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Introduction

The 2003-2004 Blue Book, prepared for the thirteenth year, is available in print form on the Web at /financialplanning/archives/documents/Blue Book 2003-2004.html.  Although a limited number of hard copies have been printed, we encourage you to access the Blue Book on-line.  Hard copies are available upon request from Diny van Beers at 740-6105. 

As in previous years, the Blue Book is intended as a handy reference which tracks the various stages in the preparation of the budget and provides the background to the determination of the final numbers, which make up the budget.  Its release comes shortly after the Consolidated Budget for the new fiscal year has been approved by the Vancouver Island University Board.  New in this edition is inclusion of the Financial Management Report for the previous year, which serves to some extent as the foundation for the preparation of the new budget.

The 2003-2004 budget process was relatively straight forward in comparison to other years.  However, the development of a single action plan based around a tuition increase to eliminate a projected budget shortfall of $2.7 million should not be assumed to be a simple piece of business.  The extensive consultation and discussion, which is not always evident, in the paperwork included in this Blue Book underscored the difficult decisions faced ultimately by the University Board.  In addition, the Board acknowledged that future years in which inevitable shortfalls will be experienced because of unfounded payroll and other obligations which may not be automatically solved by increasing tuition, will be difficult budget years in which our process of consultation and transparency will be all the more important.

As always, the completion of the budget process represents the culmination of a lot of hard work on the part of the direct participants, and continued interest on the part of the various stakeholder groups to be informed about the fiscal condition of the institution.