2019–20 University of Alberta Institutional Budget

Every discipline has its own language that is difficult for those outside of the discipline to understand. Budgeting and financial…

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Every discipline has its own language that is difficult for those outside of the discipline to understand. Budgeting and financial planning is no different. Last December, the University of Alberta published a new website outlining how the university plans its budget each year. The website is a part of an ongoing initiative being led by Vice-President (Finance and Administration) Gitta Kulczycki and her resource planning team to make the university budgets and budget planning easier to understand.

The team has continued the initiative with the development of a new, plain-language budget document to accompany the typical PowerPoint presentations of the budget that have normally been presented as part of the governance approval process. In contrast to years past, this new budget document is separate from the Comprehensive Institutional Plan and is thus free of the regulatory constraints that the CIP must follow.

The new budget document has been developed specifically for the internal community to provide a comprehensive overview of the university’s budget and its component parts. As Vice-President Kulczycki says, “The document is written so that our community can understand the decisions we’ve made about allocations and the considerations we took into account in all of the various pieces of the university’s budget.”

As was reported on The Quad in December, the 2019–2020 budget is based on the following assumptions:

  • 0% change in provincial operating revenues
  • No tuition backfill (to replace a freeze in tuition for 2019–20 announced last fall)

A proposed increase of 2.77% will be applied to international student tuition to cover the overall increase in the university’s costs of delivering programs. As per government regulation, Campus Alberta grant cannot be used to fund international student program costs; as a result, international tuition must cover the full cost.

There are also proposed increases to residence rates (5%, except at Augustana where the increase will be 3%) and meal plans (2.27%, except at Augustana where the increase will be 3%). These increases were first announced last year as part of a three-year plan to bring financial stability to the residence and dining services operations after several years of operating at a deficit. The capital budget also includes a large project to renew the Lister Residence, specifically the Classic Towers.

For more information on all aspects of the institutional budget, please see the full document here.

On February 26, the University of Alberta’s 2019–2020 institutional budget will be presented to the Board Finance and Property Committee for approval. This is the penultimate stop in the governance process prior to final approval by the Board of Governors at the March 15 meeting. The budget was recommended for approval by the Academic Planning Committee of General Faculties Council on February 13, 2019.