Board of Governors News
Financial Statements on the Table at October Meeting
Board of Governors approved the audited finan- cial statements for U of G and the University of Guelph-Humber at its first meeting of the 2009/2010 academic year Oct. 7.
The statements showed that Guelph’s endowment investments declined about 17 per cent in market value in 2008/2009 because of the negative global financial markets. B of G was told that, as a result, U of G will be suspending a significant portion of spending from endowments in 2009/2010 to protect the original capital. It was noted that some donors have offered to help protect some scholarship support affected by these restraints.
Overall, the University’s revenues increased by 8.4 per cent or $47.9 million. John Miles, assistant vice-president (finance) reminded governors that nearly all revenues are earmarked for specific programs and expenditures. For example, grants from the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities rose by eight per cent but were restricted for incremental program expenses or facilities renewal.
On the expense side, the University saw an increase of eight per cent due mainly to salary and benefit increases and the retirement/resignation incentive program.
B of G also learned that Guelph continues to make good progress towards eliminating the structural deficit through the multi-year plan, which aims to remove $46.1 million in annual (base) expenses between now and 2012. Key challenges that lie ahead are the impending pressures related to pensions and post- retirement benefits.
Guelph-Humber’s audited report showed it had total revenues of $32.7 million and total expenses of $23.7 million, ending the 2008/ 2009 academic year with an $8.9- million net revenue, reflecting the continued growth of the program.
B of G was advised of the pensions committee’s decision to change the provider of custodial services for the University’s pension and endowment funds. By the beginning of 2010, they will be handled by CIBC Mellon, which has experience managing other university pension plans and was selected through an external competition bidding process.
In other business, B of G approved a revised human rights policy, with the revision based on community feedback. The board also approved a new policy on space as a University resource and reviewed architectural drawings for the exterior renovation of the Axelrod Building, which is being retrofitted to serve as a hub for environmental teaching and research.