Budget update and changes to procurement card policy

05/14/2013

This memo from Provost Mike Sherman and CFO David Cummins was distributed May 13, 2013.

Dear Colleagues,

We would like to update you on our progress in preparing a balanced budget to submit to the Board of Trustees at the June 19 Board meeting. The various teams working on initiatives to enhance efficiency, effectiveness and productivity are preparing reports and recommendations, one of which has been accepted and is detailed below.

We are optimistic that academic and non-academic units are tackling the tough task of reducing their budgets to close the previously stated $26.7 million budget deficit. However, these budget targets were based on flat enrollmentfor the fall 2013 semester. Current enrollment reports indicate that we are likely to face another enrollment decline in fiscal 2014 (reminder: enrollment is a combination of new students enrolled and current students returning to class).

Clearly, we must work together to ensure that we attract the largest possible number of new students and that we support the success of our current students so they remain enrolled and complete their degree programs. There are as many as 1,000 students who are academically eligible to enroll for fall who have not yet registered. There are initiatives underway to strengthen support for these students.

To be prudent in our planning, however, we must develop a framework to reduce our fiscal year 2013-14budgets by at least another $9 million to $11 million should enrollment continue to decline. We will be working with all academic and non-academic units to develop contingency plans to address further budget reductions as needed. Please keep in mind that these numbers are still subject to change as we continue to closely monitor fall enrollment. Also, remember that each percentage change in enrollment impacts the budget by about $2.5 million.

Efficiency, Effectiveness and Productivity Initiative

Also, please note that effective July 1, changes will go into effect regarding the use of the University procurement card, as per the recommendations of the Procurement Committee:

  • All travel expenses are to be paid via the University procurement card (i.e., air fare, hotels, meals, transportation, conference fees). Items where the supplier or vendor does not accept procurement cards as a form of payment, such as incidental miscellaneous trip expenses, may still be submitted for reimbursement. All University employees who travel on behalf of the University who do not currently have travel authorization on their University procurement cards should contact Barb Fuller, ext. 6013, or Matt Beaven, ext. 6268, to have this added. University travelers without a University procurement card should complete an application and submit it as soon as possible (please allow at least one month before scheduled travel to obtain a new card).
  • Any expense that falls within the guidelines established in the procurement card manual should be paid using the University procurement card.
  • The University receives a rebate on all University procurement card purchases and this should provide a more efficient process. Employees who receive points, frequent flier miles, etc. when using their personal credit cards for University business may be in violation of the Ohio Ethics laws.

Only business miles as defined by the IRS will be reimbursed, and only if properly documented and approved. No personal miles should be submitted. More guidance in this area will be forthcoming.