At an April 3 public meeting, Provost and Vice-President Academic Brett Fairbairn outlined the financial repercussions of the March 21 provincial budget, which left the university shortchanged after receiving just a 2.1 per cent increase to the 2012-13 operating grant. The university had asked for a 5.8 per cent grant increase.
“Prior to knowing what our provincial grant would be, we projected a shortfall of $10 million over the next planning cycle, which is 2012-16,” Fairbairn said at the public meeting. “Now that we know what the grant is, our projected gap is more likely $12-15 million in 2012-13 and $20-40 million per year until 2016.”
As the university works to tighten the gap between revenue and expenses, administration will consider institutional priorities, but cuts are inevitable, the provost said.
According to Fairbairn, budget pressures stemming from declining provincial funding is not unique to Saskatchewan and governments across the country are slashing grants to post-secondary institutions.
Fairbairn explained that budget decisions will be guided by the priorities outlined in the university’s recently approved Third Integrated Plan.
“We need to think about what we will start doing, and what we will stop doing, but we must ensure that our solutions are sustainable in the long term,” he said.
Photo: Robby Davis