Designing a New Model

The design of the new budget model involved people from each faculty and portfolio at the university.

Leading the Change

Provost and Vice-President (Academic) Verna Yiu, and Vice-President (University Services and Finance) Todd Gilchrist are the executive sponsors of this project. They are supported by a Budget Model Design Group and Expert Working Groups with representation from each faculty and university-wide services portfolio.

Design Process

A key part of the design was a series of five Expert Working Groups, established to provide expertise and input on key budget model design choices. Over 60 individuals were engaged across the five expert groups between January and April 2023.

The groups focus on the following topics:

  • Tuition Revenue Sharing
  • Central Services & Functional Efficiency
  • Research Support & Growth
  • Strategic Initiatives & Subvention
  • Multi-year Budget Mechanisms, Performance Incentives & Carry-forwards

Expert Group Recommendations

Final expert group recommendations helped form the budget model and support policy and process changes. Those recommendations are summarized below with a full report available here

Tuition Revenue Sharing

  1. Share international and domestic for-credit tuition (60% teaching unit, 10% program faculty, 30% university services).
  2. Share non-credit tuition revenue (85% unit offering the program, 15% university services).
  3. Do not differentiate tuition share arrangements for online programs.
  4. Review tuition sharing arrangements 3 years after model development.

University-wide Services and Functional Efficiency

  1. Introduce functional plans for university-wide services.
  2. Adopt matrix budgeting for university-wide services.
  3. Implement a space allocation approach.

Strategic Initiatives and Subvention

  1. Establish a University Fund, incorporating funding for strategic initiatives, research growth, performance funding and subvention.
  2. Take funding for the University Fund off the top of general operating revenues.
  3. Simplify the approach to allocating the provincial grant for teaching.

Research Support and Growth

  1. Maintain allocation approach for Research Support Funds.
  2. Maintain allocation approach for indirect costs of research (ICR), but review ICR policy outside of the budget model development process.
  3. Simplify the approach to allocating the provincial grant for research.
  4. Initially, allocate 0.5% of operating revenues for research growth initiatives, as a sub-stream of the University Fund. 

Multi-year Mechanisms

  1. Introduce an activity smoothing mechanism.
  2. Introduce a performance funding pool for faculties with collaboratively-determined performance metrics. 

Notes: Two of the 16 expert group recommendations were adjusted for FY25:

  1. The 5-year smoothing changed to 3-years for research activity metrics (Research Support Fund) and research allocation (Operating and Program Support Grant), due to data constraints. 
  2. A space charge excluded for FY2025 to improve data quality and consider space optimization within the context of SHAPEs' enrolment growth ambition