The university’s financial report and report on debt were presented to Governing Council’s Business Board last month, revealing decreased income and endowment figures.Net income for the university fell 26.8 per cent to $210.6 million and the university reported almost $2.10 billion in endowments, which is a 2.1 per cent decrease from the over $2.14 billion that was reported last year. U of T’s pension plan’s deficit increased from $617.4 million in 2015 to $797.4 million in 2016. The university attributes this increase to investment returns on pension plan assets falling below expectations.Demand from students to study at U of T remains high, with student enrollment increasing by 3.51 percent from 2015 to 77,130 students in 2016. Revenues from student fees reached $1.292 billion.With the rise in student population, the limits of the university’s infrastructure have been pushed. Repairs and maintenance costs went up 16.3 per cent while materials and supplies costs increased by 6.9 per cent from a year ago. The university also spent a substantial amount on its investment in the MaRS Phase 2 project. In September 2015, the University of Toronto partnered up with the Government of Ontario, MaRS and Johnson & Johnson, a consumer packaged goods manufacturer, to establish JLAB, a business incubator that is designed to accommodate up to 50 bio-medical start-ups. The 40,000 square foot facility will occupy a floor of the MaRS West Tower and will compose 75% of laboratories and digital equipment while the rest of the space will be dedicated to collaborative work spaces.The report paints an optimistic view of the financial outlook in 2017 stating that: “Revenues are expected to increase modestly over the next several years as a result of continuing growth at the Scarborough and Mississauga campuses, graduate expansion, and increasing international enrolment.”According to the status report on debt, U of T’s total debt for the year came to $992.5 million. Much of it consisted of future obligations to bond payers. As well, the university’s credit ratings are Aa2 (Moody’s), AA+ (Standard & Poor’s) and AA (Dominion Bond Services), which ranks the university as a strong investment-grade credit; two credit rating agencies rated the university above the province of Ontario.
Published: 1:54 pm, 25 July 2016