From the President’s Desk: Next Steps on Budget 2020–21

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As I communicated on this blog last Friday, the University of Alberta received an 11% cut ($65.9 million) to our provincial funding in the Government of Alberta’s 2020 budget. Combined with the 6.9% cut in the October 24, 2019 budget, the total reduction amounts to $110.3 million over the two years. We have a major challenge ahead of us.

Reductions of this magnitude are serious and far-reaching. I want to thank everyone in our community for the resilience you have shown as we have begun to address these challenges. We recognize there are many difficult decisions to come — our commitment to high-quality education and research must remain our priority.

The most immediate task is to revise the university’s 2020–21 budget in order to submit it to government on schedule on March 31. Our current budget proposal was based on the assumption of a 5% reduction in provincial grant funding and we must now make adjustments for an additional 6%. Provost Steven Dew, Vice-President Gitta Kulczycki, and I are working closely with the other members of the senior leadership team and deans to address these significant reductions.

A revised budget must return through the governance cycle for proper review and approval. We had originally planned to present the budget to the Board at its regular scheduled March 13th meeting. To provide time for additional planning, we have changed the timeline, with plans to bring the revised budget to the Board of Governors for final approval at a special Board meeting during the week of March 23. A campus forum will also be scheduled. Please watch for date and time as these details can be arranged.

I will continue to keep you updated as we proceed.

David H. Turpin
President and Vice-Chancellor