Message from the Interim President: Board approves balanced budget

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The following message was emailed to students, staff, and faculty on April 2, 2024. 

Dear Members of the University Community,

Earlier this evening, the UPEI Board of Governors approved the 2024–2025 operating budget. The University is making substantial investments in our people, particularly those involved with providing frontline services to students, staff, and faculty. The total budget for the University is just under $183 million dollars, up from $164 million in 2023–2024 and $139 million in 2022–2023. The budget is balanced and includes growth of almost 12 per cent in both revenues and expenses. Salary and benefits for faculty and staff comprise 73 per cent of expenses in the 2024–2025 budget.

In preparation for this budget, we identified that student success and employee supports would be our priorities. In the wake of the release of the University of Prince Edward Island Review in June 2023, the University consulted with the community and developed the UPEI Action Plan, which was supported by Senate and approved last week by the Board. We began the necessary investments in these areas in December 2023, with the creation of an Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) and Human Rights department, and additional support in Student Affairs. With this budget we are investing further in these areas, as well as adding capacity in Human Resources and Security Services.

The 2024–2025 budget allocates new core funding to support the hiring of additional tenure-track faculty members in the Faculty of Indigenous Knowledge, Education, Research and Applied Studies (IKERAS), as well as in other strategic areas. In addition to the growth in IKERAS, all other faculties see substantial growth in their budgets, ranging from 4.3 to 11.5 per cent. All told we are growing the academic and research budget, which includes student affairs, by 11.4 per cent. Additionally, we are continuing to invest in information technology improvements that touch our learning and work environments every day and enhance the safety and security of our networks.

All of this growth comes at substantial financial cost. We are grateful for the support given to us by the provincial government, but we also need to continue to grow internal resources. UPEI continues to have the lowest domestic undergraduate tuition fees in the region according to the Maritime Provinces Higher Education Commission. In 2023, UPEI undergraduate tuition was 24 and 29 per cent below the regional average for domestic and international students, respectively. To support and meet the financial needs of our academic programs, both domestic and international tuition at UPEI and the Atlantic Veterinary College will increase by 5 per cent.

As we prepared our budget for 2024–2025, the impact of changing student visa rules remained unclear. Because the number of returning international students (with existing visas) is relatively high compared to senior students expected to graduate, we are basing our budget on status-quo student numbers for the coming year. Should student numbers not reach expectations, adjustments to the budget during the year may be required.

If you have questions about the operating budget, please join me for the UPEI Budget Update 2024–2025 on Wednesday, April 3, 2024, in the Alex H. MacKinnon Auditorium, Don and Marion McDougall Hall, Room 242 at 3:30 pm. (Click here for Zoom link)

I want to thank everyone who was involved in the development of this year’s budget. The growth we are experiencing will allow UPEI to continue as a vital part of the PEI landscape—bringing educational opportunity, cultural enrichment, population and diversity enhancement, and economic advancement to the province.




GREG KEEFE, DVM, MSc, MBA (he/him)
President and Vice-Chancellor (Interim)

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