2016/17 Budget Update

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With the 2016/17 UBC Vancouver budget process well underway, we would like to provide an update of progress to date, as well as the path forward.

In recent months, there have been discussions at various levels of the university around the 2016/17 budget. This included a two-day workshop at which the Executive and Vancouver Deans came together to review the challenges, opportunities and budget position of each of the Faculties and administrative units.

As part of the process, a large number of proposals were submitted, and these are being evaluated for possible funding next year. The proposals are being considered in a number of forums, including the Senate Budget Committee, the Executive, the Board of Governors and the Council of Deans (which established a sub-committee to review detailed proposals).

The final budget proposal will be presented to the Board of Governors for approval in April. In advance of the board meeting, we would like to share some key elements of UBC’s financial position.

  • Although UBC continues to operate in a constrained funding environment, we are in a more favourable position than last year. The Province of BC (although still to provide UBC with formal budget notification) is unlikely to make further cuts to the operating grants of the universities, and will provide assistance for mandated salary increases. Unfortunately, this still means that any inflation costs (including cost pressures arising from the fall in the Canadian dollar and non-mandated salary increases) have to be either absorbed or covered by other sources of revenue growth.
  • Growth in revenue from domestic tuition is capped within the government’s fee regulations, limiting any increase to 2%.
  • International tuition rates, for new-to-UBC first-year students, are increasing (up to 15%) as a result of a review of UBC rates compared to peer universities. This will provide some discretionary resources to meet a number of cost pressures, as well as establishing an Academic Excellence Fund, focused on strategic initiatives to support excellence in research, teaching and the student learning experience. The Provost’s Office is working with the offices of the Vice-President, Students and Vice-President, Research and International, to determine allocations from the Academic Excellence Fund.
  • The Province has provided additional funding for routine capital expenditure (including deferred maintenance) in 2015/16 and has indicated support for further enhancements to this funding over the next three years. If approved, this will enable an important improvement in the underlying condition of many of the university’s buildings and operations.

Many central administrative units absorbed significant budget reductions in the last year, and most of these flow into 2016/17. As part of an ongoing commitment to continuous improvement, UBC will continue to review its operating and administrative processes and systems. This includes considering a benchmarking programme that will assist us in better understanding the effectiveness and efficiency of many current functions and operations.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who have taken part in this year’s budget process, as well as those who have implemented cost reductions in the last year. We will provide further updates over the coming months. Further information about UBC’s financial reporting can be found athttp://vpfinance.ubc.ca/reporting/.

Angela Redish
Provost and Vice-President Academic pro tem

Andrew Simpson
Vice-President, Finance