The University of Otago remains in a ''very sound'' financial
position, but departments are aware money will be tight next
Financial services director Grant McKenzie said in a report
tabled at this week's university council meeting that the
operating surplus of $18.832 million for the year to the end
of August was $7.120 million more than budgeted and $5.509
more than at the corresponding time last year.
Income, at $407.015 million, was $8.251 more than at the
corresponding time last year and expenditure, at $388.183
million, was $2.742 million more than last year.
Mr McKenzie said the university continued to be in a ''very
sound'' position. The larger-than-forecast surplus was due in
part due to savings in consumables.
''The savings currently being made by almost all areas of the
university are seen as essential to offset the risk of
funding pressures in 2014 and beyond.''
''It is clear that the financial impact of declining student
numbers and reduced externally funded research is making
academic departments extremely cost-conscious,'' he said.
Council member Michael Sidey commented on the savings by
congratulating financial staff for fostering a ''very good
culture'' of financial responsibility at the university.
Mr McKenzie replied by saying that departments were preparing
for tight times next year.
Later in the meeting vice-chancellor Prof Hayne noted the
difficult financial environment meant the university might
not meet its internal operating surplus targets for next