The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador released the 2022-23 provincial budget today.
The budget speech noted the creation of one health faculty. Memorial recognizes its unique position to respond to health-care challenges facing Newfoundland and Labrador.
However, as the Memorial University Act lays out, the establishment, abolishment or changes to faculties are the responsibility of university Senate with the Board of Regents. Memorial will be seeking more clarity on this matter in the days ahead.
Overall, Memorial’s operating grant has a net decrease of $274,900 (not including the Faculty of Medicine).
Relevant line item changes include an increase to meet salary obligations due to changes to collective agreements and a reduction in light of anticipated government attrition and operating targets.
As announced in 2021, the province is cutting $68.4 million from Memorial’s budget over five years. This year that amounts to a reduction of $13.6 million.
The new tuition framework for undergraduate programs and select graduate programs announced in 2021 remain in place with no new changes as a result of today’s budget. The province is providing $6 million in one-time funding to bridge the phased-in cuts.
There is no government funding to support the increased cost of inflation. Memorial will work to find internal efficiencies to address the increased costs associated with unavoidable costs such as insurance, fuel, library holdings and information technology systems.
Memorial and the province have been working to expand nursing education throughout Newfoundland and Labrador. Today’s budget included $3 million to support the implementation of nursing education sites in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Gander and Grand Falls-Windsor.
“Memorial is committed to helping the province succeed, helping Newfoundlanders and Labradorians reach their potential and building a future that is prosperous, sustainable and resilient,” said Dr. Vianne Timmons, president and vice-chancellor. “Today’s budget is a challenge we must respond to with diligence and care to minimize, as much as possible, the impacts on the Memorial community.”
A recent economic impact assessment by KPMG found that Memorial contributes more than $625 million and almost 10,000 jobs each year to the provincial economy.
Memorial is working to advance that impact, become more entrepreneurial and help address the challenges facing Newfoundland and Labrador.
Earlier this week, a review of Memorial by the auditor general was announced. Memorial welcomes this opportunity to show transparency, accountability and careful stewardship of resources.
“Memorial’s reliance on public sector funds is decreasing and we look forward to a timely review with the auditor general. The upcoming revision of the Memorial University Act is essential to enhance autonomy and our ability to respond to emerging issues and opportunities,” said Dr. Timmons.
Memorial’s budget is complex and senior administration will now take time to analyze the budget allocations from the Department of Education and the Department of Health and Community Services (for the Faculty of Medicine) and determine the impacts.