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Concordia president provides budget update

University takes steps to address new round of compressions
September 24, 2014
By Alan Shepard

A series of budget conversations is planned later this fall A series of budget conversations will be held later this fall. | Photo by Concordia University

I have spoken with many of you about our collective enthusiasm for Concordia and for the year ahead. While there is much to celebrate, the reality is also that we are living in a very challenging fiscal environment.

At a recent meeting of the Board of Governors, I provided a revised 2014-15 budget and our proposed steps to address the budget compressions for this fiscal year, as well as those foreshadowed for the next.

As you know, for the past three years, Concordia and all Quebec universities have had to manage important compressions in operating funds. Accordingly, we have been fiscally prudent and we have taken a careful approach in our preparation of the budget that was approved by the Board in April.

However, with the adoption of a budget by the Government of Quebec in June, it was clear we would need to make adjustments to our 2014-15 budget, aligning it with government allocations and expectations.

Indeed, the government was facing further constraints on its own budget as it grappled with a number of fiscal pressures. This has now translated into additional constraints on university budgets across Quebec. The government has also indicated that universities must reduce operating expenses. In addition, no operating deficits are permitted in 2014-15.

To address these budget compressions, we are introducing a Voluntary Departure Program for administrative and support staff — an idea that was repeatedly suggested during our community budget conversations where we asked Concordians for ideas on how to save, find efficiencies and make reductions.

You will find more details about this program on Cspace. In the coming weeks, you can expect an invitation to participate in one of the many information sessions about this program, and look for news in the NOW newsletter. As well, Provost Benoit-Antoine Bacon and Chief Financial Officer Patrick Kelley will once again co-host a series of budget conversations.

In the midst of these challenges, it continues to be important, however, to build the future of our university. To do this we must use our resources effectively and as strategically as possible, sustaining what is already strong and positioning ourselves in the higher education landscape of the 21st century.

Concordia continues to make great strides in enhancing its reputation around the globe — we have a bright future that will require all of us to be resilient, resourceful and innovative.

Alan Shepard

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