University of Regina to sell president’s residence in cost-cutting effort during pandemic

The University of Regina will be placing the house where its presidents have lived for 29 years on the market by the end of the month. Justin Bukoski / Global News

The residence that has been home to five University of Regina presidents since 1991 is being put up for sale as a cost-saving measure during the COVID-19 pandemic.

University administration confirmed that the house will be placed on the market by the end of the month.

The decision was made in a meeting last month, at which a number of financial factors were considered.

“This is a year where we’ll have no tuition increase, we’re not doing layoffs, and we’re not cutting the faculty budgets at all,” said Dave Button, vice president of administration.

“So we’re trying to be caring and compassionate about how we build the budget.”

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Click to play video: 'University of Regina faculty and students concerned for online fall semester'
University of Regina faculty and students concerned for online fall semester

Owning and maintaining the residence has cost approximately $100,000 a year in recent years. Now, that money will be rolled back into the universities budget.

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“This will be $100,000 a year that will fall to the bottom line, and help us take and balance throughout the year and into next year,” said Button.

There is also plans for the money resulting from the sale of the home which will directly benefit students, according to Button.

“When we actually sell the house, we’ve already earmarked at least $100,000 to go into a student bursary fund to help students during this tough period.”

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A contributing factor to this decision was also the departure of previous U of R president Vianne Timmons.

“This created an opportunity,” explained Button. “We knew that the house would be vacant for more than a year, because our interim president lives in Regina, so he won’t be staying there.

“The timing is easiest now to make this decision.”

Despite all the positives this sale will bring, Button described it as bittersweet.

“We had lots of good memories at the house,” he recalled. “It was such a pleasure to be able to be entertained so personally by the president, in this case in her personal home.”

Even still, Button is optimistic this sale will benefit the community moving forward.

“We’ll continue to do activities and events with the president, but we’ll be doing them more out in the community. There’s businesses right now that could definitely use this.”

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