Announcing the University Budget Model Review (PDAD&C #79)

From: Cheryl Regehr, Vice-President & Provost
Scott Mabury, Vice-President, University Operations and Vice-Provost, Academic Operations
Date: April 26, 2018
Re: Announcing the University Budget Model Review (PDAD&C #79)

The University’s budget is the mechanism by which operating funds are allocated to various divisions in the institution. As such, it is a key tool in the management of the University, particularly in enabling it to fulfill its mission and achieve its academic goals.

The annual budgeting process has been described in a previous PDAD&C memo. Key to the budget model’s success has been its adherence to three principles:

  • Transparency (clear delineation of revenue and expense by division)
  • Incentives (local decision-making and allocations linked to performance indicators, revenues, and costs)
  • Engagement (consultation and review processes)

The current budget model was adopted in 2006 and was developed based on the recommendations of the Task Force to Review Approach to Budgeting. The first review of the new budget model, conducted in 2011, concluded that the budget model was serving the University very well and that no significant change in direction was required at the time.

As provincial support for the University continues to decline as a share of total funding and begins to shift toward performance-based metrics, the current environment provides us with an opportunity to address emerging issues and ensure that the budget model will continue to serve the University well into the future. For that reason, we are pleased to announce that the University will be launching in the coming weeks a review of its budget model.

The Budget Model Review will be guided by a steering committee and will include five working groups, each with a different mandate:

  1. Strategic Mandate Agreement (SMA) Implementation Committee, which will analyze the implications of funding formula changes for the University’s budget model;
  2. Cost Efficiencies Working Group, which will identify opportunities for efficiency and recommend incentive structures;
  3. Alternative Funding Sources Advisory Group, which will explore best practices and recommend strategies to develop alternative funding sources;
  4. Tri-Campus Budget Relationships Working Group, which will identify and analyze tri-campus budgeting and resourcing arrangements, opportunities, and challenges, and whose work will overlap with that of the Tri-Campus Review;
  5. Inter-Divisional Teaching Working Group, which will develop an institutional financial framework for inter-divisional teaching at the undergraduate level.

The review will take place throughout 2018 and into 2019. Further details about each working group will be released on the project website as they become available.

Questions about the budget model review can be sent to