The University of Alberta’s looming structural deficit of $12 million, along with possible cuts to the province’s funding, will require an overhaul of the institution’s financial habits, said President Indira Samarasekera in her State of the University address Thursday afternoon.
The university’s two main sources of funding come from students’ tuition and the Government of Alberta’s Campus Alberta grant, the latter of which may face a cut when the province releases its 2013–14 budget on March 7, Samarasekera warned.
“We will no longer be able to take an across-the-board approach to managing budget challenges. We have reached the point where doing so threatens the quality and strength of the whole,” she said.
“This is difficult news. And I want to assure you that while it is imperative that we do act, we will not make impulsive or imprudent decisions.”
The university’s response to the imminent budgetary concerns will come mainly in the form of program cuts and renewed fundraising initiatives, especially from alumni, Samarasekera said. She added the administration has no intention of instituting a hiring freeze.
“Vertical programming cuts will have to be made, but downsourced strategically with an eye on excellence and strengthening our core academic foci,” she said.
“The aim is to make smart, strategic decisions, to devote resources to the areas of strength that distinguish us, and to focus investment in areas where we can have a significant, positive impact locally, nationally and internationally.”
The remnants of chivalry still linger today, especially in the dating world.
Talk on “commitment,” “excellence” and “unity” dominated Friday’s Board of Governors meeting, as members continue to address financial pressures and determine their next steps in the wake of the budget cut.