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Surplus accounts for 1.5 per cent of budget, total long term debt sits at $177.2M 

Photo: Marta Kierkus

The University of Ottawa completed the 2013–14 fiscal year with a $15.3-million surplus, according to a late-September report from the fi- nance and treasury committee to the Board of Governors.

The budget had projected an $11-million shortfall; however, the university received an additional $26 million from positive returns from investments. Currently the university has unrestricted operating net assets of $7.1 million, with a total long term debt sits of $177.2 million.

An audit of the university’s consolidated financial statements conducted by an independent accounting agency identified the surplus. According to associate vice-president of financial resources Denis Cossette, the money came from positive returns from the investment income with “similar results for the pension fund.”

Although positive news for the uni- versity, Cossette said the surplus is not a major development. “The business of theuniversityis$1billion,sowehave a surplus of 1.5 per cent of the total activity of the university,” he said.

The U of O’s investment policy outlines the permitted investments falling under three main categories :equities, fixed-incomes, and alternatives. Cossette said all decisions made were in line with the investment policy.

Government grants to universities in Ontario have steadily decreased, putting pressure on post-secondary institutions to compensate by procuring investments and raising tuition fees. Cossette said the university has balanced these reductions by increasing tuition for international students.

The province limits domestic tuition fee increases to three per cent per year, but there’s no cap in place for international student fees. In May 2014, the BOG voted to increase domestic tuition fees by three per cent, and international tuition fees by 10 per cent.