TRU contemplates ways to cut two per cent from budget

Kamloops Daily News
April 24, 2012 01:00 AM

Phased retirements and a freeze on hiring are a couple of the solutions TRU brass are considering as a way to trim up to two per cent from its 2012-2013 budget.

"We're looking at across-the-board savings plans," spokesman Christopher Seguin said Tuesday. "We're going to look at innovative solutions."

These solutions include a rethinking of how Thompson Rivers University handles staff workload and overtime - all in an effort to increase revenue during the next two years.

Seguin said TRU's senate kicked around several ideas during a meeting Monday afternoon. The university wants to trim where it can without cutting staff or having an impact on students and programs.

"We're going to give our best effort to mitigate service impact on students," he said.

None of the ideas discussed Monday is set in stone nor have they been elaborated on. Seguin said each point has been talked about in general terms.

But consideration is being given to leaving vacant positions empty and implementing institutional savings such as leasing computers instead of buying them and backing up files using online storage instead of hardware, he said.

"It's all very general at this point," said Seguin, adding administration is also looking to increase domestic and international student enrolment through marketing and other initiatives.

These ideas are in addition to an increase in student and staff parking fees revealed last month in TRU's proposed 2012-2013 budget.

If approved, the increases would recoup $700,000 - about a third of the amount needed to replace per-student grant cuts in the next two years by the B.C. Liberals.

Student fees would go up as much as 66 per cent and reserved rates for senior administrators could climb to $1,050.

TRU has received no new government funding since 2010. Seguin said the province controls 70 per cent of the university's operating budget.

The university's board of governors will approve a budget in May.

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