Stakeholders of the University

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Stakeholders of the University

Assignment #: 1

Due Date: Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) is a public research university that first opened up in 2002 and welcomed its first students in 2003. It is located in Oshawa, Ontario and is divided into two distinct Campuses. Its main campus (North Campus) is located at 2000 Simcoe St N and is secondary campus (Downtown Campus) is located throughout Downtown Oshawa. UOIT is one of Canada’s newest universities. Even though they haven’t been around like most universities, like the University of Toronto and Ryerson, UOIT still has to make decisions on how to keep their institution running. There are many key people and entities that have interest in what decisions are made at the university. These parties are called stakeholders. There are those who work within the organization called internal stakeholders. There are also those who have interest in the organization but work from outside it, called external stakeholders. So by examining some of UOIT’s stakeholder; students, faculty, staff, creditors and donors, it will be shown as why they need to evaluate and assess accounting information when making decisions.

There are currently over 9,000 students and counting that attend UOIT. Students are the most important stakeholder groups of UOIT. The students are the core of the university as UOIT would not exist if it weren’t for the students who attend there. Students are having a stake in the university by paying their tuition fees on a semester basis (4 months). Without the tuition fees obtained from the students the university won’t have much revenue to generate. The students are basically the customers of the university. A customer is an individual that exchanges money for goods or services. Students pay the school for the services offered by the university. Students are customers because they pay money regardless how well the services are. Of course it is up to the university to provide great service and meet the demands and needs of students attending their school. Students generally need facilities and learning support activities for a better education and want a friendly, approachable staff on both academic and administrative that can guide them on their journey. Meeting the needs and demands of the students of UOIT builds a good reputation in which current students can advertise in what good school UOIT is and attract more students in the future. Tuition fees are one of the university’s main sources of income. Their fees is what pays for their education along with the other facilities that students have access to such as the fitness center and learning centres. So the more students who attend, the more tuition fees the school receives and can therefore be used to provide a continuing and better education for current and future students. Universities charge a high tuition fee to students. So they will demand for more services and therefore sometimes the campus doesn’t provide the students the services and hospitality that they paid for. Students are the primary customers of UOIT and they play a big role as a stakeholder of this university because they ultimately want to know what kind of education they are going to be getting with the amount of money they are putting in help fund the school.

In order for a university to function there must be a staff in place making all the calls. The staff is one of the most valuable internal stakeholder groups of UOIT. They provide the most important service in a university. They look and analyze accounting information to see how the school is growing and judge from there the positives that are happening and also ways where the school could use some improvement. Without the staff, the university can’t provide enough service to keep the school running. Staff at UOIT is in charge of multiple functions to keep the school running. Part of the staff is in charge in make decisions on what investments is the school make that it goes towards such as upgrading certain facilities or adding new computers to enhance education. They are also in charge of making sure if all the logistics of the class rooms are working fine such as lights, projectors and Wi-Fi. Marketing and communication is a key component in what staff do as it is what helps advertise their school to attract students to come and learn from them. As the most dominant service of the university, UOIT staff should be treated with great generosity or else they will think that their service has no value and will think that the decisions the school makes with the money and investments will start to go into question. The staff is the core of what keeps the school in order and guide students to reach their goals. Their decisions are very vital into helping the school grow. Therefore, they are an important stakeholder to UOIT in terms of assessing their accounting information.

A faculty is the academic staff of a university: senior teachers, lecturers, and/or researchers. At UOIT, its academic program is divided into seven different faculties for both undergraduate and graduate students. These faculties are; Business and Information Technology, Education, Energy Systems and Nuclear Science, Engineering and Applied Science, Health Sciences, Science and, Social Science and Humanities. These faculties have programs in which a student can pursue a career in a field they desire. Those who are in position of power in each faculty will want to have access to analyze and evaluate accounting information to make key decisions on their respective faculties. They are also and important internal stakeholder of the university. Each faculty will want to see if the school has enough money to fund for their faculty and from there, they have to manage the money to fund for each program within their faculty. Each faculty must decide what materials they can provide for their students, like the version of textbooks they provide for students to purchase and software programs to use as a part of teaching methods. UOIT undergraduate students are required to lease a laptop as part of a condition of enrollment. Due to being the only university in Ontario that is laptop based, the laptops students lease are considered to be a capital asset under the balance sheet meaning it has certain amount of value over time before they start to depreciate. Once they depreciate and have no value, it is important for faculties to see if the school has enough to purchase more laptops and other computer equipment. Faculties must also decide how many professors they need to hire to give lectures, tutorials and labs to the students as there is a certain salary in which they can allocate to their professors. Depending on the number of students in each faculty and money they have are key components in which faculties will hire a certain number of professors to teach. Each faculty at UOIT has their own respective facility that belongs to them. They are usually used for students to attend lectures, tutorials and labs as well as places for students to study and eat during their time at school. Accounting information is required to see the value of their buildings and see how long those values will last as they will depreciate as time goes on. They must make any decisions such as renovation or sell that building beforehand. Education is the main reason as to why student come to UOIT or any university. Therefore, in order to provide the students with the best education possible, it’s important that faculties are one of the stakeholder groups at UOIT that analyze accounting information to make their decisions.

