Budget Process

Dear members of the UPEI community,

In the past year, we have worked through a difficult budget process. I deeply appreciate the efforts made by everyone to work through these challenges while maintaining a high level of service to our students and stakeholders.

This year, UPEI will make two substantial changes to the budget planning process. As discussed during the most recent Deans’ Retreat on June 19, 2013, the planning process will begin earlier in the year and the University will move from developing a one-year budget to a budget that covers a three-year period. We believe this will enable us to be more proactive in improving the quality of the education we offer, and our ongoing budget communications. This longer-term plan is not without some major assumptions; for example, UPEI receives its operating grant from the Government of Prince Edward Island usually at the end of March. However, we will continue to work closely with our government partners in order to project this amount for two and three years in advance and, therefore, will have to consider several scenarios and various consequences.

Over the past month, the Office of the Comptroller has been preparing budget planning packages for each area. On August 22, 2013, the Vice-Presidents, the Deans, Comptroller and I will meet to review the academic budget, and plan for the next three years. Following this meeting, the Deans will meet with their faculties to further discussions on budget planning, and the Vice-President Academic will hold a number of meetings with the Deans for their feedback and to support them in the development of their respective budgets. Also during this period, the Vice-President Administration and Finance and the Vice-President Research will work closely with their unit directors to seek their input. A meeting with this group will be organized before the end of the month.

From these planning sessions, the Vice-Presidents and I will create a preliminary budget framework based not only on the financial reality of the day, but also integrated with the enrollment management plan and strategic plan of the University.

Once the first draft of the preliminary budget framework is developed, it will be distributed to the Senior Management Group (Deans and Directors) for their comments. After considering this feedback, I will present the second draft to the Finance and Audit Committee of the Board of Governors by the third week of September. The Finance and Audit Committee will provide its advice (which will be subsequently shared with the Senior Management Group) and a further revised draft will be sent back to the Board’s Finance and Audit Committee. While this exchange of information takes place, we will hold an open forum to discuss the draft budget with our University community. Once the process is completed and campus input has been considered, the Finance and Audit Committee will submit—by the end of October—the final draft budget to the Board of Governors for approval.

It is my hope that this modified approach of our previous budget process combined with a multi-year budget will alleviate some of the planning pressures that we have faced in the past and will make the process increasingly comprehensive and participatory. I look forward to a great academic year, and as always I welcome your thoughts.

Best wishes,

Alaa 

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