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NSCAD freezes tuition for upcoming year

The board of governors approved the 2020-2021 budget on Monday
(Meghan Groff/

NSCAD University is freezing its tuition for the upcoming year.

The board of governors approved the 2020-2021 budget on Monday, with expenditures of approximately $19.7 million, which is about $1 million less than the previous year's budget. 

According to a news release from the school, revenues are approximately $19.1 million, down about $1.5 million from 2019-2020.

"This budget reflects what we've been hearing from our students about the importance of keeping tuition at its current level," said the board's chair Louise-Anne Comeau.

"We would like to thank all NSCAD faculty and employees for their compassion, sacrifices and ongoing commitment to the university and especially our students," she added. "Within a few days they moved to remote teaching to complete the winter semester and have since developed high-quality, professionally designed online courses that will maintain the academic excellence and distinct student experience for which NSCAD is renowned."

The current year budget was adjusted by the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on NSCAD's operations. The university is using approximately $679,000 of its reserves to cover the budget deficit while holding tuition at current levels for 2020-2021.

“The pandemic and related public health directives are continuing to create financial challenges for all universities,"  said the university's newly appointed acting president Dr. Ann-Barbara Graff. "Smaller and more maker-centric ones like NSCAD have had to really pivot quickly to adapt to provide new modes of delivering curriculum."

Late last week, NSCAD's board of governors removed school president, Aoife Mac Namara, who had been on the job just shy of a year.

"Ordinarily, we would have advised members of our community in a more timely manner," Comeau said in a Sunday statement obtained by the Canadian Press. "However, we are respectful that this is a personnel matter and our priority was communication with Dr. Mac Namara."

The reason for Mac Namara's departure was not included in that weekend statement.

In today's news release, Comeau said the board has oversight over the hiring and removal of the president.

"We cannot and will not get into details on decisions made regarding confidential personnel matters that rest between the board and its president," she stated. 

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