Aerial view of the main university campus

Operating Budget FAQs

FAQs - Process

In response to financial challenges, UWindsor established a Budget Balancing Committee (BBC) for the 2024/25 budget cycle. The BBC, an advisory group of managers, professionals, and executives from across the UWindsor campus community, was tasked with identifying solutions to achieve both short and long-term financial sustainability. The committee considered various factors, including provincial and operational revenue constraints, enrolment trends, service delivery quality, collective agreements, staffing levels, inflationary pressures, and the use of reserve funds. Their mandate was to identify a strategy for achieving at least $5 million in savings with as minimal impact on the student experience as possible, resulting in recommendations that were approved by the Provost Budget Committee (PBC) and included in the 2024/25 base operating budget.

The proposed budget, which includes the 1.5% realignment strategy, was then reviewed and approved by the Board. The role of the Board is is one of strategy setting and policy-making, not management or operational decision-making.  It is the role of management to implement the budget, including identifying specifics of realignment activities and implementing budget cuts, in accordance with the realignment strategy mandated by the Board through its approval of the budget.

The base budget reduction for 2024/25 is part of a multi-year strategy to realign costs with institutional revenues and maintain balanced budgets. For the operating budget 2024/25, the University was required to implement budget saving actions of $5.6 million. Despite the significant efforts to achieve the $5.6 million in savings, a base deficit of $2.8 million still exists. This realignment of $5.6 million ensures the financial sustainability of the university while continuing to fulfill our academic mission amid ongoing fiscal challenges and external pressures such as provincial policy decisions, demographics, and fluctuating enrolment.

Yes, the University's Board of Governors met on April 25, 2024 to review and approve the budget, which includes the 1.5% realignment strategy.

FAQs - Faculty and Staff

UWindsor has adopted a multi-year base budget balancing strategy. This includes a 1.5 per cent base budget reduction, finding efficiencies, responsible spending, and exploring cost-saving measures. To achieve these efficiencies, the university is committed to reimagining operations and identifying collaborative opportunities across departments. The university is also committed to finding new ways to generate revenue to balance the budget.

The University of Windsor is committed to exploring all opportunities to create efficiencies and minimize the impact on employees and service levels. However, due to significant external pressures and the need to balance the budget, staffing levels may be adjusted where necessary. The University is expecting to provide about 30 layoff notices across the entire campus. We are working with our Union partners to support those employees impacted. Collective Agreements have strong bumping language and we are working to move affected staff to other areas of the University. The University has been filling vacant positions with internal candidates and will continue to do so.  

Employees affected by these decisions have been informed of their rights under their respective collective agreements. The university is providing support during this transition to ensure affected employees are aware of their options and supports.

Yes. The University of Windsor recognizes that during this challenging time, employees may wish to seek wellness and mental health support. There are a variety of resources available: Workplace Wellness Initiatives and Employee Mental Health Strategy

Early in 2024, the University and WUFA agreed to offer an expanded retirement incentive (or voluntary contract termination program) for faculty. The program, which closed in May 2024, was a success. The University is open to other such voluntary contract termination discussions with employee groups and will continue to work openly with union partners to develop solutions that mitigate layoffs.

The current operating costs of these specific units were significantly outpacing revenue and measurable outcomes. The university faces several financial pressures, including a domestic student tuition rate freeze for a fifth consecutive year, no growth in base operating grants for several decades, and declining international student enrolment due to recent federal policy changes. Additionally, labour-related costs have increased due to salary and benefit adjustments according to collective agreements.

Each member of the Executive Leadership Team was assigned the same 1.5 per cent budget realignment as the rest of the campus.  Spending on Decanal and executive positions represents 3 per cent of the University's operating budget.

Because of the size of our University and our limited financial flexibility, UWindsor has modest reserves and contingency funds.  While one-time funding from the government and the use of reserves and contingency funds can be helpful to manage short-term austerity periods, such as in 2020/21 during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is not a sustainable solution when the University is facing multiple years of frozen tuition and a lack of clarity on international enrolment forecasts.

FAQs - Students

For the 2024/25 academic year, the tuition rate freeze continues for domestic undergraduates and graduates, which has been in place since 2019. Some domestic students, including students from outside of Ontario, and students in programs with tuition rates covered by the anomaly program, will see a small increase. International tuition for incoming students (that is, students who begin their studies starting in the Spring or Fall 2024, or Winter 2025 semesters) will see a modest increase to reflect actual cost increases and maintain financial stability. The International Student Tuition Guarantee ensures no change to tuition rates for international students throughout their degree program. To learn more about tuition and student fees, visit the Finance website.  

The university is committed to maintaining robust student support and services despite financial challenges. Key areas such as scholarships, bursaries, graduate fellowships, mental health services, career advising, registrars and academic support programs are protected from budget reductions. Efforts are focused on minimizing disruptions to essential services and reimagining student programming to enhance the experience and prepare them for future career success.

While the current operations of University Players have ceased and EPICentre will be closed, programming will be redistributed to minimize the impact on the student experience and community partnerships. No undergraduate or graduate programs are being eliminated as a result of these decisions. The School of Dramatic Art (SoDA) will explore innovative ways to deliver programs, seeking to strengthen opportunities for students, and create collaborations within the university and the theatre community. Regarding EPICentre, the university acknowledges the significance of innovation and entrepreneurship in fostering academic and community growth. The EPICentre’s reimagining will allow the university to reconfigure its approach to innovation and entrepreneurship, developing a cohesive ecosystem that includes internal and external partners.

University Players Closure FAQs