APUO response to Board of Governors’ budget approval 2015-2016

On May 25, 2015 the Board of Governors approved the University’s 2015-2016 budget. In his message the Vice-President of Resources states that: “the University has adopted a series of measures to reduce spending by $10.4 million, limit expenditure growth and a number of one-time cost reductions.” Furthermore, the Vice-President goes on to claim that the University will have to “further its efforts to balance the budget over the coming years, regardless of the challenges that this entails.”

As the APUO has demonstrated on several occasions previously, the University’s financial position has been and continues to be extraordinarily strong: for more than a decade now the University has been predicting a budget deficit, which has not been borne out in reality. In fact, there has been an average annual difference between budgeted and actual deficits/surpluses of over $63.5 million, which is demonstrated in the following figure.

 

Budgeted surplus/deficit
(in thousands of dollars)

Actual surplus/deficit
(in
thousands of dollars)

Difference
(in
thousands of dollars)

2002-2003

-6,314

26,637

32,951

2003-2004

-6,784

31,774

38,558

2004-2005

1,470

49,932

48,462

2005-2006

-48,024

59,750

107,774

2006-2007

-45,429

103,402

148,831

2007-2008

-4,138

52,055

56,193

2008-2009

-9,349

16,893

26,242

2009-2010

-22,177

63,189

85,366

2010-2011

-26,826

41,466

68,292

2011-2012

-35,408

28,158

63,566

2012-2013

-51,830

-1,485

50,345

2013-2014

-20,677

15,275

35,952

Source: uOttawa Audited Financial Statements 2003-2014

While the Vice-President of Resources may recommend that “we will have to ensure strict management of our expenditures throughout the year and take major steps to maintain our financial position in the coming years”, this should not be at the cost of the University’s raison d’être, which is to provide a quality research-based learning experience for our students.

Sincerely,

The APUO Executive Committee

APUO response to VP Resources’ message on Ontario 2015 budget

On April 30, 2015 the Vice-President of Resources of the University (VP Resources) forwarded a message to all staff concerning the provincial budget for 2015. This message presented a number of arguments and claims about the financial situation at the University of Ottawa. Although some of the claims are supported by evidence and agreed by the APUO, as a whole this message is misleading in that APUO members could reach the conclusion that the University is facing a financial crisis, which is in fact not an accurate representation of the situation.

This message is a deliberate attempt to feed into the atmosphere of fear and anxiety with regard to the University’s financial situation. The APUO believes that the purpose of this message is to sow doubt in the minds of staff in order to extract concessions at the bargaining table. The University of Ottawa’s financial situation is strong and is not in a state of decline.

Please consult the attached information.