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Campus context

UVic faces fiscal challenges for the next three years

Rising costs and constrained revenue created a projected $4-million budget gap for the University of Victoria in 2012-13 that has been resolved for the fiscal year by a combination of across-the-board cuts and contingency funds. Additional cuts are projected for 2013-14 and 2014-15.

Through the integrated planning process, involving all vice-presidents and associate vice-presidents, and led by Vice-President Academic and Provost Reeta Tremblay, a budget plan was identified for 2012-13 to eliminate the deficit, protect funding in key areas such as student financial aid and library acquisitions, and maintain a commitment to teaching and research excellence across the university. This plan was approved as the university's budget framework for 2012-13 by the Board of Governors in late March.

The deficit arose due to $7.1 million in cost increases and projected revenue increases of only $3.1 million. The additional revenue is primarily the result of a two per cent tuition increase.

The cost pressures reflect anticipated faculty and staff progression through the ranks/ranges, inflation, the possibility of modest salary and/or benefit changes through collective bargaining, and very modest allocations in academic and other critical areas.

With student enrolments continuing to grow, $1.1 million in withheld enrolment funds is being released to partially cover this year's $4-million shortfall. This allocation eliminates the university's enrolment contingency fund from future use. The remaining deficit of $2.9 million will be offset through a 1.5 per cent cut in budgets across the institution.

The 2012-13 budget framework document also anticipates deficits for each of 2013-14 and 2014-15 due to the announced provincial cuts to advanced education funding in the next two years, the impact of the elimination of the HST, the possibility of modest changes in compensation resulting from collective bargaining, and copyright fee changes.

Given that the full impact of some of these factors is not yet known, departmental cuts required to balance the university budget in these next two years are estimated to be between two and four per cent each year.

President David Turpin has announced that the university administration will embark later this year on a broad discussion on campus about how best to address the fiscal challenges in the years ahead.

For more information on the university's budget plans see http://www.uvic.ca/budgetplanning/.

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