PPP Task Force Report Released

October 02, 2013 - Campus Bulletin

A completed report from the Program Prioritization Process (PPP) Task Force is being released to the University of Guelph community this week.

Provost Maureen Mancuso, who is leading the prioritization effort, says it’s crucial that members of the University community be well-informed and encouraged to engage in discussions about the PPP report.

The report is available online for members of the community with a valid U of G login and password.

The PPP report will be discussed at a two-hour Open Community Forum Oct. 10 at noon in Peter Clark Hall; all members of the University community are encouraged to attend, Mancuso says.

As well, Mancuso and president Alastair Summerlee have scheduled meetings with the colleges, student leaders and employee groups.

The PPP is an addition to the assessment component of the University’s integrated planning (IP) cycle. The PPP rankings and recommendations, in conjunction with other IP-based metrics, will be used to set initial unit budget targets to help the University address a projected funding gap of $32.4 million over the next three fiscal years.

The allocation of those budget targets will be presented Oct. 10 with the PPP Task Force Report and the overview of a process for making reinvestments.

Although U of G has already reallocated $46 million within its operating budget during the past four years to balance the budget, planning assumptions show a continuous annual gap between expected new revenues and expense increases, mainly due to compensation costs, Mancuso says.

The PPP is intended to help the University make informed decisions and to ensure that limited resources are used for services and programs that are “mission-critical,” Mancuso says. “We are living and working in an era where governments will not fund institutions in the same way.

“We must establish ourselves in our areas of strength and ensure those areas are well supported in order to compete for the funding that is available,” she says. “In doing so, we must make decisions that are balanced, transparent and evidence-based.”

U of G launched the PPP last fall to identify and rank all academic and non-academic programs and services. There have been general town hall meetings and specific training sessions for those unit managers and department heads who submitted information about programs for the review.

The 21-member task force was a key part of the PPP. It reviewed and ranked program information submitted by units; the rankings are included in the report.

The report also offers numerous recommendations and opportunities for restructuring, generating revenue, forming partnerships and enhancing strategic priorities.

The next task will be to develop the plans necessary to close the $32.4-million projected funding gap, Mancuso says. “The PPP will only be one piece of information used to help inform the development of those plans. It is not as simplistic as saying all the programs in the bottom quintile will be eliminated.”

As in the previous round of differentiated budget reductions, units will be required to prepare detailed plans on how they will achieve their allocated target.

Any decisions regarding the implementation of those plans will go through the University’s normal governance processes that end with the Board of Governors and Senate. For example, academic organizational changes or changes to academic programs must go through Senate, and the impacts of meeting budget reduction targets are included in the annual budget that is approved by the Board of Governors. Senate will have an initial opportunity to discuss the PPP report during its Oct. 9 meeting.

University of Guelph
50 Stone Road East
Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1