The university faces a $6.2 million shortfall for the fall of 2011 after lowering its expected enrollment.
As part of the five-year plan enacted two years ago as part of the 21st Century Vision, the university estimated to sell 126,000 credit hours in the 2011 fall semester. However, now the university is budgeting for 118,000 credit hours – creating a shortfall of money from the 8,000-hour difference. Credit hours cost $712.
Stacey McGee, associate chief financial officer, said to make up for that shortfall, cuts have been made in divisions across the board, in areas such as academics, staff divisions and capital expenses, such as construction costs.
Phil Schubert, president of the university, said a combination of factors led to cuts in the university budget. Some of the factors were the economic downturn’s effect on the endowment, a sharp reduction in the number of non-traditional students enrolled in the Bachelor of Applied Studies program, students bringing in more hours from other universities and a drop in the retention rate from fall 2009 to spring 2010.
“As we progress down the road and are able to see more clearly what the active results are, we’ll make adjustments,” Schubert said. “We’ve got some pretty aggressive goals, and with aggressive goals comes the need to constantly reevaluate and readjust, and I expect we’ll continue to have very similar conversations on a very routine basis.”
About $1 million of the shortfall will come out of the academics budget, with about a third of that coming through postponement of Vision projects and about half through salary reductions.
Dr. Jeanine Varner, provost, told faculty that the university will not renew the contracts of seven or eight faculty members for next fall, but Schubert said those cuts were not necessarily budget-related, and some of those transitions already were naturally taking place.
“There may be other issues involved where we haven’t achieved certain levels of growth and, therefore, don’t need as many faculty,” Schubert said.