Update on Budget Process

January 11, 2024

This message is sent on behalf of Dilson Rassier, provost and vice-president academic, and Martin Pochurko, vice-president finance and administration to all faculty and staff.

Hello everyone, and happy new year.   

As we begin a new term, we wanted to provide an update on the current state for finalizing the budget.   

Addressing the budget shortfall continues to be the executive team’s highest priority. Each VP and Dean is participating in separate meetings with People and Organization Development, as well as the Budget Committee, consisting of the Provost, Vice-President Finance and Administration, Associate Vice-President Academic, Associate Vice-President Finance and Director of the Budget Office. The purpose of these meetings is to develop a comprehensive understanding of plans for each area to manage their budget. Through this process, we will uncover opportunities to collaborate, ideas for efficiencies in the way we work, and ways to minimize any people impacts. Once we have a complete picture of the work ahead we will set an implementation plan, which will be also discussed with the Board of Governors.  

As we work through this process, we have already found a number of opportunities to collaborate in new and more efficient ways. We continue to seek creative ways to do our work and anticipate more such shifts in the future. The Provost, as the Budget Chief Officer of the University, is chairing a working group with the directors of the budget office, the President’s Office, VP Finance, VP People, Equity, Inclusion and Communications and Marketing, that is developing a comprehensive process with timeline and goals to be achieved over the next year.  

The hiring freeze currently in place will continue. This measure has reduced the university’s costs while ensuring that exceptions are made for critical roles. We will review the status of our budget and the impact of the hiring freeze at the end of March 2024, and will then decide if it will be extended through the next fiscal year.   

As we go forward, each team across SFU will have different plans to manage the budget challenges. We encourage leaders to host conversations with their teams about plans and to seek input into ways to work more efficiently, and surface ideas for supports that are needed. Likewise, we encourage staff to look for efficiencies in their work, be flexible and offer ideas and suggestions for collaboration and priority-setting.   

We have received questions regarding the delay in processing pay increases and disbursing retroactive pay. We want to assure you that the delay is not related to budget pressures; the process has taken longer than expected due to technical challenges and limitations of the payroll system. We currently have a dedicated team of payroll and IT experts working diligently to complete this process. We recognize that retroactive pay is very important to each employee and we appreciate your understanding and patience as we work through the process.  

Budget cuts are complex and require substantial effort. They also bring an opportunity for new thinking and renewal. We have heard from many of you that there is room to change how we work to achieve SFU’s full potential. We look forward to supporting you and hearing from all our leaders as we navigate this time together.   

Please join us for a faculty and staff town hall on January 31 from 1:00 – 3:00 pm as we discuss the university’s 2024 priorities and answer your questions. The event will be held via Zoom, with a recording and summary available on the Faculty and Staff Dashboard for those unable to attend.  


Dilson Rassier                                                                
Provost and Vice-President Academic                                 
Chief Budget Officer                                                       
Simon Fraser University

Martin Pochurko
Vice-President Finance and Administration
Simon Fraser University