University balances budget for 20th consecutive year

News Release Release Date: May 9, 2014 11:00 a.m.

The University of Regina’s Board of Governors approved a balanced operating budget yesterday, for the 2014-15 fiscal year. This marks the 20th consecutive year that the University has balanced its budget.

“As a University, our aim is to use our resources as efficiently and effectively as possible to promote excellence in teaching, research and public service,” said Lee Elliott, Chair of the University of Regina Board of Governors. “I am proud of how this budget balances those priorities, finding efficiencies wherever possible, while still making significant investments to support our academic mission and to enhance student opportunities at our University.”

The total University operating budget for 2014-15 is just over $200 million. Highlights include:

  • $2.89 million increase to the provincial operating grant, including $600,000 for the final year of the rollout for the undergraduate nursing program and $150,000 for the introduction of a new Master of Nursing program for nurse practitioners.
  • $3.6 million increase in the budgets for academic units, not including increases in salaries and benefits to be distributed during the year.
  • $1.23 million in additional funding for scholarships and awards for graduate and undergraduate students, including $680,000 in additional provincial funding for the Saskatchewan Advantage Scholarship.
  • $458,000 in additional annual support for research activities at the University, plus one-time research funding of $129,000 for enhanced measurement of research outputs and to support work at two research centres on campus.

Students will see an increase in tuition, though rates will remain below the national average. Tuition rates will increase by 3.8% for undergraduate students and most graduate students.  These increases are partially offset by the $1.23 million in additional funding for scholarships and awards. Other supports like the Graduate Retention Program mean that Saskatchewan high school graduates who remain in the province after completing their undergraduate degree will have close to no net tuition costs if they remain resident in Saskatchewan for seven years.

To support the University’s efforts in seeking administrative efficiencies, reductions totaling $466,000 have been identified in administrative units. In addition, the funding for three vacant senior administrative positions has also been eliminated. These budget reductions, together with savings expected this fiscal year from vacancy management, have enabled the University to balance its operating budget and to identify $2.25 million to be reinvested in areas of need.

“Over the last several years, initiatives aimed at increasing enrolments, increasing retention rates and attracting international students have paid dividends and helped our University manage significant fiscal pressures,” stated President and Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Vianne Timmons. “Not only has progress in these areas helped us avoid serious reductions, it has also allowed us to make new strategic investments to enhance our services for students and strengthen our commitment to teaching, research and community service.”