University of Saskatchewan holds fourth financial town hall
Posted February 26, 2013
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE- February 26, 2013
Saskatoon – The University of Saskatchewan held its fourth financial town hall today to provide updates on budget challenges being faced by the institution. The university projects a deficit of $44.5 million by 2016 if no actions are taken.
“We have the time to take a four year approach involving the entire campus community in the process, and we intend to take the time to make the best decisions,” said Provost and Vice-President Academic Brett Fairbairn at today’s town hall. “The result will be a stronger university—more focused, more accountable, and ultimately more successful in fulfilling our mission of teaching and research, and our priorities such as research intensity and Aboriginal engagement.”
The focus of the town hall was on two main budget savings initiatives – TransformUS, a simultaneous review of all programs and services supported by the operating budget, and workforce planning, a review of the university workforce to ensure it has the right people with the right knowledge, skills and experience in the right positions and aligned with the university’s priorities.
An announcement regarding the membership of the TransformUS task forces, one responsible for reviewing and ranking all academic programs and one responsible for reviewing and ranking all support services and programs, will be made next week. Their final report including recommendations is due to the president by November 30.
With respect to workforce planning, fifty positions in 13 units across campus have been eliminated since November with a large focus on administrative positions. The following units have made position reductions - Arts and Science – Division of Humanities and Fine Arts (5), Campus Safety (1), Centre for Continuing and Distance Education (1), Consumer Services (7), Corporate Administration (2), College of Dentistry (2), Edwards School of Business (5), Information and Communications Technology (2), Provost’s Office – Institutional Planning and Assessment (2), College of Law (3), University Library (12), College of Nursing (2), and Student and Enrolment Services Division (6). Further adjustments will be announced in April.
“In addition to TransformUS and workforce planning, we are also looking at ways to become more efficient, primarily in our administrative functions, such as our travel and expense system, streamlining our procurement processes, reducing or eliminating internal billings, and reviewing our fee-for service activity,” said Greg Fowler, acting vice-president finances and resources.
To date the university has reached approximately $5 million in permanent savings by 2016, through workforce planning, eliminating a planned increase to college and unit non-salary budgets, and refining preliminary estimates.
For more information and updates, please visit www.usask.ca/finances. The next financial town hall will be held on May 23, 2013 from 12:00 pm -1:00 pm in Convocation Hall.
For more information, contact:
Gillian Galambos, Communications Coordinator