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The 2004-2005 Blue Book, prepared for the fourteenth year, is available in print form on the Web at /financialplanning/archives/documents/Blue Book 2004–05 table of contents web.htm.  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 Diane Shipclark at 250-740-6518. 

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.  Also included is the Financial Management Report for the previous year, which serves to some extent as the foundation for the preparation of the new budget.

The 2004-2005 budget was an important piece of work that not only addressed external issues but also ended up making important statements (and investments) in maintenance of quality issues throughout our institutions.  Four premises, which are connected but yet very different, formed the basis of the new budget.

  1. Dealing with inflation and funding adjustments - required us to find an additional $373,413.
  2. Tuition Plan - an increase to domestic and international fees, in line with increases at peer institutions, would realize an additional $1,550,000 (on an ongoing basis) to address inflation and contribute to the Reinvestment Plan.  The Tuition Plan was modified for 2004-2005 only to provide respite to domestic students through the use of non-recurring funds.
  3. Savings Plan - a rigorous review of existing expenditure and revenue budgets produced a plan to save $815,000 on an ongoing basis.
  4. Reinvestment Plan - the result of the first three premises permitted an ambitious plan to reinvest $2,062,714 in instruction, services, IT and non-IT equipment throughout the institution.

There is no doubt that the Board of Governors has demonstrated bold leadership in sanctioning the means to provide for such a reinvestment in the quality of the institution.  As we have been pressed more and more over the last decade to increase access, there has been a mounting concern that quantity will cause quality to erode.  This commitment will definitely begin to address that concern.

As the institution evolves and provincial expectations become more prescribed and long-term, we face challenges ahead in future budgets.  However, Malaspina has demonstrated in recent times, and notably this year, that it is capable of addressing issues, setting priorities, and finding creative budget strategies that allow us to move forward in a fiscally responsible manner.  That approach will be increasingly important in the years ahead.

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.