Dear members of the UBC community.
Just over half a year ago, the World Health Organization declared the outbreak of COVID-19 a pandemic and B.C.’s provincial health officer declared a public health emergency.
In the past six months, COVID-19 has had a profound impact on all of us, on individuals, on cities, provinces and nations, and on institutions, including, of course, UBC.
Au cours des six derniers mois, le COVID-19 a eu un impact profond sur nous tous, sur les individus, sur les villes, les provinces et les nations, et sur les institutions.
Today, I’d like to give you an update on the state of the university.
UBC has been affected of course, but I am happy to say that the impact has been less pronounced than we projected.
Enrolment numbers are holding well at or modestly above pre-COVID expectation. We have experienced a decrease in other revenues, and, of course, we have faced unexpected expenditures related to supporting students through emergency bursaries, and the costs of supporting the transition to online learning.
Based on the latest enrolment data, the University is currently expecting a consolidated deficit in the range of $160 to $185 million for the year ending March 31, 2021, compared to the budgeted deficit of $225 million. However, these are still projections, and we continue to be optimistic, but vigilant.
We are shifting resources to ensure continuing support for learning, teaching and research, and our previously announced faculty renewal.
Faculty and unionized staff have received their negotiated General Wage Increases and the merit/performance based increase program will proceed for Management and Professional, Executive Administrative Staff, Non-Union Technicians & Research Assistants, Farm Workers, Excluded Management and Professional and Service Unit Directors. However, the President and Vice-Presidents have chosen to freeze their compensation and to forgo any merit increases. Associate Vice-Presidents and Deans have also agreed to no increases.
We are transitioning non-urgent expenditures to later years, as well as curtailing discretionary spending. We will continue to assess our financial situation as more definitive data is available and will take a long-term view to fiscal management.
We are fortunate: UBC is a resilient and financially robust institution with amazing faculty, staff and students. By working together and continuing to focus on the health and wellbeing of our diverse and inclusive community, and on our core academic mission, we will emerge stronger than ever before.
En terminant, je tiens à vous remercier encore une fois pour tous vos efforts. Comme je l’ai mentionné la semaine dernière, nous devons tous rester vigilants afin de nous protéger, de protéger nos amis, nos familles et notre communauté.
Restez en sécurité et meilleurs voeux.
In closing, I would like to thank you again for all your efforts. As I mentioned last week, we all need to stay vigilant in order to protect ourselves, our friends and families and our community. I am proud that the UBC community is doing its part.
As you know, each week I’ve been sharing a hashtag songsofcomfort musical piece. The series was started by Yo-Yo Ma, and I’ve been sharing selections on my Twitter, Instagram and Facebook accounts to offer a little comfort and beauty during the Pandemic.
If you’re interested in contributing, please share a raw video clip of you playing (or singing) part of the piece of your choice, along with a short bio and your social media handle. You can also include a few words about why you chose that piece. Please send the video to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to hearing from you.
For my #songsofcomfort selection this week, I’m pleased to present Tze Liew, a Marketing and Communications Assistant at the UBC School of Music, who will sing Nella Fantasia (Gabriel’s Oboe) from The Mission as a tribute to composer Ennio Morricone, who recently passed away at the age of 91.
Enjoy and stay safe.
Santa J. Ono
President and Vice-Chancellor