Principal addresses Queen's community on University's financial challenges
In a special address to the Queen's community, Principal Tom Williams discussed a number of financial challenges facing the University and urged all members of the university community to seek collective, creative solutions to these challenges.
Williams spoke to a number of issues, including a growing gap between the University's operating expenditures and traditional sources of government funding. He noted that Queen's decision to maintain its mid-size status, while leading to gains in the quality of the student experience, has reduced the University's relative share of provincial funding compared to comparable Ontario universities. He also discussed the need for “necessary and overdue” revitalization of campus facilities to remain competitive. All of these issues, he concluded, have contributed to a growing gap between revenues and expenditures.
As a result of these and other factors, he said, Queen's is facing growing budgetary pressures which will need to be addressed in planning for 2009-2010 and beyond – a situation also experienced by many other Ontario universities today.
The Principal called for “radical changes in the way we do business.” Citing ongoing work by the university's administrative leaders, he added: “The reality is, we need the help of the entire Queen's community to help with this challenge. That is why I have tried to reach as many people as possible with this update.”
Emphasizing the need for continuing, transparent communications around these issues, Principal Williams made a commitment to deliver regular reports to the Queen's community in the coming months. He also noted that several task forces have been working on these issues and that their preliminary reports will be presented and discussed in the next several months.
The address, followed by a question and answer period, took place immediately prior to a regular meeting of the University Senate.
Recorded video and text of the speech will be posted on the Principal's website at: http://www.queensu.ca/principal/