Frequently Asked Questions

      • For more frequently asked questions about the 2014-2015 Budget, please read the 2014-2015 Budget FAQs (PDF), published on June 23, 2014.

         General

        1. Will there be budget cuts this year?  
        2. How will budget decisions be made? 
        3. What is the budget process this year? How are decisions on the budget being made and communicated? 
        4. What are my opportunities to provide input into the budget process? 
        5. Can't we just make across-the-board cuts and reduce operating expenses across the entire university? 
        6. What is happening with the Academic Plan and how does it impact the budget? 
        7. Why does Capilano University place such a strong emphasis on international students? 
        8. Is the reputation of the University suffering as a result of the budget cuts last year and potential cuts this year?

        Students

        1. Can a new student fee be added to offset the budget?
        2. Is my program at risk of being cut?
        3. What are my opportunities to provide input into the budget process?
        4. Will my tuition fees increase?
        5. Will any student services be discontinued?
        6. What is the university's 'teach-out policy' for suspended programs?

        Finance

        1. Why are we not able to use our reserves to balance the budget? 
        2. Have the administrative salaries at the university increased over time? 
        3. What is the difference between one-time funds and ongoing funds? 
        4. Does the average class size of 35 students break even? 
        5. How do Capilano's tuition costs compare with others? 
        6. How do we know Capilano is being fiscally responsible?
        7. Can we use different accounting policies that might have a positive effect on our financial position? 

        Foundation

        1. Are we able to use donations to cover ongoing expenditures?
        2. Are donors withdrawing their donations from the Foundation to express their disappointment at budget cuts?

        General

        1. Will there be budget cuts this year?

        2. The current budget forecast indicates an approximate $2.5-3 million shortfall. All options will be explored in order to deliver a balanced budget, as required by the University Act, including: increasing revenue generation, finding greater efficiencies, reducing services, and suspending programs and courses.

        3. How will budget decisions be made?

        4. This year's budget decisions will seek to:

          • maximize the opportunities for students and augment the student experience,
          • minimize the impact on faculty and staff; and
          • enhance university programs.
        5. What is the budget process this year? How are decisions on the budget being made and communicated?

        6. The budget process is established by the University Act and the Board policy governing the budget. The Board of Governors must fulfill its fiduciary responsibility and produce a balanced budget. They also take into consideration the financial and academic sustainability of the institution. For information on the university's budget process timeline and opportunities for input and feedback, please see the 2014-15 Budget website.

        7. What are my opportunities to provide input into the budget process?

        8. There are a number of opportunities for people to engage in a dialogue about the budget. These include the joint SBAC and university budget information sessions, the SBAC's online input form, direct feedback to your Dean or Director, among others. Your ideas about cost-savings and efficiencies, new sources of revenue, and other solutions that will continue to put students first, are welcome.

        9. Can't we just make across-the-board cuts and reduce operating expenses across the entire university?

        10. Although across-the-board cuts seem like an equitable approach, the impacts would be felt quite differently, depending upon the faculty or department. Every part of the University has participated in cost reductions to a greater or lesser degree in the past. Depending on the degree and nature of previous cuts, across the board cuts could result in severe impacts in some areas.

        11. What is happening with the Academic Plan and how does it impact the budget?

        12. Please see the Academic Plan site for the latest updates on the development of the plan. An academic plan articulates a vision and is a road map. It does not normally address immediate factors such as capacity, resources or financial circumstances.

        13. Why does Capilano University place such a strong emphasis on international students?

        14. Capilano University is committed to providing a quality education for all students. International students enrich our classes by providing an international learning experience for all students, enabling us to deliver on our commitment to provide graduates with relevant skills, including a global perspective. Annual international student tuition contributes approximately $8.3 million to Capilano University operations.

          Partnerships with international post-secondary institutes create opportunities for students to study abroad and prepare them for a future within the global community. Employers place a premium on students with international experience.

        15. Is the reputation of the University suffering as a result of the budget cuts last year and potential cuts this year?

        16. An institution's reputation is built over time, through the words and actions of those associated with it. Since its inception, Capilano has worked hard to build a positive reputation in this community and beyond. In 2008, when Capilano became a university, its profile was further heightened through the support of the community; and its reputation enjoyed a positive boost. This reputation inspires: students to select the University for their post-secondary education; industry to partner with Cap; and donors' confidence in Capilano as a great investment. Any time an institution is faced with challenges, its reputation is potentially affected.

         Finance

         
        1. Why are we not able to use our reserves to balance the budget?

        2. Our reserve is made up of prior year's surpluses. We are not permitted to spend the reserve without the approval of the Ministry of Advanced Education and the Ministry of Finance. Capilano and other B.C. universities have made requests to access their reserves, but so far those requests continue to be denied.

