ANU’s Vice-Chancellor Ian Young has announced he’s planning to trim his budget by $40 million (or 5% of revenue):
We are not alone in having global and national financial circumstances cut into our bottom line.
Investment returns have declined in recent years. The 2012 budget indicates investment returns will be $30 million less than in 2011. This reduction directly impacts on the funds available to operate the University.
In addition, the significant capital investments made in recent years mean that depreciation costs have increased by approximately $10 million compared with 2011.
A number of these issues were discussed in my 13 December 2011 email to staff on the 2012 University recurrent budget.
These external factors, together with substantial wage increases (4.5 per cent in 2012) and services expenses (increase of $26 million in 2012) have meant that the 2012 budget has a projected surplus of only $14 million, or less than 1.5 per cent of total revenue.
The sector average is 4 per cent, a figure which the Commonwealth monitors as a measure of financial health.
We have now reached a point at which there is no option but to take bold action. If we do not act to reduce spending the University will be unable to invest in excellence, and will suffer a gradual decline in international standing and quality.
To bring things in he’s planning to cut $25 million in staff expenses and $15 million to improve business practices.