Budget 2018-19 approved by Board
July 5, 2018
The Queen’s Board of Trustees recently approved the 2018-19 operating budget. This year’s plan will see the university deliver another balanced budget, while also investing in a range of strategic priorities.
“This budget once again affords us the ability to invest in major institutional priorities, such as faculty renewal, research excellence, and diversity and inclusivity,” says Daniel Woolf, Principal and Vice-Chancellor. “While we continue to face some pressures around our pension and facilities maintenance, the hard work of the last several years has provided stability and a promising future for Queen’s.”
After contributions to the pension reserve there is a budgeted deficit of $7.7 million, which is then offset by the drawdown of operating carryforward reserves resulting in a balanced budget.
While the majority of the budget allocations cover ongoing expenses including salaries, utilities, and building maintenance, the university has allocated some discretionary funds towards key institutional priorities.
Growing Our Community
In 2018-19, the university will continue recruiting new faculty as part of the Principal’s faculty renewal initiative. This plan calls for the hiring of 200 tenured or tenure-track faculty members over five years.
“The Principal’s faculty renewal plan represents an extraordinary opportunity to recruit faculty to Queen’s with diverse backgrounds, experiences and research areas,” says Tom Harris, Interim Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic). “We have already been very successful in attracting talented and accomplished faculty members, allowing us to build on our research strengths, and foster diversity, inclusivity, and reconciliation.”
In response to a recent accessibility audit, this year’s budget also includes some funding dedicated to making campus more accessible. In addition to the annual funding dedicated to deferred maintenance, the university is allocating $250,000 to make accessibility improvements across campus.
This accessibility funding will also complement the three years of diversity and inclusivity funding that was announced as part of last year’s budget. The 2017-18 budget pledged $3 million over three years to foster inclusivity at Queen’s.
Research and Innovation
Recognizing the importance of Queen’s research, the 2018-19 budget makes a few specific and deliberate investments in Queen’s research strengths.
“Queen’s has a long history of pioneering discoveries and innovations that have shaped our knowledge and helped address some of the world’s deepest mysteries and most pressing questions,” says Kimberly Woodhouse, Interim Vice-Principal (Research). “Importantly, these new funds will help us build on our research strengths and continue to strengthen our research culture.”
Among the new investments is a Research Catalyst fund within the Vice-Principal (Research) portfolio. This $600,000 annual fund will be used to support emerging and strategic research opportunities.
The budget also allocates $7 million to create a new Research Intensity fund. This annual fund is designed to support the indirect costs of conducting research, and addresses a recommendation stemming from the review of the budget model.
There are many ongoing challenges which the university is addressing through targeted investments.
Queen’s continues to contribute to a pension reserve, while it remains in negotiations to create a new jointly sponsored pension plan for the Ontario university sector, along with partners at the University of Toronto and the University of Guelph.
Additionally, the institution has earmarked an additional $750,000 for facility repairs and upgrades. Queen’s will spend a total of $11.9 million on deferred maintenance in 2018-19.
Risks to the budget include the dependence on government grants and regulated tuition and market volatility affecting university investments. In addition, future investments will be required to support information technology and infrastructure renewal. These risks are being closely managed and mitigated, and incremental investments in infrastructure are being made to ensure sustainability.
To see this year’s budget, visit queensu.ca/financialservices/publications.