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2016-17 budget planning process underway

The process of preparing the university’s 2016-17 operating budget is now underway, following approval of the 2016-17 enrolment targets by Senate in April, and approval of the 2015-16 budget by the Board of Trustees in May.

In his recent report to the Queen’s community on the 2015-16 budget and the 2016-17 budget process, Alan Harrison, Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic) and Chair of the Provost’s Advisory Committee on the Budget (PACB), says balancing the budget continues to be a significant challenge.

“While the university is expecting revenue growth in 2015-16 and 2016-17, all units are facing an additional charge to offset increased pension deficit payments, as well as other cost pressures,” says Provost Harrison. “The 2015-16 budget was balanced, but only after drawdowns from carry-forward balances and cash reserves, highlighting the importance of continuing to grow and diversify revenues.”

The annual budget process begins with shared service units, which will provide their budget submissions to PACB by the end of August. Each shared service unit will be asked to assess the effects on its operation of absorbing the additional pension charges and salary and benefit increases. 

"The university’s priority is to ensure that as much revenue growth as possible remains within the faculties and schools to support the advancement of Queen’s academic mission.”

- Provost Alan Harrison

The budget planning scenario also asks each shared service unit to project the effects on its budgets for 2017-18 and 2018-19 on the assumption that its base budget increases by 4 percent in 2017-18, and by 2 percent of projected salary costs in 2018-19. 

“While that scenario will not necessarily be the one applied to any particular shared service unit, it will help the PACB determine whether there are grounds for additional funding to shared services in support of increased costs,” says Provost Harrison. “Under our budget model, any increases for shared services are funded by the faculties and schools. The university’s priority is to ensure that as much revenue growth as possible remains within the faculties and schools to support the advancement of Queen’s academic mission.”

Once the budgets for the shared services have been provisionally determined, faculties and schools will develop their budget submissions over the course of the fall. The final budget will then be presented to the Board of Trustees for approval in May 2016.

More information about the 2016-17 budget process can be found in the provost’s report to the community and on the provost’s website.