Brock’s Board of Trustees, at its annual meeting June 26, approved the University’s audited financial statements for 2013-14, as well as the new operating budget for 2014-15.
The numbers for 2013-14 showed that months of cost-containment efforts aimed at restoring financial stability helped reduce the year’s structural cash deficit to $765,000, and that one-time events produced a $6.5 million accrual surplus for the year.
The difference between the $765,000 deficit and the $6.5-million surplus comes down to the difference between cash accounting and accrual accounting. To learn more about the difference, see the 2014-15 Brock Budget Book. While the accrual accounting result is positive, Brock manages to the funding budget, as it represents the structural cash requirements of the University to pay the bills.
The budget for 2014-15, meantime, continues to show a $3.2-million deficit for the year, although Board approval was conditional on the deficit being eliminated in-year, through mitigation efforts that include continuing the six-month hiring delay. The $3.2-million deficit figure does not allow for any cost increases that result from collective bargaining this year. There are three collective agreements being negotiated this year, the largest being with the Faculty Association.
What this means is Brock’s structural cash flow remains in deficit. The University still has $41-million in accumulated deficits and $135-million in external debt obligations.
“We are not out of the woods,” said Brian Hutchings, Vice-President, Finance and Administration. “Brock has a large deficit and a debt load, and several years of hard work ahead of us to make the university strong and in control of its future. But when everyone joins in, we will get there.”
Other initiatives at the annual meeting included
- approving nominating new Board members and appointing John Suk as its new chair
- renaming Meter Road as Flora Egerter Way, honouring the woman who in the 1950s initiated the movement to create a new university in Niagara; and
- approving the collection of ancillary fees on behalf of the Brock University Students Union and the Graduate Student Association