By McGill Reporter Staff
Because McGill had already anticipated another round of funding cuts from the Quebec government, the University is well placed to weather this next round of spending reductions, Principal Suzanne Fortier told Senate Wednesday afternoon.
“We had anticipated that the (Quebec) budget would not have the kind of resources that had been talked about earlier,” she said. “The figures are not what we would like to see, but we had prepared for them. We are not in a crisis situation.”
McGill is still processing the complex details of what are called the Règles budgétaires, a 180-page book of spending details that was delivered to universities at the beginning of September, four months into the fiscal year.
Asked how long it will take until McGill comes up with firm numbers in terms of the size of the provincial funding reductions, Prof. Fortier said it could be a month before an in-depth analysis is complete and some erroneous assumptions the government has made are corrected.
In addition, Vice-Principal (Administration and Finance) Michael Di Grappa told Senate he had attended a meeting of his counterparts at other Quebec universities Wednesday morning, at which it was decided to seek a meeting with senior government officials to try to clear up considerable confusion over the actual extent of spending cuts for universities. Getting that meeting could take three or four weeks, he said.
In material prepared in response to a written Senate question on the effects of the Quebec budget on McGill’s operations, it was pointed out that when the University’s Board of Governors approved the 2015 budget last April, it was anticipated that the Quebec government’s operating grant to the University would be $360 million. That budget included a $7-million deficit for the University. Following recent spending updates from the province, that grant is now forecast to be about $345 million. But it is too soon to know the effect on the deficit.
As firmer numbers are developed, a program of consultations will be established as needed this fall to discuss the budget shortfall.