University operating budget set at $483 million
A unanimous vote by the Board of Trustees increased the university's operating budget by $21 million at today's meeting, setting the 2015-16 budget at $483 million.
The budget is based on state appropriations of slightly more than $80 million, or 62 days of university operation, said President George Ross at the June 23 meeting.
State appropriations account for about 17 percent of the university's revenue. The largest portion of the university's revenue comes from tuition--about 58 percent, or $222 million. Trustees increased tuition by 2.6 percent at their April 30 meeting after a 6-1 vote.
Vice President of Finance and Administrative Services Barrie Wilkes noted that if state appropriations kept up with inflation, CMU would be receiving about $132 million from Lansing.
"This would result in about $101 in savings per credit hour for students," Wilkes said.
Wilkes pointed out a slight increase in state appropriations, from their lowest point in 2011 at 15.8 percent. Appropriations have increased each year since then.
Ross said keeping costs low is always a priority for the university. CMU has had the lowest cumulative tuition increase in the last five years compared to other Michigan schools, but receives the lowest per student state funding, according to university data.
"We still get pushback from legislators that we're wasting money," Ross said. "Look at the cost of attending. We're able to have the lowest among our peers."
The budget also includes several strategic investments, including $6.1 million in financial aid, a 15.2 percent increase from 2014-15. An additional $513,000 was given to Enrollment and Student Services. Trustees delegated $5.9 million for compensation increase and $2.3 million for athletics and gender equity, base fund positions and operations.