Budget grows to $250 million

May 01, 2003, vol. 27, no. 1
By Diane Luckow

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Revenue increases designed to off-set a projected $9.8 million deficit will see SFU's2003-2004 operating budget grow to $250 million, a 15.9 per cent increase over last year.

The increased revenues come from a higher provincial grant to accommodate targetted programming at SFU Surrey, funding for a government-mandated increase in enrollment in computing science and engineering (Double the Opportunity fund), and a 30 per cent increase in tuition, as well as other fee increases.

The university's two largest expenditures are salaries and benefits ($40.9 milion) and student financial assistance ($11.76 million).

Overall, the 2003-2004 operating budget promises significant enhancements to services and academic programming for students.

Just over $2 million will be spent to rebuild the learning environment, which includes improving course availability that had deteriorated during the six-year tuition freeze. A further $1.5 million is earmarked for faculty retention and recruitment.

The student financial assistance budget will grow by $4.1 million - a 51 per cent increase to help offset rising tuition costs for low-income students.

A 30 per cent increase in student services fees will help to pay for a 45,000 square-foot expansion to athletic and recreational facilities, including a new fitness centre, an additional double gymnasium, and new multi-purpose space.

A 30 per cent increase in co-op workterm fees will help to continue the development of the deparment's online job search curriculum, Bridging Online, and to develop new co-op job opportunities for students.

SFU must also spend $2 million to handle increased enrollment associated with the Double the Opportunity program, and a further $2 million to cover increased enrollment projections at SFU Surrey.

The registrar's office will receive a $265,000 top-up to enhance student recruitment efforts.

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