USC budget nearing completion

Final draft awaiting approval from council

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

As this year’s University Students’ Council Board of Directors nears the end of its term, several important issues still need to be faced. None is more important than that of the council’s annual budget.

Headed this year under the auspices of Matt Kington, VP-finance for the USC, the budgetary consultation process has been running in full force since late November, when USC managers were directed to create their ideal budgets for the coming fiscal year.

“We’re basically saying give us all your proposals, what you’d like, your ideals,” Kington said. “Then we basically say if we granted everybody everything " within reason " this is what the budget would look like.”

What follows is a process of consultation that lasts for the ensuing four months. From the early “ideal” budget, Kington explained the USC executive would identify priorities for the coming fiscal year and from there trim down requests until arriving at a balanced budget.

However, due to the growing financial storm, this year’s budgetary process was a unique one.

Kington noted the decision to put a freeze on hiring and capital expenditures was made early on when the crisis hit, and that while the USC was going to be hurt by the markets, it was not in the same situation as the university itself.

“I don’t think people really realize because the university is, in many ways, a very sheltered environment, that [Western] will be hit and the students will be hit for the next little while,” Kington said.

While Kington was unable to get into the details of the budget before the full approval process, he was pleased with the end result and felt students would be too.

“We’ve re-prioritized the way that the USC spends money with a focus on service programming and on projects that will directly advance student-related initiatives,” he noted.

The Budget Rundown: A Primer
November: USC managers are directed to create their budgets for the coming fiscal year

December: USC VP-finance collects the budgets and begins the process of consultation and consolidation

February: Consultations continue with USC general manager, controller and executive board.

March: Budget is presented to the Finance Committee, followed by the USC council and then finally by Western’s Board of Governors.

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