Operational Updates


Photo for Update on Selkirk College Budget

Update on Selkirk College Budget

All Employee Email sent March 5th, 2012

Dear Selkirk College Employees,

Good morning. This message is an update on the budget process. Let me begin by recognizing everyone’s efforts to engage in a productive and respectful discourse during this very difficult time for Selkirk College.

This week I will be working with teams and individuals to complete decision making on a number of fronts to meet immediate budget challenges and additional accountabilities placed before the college, while ensuring that our core identity, long term sustainability and our capacity for innovation and growth are maintained and in some cases enhanced. I would like to thank everyone who has provided the management team with constructive criticism and critical reflection as decisions have been worked through to close the $1 million gap. 

It is important for everyone to know that approximately 25% of the overall college operational budget each year is spent in support, ancillary, and administrative functions and that two thirds of the overall savings required to achieve a balanced budget for 2012-2013 will have been found in these areas.

A summary of decisions to date is listed below.

Operational efficiencies:

  • Eliminating the sinking fund on the Castlegar Student Residence and thus annual “mortgage” payments;
  • Operational efficiencies realized from changes to the Food Services in particular much-improved control of food inventory and sales;
  • Efficiencies realized through the re-organization of IT Services following the IT review completed 18 months ago; for example, reduction in software licensing costs, telephone service improvements, rationalized, centralized and more efficient photocopying and printing. I am making a special request here for all of us to continue to reduce our use of paper and other consumable supplies;
  • Improved performance on greenhouse gas emissions and thus reducing our annual carbon penalty paid to government;
  • General operational efficiencies across the institution.

Administrative, service and overhead efficiencies:

  • The elimination of two management positions within the 2012-2013 fiscal year including one senior management position. The other management position will be eliminated through attrition;
  • Elimination of the early retirement incentive (ERIP) fund for senior exempt positions;
  • Prescribed reduction of all travel budgets across the college by 30% including senior management (this will include a greater expectation of the use of technology for such things as meetings; we will also be strengthening guidelines for travel to help administer this need);
  • Increased revenue targets for Continuing Education and Corporate Training and for Selkirk International;
  • Efficiencies in several administrative and service areas to re-align vacant positions and/or accommodate changes to work responsibilities.

Programming changes include:

  • Suspension of second year university sciences course offerings for the 2012-2013 academic year. Faculty and administration will work on developing a transition for next year of science programming to meet student demand and community need, and developing ideas for sustainable science programming into the future. Four philosophy course offerings will also be on hold pending a plan to offer that discipline sustainably into the future;
  • Efficiencies and improvements anticipated from service contract discussions with UBC around the delivery of the WKTEP program;
  • Reduction of the Athletics budget allocation with increased revenue expectation from the Kootenay Institute of Sport, community partners, and reallocation of some budget to Recreation;
  • Reconfiguring the Golf Club Operations on-line (GCOOL) program to full cost recovery format. Individual courses in this program may be offered if enrolments are sufficient to cover all costs;
  • Significant programming changes at the Kootenay School of the Arts with a move to offering extended one-year certificates in Clay, Fibre, Jewellery and Metal; KSA will more closely integrate into the School of Digital Media and Music;
  • The School of Environment and Geomatics will adjust enrolment targets and offer less lab sections in specific course areas in 2012-2013.

Meetings with potentially impacted students will be undertaken this week, and plans developed to ensure their goals are addressed. Also, our first media release relating to budget development will be distributed late today. A copy will be included in the upcoming Grapevine.

As I have mentioned earlier, these difficult decisions were analysed with every effort to place the future of our learners first and keeping the long term well being of employees a priority. I very much appreciate that the work of navigating change is much more difficult for those directly affected. It is critical that we continue supporting one another. And I am grateful for everyone’s professionalism and resilience during this difficult process.