Memorial University’s Board of Regents has approved the university’s budget for 2016-17 as proposed by the university’s administration.
The budget does not include additional tuition or other student fee increases for 2016-17 beyond those approved last July.
The budget presentation to the Board of Regents can be viewed here.
Meeting a shortfall
The university will meet a shortfall in funding through a combination of another round of base budget administrative expenditure reductions, targeted reductions in travel expenditures, reduction in the number of employees through the implementation of a salary attrition model, and utilization of infrastructure renewal funds for deferred maintenance.
“We committed to doing everything we could to hold the line on tuition/fee increases for the coming year,” said Dr. Gary Kachanoski, Memorial’s president and vice-chancellor. “All areas of the university are contributing toward that goal, and I am grateful for the co-operation and efforts from across the Memorial community to make this a reality.”
The 2016-17 operating budget includes ongoing savings through a base budget administrative reduction of $4.1 million, a decrease in travel expenditures of $1.3 million, and $3 million salary savings in year one of a two-year attrition plan. Direct academic expenditures and unavoidable costs (like utilities and snow clearing) are exempt from budget reductions.
“The cuts over the past several years and forward guidance of future cuts from the provincial government signal the need to take a longer-term approach (multi-year budget planning and development) for a sustainable budget framework.”
Government also indicated that they would be willing, if requested, to grant a second and final year deferral of the approximately $27 million special pension payment required by provincial pension legislation, while work with the University Pensions Committee continues on reaching an agreement with government regarding the plan.
Throughout the budget planning process, consultations on the proposal were held with students’ unions, deans and directors, Senate, the Senate’s Executive Committee and its Planning and Budget Committee and the Board of Regents’ Executive and Finance Committees.
“The cuts over the past several years and forward guidance of future cuts from the provincial government signal the need to take a longer-term approach (multi-year budget planning and development) for a sustainable budget framework,” said Dr. Kachanoski. “The Vice-Presidents Council has already begun that planning work to bring more certainty to our students, employees and partners.”