Aca­dia Univer­sity has been re­ceiv­ing ex­tra fund­ing.

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