February 6, 2006      
 
Difficult Financial Times Ahead

At the January Executive Committee meeting Mark McLaughlin and I presented the three year financial projections for the University. These projections are based on:
• A return to pre-double cohort enrolment figures;
• a $10.5 million dollar solvency deficit in the Bishop’s Full-time Employee Pension Plan to be paid back over 10 years ($1.6 million per year from the operating budget for the next five years, $900,000 for the remaining five years);
• a growing operating deficit as expenses grow while revenue remains stable (or decline);
• continued freeze in tuition fees;
• a hard line being taken by the Quebec Government in regard to universities running deficit budgets and the expectation that the under funding of post-secondary education in Quebec will continue.

Using these projections, Bishop’s can expect accumulated deficits of $2.1 million (2005-06), $4.6 million (2006-07), and $8.9 million in 2007-08 (on a budget of $40 million). One helpful measure would be to increase enrolment to 3000 students by September 2007. But reaching 3000 by 2007 is not a realistic goal, nor could our current infrastructure handle this. The next few years will be crucial for Bishop’s University, in fact for all Quebec universities. The belief that the government will take care of our deficits is not a reality – Bishop’s must look at different opportunities/projects to increase or diversify our revenue base. Let me be clear; we will not solve our financial situation through budget cutting. Our problem is not expenses (although the solvency deficit with the pension is a significant problem); it is revenues. Declining government funding and imposed tuition fees mean we have little, if any, control over our “traditional” revenue source.

Quebec universities will continue to lobby both the provincial and federal governments for increases to post-secondary education spending, but this cannot be our only strategy. Our financial projections must serve as the impetus to transform Bishop’s, while maintaining and building on our strengths.
 
e-Mail this to a friend  |  Privacy Statement
Please visit www.ubishops.ca feedback?
© 2007 Bishop's University. All rights reserved.