Finance Committee


Finance Committee Terms of Reference

A. Mandate

The Finance Committee is a standing committee of the Board of Governors constituted for the oversight of policy and other matters to ensure effective management of University financial resources and financial risks. A key objective of its work is to enable the strategic allocation of sufficient financial resources for the University to deliver on its mission and maintain a sound fiscal condition both in the immediate and longer-term.

The Committee’s primary responsibilities include:

  • Establishment, review and oversight of a Board of Governors policy framework concerning financial matters including those associated with the acquisition and disposition of capital assets.
  • Oversight and advice on the University’s long-term financial planning, including its activities directed to financial risk assessment and risk management.
  • Oversight and advice on operating and capital budget planning and expenditure oversight, including attention to both the University’s immediate and long-term financial health
  • Oversight and advice on operating and capital financing, including debt management
  • Oversight and advice on the establishment, operations and investment management of University endowments, excluding the Heritage Fund
  • Oversight and advice on University fundraising targets and progression toward them

B. Committee’s Responsibilities Include

1. Financial Policy Framework

1.1 Provide oversight and advice on a policy framework for the conduct of the University’s financial activities. The framework will include policies pertaining to operating borrowing, capital debt, the acquisition and disposition of capital assets, acceptance of gifts, acquisition and disposition of real property (working with Physical Resources and Property Committee), endowment management, and endowment investment polices (excluding the Heritage Fund). The policy framework will also incorporate policies pertaining to the identification and management of strategic financial risks.

1.2 Review and make recommendations to the Board of Governors concerning the individual policies incorporated within the above-described policy framework overseeing and making recommendations to the Board on amendments or new policies, as necessary, for the appropriate conduct of the University’s financial activities.

2. Long-Term Financial Planning & Financial Risk

2.1 Review and make recommendations to the Board of Governors concerning multi-year financial goals and related plans including those arising from the University’s Integrated Planning process and long term capital expenditure planning activities. Monitor progress of these plans and progress towards achieving long-term goals.

2.2 Monitor financial health and related risks for the University including those pertaining to government funding, capital spending, fundraising, endowments, pension plans and other post-employment benefits.

2.3 Guide the development and maintenance of financial health indicators for the University that can assist the Committee with its responsibilities for long-term financial planning and related oversight.

3. Operating and Capital Budget Planning and Expenditure Review

3.1 Review and make recommendations to the Board of Governors concerning the annual operating and capital budgets, including tuition and other student fee rates as well as ancillary operations. Recommendations will be offered in the context of multi-year financial goals and related plans and will be directed to enhancing the institution's long-term financial health.

3.2 Review and make recommendations to the Board of Governors concerning all capital project expenditures over $2 million. On behalf of the Board of Governors, the Committee will exercise authority that may be delegated to it by the Board with regard to approval of detailed financial plans for individual construction and maintenance projects, in consultation with the Physical Resources and Property Committee.

3.3 Review and make recommendations to the Board of Governors concerning the acquisition or disposition of real property, excluding those assigned to the Heritage Fund, in consultation with the Physical Resources and Property Committee.

3.4 Review and make recommendations to the Board of Governors concerning the annual integrated plan and operating budget for the University Centre.

3.5 Review on a semester basis Semester Financial Statements for the University of Guelph and the University of Guelph-Humber including financial performance against budget.

3.6 Review, at least once annually, financial statements pertaining to capital expenditures.

3.7 Review the annual Audited Financial Statements for the University of Guelph and the University of Guelph-Humber and provide recommendation(s) and/or commentary to the Audit Committee.

4. Financing and Debt Management

4.1. Review, at least once annually, a report on the University’s management of expendable funds and borrowing for operating expenses, monitoring activity in the context of relevant Board policies.

4.2 Review, at least once annually, a report on the University’s management of capital debt, monitoring activity in the context of relevant Board policies.

5. Endowed Investments

5.1 Monitor investment performance for the University’s endowments (excluding the Heritage Fund) for compliance with the related investment policy and report at least annually to the Board of Governors.

5.2 On behalf of the Board of Governors, the Committee will authorize investment oversight of the University’s endowments (excluding the Heritage Fund) to the Investment Subcommittee established by the Board of Governors.

6. Fundraising

6.1 Review and make recommendations to the Board of Governors concerning fundraising targets and monitor progress toward achievement of approved targets.

7. Other

7.1 Review annually the Committee’s mandate and recommend changes as necessary.

7.2 Conduct annual agenda planning, orientation activities and evaluation of Committee operations.

7.3 Perform such functions as may from time to time be assigned to the Committee by the Board of Governors.

C. Membership

a) Up to eight members appointed by the Board of Governors, who shall normally be members of the Board 
b) Chair, Board of Governors
c) President
d) University Secretary or designate of the University Secretary (non-voting)

Members shall not simultaneously be members of the Audit & Risk Committee.

D. Quorum

Quorum for the Finance Committee is as provided in General Bylaw 7.8: two-fifths (2/5) of the membership.

Effective: July 1, 1989 
Revised: November 16, 1995; September 28, 2000; April 7, 2004; October 2, 2008, April 14, 2010, April 20, 2011; April 17, 2012; June 5, 2014; October 16, 2018