University of Saskatchewan's costs growing faster than revenue

November 5, 2013 - 3:39pm
Brett Fairbairn (left) and Greg Fowler at a financial town hall meeting Nov. 5, 2013. Courtesy
Brett Fairbairn (left) and Greg Fowler at a financial town hall meeting Nov. 5, 2013. Courtesy

The University of Saskatchewan's projected budget deficit is one-third smaller.

The university has projected a deficit of $44.5 million by 2016.

"Workforce adjustments up until the end of June have resulted in an estimated cost savings to the budget - and this is a permanent budget savings- over $10.4 million for the university," Greg Fowler, vice-president of finance and resources for the University of Saskatchewan.

Fowler shared the news at a financial town hall meeting Tuesday.

"This means we have closed one-third of our projected gap. Although this is good progress, we still have a lot of work to do," Fowler said.

"Our projected expenses continue to grow faster than our projected revenues and this is a problem we must all resolve."

Monday the university reported total revenue of $935.4 million and total expenses of $834.3 million for 2012-2013. The net increase in fund balances of $101.1 million largely relates to restricted funds that cannot be used for day-to-day operations, a news release said.

Two TransformUs committees are going to be making their reports public on Dec. 9, which prioritize university programs and services.

The university's target is to achieve $20 to $25 million in permanent savings (about five per cent of the total operating budget) and to reinvest $5 million into their top priorities. About 60 per cent of programs and services will be put into categories that could result in changes or elimination.

Fowler said it's likely there will be future job losses when the university makes its final decision in April/May after consultations and analysis.

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