2014-2015 provincial funding details
As committed to in the president’s March 19 provincial budget announcement, we now have a more detailed overview of the 2014-15 provincial budget and its implications for the University of Saskatchewan. The Government of Saskatchewan will provide the university with a total of $375.1 million in operating grant, capital funding and targeted funding for 2014-15, an increase of $15.7 million over 2013-14. Highlights regarding this 2014-15 increase in provincial funding are included below, within the four categories of funding: base operating, targeted, capital, and science and innovation.
Base operating grant
After considering the portion of new funding for targeted envelopes such as expansion of student seats in the College of Medicine, the university will receive approximately a 2 per cent increase in our operating grant for 2014-15 operations. This funding will help pay for salaries and benefits, utilities and general expenses incurred in our day to day operations. This increase is in line with our Multi-Year Operating Budget Framework projections and reaffirms the need for the university to be financially sustainable in an environment where 2 per cent grant increases are the norm.
Part of our new funding must be allocated for specific, or targeted, uses that include:Read More
Tuition, TransformUS questions dominate public board session
Members of the university’s Board of Governors took the opportunity to describe their role in institutional governance, commit to listening to students and reiterate their accountability during their annual public session held March 18 in Convocation Hall.
In her opening remarks before a crowd of about 100 people, chair Susan Milburn stressed that in the university’s tricameral governance system, the board does not manage day-to-day operations but does set the strategic and long-term financial direction of the institution. The focus, she said, is always on financial sustainability to ensure the U of S “will be around serving Saskatchewan for another 100 years.”
Ongoing monitoring of the university’s financial situation is a key role of the board, said Milburn, who added a lot of attention is paid to risk factors “that may prevent us from delivering on our strategic objectives.” She said the top five risks for the U of S are increasing research success, student recruitment, funding for priorities, recruitment of faculty and staff, and the level of Aboriginal engagement. Board decisions are not always easy, she said, but “they are always in the best interests of the university.”Read More
Looking ahead to 2014-15: Detailed operating budget in the works
With the announcement March 19 that the provincial government will increase the University of Saskatchewan’s operating grant for 2014-15 by the requested two per cent, to $326 million, work now begins on figuring out exactly what that means for the coming year.
On budget day, the university received a letter from the Ministry of Advanced Education outlining the government’s contributions to its operations in 2014-15, explained Jacquie Thomarat, acting director of budget strategy and planning in Institutional Planning and Assessment (IPA). The next step “is to analyze what we got and what we didn’t get, and all of that will be plugged into our detailed operating budget that’s going to the Board of Governors for approval in late May.”
On March 19, President Ilene Busch-Vishniac said in a media release the grant increase was “a clear message that they (the provincial government) recognize the value of post-secondary education to the economic vitality of Saskatchewan.” The grant increase is welcome news “but our work towards building a financially sustainable university remains,” she said.
Thomarat noted the grant increase for the U of S was particularly welcome in light of a slight decease in the province’s overall spending for the coming year.Read More