Provincial budget cut “will neither define us nor diminish us,” University of Saskatchewan president says

University of Saskatchewan President Peter Stoicheff expressed deep concern over the 5.6 per cent budget cut to the university in the 2017-18 provincial budget announced today, but affirmed the U of S is committed to serving the people of the province in ways that continue to promote economic growth and a better quality of life.

The 5.6 per cent budget reduction is the largest percentage decrease in the university’s history. Adding to the difficulties this reduction poses, the province is requiring the university to provide $20 million from its base budget to support the College of Medicine.

“We have been preparing for a substantial budget reduction for many weeks. Even so, today’s budget is deeply troubling to the U of S, and to the people we serve throughout Saskatchewan,” Stoicheff said. “The people of this province deserve to have one of Canada’s top universities, and we will not be deterred by this budget; we are determined, as a community, that it will neither define us nor diminish us. As we have always done during our 110-year history, we will find a way to provide what our province needs.”

Stoicheff noted that the U of S is one of the best financially managed universities in Canada, and that these reductions will deplete the university’s reserves and weaken its ability to serve the province.

“This will be damaging, but we will manage the potential impacts this has on our campus community—our students, faculty and staff,” Stoicheff said. “We will need time to figure this out, but as we always have, we will find a way to stay the course.”

“Investment in education and our students is one of the most critical areas for the province to support as it plans for a strong future,” Stoicheff added. “We are disappointed and troubled by the signal this budget sends. Our university is a major economic driver in Saskatchewan and contributes more economic benefit to its region than almost any other university in the entire country. In 2014, about $1.2 billion of Saskatchewan’s economy was tied to the U of S. Continued reductions to our university will jeopardize the long-term economic future of our province.”

As a steward of taxpayers’ money, Stoicheff said the university has always been committed to using its resources strategically and carefully to continue building on the important work critical to the province and its people in areas such as human, animal and environmental health, food and water security, agriculture, the arts and Indigenous engagement.

“Government is an important partner, our largest funder, but it isn’t our only source of revenue,” said Stoicheff. “We will continue to search out alternative sources of support to ensure our long-term financial sustainability.”


For more information, contact:
Jennifer Thoma
Media Relations Specialist
University of Saskatchewan