King’s has 2.2 million reasons to feel relieved

The money offers relief but not a fix for the school’s financial situation

Update from the College Task Force meeting earlier this month revealed possible plans for the $2.2 million dollars recently discovered.
Update from the College Task Force meeting earlier this month revealed possible plans for the $2.2 million dollars recently discovered.

A ray of sunlight has shone on the University of King’s College’s gloomy financial situation. A recent audit has unexpectedly discovered $2,228,000 in an account that had been collecting interest for decades.

The college task force, which was set up to address the school’s financial problems, met on Jan. 12 and 14, to discuss the use of the funds. The financial discovery was mentioned in their latest update. The task force has 13 members, including president George Cooper, faculty, staff and student members. Vice-president Kim Kierans is task force chairperson.

“There was a change in the accounting procedures back in the 1980s with regard to the endowment money and money that is invested,” Kierans says. “When they changed the accounting procedures, this money was there, but it was just there collecting interest.”

At first glance it seems like this money is an answer to all of King’s financial troubles. With $1.3 million of debt, and $2.2 million coming their way, the math appears to work out in King’s favour.

But Kierans says even with this money, King’s won’t be financially prosperous.

“We have a structural financial problem,” Kierans says.

“This money has to be used for something that will provide long-term returns for the university, an investment in the university.

“King’s problems are far deeper than $2.228 million,” she said. “Our expenses are going up. Our revenue is decreasing. That’s not going to be stopped by $2.228 million.”

The update from the task force’s latest meetings include a few possible uses for the money:

  • replenish cash balances
  • faculty renewal
  • programme restructuring
  • administrative restructuring
  • student services
  • debt reduction
  • facilities renewal — i.e. urgent deferred maintenance
  • conference services

Kierans says the deliberation process for the use of the funds won’t be a quick one. She says a budget likely won’t be passed until the summer.

 

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