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University of Manitoba faces budget shortfall

The University of Manitoba will make big budget cuts for the 2015/2016 school year. Courtesy of the University of Manitoba

WINNIPEG — The University of Manitoba is facing big budget cuts in the upcoming years, its leaders say.

University president David Barnard said without drastic changes, the school will not be able to balance its budget. However, the cuts will not necessarily happen across all departments.

“We will not do across-the-board budget cuts because we think that’s not the best way to serve the needs of the university,” Barnard said.

In a series of YouTube videos posted to the university’s website, Barnard said the school will be short of a balanced budget by up to four per cent in 2015-16 and possibly the years after.

Barnard is blaming smaller-than-average provincial grants and low tuition revenues.

U of M tuition is roughly $2,000 less than most major universities, he said in one of the videos.

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Combine that with increasing expenses and the school has less money to spend on critical costs.

The university will look at programs, class sizes and support services to ensure all areas of the school are being maximized to full potential.

“We want to understand the impact of budget reductions in different units and try and weigh those carefully and make cuts in a way that will preserve the fabric of the university and do the most important things we all need to do together moving forward,” said Barnard.

Each department will make proposals and the final budget cuts are expected to be announced in the spring.

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