More faculty cuts to come

Principal’s financial report outlines further cost-cutting measures

In further cost-cutting measures, several faculties will lose a significant number of appointments and salaries will be frozen, Principal Tom Williams announced yesterday during his Principal’s Report to the Community in Robert Sutherland Hall.

The Faculty of Arts and Science will lose 47 positions over the next three years. The Faculty of Law will lose two positions and the Faculty of Applied Science could lose five.

Williams told the Journal the payroll decrease wouldn’t come as a result of faculty lay-offs.

“My understanding is that [the faculties] are hopeful that they are going to have enough resignations, retirements and early retirements over the next three years,” he said. “We don’t lay faculty members off. It’s in their union contract.”

Williams said Queen’s has been told it won’t be receiving any year-end operating money from the provincial government.

“Generally what happens in government is that if they have leftover funds, some are then distributed to the universities,” Williams said. “We have been told this year we are not receiving any money from the provincial government. In past years, I’ve seen pools of upwards of $10 million dollars. ”

He said the recent decline in the world financial markets over the past year has drastically affected the school’s endowment funding.

“Since April 30, we’ve seen the value of our endowments drop by at least 22 per cent or $139 million,” he said. “This money is used mainly for student assistance and academic chairs, but endowments also contribute to the operating budget. Income from this source will continue to fall in the coming years, unless there is a significant economic rebound.”

Williams said the University will be forced to run a deficit.

“For the first time in recent history, this institution will be creating deficits which will have to be paid off over time, by further cuts to the operating budget, after the current three-year plan.”

Williams said in order to further reduce spending, the University is exploring ways to reduce its salaries and benefits budget, which constitutes 70 per cent of the school’s overall operating budget.

“We need to look at reducing our salary bill,” he said. “The ways that other universities across the continent are starting to do this include salary freezes, voluntary retirement incentives and constrained hiring, or some mix of all of the above.”

The salaries of the positions of principal, vice-principal and dean will be frozen, Williams said, adding that the length of the freeze is as yet uncertain.

Williams told the Journal it is uncertain how long the freeze will be in effect for.

“That’s something that we would have to discuss with the groups involved.”

Williams’s salary is $370, 000.

In his speech, Williams also released the findings from the seven task forces created in the fall to address “key short- and long-term issues” surrounding the University’s financial situation.

The recommendations made include reducing operations costs by using a single office supplier, recruiting Kingston area retirees as students and utilizing the campus for “new revenue generating activities” over the summer months.

Williams said in his speech the University is still uncertain as to how much it will be receiving from the $2 billion federal university infrastructure funding, announced last month.

“We’re still waiting to see how much Queen’s will get, but of course, everyone must understand this money is for capital expenditures, like ongoing building maintenance; it cannot be used to fund our operations—things like heating and lighting classrooms, salaries or student support. “

Williams said it’s still unclear as to which projects will be eligible for the funding.

“What’s frustrating is that schools are not clear as to what is eligible and what is not eligible for funding,” he said. “Some of my own sources say that the Queen’s Centre is probably not going to eligible. But the John Deutsch Centre renovations may be coming from that funding.”

For more information oin the Principal’s Report to the Community go to queensu.ca/principal/news

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