University community input will be key in building 2020-21 budget

NOTE: The AUPE Staff consultation has been recheduled to January 16 at 2:45 p.m. (SU Ballroom). An additional consultation for AUPE Staff has been sheduled for January 17 from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. in Andy’s Place.

With the 2019-20 budget now passed by the University of Lethbridge Board of Governors, the process to build the 2020-21 budget has begun.

Throughout January and February, Provost Andy Hakin, Vice-President (Finance and Administration) Nancy Walker and I will meet with student and employee groups, as well as senior administrators, regarding the budget. Additionally, we will host several consultation sessions beginning on January 8. These sessions will take place at both our Lethbridge and Calgary campuses and are designed to ensure open, meaningful and focused communication. Information about the timing and location of these consultations is listed below. I encourage you to attend one of these sessions to share your thoughts and ideas about the University’s budget. Your input will be key in ensuring the U of L achieves its mandate during this period of fiscal restraint.

As you likely know, the U of L Board of Governors passed a balanced budget in December after receiving an in-year 3.2 per cent ($3.4 million) reduction to our Campus Alberta Grant, as well as a one-year suspension to our Infrastructure Maintenance Program (IMP) grant. The process to achieve a balanced budget was not an easy one and was accomplished by eliminating 19 positions (academic and non-academic), eliminating the salary contingency fund, reducing the general contingency fund ($500,000 remains), reducing the Lifecycle equipment fund by redirecting funds from its capital replacement reserve, and by Ancillary Services increasing its contribution to the operating budget. Further, the U of L realized increased revenue due to its record enrolment.

The process of building a budget for the 2020-21 fiscal year will be equally challenging. The Alberta government has indicated a further overall reduction to the Campus Alberta Grant of five per cent for this coming year. While we will not know exactly how this will impact the U of L until a provincial budget is passed in the spring, we are anticipating a reduction to our grant. New approaches will need to be implemented to achieve a balanced budget, as the reduction of various reserves and contingency funds narrow our ability to adjust to funding decreases.

We will continue to actively engage Advanced Education to ensure they fully understand the impact the U of L makes in southern Alberta, the return on investment our students and communities receive through investing in our University and the impact continued reductions to the Campus Alberta Grant will have on the U of L. Through these interactions, and through formal communication, we will receive additional budget information. As we learn more, we will pass it on to our community, as it will be vital to the discussions that will take place.

 

Budget Consultation Sessions

 General Sessions (all welcome to attend)

January 16:    1 to 2:30 p.m. (SU Ballrooms)

January 17:    10:45 a.m. to noon (Andy’s Place)

 

Faculty

January 8:      1 to 2:30 p.m. (Andy’s Place)

January 16:    10:15 to 11:45 a.m. (SU Ballrooms)

 

APO and ESS Employee Groups

January 8:      2:45 to 4:15 p.m. (Andy’s Place)

 

AUPE Staff

January 16:    2:45 to 4:15 p.m. (SU Ballrooms)

January 17:    8 to 9 a.m. (Andy's Place)

 

Students (Lethbridge Campus)

January 17:    9 to 10:30 a.m. (Andy’s Place)

 

Calgary Campus Staff

February 10

Support Staff - 2:30 to 3:15 p.m. (S6025 Calgary Campus)
Academic Staff - 3:15 to 4 p.m.

 

Calgary Campus Students

February 10: 4 to 4:30 p.m. (S6025 Calgary Campus)

 

Mike Mahon
President and Vice-Chancellor

 

           

 


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