The University of Lethbridge Board of Governors has passed a balanced operating budget for the 2014/15 fiscal year.
“The $162-million operating budget is supportive of the University’s recently completed strategic plan and reflects the values of our university,” says the Chair of the U of L Board of Governors, Gord Jong. “The U of L has experienced a challenging financial landscape in the past couple of years, and we expect to face more challenging years in the future. This balanced budget is important in allowing the University to focus on the future.”
“I am very encouraged by the budget that was passed today,” says U of L President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Mike Mahon. “Funding was allocated to support quality academic programs, student experience, support for research and community connectedness. Receipt of new Government of Alberta funding to increase enrolment in targeted areas also provides the University with some capacity to implement some strategic programs."
The approval of the budget by the U of L Board of Governors completes a lengthy process that included developing a framework of values to guide our budget decisions and the implementation of a new operating budget allocation model. All budget decisions were done with extensive consultation with the Strategic Planning Committee, budget advisory committees, senior administration, deans and executive directors. The General Faculties Council (GFC) also reviewed the budget model and the proposed budget at its April meeting.
Budget 2014/15 highlights
The 2013-14 budget saw a significant decrease (4.85%) in the Campus Alberta Operating grant received by the University of Lethbridge. Some budget controlling efforts put into place during 2013 were the offering of an Academic Staff Voluntary Retirement program and a hiring restriction on vacant positions. This year's balanced budget lifts the hiring restriction that has been in place since September 2013, which will allow the replacement of essential positions. Approximately half of the retirement academic positions will be replaced to allow some return to normal operations and the level of support for students that we have prided ourselves.
The operating grant provided by Innovation and Advanced Education will increase by 1.62%, comprised of 0% base operating grant increase plus $1.5 million in targeted enrolment funding.
Tuition fees, which are regulated by the Alberta government, will rise by one percent.