TRU looks to finish fiscal year in the black

The fiscal year will end with a surplus after all, but the pandemic has the university bracing for another year of uncertainty and deficit budget for 2021-2022.

Thompson Rivers University now expects to finish the fiscal year back in the black after long projecting a deficit from the financial ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The university is currently trending towards a $1.7 million surplus to close out the 2020-2021 budget as opposed to the previously projected $3 million deficit.

article continues below

It’s the latest estimate after a year of uncertainty in budget planning due to the impacts of COVID-19 — most notably the restrictions to international travel.

In the spring, TRU anticipated a $9 million budget surplus would swing to a $9 million deficit due predominantly to an estimated 30 per cent drop in international students and other ancillary revenue losses.

Come the fall, that projection changed to a $3 million deficit as international enrolment was down just 13 per cent from the previous year.

After fine-tuning the numbers of the second quarter report the university found itself projecting a surplus — albeit one that is about $6.8 million lower than the pre-pandemic one and $18.6 million lower than the prior year-end results.

TRU vice president of finance and administration Matt Milovick told KTW in December the nearly $2 million surplus projection for 2020-21 is due to the unexpected strength in enrolment — domestic numbers being about the same as last fall and more new international students than expected starting programs remotely from their home countries.

The university, however, is still forecasting at least another year of uncertainty and a deficit budget next year.

Domestic enrolment is expected to remain flat, but its still unclear what impact the pandemic will have going forward with respect to international students.

International enrolment for winter 2021 is a projected to be down seven to 10 per cent from last winter, but that will be in flux until the course add/drop date of Jan. 22.

Courses this winter semester, as in the fall, are predominantly online, but TRU hopes to offer more in-class instruction come the fall 2021 semester.

The TRU board of governors approved the 2020-2021 budget in December.

It would have been approved last in March, but due to the pandemic, the university scrapped its original budget and approved a provisional one that was approved last month once there was more certainty in the numbers for the fiscal year.

The university cut 15 CUPE employees and offered up its first-ever early-retirement program with about 75 people taking that option in the fall.

The university also deferred a number of capital projects to preserve cash and has left many positions vacant.

The 2021-2022 budget is expected to be approved under the normal timeframe come March.

© Kamloops This Week



Question of the Week POLL

Based on what you know about the COVID-19 vaccines, will you be getting inoculated against the disease?

or  view results

Popular Kamloops This Week

Events Calendar

Help Us Help Kamloops. Support Local Media.

In response to the COVID-19 crisis, Kamloops This Week is now soliciting donations from readers. This program is designed to support our local journalism in a time where our advertisers are unable to due to their own economic constraints. Kamloops This Week has always been a free product and will continue to be free. This is a means for those who can afford to support local media to help ensure those who can’t afford to can get access to trusted local information. You can make a one-time or a monthly donation of any amount and cancel at any time .

NEW: For every donation of $25 or greater, we will offer a digital advertising package to the local non-profit group of your choice.

Click on for more information or to make your donation.

Thank you in advance for your support.