McMaster responds to government’s funding announcement


McMaster University's President, Peter George, is concerned that the government's funding announcements yesterday will not meet the needs of the university sector or the students who will attend universities over the next 10 to 15 years.

“When I look at what the province is estimating it will flow to McMaster, I'm afraid that I see no opportunity to do much more than attempt to stay even,” said President George. “I have no difficulty with the concept that funding is partially tied to performance. I can also appreciate that the government has other funding priorities this year. So I believe that this amount of money is not intended to address the anticipated effects of inflation nor the preparation needed for the double cohort and the projected enrolment increases that we will see in the coming years.”

McMaster University is anticipating that it will receive approximately $1 million for enrolment growth and up to $1 million from the new performance fund. The University's current budgeted grant for 1999-00 is $93,292,000. It also expects that it will receive approximately $3 million in Access To Opportunities funding in the coming fiscal year, an amount that had been previously announced by the government.

McMaster University's Employment Rate Data on its 1996 graduates, published in the spring of 1999, show a graduation rate that surpassed the provincial and an employment rate of 97.0% two years after graduation.

“McMaster's record for graduating students who find employment is a known,” said Fred Hall, associate vice-president academic. “We have confidence that we will maintain or improve the levels of the 1996 graduates but are concerned that the government will make funding decisions of some moment based on such small variances in results. I expect that we will know more in the coming weeks after we've spoken with various officials at the ministry.”

The other funding issue facing McMaster at the present time is the numbers of students who are currently unfunded in the government's basic operating grant.

“We have always provided places to students who wanted to come to McMaster and are one of the few universities in the province that is significantly over our funding corridor,” said President George. “In addition to the future needs for funding, we will continue to press for a fair funding adjustment which will be critical to enhancing the quality of educational programming here at McMaster.”