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Discussions on $10.6 million deficit, budget cuts continue in January


Administrators will continue discussions on how to resolve the $10.6 million budget deficit into January as students and faculty return to campus after winter recess, said Joseph Garrison, Director of Financial Planning and Budgets.

In October, the university reported the budget shortfall increased from $9.8 million to $10.6 million. Administrators said the deficit came from lower than expected student credit hours, as well as a decline in online and satellite course tuition revenues.

Garrison said budget cuts should be expected. However, details of the proposed cuts have not been decided. Officials have no immediate plans to use tuition to make up their losses.

Tuition is the largest revenue source for the university, Garrison said. The budget is based on anticipated enrollment projections received annually each February. A revenue center such as enrollment can fluctuate outside the scope of estimations, causing inaccuracies in the projected budget.

Garrison said there will be a better understanding of how the deficit will affect the upcoming year financially after enrollment projections are received in early February.

University officials held no meetings to discuss a budget resolution over winter break when the university was closed, but will continue again throughout the rest of January, Garrison said.

“We are currently working on a plan for resolving the budget deficit,” Garrison said. “When others return the (first week of Spring 2017 semester), we will be able to resume our discussions. Later this month, the university will roll out a process and timeline for resolving the budget deficit.”

Once a plan is finalized, Garrison added that the university will notify the campus community.