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Wednesday, 13 November 2013 16:32

Med. Hat College welcomes 2.62% funding increase

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It’s almost like found money for post secondary institution’s finance departments.

It was the scenario many Alberta post-secondary administrators faced Nov. 6 as Deputy Premier Thomas Lukaszuk announced the Alberta Government found $50 million to invest back into post secondary education following a $147-million slashing of the budget in the spring.
On the surface, it would seem frustrating for administrators to have to deal with that massive a cut and then have to go back and re-adjust once again, but Medicine Hat College interim President and CEO Bob McCulloch had a more positive response. After all, they just received $744,472 — an increase of 2.62 per cent of their budget — they didn’t have before.
“It was delightful news,” says McCulloch while sitting in his office in the college’s administrative second floor. “As others have pressed me on, it certainly makes a difference. This builds on the base which we have established ... it gives us a new base from which to work from.”
McCulloch says the timing is also good, because the finance department is already working on a new budget so knowing they have some money to fill in some gaps helps.
He personally would recommend pushing the 2.62 per cent overall increase towards helping the business and education degrees the college offers with the collaborative efforts with Mount Royal University in Calgary.
McCulloch gives full credit to the college’s finance department and those who came up with the budget in the spring to readjust to the cuts.
McCulloch is also quick to point out the new funding’s destination will be decided by a committee and the administration as a collective group, not unilaterally by him.
He says the college has done an excellent job in its partnerships on the education side with other colleges as well as community partnerships in regards to work terms and keeping employers close. The interim president is impressed and thinks this aids in the search for a new leader.
“I love the college; everyone has been great,” says McCulloch. “The biggest challenge now is for the search for a new president ... they’ll get a good candidate, this is a very attractive situation. Believe me, if I was a 45-year-old and looking for a position, I’d be jumping all over this one.”

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Ryan Dahlman

Managing Editor