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Queen’s financial statements for 2016-17 approved

The university’s latest financial statements have now been approved by the Board of Trustees at its most recent meeting.

The statements outline the university’s consolidated financial results for the fiscal year ending on April 30, 2017, and this year they show a surplus of revenues over expenses of $88.6 million. This compares to a surplus of $39.5 million the previous year.

'Donna Janiec'
Donna Janiec, Vice-Principal (Finance and Administration), will present the Financial Statements to the Board of Trustees at its upcoming meeting. (University Communications)

The surplus was mostly driven by favourable investment returns, and by a continued increase in student enrolment following the opening of new residences in 2015. It also reflects the ongoing efforts of all areas of the University to help to stabilize the finances of the institution.

“This latest surplus provides the university with some much-needed financial flexibility, and also allows us to make reinvestments in such areas as faculty renewal, research and innovation, internationalization, and a range of Indigenous, diversity and inclusion initiatives,” says Donna Janiec, Vice-Principal (Finance and Administration). “But there is still a need for a cautious approach as we plan for the future, as the university must also address the ongoing financial risks to which it continues to be exposed.”

The volatility of financial markets presents risk to the university, and can have a significant impact the annual financial results. The size of this year’s surplus for example was largely driven by positive investment returns, but returns are always unpredictable given the nature of the financial markets and so it’s prudent to plan accordingly.

Other significant risks include the university’s ongoing reliance on grant support and tuition revenue which are controlled by the provincial and federal governments. The University is also working to address a significant deferred maintenance backlog and a financially unsustainable pension plan.

“These are financial challenges we share with many other universities in Ontario and we continue to manage them to ensure we maintain our long-term financial competitiveness,” says Janiec.

In accordance with our fiduciary responsibility of endowment funds, a significant portion of the surplus has been reinvested into the Pooled Endowment Fund to protect against inflation. Aligned with our prudent approach, the available Operating Fund surplus has been set aside to support multi-year plans that will see Queen’s strategically invest in priorities that support the mission of the university.

Along with the 2016-17 Consolidated Financial Statements, you can also join Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic) Benoit-Antoine Bacon and Vice-Principal (Finance and Administration) Donna Janiec on Friday, Oct. 20 at West Campus for an overview of this year's budget.