(27 June 2014)  Months of cost-containment efforts, aimed at restoring Brock’s financial health, helped the University get its 2013-14 funding deficit down to $765,000 — much less than the $14.5-million shortfall original budgeted.

People all across the Brock community deserve the credit for working together to shrink the deficit.

At its annual meeting on June 26, Brock’s Board of trustees approved the final audited financial statements for 2013-14 that showed a $6.5-million 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. What this means is Brock’s structural cash flow is still running a deficit.

The University — which still has $41-million in accumulated deficits and $135-million in external debt obligations — is looking at another year with a funding shortfall.

At its June 26 meeting the Board also approved the 2014-15 funding budget with a $3.2-million deficit. The Board’s 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 for 2014-15 does not include any cost increases resulting from collective bargaining. There are three collective agreements being negotiated this year, the largest being with the Faculty Association.

Brian Hutchings, Vice-President, Finance and Administration, said “The Brock community has pulled together on this budget challenge. After we explained the situation, and held the (April 9) Town Hall meeting, we had a lot of great input. Brock people assessed the situation for themselves, and many had sensible responses. They became part of the solution, accepting change and finding efficiencies, all for the greater good.

“We are not out of the woods. 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.”