Approval of 2020-21 Financial Statements

The U of A Board of Governors has approved the university’s 2020-21 financial statements.


Today, the Board of Governors approved the university’s 2020-21 financial statements. The 2020-21 fiscal year was a period of transition and transformation; from the changes necessitated by the pandemic to the cost reductions needed to proactively address reductions to the U of A’s provincial grant, the 2020-21 year-end statements reflect the impacts of the past year.

By working together to reduce institutional expenditures and to find the required operational efficiencies, we have made significant progress and met our projected cost reductions. My thanks to everyone for your efforts in such a difficult year. With that in mind, I’d like to share our current state with you.

The 2020-21 financial statements demonstrate that the university is on track to reduce expenditures and is doing so in a way that will allow us to ensure that we are dedicating the maximum amount of our resources to our core mission of teaching, research and community service. As is the case in each budget cycle, there was a year-end variance from what had been budgeted and actual revenues and expenditures. The result is a year-end, one-time operating surplus of $35.5 M. This consolidated surplus can be attributed to three overarching factors:

  • Anticipated salary costs were lower than budgeted due to:
    • Reductions in seasonal and casual positions due largely to COVID-19
    • Temporary, union-negotiated layoffs during COVID-19
    • Lower than anticipated severance costs because of a higher than projected number of retirements and other voluntary departures
  • Higher than anticipated investment income 
  • Other one-time revenue opportunities, including the sale of a parking lot

It is important to note that these are one-time savings only and will not help to reduce ongoing annual expenditures. Thus we must continue to plan for reductions to the university’s annual operating expenses.

Through U of A for Tomorrow, we are making important progress towards financial sustainability. With financial sustainability, we can plan for future growth and reinvestment in the U of A’s core mission of teaching, research and community service.

Todd Gilchrist
Vice-President (University Services and Finance)