A New Challenge Ahead
Fiscal Year 2015 (May 1, 2014 to April 30, 2015)
Over the last two years, the Quebec government has imposed deep cuts on universities’ operating budgets. As we emerge from the $250 million cuts imposed on the network between December 2012 and April 2014, we find ourselves facing more serious reductions.
For McGill, the new reductions could represent an operating shortfall of up to $34 million this fiscal year , FY2015 (May 1, 2014 to April 30, 2015). The government also announced that next fiscal year, FY2016, is likely to be equally difficult for universities.
We addressed last fiscal year’s, FY2014, operating cuts head-on, with a cost-reduction package that allowed us to cut $43 million from our operating spending by the end of the year. This was a difficult task, but we reached our objective thanks to the efforts and the dedication of McGillians from all corners of the University. As a result, we have gained a stronger footing from which to address FY2015, deeper than anticipated, operating cuts.
Our challenge now will be to address the operating shortfall this year, FY2015, while we continue to protect our academic and research missions. It is becoming apparent that limited operating budgets are our “new normal” – at least over the next while. We cannot be fatalistic, but we must be realistic.
This is why, now more than ever, in every corner of our University, at every level, we need to stay the course by:
• Preserving the savings we realized in FY2014 through the Voluntary Retirement Program (VRP);
• Continuing to make strategic choices with how we spend our limited operating dollars;
• Evaluating how we do things and why we do them; and asking ourselves tough but necessary questions about what we need to do more of, what we have to do differently, and what we must stop doing;
• Continuing to work with the Quebec government to gain more flexibility in our operating revenue streams.
McGill has solid strategic academic and research plans in place, including ASAP and our Principal’s five priorities. These plans have guided our budget planning over the years, and they will continue to guide our choices in the future. Our commitment to the quality of our academic and research missions remains intact.
The months ahead will continue to be challenging. Even as the community is recovering from the retirement of many of our colleagues last year, we must rally once more to face further operating cuts. As far as we can tell, this will be our “new normal” for the next while.
We have faced cuts and adversity before, but our community remains a special place to study and work. As we adjust to on-going challenges, we are going to continue to make sure that stays true.
This website will remain a clearinghouse for up-to-date information, including:
• A timeline of events: how we got here, and where we’re going
• Details on our actions to face the situation.