The management and comprehensive delivery of resource allocations for the University includes operating budgets as well as capital and staffing needs.

Provostial Model

A Provostial model is used to determine financial resource allocations. This budgeting process is driven by the University’s academic priorities, objectives, and goals as well as its key strategic commitments. It allows the University to shift funds between Faculties as per its strategic priorities, bearing in mind that each faculty contributes in unique ways to the University.

McGill does not subscribe to an activity-based budgeting model whereby what happens in a Faculty has a direct impact on its allocation.

Allocation Processes

Operating budgets

Incremental budget requests and adjustments are administered through the following exercises and programs:

  • HR Automated Budget Feed transacts on all tenure-track salaries and events related to new hires, departures, and changes in labour distribution to update the salary budgets on a regular basis. As of August 2020, all salary events are initiated through a business process in Workday.
  • Compacts provide funding from the Academic Renewal envelope to Faculties in support of their academic needs. Typical expenditures include retirement allowances, recruitment costs, operating start-ups, enrolment incentives, new program funding and research support. The Compact process is an integrated, annual exercise done in collaboration with the Faculties to establish appropriate and meaningful targets and action plans.
  • Institutional Imperatives provide funding for non-compressible budgets such as contractual agreements, energy costs and government mandated increases. that the University must pay. This exercise is performed annually.
  • Academic Laptop Program provides a subsidy of 50% or 100% to tenured and tenure-track academic staff when purchasing laptop computers to be used for teaching purposes.
  • Financial Requests are typically submitted to the Provost and Executive Vice-President (Academic) in the form of a business case.
  • Salary Policy is the annual increase in compensation exercise for all salary groups.
  • In-year allocations relate to unplanned budgetary needs.

Academic renewal

Academic renewal refers to the University’s commitment to sustain the strategic multi-year tenure-track academic hiring plan (excluding librarians) based on foreseen retirements and premised on the promise of increased investments. The academic renewal plan establishes the University tenure-track complement targets, and is a collaboration with the Academic Personnel Office. Several mechanisms exist to effectively carry out the plan and ensure that budgets are available to academic units to pay for their tenure-track hires. Ultimately, an automated HR-Budget feed was implemented to track changes in tenure track appointments, and to automatically modify the related 1A operating budgets.

The Academic Renewal Envelope is the funding source which contributes towards the budgetary needs of the academic renewal activity.

Sign in with your McGill credentials to access more information about Academic Renewal and the HR-Budget Automated Feed.

Administrative and support staffing needs

Academic tenure track hires are evaluated and administered through the Academic Renewal Model as well as the HR Automated Budget Feed described above.

Requests to create or replace existing positions for all other types of staffing needs (e.g., administrative and support staff, non-tenure track academic, trades) are assessed on an individual basis. Responses to all requests are confirmed in a Provostial memo.

Capital projects

Most of the University capital projects are assessed, sequenced, and allocated through the new Capital Portfolio Management Process built on a strategic methodology supported by the new Project Portfolio Management platform Unifier.

This process consists of six portfolios, namely Institutional Priorities, Research, Student Life and Learning, Teaching and Learning Services, Information Technology, and Campus Development. The Director of Resource Allocations is the portfolio manager for Institutional Priorities. Most capital projects are funded through Quebec grants. Complex capital projects, some of which may necessitate supplemental funding from the issuance of a bond or new borrowing, are prioritized through the University Capital Working Group.

Sign in with your McGill credentials to access more information about the Institutional Priorities Portfolio.


Resource Allocations also administers the:

  • Annual Institutional Priorities Capital Funding Process (IPCAP) through a committee of three rotating deans with voting rights, and the Provost and Executive Vice-President (Academic) approves the final decisions; and
  • Capital start-up and base capital alteration funds.

Sign in with your McGill credentials to access more information about the Portfolio Management Process.

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