Board of Governors Approves U of G Budget

The University of Guelph’s 2012/2013 Integrated Plan, including the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU) operating budget, has been approved by Board of Governors.

The budget and integrated plan were presented by Maureen Mancuso, provost and vice-president (academic), and John Miles, assistant vice-president (finance and integrated planning).

The total MTCU Operating Fund budget for 2012/13, consists of $433.3 million in funding from provincial operating grants, tuition and cost recoveries.

The MTCU Operating Fund budget is the largest single component of the University total revenue base, making up about half of the University’s total funding. It supports nearly 90 per cent of all faculty and 80 per cent of full-time staff, as well as the costs for the main campus infrastructure. Overall, compensation for University employees accounts for about 70 per cent of the MTCU Operating Fund budget.

In addition to salaries and benefits, the operating budget also covers utilities and capital infrastructure, deficit repayments, and funding for critical investments, academic programs, and administrative support services.

This year marks the beginning of a new five-year Integrated Plan (2012/2013 to 2016/2017), which includes a multi-year financial plan that will set overall University fiscal targets for the next five years.

The plan’s overall goal is to maintain the University’s current balanced financial position.This will require projected reductions of 2.5 to 4 per cent per year to cover base cost commitments. This results from a shortfall between projected revenue increases of about 1 per cent a year versus projected expense increases of 2 to 3.5 per cent a year. In the first year of the plan, the University will use $11.2 million of its $23-million contingency fund to avoid any major budget reductions for one year. The remaining base contingency will be used to help prepare units for reductions planned for subsequent years, including investments to change programs and reduce costs.

Tuition revenue for 2012/2013 makes up about 30 per cent of MTCU Operating Fund revenues. The one-year tuition framework announced by the province allows most tuition fees to increase by 4 to 8 per cent depending on the program and year of study. U of G tuition for provincially funded programs will increase by 4.5 per cent for entering undergraduate students and 8 per cent for students in professional programs. Continuing undergraduate students will pay 4 per cent more; entering and continuing graduate students, 3 per cent. Deregulated and international tuition rates will increase by 3 per cent for new students only.

Board of Governors also received an update on the status of the University’s three pension plans. Given increased plan costs due to financial market conditions, the University’s contribution levels are projected to double to more than $70 million a year starting in 2014. This projected increase would be needed in addition to structural changes, including the contribution increases that have been approved by most U of G employee groups and unions.