UWinnipeg Board Approves Balanced Budget For 2009-10

Fiscal Responsibility The Focus During Challenging Economic Times

WINNIPEG, MB – The University of Winnipeg’s Board of Regents tonight approved a balanced operating budget of $75 million for the 2009-2010 fiscal year. The University achieved this balanced budget through significant cuts, including an increase in vacancy management.

“This is a prudent budget in challenging times,” said UWinnipeg Board of Regents Chair Debra Radi. “The Board is confident that this budget will allow the University to continue to provide top-quality education and support to students and faculty, while maintaining strict control on new hiring and discretionary spending.”

The University employed a very rigorous fiscal framework in its approach to this year’s budget. The University looked at other strategies such as a reduced reliance on third-party leases and alternative revenue sources such as conference services. As well, upcoming capital ventures like the refurbished bus depot and a new building at 460 Portage Avenue will provide the University with revenue possibilities through leases to third-party businesses.

“We face the demanding task of providing top-quality academic programming in a time of strict economic challenges,” said UWinnipeg President & Vice-Chancellor Lloyd Axworthy. “We have taken prudent steps in the budgeting process to ensure our students receive the best academic programming. This is a difficult budget that requires the collective contributions of faculty and staff through vacancy management, donations and strict control on discretionary spending.”

Budget Highlights:

Revenues

  • The Government of Manitoba is providing an increase in the operating grant to Manitoba universities of approximately 6% including “special funding”. The University of Winnipeg’s baseline operating grant actually increased 4.5% over last year.

  • Tuition fees were allowed to be increased by 4.5%. However, with the freeze remaining on ancillary fees, the net increase in student fees is 3.8%.

  • Other revenues include sponsorships, room rentals and revenues from various student services such as a new bookstore and campus food service.

Expenses

  • Salaries remain the largest part of the University’s budget – more than 80% of the core budget and 65% of total expenses.

  • The University has been impacted by two significant events in the past year:

    • the market downturn has impacted on the amount of endowed funds available to the University to fund student scholarships and bursaries. The University has committed to maintaining an appropriate level of scholarships and bursaries which resulted in an increased cost to the operating budget; and

    • a decision by the Superintendent of Pensions to reverse a 2003 University agreement will result in ongoing additional expenses to the University for several years.

  • To deal with these unexpected expenses University management and excluded staff have agreed to salary freezes or reductions for 2009-10

  • The University is reducing its reliance on third-party leases such as off-campus building rental costs, and relocating all programs and offices back to its Portage Avenue campus.

 

Capital budget approved: downtown projects get green light

Operating budget statement

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