Dr. Lloyd Axworthy statement on 2012-2013 Operating Budget
March 28, 2012
On Monday, March 26, 2012, The University of Winnipeg financial team presented an Operating Budget 2012-2013 Overview Powerpoint to the Board of Regents.
View the Powerpoint here.
An Open Letter
Dr. Lloyd Axworthy, President And Vice-Chancellor
The University of Winnipeg is currently drafting its 2012-2013 operating budget for presentation to the Board of Regents in June. We are required by provincial legislation to present a balanced budget.
Last year we were able to include 31 tenure-track and sessional hires with more than half of those 31 positions in the Faculty of Arts. This year we are making 18 faculty and sessional appointments.
However the University of Winnipeg faces an annual funding hurdle, different from other post-secondary institutions in Manitoba.
The University of Manitoba and Brandon University receive $12,000 per student from the Government of Manitoba. By comparison, The University of Winnipeg, by far the fastest growing university in Manitoba, receives just under $6,500 per student. This is an historical imbalance that goes back decades and now exists for no rational reason.
In 2007 the Province acknowledged this funding inequity. UWinnipeg asked for a $6 million increase to the operating budget over four years to correct this problem. We received a $2 million first installment from the province in 2008-2009. We have not received an adjustment to address this historical inequity since that time.
Had funding been provided as requested, UWinnipeg would have received an additional $8.5 million over the past four years, and our annual operating grant would have risen by $4 million.
If the University of Winnipeg were funded using the same formula as other universities in Manitoba, we would be in a strong position to deal with fiscal challenges in the 2012-13 operating budget including critical upgrades to Information Technology infrastructure. We could hire more faculty, improve student services and we would be in a better position to address the burden of pension payments required as a result of decisions made by past administrations.
It is important to note that our highly successful capital campaign concluded this year and attracted more than $130 million dollars in development to our campus and surrounding inner-city community. These monies are the result of aggressive fundraising by the University and the University of Winnipeg Foundation resulting in significant private donations. All of these funds are committed to specific projects and programs and cannot be used by and have no impact on the annual operating budget of the University. The University's capital budget and operating budget are two separate streams of revenue.
The University of Winnipeg has been doing more, with less, for many years. At the same time we are expanding community learning programs to help new Canadians, Aboriginal students, war-affected children, youth in foster care and inner-city teenagers feel welcome on our campus so that they may achieve academic success and contribute to our community.
We continue to ask the Province of Manitoba for the same funding formula enjoyed by the University of Manitoba and Brandon University. It is my sincere hope that the broader community joins me in this request, so that collectively we can continue to nurture our leaders of tomorrow.
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Diane Poulin, Communications Officer, The University of Winnipeg
P: 204.988.7135, E: firstname.lastname@example.org