Facing fiscal realities while planning for a prosperous future
Last month, the university led a series of town halls to share the budget planning process and considerations for the 2023-24 academic year, and to solicit feedback from our community members on what matters most to them in planning for the future.
We heard from our community that teaching and learning, mental health and well-being, and campus safety were priorities, as was transparency throughout the budget process itself. The town halls were a valuable opportunity for conversation between the administration and our students, faculty and staff and we thank those who were able to attend in person or virtually.
University faced with numerous fiscal challenges
In the spirit of transparency and in support of prudent fiscal planning it is important for all of our community members to be aware that the university is currently experiencing a budget gap of at least $16.9 million. This is the result of a number of on-going challenges, including frozen domestic tuition fees since 2019, fixed enrolment corridors, and limited government funding. These challenges have been compounded by the lingering effects of the pandemic including inflation and a negative impact on international student enrolments.
To support the financial health of our university, all units have been asked to plan for a 3.5 per cent base budget reduction across the university. All departments have been asked to assess their current budgets to make a reduction; this review and collaboration has been taking place over the last number of weeks. Leaders have been asked to submit their plans for 2023-24, including how they will reduce their budget by 3.5 per cent.
This is a genuinely challenging time not only for TMU, but also for other Ontario universities and the post secondary sector more broadly. The university does expect constrained operating revenues to continue while costs will continue to increase due to normal escalations and new inflationary pressures.
Difficult choices now, to protect a promising future ahead
While a university-wide budget reduction is challenging, the university’s future remains bright - our commitment to entrepreneurship and innovation, the location of our diverse and urban campus as well our continued plans for growth, including a School of Medicine in Brampton, are just a few of the reasons we are on a continued trajectory of success.
As we move through this time of fiscal restraint, we will remain committed to advancing our key priorities:
- Protecting the university's core mission of teaching, learning and research
- Maintaining an exceptional student experience
- Planning for fiscal success and security in the years ahead
- Maintaining our commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion
The university is committed to supporting our leaders in making these necessary changes, and to a transparent process as we work together to protect our fiscal health. Community members who are interested in learning more about the university’s budget process for the 2023-24 academic year are encouraged to visit our budget webpage.