MRU tuition will likely go up but more needed to make up budget shortfall

Mount Royal University (MRU) in Calgary held a town hall meeting Thursday morning to discuss the budget for the remainder of this school year as well as fiscal plans for the 2020/21 year in light of the 2019 Alberta budget.

MRU president and vice-chancellor Timothy Rahilly told the crowd at the Bella Concert Hall this past week has been a difficult one.

Rahilly said he is grateful the Alberta government opted for a differential cut with regards to the in-year cut, meaning MRU will face a 1.3-per cent cut for the remainder of this year as opposed to deeper cuts that some other post-secondary institutions are dealing with.

MRU is also a part of an “across-the-sector cut” to infrastructure/maintenance programs, which begins next year. In total, Rahilly explained, “the gap that we need to close this year is around $5.7 million on a $240-million operating budget.”

“I want to be abundantly clear that as we close this (current budget) gap, that everything is on the table,” Rahily said.

“We have an opportunity to examine how we do things and how we can make some positive changes but we have to look at everything.”

The Alberta government recently lifted a five-year freeze on tuition hikes for post-secondary institutions in the province, allowing for a seven-per cent increase in each of the next three years. MRU was already planning on implementing a two-per cent inflationary increase for the next few years before the October provincial budget was released.

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