        3. Have the administrative salaries at the university increased over time?

        4. Administration includes deans, directors, vice presidents and the president. Capilano currently has three vice presidents, down from five in 2010-11. Capilano's administrative salaries are set by the Post-Secondary Employment Association (PSEA) and are less than the median at other post-secondary institutions. The Ministry has not granted administrative salary increases since 2009 whereas faculty (represented by the CFA) are currently negotiating and the system has received a staggered 4% increase beginning January 2013, where staff (represented by COPE) have finished bargaining a 4% staggered wage increase beginning December 2012.

        5. What is the difference between one-time funds and ongoing funds?

        6. Ongoing items, such as salaries or the janitorial contract continue year over year. One-time items such as the Aboriginal Student Centre or the Bosa Centre are unique, one-off expenses.

        7. Does the average class size of 35 students break even?

        8. If all real costs like support (e.g. registration, counselling, advising, IT, etc.) and infrastructure expenses (e.g. heat, water, light, etc.) are included, student tuition does not cover our costs.

        9. How do Capilano's tuition costs compare with others?

        10. Our average student tuition is $3,470 whereas the average among other comparable universities is $4,120. Our tuitions have been low historically and are limited by the government. Because our tuition is lower, a 2% increase results in our tuition increasing at a slower rate than all other comparable universities.

        11. How do we know Capilano is being fiscally responsible?

        12. Capilano is a public university which means it is by law required to have an independent audit performed each year. Capilano's auditor of record is KPMG. The Office of the Auditor General also participated in our audits for 2009-11 and will again participate in 2014-16.

           KPMG's official opinion on our financial statements is that they have been prepared, in all material respects, in accordance with the financial reporting provisions of Section 23.1 of the Budget Transparency and Accountability Act of the Province of British Columbia.

           In addition, Capilano welcomed a review by the Ministry in 2012/2013 as part of our efforts to increase the current operating grant.

        13. Can we use different accounting policies that might have a positive effect on our financial position?

        14. Capilano University is required by the B.C. Government to follow Public Sector Accounting Board (PSAB) standards.

         Students

         

        1. Can a new student fee be added to offset the budget?

        2. All mandatory student fees are subject to the government's tuition-limit policy.

        3. Is my program at risk of being cut?

        4. The current budget forecast indicates an approximate $1.3 million shortfall. All options will be explored in order to deliver a balanced budget including: increasing revenue generation, finding greater efficiencies, reducing services, and suspending programs and courses.

        5. What are my opportunities to provide input into the budget process?

        6. There are a number of opportunities for students to engage in a dialogue about the budget. These include the joint SBAC and university budget information sessions, the SBAC's online input form, direct feedback to your Dean, among others. Your ideas about cost-savings and efficiencies, new sources of revenue, and other solutions that will continue to put students first, are welcome.

        7. Will my tuition fees increase?

        8. Capilano has the lowest tuition fees of B.C. universities and is among the lowest in Canada. The government has capped tuition fee increases at two per cent annually since 2005 according to the tuition-limit policy. Any future tuition fee increases will be assessed according to the government-mandated cap unless this formula changes.

        9. Will any student services be discontinued?

        10. Capilano is committed to supporting students in their academic success and will be maintaining student services as much as possible, as a vital component in students' successful completion of their education at Capilano University.

        11. What is the university's 'teach-out policy' for suspended programs?

        12. The Senate's policy for teaching-out suspended or discontinued programs can be found online. The university adheres to this policy which includes the provision that Capilano will offer the required courses for students up to the year they would have normally completed those courses PLUS one additional year. Appropriate substitute courses may replace previously required courses after consultation with the program area and the Registrar's Office. These substitutions may take place at another post-secondary institution. Credit will be applied toward their Capilano credential.

         Foundation

        1. Are we able to use donations to cover ongoing expenditures?

        2. As a rule, money from fundraising is only available for one‐time expenditures and cannot be used for ongoing expenses, such as salaries. The majority of donations to Cap are earmarked to support students directly through scholarships and bursaries.

        3. Are donors withdrawing their donations from the Foundation to express their disappointment at budget cuts?

        4. When making a charitable gift to the University donors specify the program or area they would like to support. If that area is impacted by budget cuts and that results in the University not being able to fulfill the donor's request, the Foundation will work with the donor to determine whether the terms of reference for their gift can be revised to allow the university and its students to continue to benefit from the gift.

          It is illegal for the University (or any other charity) to return a gift. The donor has received a tax receipt, and through that transaction, has surrendered all legal rights to the gift.