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Algoma U Continues to Advance Institutional Priorities While Navigating Challenges of the Global Pandemic

Record enrolment anticipated for 2021-2022 academic year

(BRAMPTON/SAULT STE. MARIE/TIMMINS, ON – September 29, 2021): This evening, the Algoma University Board of Governors convened virtually for their first regular meeting of the Fall 2021 term. 

Asima Vezina, University President and Vice-Chancellor, expressed her gratitude to the entire Algoma University community for “collectively and successfully navigating the ongoing and evolving challenges of the global pandemic while adhering to the measures put in place to safely allow students, faculty and staff to return to in-person learning and increased on-campus activity this term.” As part of her President’s Report, Vezina provided an overview of key progress and important next steps for the priorities outlined within Algoma’s current strategic plan which runs through 2023. 

Based on preliminary registration data, Algoma is anticipating record enrolment this year, which includes a significant 26.3% increase in first-year students entering from Ontario secondary schools; the highest percentage increase in the province. Growth continues on all three campuses – Brampton, Sault Ste. Marie and Timmins – with total enrolment for the academic year expected to exceed 3000 FTE achieving the university’s short-term enrolment goal two years sooner than originally projected. 

The Board approved the Financial Statements for the fiscal year ending April 30, 2021, as audited by BDO Canada. Through the pandemic, Algoma was able to support its continued growth through capital investments of $5.3M while achieving a $1.8M operating surplus by balancing tuition revenue with operating expenditures.

“The ongoing focus on our strategic priorities continues to produce positive results as exemplified by the enrolment and budgetary highlights shared with the Board this evening,” noted Shelley Schell, Board Chair. “Algoma’s growth and prosperity has a tremendous impact on our students and the social and economic development of both the University and the communities we serve.” 

As part of an ongoing series of presentations highlighting the research achievements of Algoma’s faculty, Dr. Isabel Molina, Canada Research Chair, Tier II, shared an update on research activity associated with the Plant Lipid Metabolism Lab she oversees. To date, the lab has been supported by $2.4 million in funding from federal, provincial and industry partners to help facilitate research focussed on the exploration of the multiple facets of protective plant lipid barriers and their impacts on our food supply and climate change. 

The Board was also apprised of plans underway to recognize the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on Thursday, September 30th. Commonly referred to as Orange Shirt Day, the day provides an opportunity to honour residential school Survivors and those who did not return home, while reflecting on the intergenerational impacts of the residential school era. “Given our Special Mission and the leadership role Algoma plays within the university sector, I encourage all members of the Board, along with our students, faculty, staff and the broader public to participate in the programming planned to recognize the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation,” shared Schell.

The next regular meeting of the Board of Governors will take place on Thursday, November 25th, 2021.

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