Effect of budget cuts on RDC not known
The loss of $4.5 million at Red Deer College will be deeply felt, but the exact impacts will not be known for some time, said president Joel Ward on Tuesday.
The college, along with other post-secondary institutions, learned last Thursday that the provincial budget was cutting 7.3 per cent in operating grants to all of them.
Ward said that translates into a net reduction of $4.5 million at RDC.
According to a document from June 2012, RDC had prepared an estimated balanced budget of $92 million for the 2012/13 fiscal year.
Ward said that 53 per cent of the college’s budget comes from the province, so that’s what will be hit by the 7.3 per cent.
“We had originally planned our budget before Christmas on the expectation of the second year of the (two per cent increase) in funding,” he said. “So it’s actually a 9.3 per cent differential.”
Ward said they are still waiting for more information from the Ministry of Alberta Enterprise and Advanced Education. Minister Tom Lukaszuk will be issuing a mandate letter to each institution.
“It will indicate what it is the government expects us to do, continue to do and perhaps stop doing,” said Ward.
The college has plans to deal with the budget deficit, but until that letter comes by April 12, it will not act on any changes, said Ward.
“We’re hoping to get that sooner so we can get to work,” said Ward. “Given it’s a substantial cut to the operating budget, we’ll have to really take a look at our efficiencies and what services we can offer our students and are there program changes we have to make.”
Administrative, program and service changes will be considered, as well as more ways to generate revenue.