In most cases, learning institutions like UOIT can’t start up with the money all they investors put into it. Therefore, they need to borrow that from somewhere, like creditors. A creditor is an entity that lends money to another entity if the money that has been borrowed will be paid back by the borrower at a specific/later date. In this case, UOIT is receiving money from real creditors. Who are creditors that have made legal contracts that state that if the money that has been borrowed is not paid back the creditor has the right to claim any of the borrower’s assets such as property, automobiles and etc. The following creditors for UOIT are, BMO (Bank of Montreal), RBC (Royal Bank of Canada), and Harris Bank. These entities are external stakeholders for UOIT because; these creditors have given the aid to UOIT for running its services at their facility. These creditors might have interest in analyzing their accounting information to see if they are able to pay off the loans their granting towards the school. One thing that creditors tend to look for on accounting information is the debt-to-equity ratio. This ratio is a common balance sheet analytical tool that divides the liabilities from the shareholder’s equity. If there were not any creditors, UOIT would have been in major indebtedness. As of looking at the financial statements for UOIT, it has been receiving a huge lump of loans from different banks at a low interest rate. The only way the creditors can face a risk is only if UOIT files for bankruptcy. However, they are a very important external stakeholder as their analysis; they can determine whether their loans are benefiting the university or if it’s just putting them into debt.

Universities like UOIT are considered to be a non-profit organization. A non-profit organization’s job isn’t to make a profit, but provide a service to a community. The service that UOIT provides is a post-secondary education. However, providing an educating to thousands of students costs millions of dollars. Unlike most universities in Canada, UOIT is one of the youngest established universities in the country and therefore needs some extra money outside from start up cash and loans. Another was it gets money is from charities, otherwise known as donors. Over the past three years, the donations that UOIT has received has been growing as of March 31, 2013, the school has received over 2 million dollars in donations. They are considered to be an important stakeholder for UOIT as donations has been a huge resource of revenue. Donors of UOIT would like to know that their donations are mainly being used to achieve the goals of the charity and not excessively for administration and fundraising. Accounting information can be useful for assessing whether the money donated will be put to good use. One of UOIT’s biggest donors is the Lovell Family. Stanley Lovell along with his wife Wilma, daughters Diana Kirk and Linda McGill, and son Arthur, have been very supportive of the university and have played a significant role in helping UOIT grow into the school it is today. Due to their continuous generosities towards helping fund the school, the Lovell family is an example of a stakeholder that might have interest in evaluating and assessing accounting information in terms of making decisions of continuing to donate to the school.

UOIT has stakeholders who take interest in assessing and analyzing the accounting information. Students are one of UOIT’s internal stakeholders as they want to know where their tuition fees are going towards since they demand an education that meets the fees that they are paying. Faculty is another internal stakeholder as they want to know how much money they are being funded and can help provide the students the education they need. Staff at UOIT is responsible for investments that are put into the school and therefore would need access to the accounting records. Creditors are one of UOIT’s external stakeholders that would access their accounting information to see if the school can pay off the loans they grant them. Donors are another external stakeholder who has interest to see if the donations they are making are going towards a great education and if it is going to prosper in the long-run. Without these stakeholders having access to the school’s accounting records, UOIT would probably not be in the position they are today in terms of a growing university. These input and analysis is what has made UOIT developed into the educational institution that its founding fathers have envisioned since day one.

References

(2005, May 23). EXISTE! What do our stakeholders want? Retrieved from http://www.uwsuper.edu/cipt/exsite/what_do_our_stakeholders_want.cfm

Neal Raiman (2012, August 13). Students and Staff are the Most Important Stakeholders and Customers on Campus. Retrieved from http://academicmaps.blogspot.ca/2012/08/students-and-staff-are-most-important.html

John Friedlan (2013). Financial Accounting: A Critical Approach. Retrieved from http://connect.mcgraw-hill.com/connect/hmEBook.do?setTab=sectionTabs

(2014). Faculty and staff. Retrieved from http://uoit.ca/faculty_staff/index.php

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