Budget messages for Fiscal Year 2012

 

Message from the Provost

May 19, 2011

Dear Colleagues,

Even as we anticipate a reduction in funding from the state, we are crafting a budget for the coming fiscal year that uses Vision 2020 as a guide and includes new investments in such strategic areas as scholarships, compensation and the hiring of full-time faculty.

Our budget strives to achieve three overarching goals:

  • Fiscal integrity: We will sustain our solid financial metrics, meet our ongoing financial obligations and assure we have adequate reserves.
  • Capacity assurance: With an emphasis on academics, we will allocate funding to assure that we can serve our increasing student population, and we will strategically invest in support services and in programs that increase student contact with full-time faculty members — both with the intent to enhance the quality of education and the persistence of our students to degree completion.
  • Strategic investments: As mentioned in the State of Academic Affairs Address, we will stimulate interdisciplinary research via clusters, and increase start-up funds and graduate-assistant support. Further, the budget will strive to assure that our total compensation for employees remains competitive.

Though Columbus will allocate fewer dollars to us in the next biennium, we still will have the wherewithal to make new investments in the foregoing areas. That is a major accomplishment, and it is possible only because all of us have been thoughtful in our planning, willing to make sacrifices and innovative in response.

The precise amount of our state appropriation will remain somewhat unsettled until the time that Governor Kasich signs the state budget. Nevertheless, our planning continues, and we will have more details for you in June when we propose a budget to our Board.

Thank you for your continued contributions to the mission of The University of Akron.

William M. "Mike" Sherman
Senior Vice President and Provost/COO

David J. Cummins
Vice President for Finance and Administration/CFO


Message from the Provost

June 15, 2011

Dear Colleagues,

The Board of Trustees today approved a continuation budget for the first quarter of the new fiscal year that will begin July 1.

We decided to request an interim budget due to the uncertainty with the state budget. We should be able to propose a Fiscal Year 2012 budget at the August meeting of the Board.

We anticipate a $15 million reduction in the state share of instruction for FY12. Nonetheless, we will propose a budget that supports three operational principles: fiscal integrity; academic capacity assurance; and strategic investment.

Earlier today, the Board approved an increase in undergraduate tuition and fees by the equivalent of about $25 per credit hour, or $298 annually for students taking a full load. We anticipate an increase in credit hours of instruction that will generate additional resources.

The revenue generated by increased credit hours is roughly the amount needed to support compensation adjustments for faculty and staff. The revenue generated from the tuition increase will be used to increase the number of full-time faculty and the staff that are essential to student success. Any budget reductions will be managed primarily via internal reallocations.

We will update you prior to the August Board of Trustees meeting on the specifics of the proposed budget.

Best wishes,

W. Michael "Mike" Sherman
Senior Vice President and Provost/COO

David J. Cummins
Vice President for Finance and Administration/CFO


Message from the Provost

August 3, 2011

Dear Colleagues,

The Board of Trustees today passed a $391 million budget for the current fiscal year that includes new investments that will help more students graduate and will accommodate increases in enrollment.

The new investments, totaling $20 million, have been categorized in three priority areas:

  • Capacity and excellence assurance. The budget includes funding for compensation increases, with the dollars coming from an anticipated increase in student enrollment. The University also will invest in the new extended-campus locations in Brunswick and Lakewood. Lakewood will open once we receive Higher Learning Commission approval.
  • Strategic investments. More tenure-track faculty will be hired, and more start-up funds will be available, enabling those faculty to attract new research funding to UA. To improve persistence and progress toward degree, we will create a new scholarship fund for Pell-eligible continuing students who were ineligible for general scholarships upon admission but since have earned a cumulative 3.0 grade point average after two semesters of a full course load. In addition, scholarships will now be awarded to select new freshmen with an ACT of 21 and a high school GPA of 3.0 or better. Further, the funds in the general scholarship pool will increase 3.5 percent, in proportion to the tuition increase approved in June 2011. These new investments in faculty and scholarships will be supported with funding generated by the tuition increase.
  • Fiscal integrity. The new budget maintains UA's stable financial position by setting aside dollars to strengthen the reserve fund. UA also will create a fund for future maintenance and enhancement of facilities, because it is unlikely that we will receive capital expenditure funding from the state.

The budget also reflects a $15 million reduction in state support. The reduction will be covered by strategically lowering departmental budgets (weighted more heavily on academic-support units than on the colleges) and by moving funds budgeted but not spent in FY2011 to this year's budget.

The use of FY2011 funds in the current fiscal year essentially enables us to absorb the reduction in state appropriations over two budget years, thus permitting us to invest in talent development and in a stronger student profile while we create a well-designed plan to meet the challenges of the future. Opportunities for dialogue on this matter will be forthcoming.

In other business at today's Board meeting:

  • Development reported that it raised $46 million in the last fiscal year, an increase of 14 percent over the prior year and 27 percent more than the five-year average of $36.6 million. Much of these funds are restricted to programs defined by the donors (scholarships, a particular college, etc.).
  • The Trustees learned that UA surpassed $50 million in research expenditures for the first time in the last fiscal year.

Our student-centered approach to this budget exemplifies our mantra of "student success is our success." Thank you for your continued dedication to our students.

Sincerely,

William M. "Mike" Sherman
Senior Vice President and Provost/COO

David J. Cummins
Vice President for Finance and Administration/CFO

The University of Akron

Akron, OH 44325
Phone: 330-972-7111
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