Impending budget cycle reason for early departure, says MUN president

An imminent five-year budget cycle is the main reason Memorial University’s president will step down early, he says.

Gary Kachanoski told CBC’s St. John’s Morning Show on Friday that starting the search for his replacement sooner will help make sure his successor is better prepared during a crucial time.

“After long analysis, it just made sense both for me personally as well as for the strategic planning and budget cycles of the university,” he said, a day after the university announced Kachanoski would be ending his term in December 2019 instead of June 2020.

With the university undergoing a review, said Kachanoski, it made sense to get a new president in sooner.

“By January 2020, the university will be engaging with the outcome from that, and that will significantly impact a new budget planning cycle starting with the April 2020 budget,” he said.

New budget cycle coming

MUN learns what its funding will be when the provincial government releases its annual budget, around April every year, and then spends the next couple of months working on its own budget proposals for the university’s board of regents.

Nine and a half years is a long time to be president. I’ve enjoyed every minute.– Gary Kachanoski

“That June 2020 would be right when I’m leaving and the new president would be coming, and so it just makes sense to have the new president here by January of 2020 to engage that whole budget planning cycle for the five years forward and be responsible for that, and so it’s related to that as well as some personal reasons for why that would be the right time.”

Kachanoski started his term as president July 1, 2010, coming from the University of Alberta, where he was vice-president of research.

Budget challenges

“Nine and a half years is a long time to be president. I’ve enjoyed every minute of it, got another 15 months or so to continue to be president, and looking forward to it each and very day,” he said.

The search for a new president is also a great opportunity for the university, he said.

“The board of regents creates a search committee that’s collegial and it goes through the process of consultation widely throughout all of the university stakeholders about the opportunities and challenges coming.”

Kachanoski said he’ll be doing some more reflecting on his term over the next 15 months, but acknowledged the last couple of years have been tough.

“Obviously, budget challenges in the last couple of years have been significant, as they have been for the province and everybody else in the province and will continue to be,” he said.

“This next year will be an ongoing budget reduction period of time, and we’re into intense discussions around our pension planning.”

Plans for research and teaching

Kachanoski plans to do some more teaching and research in the few years after his term ends.

“I’ve got some really strong interest in the food security and agriculture of the province,” he said. “We’ve started a couple of those initiatives here and will continue to work on those.”

And then, retirement.

“I intend to stay in the province. We love the province. We’ve enjoyed every minute living here and we intend to stay here and retire here. Both my wife and I are passionate about that.”

With files from the St. John’s Morning Show

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Impending budget cycle reason for early departure, says MUN president

Aggregated from: CBC | Newfoundland and Labrador News

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