University of Regina thankful for stable funding

The University of Regina comes into the next few years out of the pandemic with stable funding, plus an additional $11 million over last year and this year.

That money, Dr. Jeff Keshen said, is to help the university become more financially stable and find new revenue streams.

Keshen provided an overview of the university’s priorities and initiatives in his half hour speech, presented by the Regina Chamber of Commerce.

“I lived through some very substantial funding cuts at other places that really did cause the university to rethink many of its programs and the way they offered them,” said Keshen, a former vice president at Memorial University of Newfoundland. “The government has not only just given us the sense of going forward, we have four years of stable funding, they’ve provided us with one time funding for this year and the next.”

Keshen said not having students on campus took some of their revenue generators away, like those students who would have been living and eating on campus.

“We want our students to have the experience of being back on campus,” he said. “I think that for us going forward, what we’ve learned from the pandemic and another aspect about revenue generating possibilities is that we know our students are going to be looking for something that is a little bit different.”

He said they expect there will be a mixture of students remote learning into classes, as well as others with high flexibility coming in and out, although they don’t know the number of students who will be doing this.

“But there’s an opportunity to recalibrate how we’re doing business to connect with students,” Keshen said.

Keshen said he tried to convey the University’s desire to work within the community and  develop partnerships.

“When I was in other larger communities sometimes universities and other institutions get kind of lost in the noise if you will because there’s so much going on,” Keshen said. “But we have the ability to connect with people and talking about  getting our students even volunteering in the community through the new service learning program that we’re having and giving them real world experience.”

He is hoping the business community responds to what he calls a sincere offer to be part of, connected to, and leveraging opportunities with the broader community.

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