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The UWindsor Activity Based Budget Model

Our Vision
UWindsor aspires to be:

  • Comprehensive
  • Innovative
  • Competitive
  • Research intensive


Model Type
Responsibility-centered

Our Model Philosophy

  • Our budget model should have long-term view, and incentivize long term enrolment planning, stability and strategic growth where it makes sense.
  • Our budget model should be fair, consistently applied and fully transparent.
  • Our budget model should give Deans the flexibility to make their own financial plans, with progress against individual plans incentivized.
  • Our budget model should support the core academic and research mission and align with institutional strategy.

The UWindsor ABB Model follows the general principle that revenue-generating departments within the institutions be identified as ‘revenue centres’, meaning all revenues flow to them, and all expenses of the institution are allocated to them. A simple way to contemplate how the model logic works for the revenue centres, being the 8 academic Faculties, is to consider as a mathematical formula:

Net Position of the Faculty = Revenues Earned - Direct and Allocated Expenses

The Revenue Centers for the University are the Eight Academic Faculties, the Centre for English Language Development (CELD) and Continuing Education (CE).
All Revenue Centers will be allocated the costs of the Service Units and will contribute to the University Fund.

The cost centers (or Service Units) of the institution have been grouped together into eight “cost pools” for allocation. Each cost pool has been assigned a driver, or set of drivers, that determines how the costs are allocated across the Revenue Centers. For example, Cost Pool #3 is allocated based on the square footage on campus assigned to each Revenue Centre.

The cost pools are not aligned to the organizational structure of the University, rather are groupings of similar types of costs.

1. Financing and Finance Support Costs   2. Central Support 3. Occipancy 4. Operating Schilarships 5. Campus Community Support 6. Student Experience 7. Pre/Post Student Development 8. Research Enterprise

The Service Units are responsible for striking Service Level Agreements with the Revenue Centers that determine the levels of service to be provided and key performance indicators for the unit.

The Net Position of the Revenue Centers will either be positive (net surplus) or negative (net deficit).

Faculties with surplus contribute to the University Fund and receive base budget investments. Faculties with deficit receive subsidy and require to realign base budget.

Those Revenue Centres in a deficit position will receive subsidy through the University Fund.  The amount of subsidy, and the amount of realignment required is a negotiated amount based on the Revenue Centre’s Faculty Financial Sustainability Plan (FFSP). 

The FFSP process works under two key principles:

  1. Each Revenue Centre has its own unique challenges and opportunities.  A unique implementation plan and timeline is required for the path to sustainability for each.
  2. The definition of financial sustainability will be a different goal for each Revenue Centre.  Under the Model’s primary principle (UWindsor is a comprehensive University), it is acceptable that not all Faculties will define financial sustainability as being in a surplus position.

The FFSP’s are negotiated between the Deans/Revenue Centre Leadership and the Provost Budget Committee, Chaired by the Provost.  The FFSP’s are living documents that require annual updates.

The UWindsor ABB model includes several levers, data sets and drivers that require periodic review to ensure that they still match the institutions overall objectives. A governance structure has been established for the UWindsor ABB model to ensure it continues to function as a strategic tool for the campus.  Each Dean is represented on the Budget Model Governance Committee.

Budget model committee reports to provost budget committee reports to president

Please contact budgets@uwindsor.ca to arrange for personalized training for your department and/or to provide feedback on the budget model, to be reviewed by the Budget Model Governance Committee.