The UBC Budget represents the financial plan for the university — it serves as a roadmap to allocate the university’s revenues against anticipated expenses.
The budget process is a collaboration between the university’s Provosts’ teams, who lead the alignment of the budget to UBC’s academic strategy, with central finance and the distributed faculty and administrative unit finance teams.
During the fiscal year, UBC faculties and administrative units are responsible for managing their finances within the budget for their respective areas. Each year in September these units complete their budget review and, through that process, submit their priorities for the year ahead.
Creating the 2021/22 Budget
In November 2020 UBC’s finance and Provosts’ teams began meeting with faculty and administrative unit leadership across the university, to assess planning in each area against UBC’s Strategic Plan. This process not only helps to ensure that financial planning across the university is aligned with UBC’s strategic priorities, but also encourages collaboration and knowledge-sharing across all academic and administrative groups.
Early in 2021 key groups across the university were also updated through engagement sessions aimed at sharing information on the budget process and developments for the upcoming fiscal year.
This year those groups included:
- Academic heads/directors of units
- Associate vice-presidents
- Elected student leadership
- Senior staff
- Senate Budget Sub-Committees of the Budget Committee of the Council of Senates (Vancouver and Okanagan)
- University Executive
This work led to the production of a draft budget covering the period from April 1, 2021, to March 31, 2022 (the fiscal year). The draft budget reflects the strongest areas of alignment with UBC’s strategic priorities.
While budgets for the Vancouver and Okanagan campuses are determined separately, they are combined in the annual Budget Report before being presented to the Board of Governors for consideration. The standard timeline for the development of UBC’s budget is as follows:
UBC’s budget for 2021/22 was formally presented to the Board of Governors on April 19, 2021, and approved.
For the development of the 2021/22 budget, the university has not been in typical circumstances given the ongoing impact of COVID-19 — not only on our financial position, but on our entire community. While the process that led to the development of this year’s budget has adjusted to reflect this, meaningful engagement has remained the cornerstone of the university’s financial planning approach.
The Impact of COVID-19 on the Budget Process
The 2021/22 budget process has been unique for a variety of reasons — from our transition to collaborating through online channels, to our shared efforts in supporting UBC’s academic mandate and priorities while effectively responding to the continuously-changing demands of COVID-19.
The knowledge and experience gained through the 2020/21 fiscal year has enabled UBC’s finance teams to identify key areas that have potential to be particularly impacted by COVID-19. As part of this cycle’s budget process, the approach has included the preparation of a sensitivity analysis that explores how various scenarios could further impact key areas, and identifies possible mitigating strategies that could be taken. By being proactive and fiscally prudent, we have set a solid foundation for the university’s finances for future years.
The Budget Report is now publicly available for the 2021/22 fiscal year.