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2015-16 budget process nearing completion

With the current budget planning cycle coming to a conclusion, Provost Alan Harrison presented a preliminary 2015-16 operating budget to the university’s Capital Assets and Finance Committee at its March meeting.

“As always, the 2015-16 budget is focused on ensuring the university’s financial sustainability while protecting its core academic mission,” says Harrison. “Queen’s continues to face financial challenges, including a significant shortfall in its pension plan that will result in increased special pension payments beginning in 2015.”

Although Harrison says there is more work to be done before the budget is brought back to the Board of Trustees in May, he is confident of presenting a balanced budget after a drawdown from reserve funds.

“The 2015-16 budget will include projections for the following two years, within which timeframe we hope that all faculties, schools and shared service units will have structurally balanced budgets,” says Harrison. “It’s important for the university’s longer-term financial sustainability and requires that we work hard to grow and diversify revenues, while at the same time containing our operating costs.”

As always, the 2015-16 budget is focused on ensuring the university’s financial sustainability while protecting its core academic mission.

-  Alan Harrison, Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic)

Caroline Davis, Vice-Principal (Finance and Administration), says that the university will continue to explore ways to operate more efficiently.

“The pension deficit situation has the potential to add millions of dollars to the university’s operating expenses, and that makes it all the more important to find savings,” says Vice-Principal Davis. “We have already had success through a number of sustainability initiatives and smarter procurement practices.”

Sustainability initiatives like the electricity demand management program, which sees a number of air conditioning shutoffs happen over the course of the summer, combined with steam plant co-generation activities, have resulted in roughly $1.4 million in annual savings for the university.

Strategic Procurement Services has also been active in finding savings through negotiating better agreements with the university’s suppliers and by partnering with other universities to increase Queen’s purchasing power. These initiatives have yielded roughly $3 million in savings over the past three years.

More information about the 2015-16 budget planning process is available on the Provost’s website