Concordia University

Message from the president: ‘We remain committed to investing in our future’

Alan Shepard provides an overview of the 2017-18 operating budget
June 12, 2017
By Alan Shepard


Concordia is ending its current academic year on several high notes.

We’ve received a record number of research grants. Our students, researchers and faculty members continue to receive recognition and awards for their work. We continue to make important gains in several prestigious rankings. Plus, more students are choosing to come to Concordia than ever before.

We’ve been able to achieve all of this within a very challenging fiscal environment in recent years.

Starting in 2010-11, Concordia faced ongoing budget reductions, along with other Quebec universities. As a result, we have incurred a cumulative reduction of more than $90 million in revenues to our operating budget.

We’ve undertaken several measures to address the impact of these budget shortfalls. These included a Voluntary Departure Program in 2014 and a Voluntary Retirement Program in 2016, along with careful financial management of our expenses.

I’d like to thank all of you for your ongoing efforts in this regard.

At the same time, our reputation has increased among prospective students. The good news is that we have seen an increase in our student population by 6.5 per cent over this same period.

2017-18 Operating Budget

Our 2017-18 operating budget, approved by the Board of Governors, includes our ongoing commitment to investing in our future as a next-generation university.

For 2017-18, the Government of Quebec has announced a 3 per cent increase for the higher education sector, totalling $85 million. This includes new funding of $32 million.

Concordia’s share of this new funding for the higher education sector is $3.2 million. While this does not offset the previous cuts, it allows us to support our Faculties in response to recent student enrolment growth.

We also need to build on the momentum we have created with our strategic directions initiatives through continued investments, such as hiring more postdoctoral students, supporting our researchers and setting the stage for an ambitious fundraising campaign we will be launching this fall.

To accomplish this, every unit is contributing to these efforts at the rate of 1.1 per cent for the Faculties and 2.5 per cent for the administrative units.

Reducing our deficit is a priority

Our 2017-18 budget projects total revenues of $473.7 million and total expenses of $477.6 million. This means we are anticipating a deficit of $3.9 million.

However, our efforts to reduce past deficits, incurred as a way to deal with unexpected budget compressions, are paying off. We have reduced our deficit by 58 per cent over the past two years. We anticipate that we will be in a position to present a balanced budget within the next two years.

Despite the financial challenges of the past several years, Concordia continues to be on an upward trajectory as a next-generation university.

We’ll be holding a series of budget conversations this fall to provide you with more details.

I am optimistic about our future and I believe we are on the right track. I thank you for your ongoing commitment and dedication to making our university the best it can be.

Alan Shepard


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