University College of Cape Breton president Jacquelyn Scott tendered her resignation May 14, informing the board of governors she would be stepping down June 30, to return to faculty.
Scott began holidays and a paid leave May 17. She had been president and vice-chancellor since 1993.
Her resignation came the same day governors approved a revised budget, and three weeks after they defeated the budget she initially proposed, which included extensive program and staff cuts.
The new budget eliminates 36 positions, down from nearly 50 in the original budget, and includes a 5.9 per cent tuition increase for students.
UCCB faculty association president Allen Britten, who campaigned fiercely against the original budget also voted against the revised budget because it "didn't go far enough," but allows "the new budget is an improvement.
"We worked hard to get this change. I think we achieved something."
Britten said students played an important role in the revision of the budget.
"The students' union at UCCB was very committed to teaching, was very strong at the board level and very supportive of the faculty's position," Britten said. "We appreciate their support."
The next challenge will be the new round of contract negotiations between the university and its faculty members. During almost 10 years of Scott's presidency, relations between staff and administrators have been strained at UCCB.
"Our first collective agreement was signed in March 2000 after a 35-day strike," Britten said.
Chief financial officer Gordon MacInnis, one of the architects of the approved budget, has been appointed by the board as interim president. He will represent the administration as it heads into bargaining with the association.
Referring to meetings with MacInnis, Britten said communications have been "open and collegial.
"Gordon MacInnis will be a good person to have across the table as we go into negotiations."
In the meantime, a search committee, including faculty and student representatives, is looking for a new president of UCCB.