The 2019-2020 University budget was approved by the UOIT Board of Governors at their April 24th meeting. The agenda for the Board of Governor’s meeting can be found at this link. The draft budget was presented and approved for recommendation by the Board’s Audit and Finance Committee on April 17th 2019. The agenda for that meeting is available at this link.
The budget forecast cuts of $9 million and $12 million for 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 and, as reported by President Murphy, these cuts are reflected as fairly broad cuts across most of the university’s finances.
It would appear that Academic spending (i.e. Faculties, Grad Studies, etc) is being cut by 3.4% and 4.6% for those two years and spending on Academic Support (i.e. Provost’s office, Research office, Library, etc.) by 7.4% and 8.3%, and spending on Administrative (i.e. General Council, President’s office, IT, HR) by 4.0% and 4.4%.
To put these budget cuts in perspective, UOIT has run significant surpluses over the past 8 years, with a combined surplus in the past two years of over $12 and $15 million as reported in the Audited Financial Statements, http://sites.uoit.ca/finance/financial-statements/index.php. According to the budget documents, the projected surplus appears to be about $4.5 million above budget, which would be about another $8 million in surplus for 2018-2019, but we will see when the auditors report comes out soon. This number comes what what appears to be about $1.5 million in additional revenue this year, and $3 million is underspending on top the the $3.8 million budgeted contingency reserve.
While the budget toutes the investment in hiring faculty made in the 2018-2019 budget, it is not clear that all those positions will be filled as part of the new budget. Confusingly, different numbers are reported later in the presentation (see page 25) in which the cuts do not appear as deep for most, however Graduate Studies is looking at a 9.6% cut this coming year.
If you have questions or comments, or would be interested in more details, please let the Association know ([email protected]).
New Building Update
At the Audit and Finance Committee meeting where the 2019-2020 budget was presented, an update was given on the New Building. Highlights of this update include:
- The university is keeping the planned cost for the new building at $48 million dollars
- The UOIT Student Union will be securing a loan of up to $5 million to fund their share of the cost of the new building
- There is currently a $17.1 million budget shortfall “to be funded through operating funds, fundraising and/or additional funds from Federal Development.” This shortfall is on top of an “annual planned building reserve” of $3.5M over 3.4 years for a total of $11.9M. This can be taken to mean that they are currently short $29 million of the $48 million. They do have $13.2 million in the bank in accumulated surpluses from previous years, which is counted in the $19 million already funded.
As noted earlier this year by the Association, the university has accumulated significant budgeted and unbudgeted surpluses over the past 10 years and used these primarily for new buildings and other capital costs.
Work on the New Building is progressing, as reported, with the occupants of building U5 and U6 being moved to other buildings recently to allow for the portables to be moved from their current location, where the new building is slated to go. The portables will be moved and refurbished in the late summer allowing them to be useable for next year.
There are also some interesting architectural drawings that illustrate some plans for the new building beginning on page 14 for those who are interested in the design of the new building. It appears that the UOIT Student Union will have space on the ground floor and in the basement, the Office of Student Life will occupy much of the second and third floors, and a Dean’s suite and offices will be on the fourth floor. Classrooms are shown in the basement, first, second and third floors. A fifth floor contains some “shelled” space, potentially for future uses.