Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

Budget Model Review and Strategic Alignment

Thompson Rivers University has implemented a budget methodology that reflects and strengthens our shared values and priorities. As a $170+ million enterprise, our institution is undoubtedly complex, but our strategic priorities are clear. The budget methodology invests in the programs and services outlined in our Strategic Priorities.

These priorities maximize the ability of TRU to make decisions on how best to serve our education, research and service missions. The budget model supports that vision by improving the allocation of resources.

But why did Thompson Rivers University need to change its budget model? Our mission — to be a comprehensive, learner-centred, environmentally responsible institution serving regional, national and international learners and their communities through high quality and flexible education training, research and scholarship — has not changed. But the economic reality of funding that critical work has, and will, continue to change. Consider our current economic landscape.

  • Cuts to block grants from the province resulting in decreased revenue.
  • On-campus enrolments have declined resulting in less revenue from tuition.
  • The former budget model, in place since 2007, while promoting entrepreneurship and innovation, lacked consultation and the flexibility to adapt to changing circumstances. It severely limited TRU’s ability to invest in its strategic priorities.

Starting in October 2013, the institution engaged in a discussion about changing the budget methodology to reflect TRU’s needs. A Budget Model Review and Strategic Alignment Committee - BMRSA (a sub-committee of the Budget Committee of Senate - BCOS) reviewed budget methodologies employed elsewhere. Through deliberations and consultations with campus stakeholders, the new methodology achieves TRU’s agreed upon guiding principles, which include:

  • Linking resource allocation to strategy;
  • A process that is transparent, deliberate and consultative;
  • Sustainability;
  • Risk mitigation;
  • Entrepreneurship, innovation and efficiency;
  • Supporting a common TRU;
  • A process that is simple to understand and administer.

It’s important to understand the bigger picture of TRU’s current fiscal context and what this way of allocating our resources means to you and our students. The budget model was implemented in the 2015/2016 fiscal year.

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