Almost three-quarters of the G.O. budget goes to staff costs, but this still leaves a substantial volume of funds to be used for other expenses. This Indicator focuses on expenditure efficiency in some of those areas. Each area is defined in the CAUBO Guidelines HERE (page 15 et seq.).
Although the percentages shown in this Indicator may seem relatively small, the associated dollar value can be significant; across the Top 25, 1% of total G.O. expenditure ranges from almost $4 million to more than $22 million.
There are differences between the universities, and they may be reflected in the spending patterns; for example, Utilities cost levels are likely to be higher in Manitoba than in British Columbia. However, in other areas the reason for significant differences in spending levels is less apparent.
The same principle applies in these individual areas, magnifying the importance of spending efficiency: a dollar spent here is a dollar that can’t be spent in the classroom, or a dollar that needs to be covered by student fees.
8 A) OTHER EFFICIENCY MEASURES – EFFICIENCY RANKINGS8A
The Summary Rankings are derived from the detailed rankings in the first four of the tables below. Additional analyses are included but do not form part of the Summary Ranking.
These tables show the 2001 and latest spending levels, the latest expenditure, and the dollar impact of spending level variances (the amount by which the university is over-spending or under-spending, compared with past levels or current peer group levels).
The impact numbers really reinforce the point that relatively small percentage variances can have very large dollar consequences. For example, it may not seem too significant that one school spends 3.4% of its G.O. budget on Travel, while the average Top 25 school spends 1.7%. But that difference represents an apparent over-spend of more than $12 million. (Table 8.1)
Tables 8.7 and 8.8 address the disparity in Staff Benefits costs between Central Administration and the remainder of the university. The inclusion of this comparison reflects the widespread concern with the cost of Central Admin, and with some of the employment packages for senior administrators. Across the Top 25, Staff Benefits costs average 26.7% of Salaries & Wages in Central Admin but only 19.9% in the remainder of University. A disparity between these measures is normal, because Central Admin staff are largely permanent full-time employees, many of them quite senior, while the remainder of campus incorporates higher volumes of part-time and casual staff. However, the disparity is far more significant at some schools.