UBC 2023/24 budget to be approved in April after Board of Governors committee defers vote

The Board of Governors Finance Committee deferred the approval of UBC’s 2023/24 budget at its meeting on Wednesday.

Following previous years’ budget processes, the committee was expected to recommend the draft budget be approved by the full Board at its meeting on Friday, March 31.

Instead, the committee recommended UBC continue 2022/23 base budget allocations and release $800,000 for food security initiatives, an item that had been discussed earlier in the open session.

The 2023/24 budget presentation and approval was deferred to a future meeting.

Finance Committee chair Azim Lalani said during the meeting that, based on discussions during an earlier closed session, UBC administrators requested extra time to revise the draft 2023/24 budget and proposed Trek Endowment spending increase. Lalani also said other funding requests could be made to the committee as required.

The university’s fiscal year and 2022/23 budget end on March 31.

A draft 2023/24 budget had already been posted, which planned for a $3 million operating budget surplus and a $70 million consolidated budget surplus. The consolidated budget includes “restricted funding that is set aside for a specific purpose,” according to the report.

Thirty-eight per cent of operating revenues were supposed to come from BC government transfers, and 41 per cent from tuition.

In a statement to The Ubyssey, Yale Loh, UBC’s treasurer, said the Board asked the university to find ways to reduce costs and seek new sources of revenue during the Finance Committee meeting this week.

“While UBC’s overall financial health and profile remains strong with very high credit ratings, the committee felt it important to recognize the current economic circumstances, their potential impact on the longer term position of the university, and the role of the endowment in supporting the core academic mission,” Loh wrote.

Loh said UBC expected to complete the revisions and seek approval for the updated budget by mid-April, which he said is in line with the submission requirements by the provincial government.

This approval will likely require a special Finance Committee and full Board of Governors meeting. The next Finance Committee meeting is in June, while the next Board meeting is in May.