24 January 2006
Present: Mathis, Hage, Levy, Shen, Landry, Boggess, Staples, Petz, Sparks, Crangle, Huckins, Bernier.
Bill reviewed our position in month 7 of FY06. Non-resident tuition is down although resident tuition numbers are good. A small number of students can affect our revenue significantly. Grad tuition is up over last year, especially their out-of-state population. We will probably under-spend our financial aid budget because our out-of-state students are generally a wealthier group than in the past. The plan is to increase the awards to out-of-state students next year in an attempt to draw back the 60 or students that we are down. USNH wants us to cover more of the gap for in-state students, which would leave less money for attracting those elusive out-of-staters. Continuing Ed is ahead of last year by about 2%. Student fees are up well over last year, which increases funding in areas such as TAG initiatives in academic computing, graduation, and counseling and equipment for health services. On the expense side, we’ve spent 96% of our FY06 personnel budget. Spending on supplies is down from last year. Spending on library books is also down, although the book budget is usually spent by the end of the year. Equipment spending looks low primarily because it includes only capitalized equipment (a value of over $5000). Most of our equipment is not worth that much, including the bulk of our computer equipment. Utilities are at 121% of budget; a surprise to no one. An approved capital request of $5.5 million will replace all the steam lines that keep breaking; half will be done this summer and the remainder over the summer of 2007. Half of that money is internally borrowed so some of the R&R money will go towards that debt. That project will cause a real mess around campus for two summers but the resulting savings will be well worth the agony. Estimates are that we can save over $90,000 per year by sealing our steam leaks in one area of campus alone. Aside of the utilities issue the general fund is in reasonably good shape.
In the auxiliaries we’ve already billed over 100% of our revenue budget. We’ve spent 83% of our expense budget, which seems rather low at this point. Here again supply spending is down from last year. Bottom line at this point in auxiliaries is $2.1 million in revenues over expenses.
Spring enrollment numbers are very good, especially over the low of 2001. Much of that growth is in in-state students. Dick mentioned that the pilot for the new University Studies program had almost 100% of its students pre-register. This indicates that the program may make a difference in our retention of deciding students. As an aside, that program and undergrad advising will both move into the renovated basement of Mary Lyon in 2007.
Bill pointed out the differences in retention percentages from class to class. Nick cautioned not to take the small percentage differences too seriously; they can be affected by a variety of factors such as a semester of study abroad.
FY07 budget prep is underway. Going into next year’s budget we are 1.3 million in the hole, which is better than some past years. Among other needs to be funded is a new director of the evening division so Julie can return to her regular position.
Discussion veered to the overall cost of a PSU education, what students and parents look at as the bottom line when choosing schools, and the availability of grants and loans. Indebtedness for some of our students is heavy at an average of $24,000 per student, which does not count loans their parents have taken.
Utilities are looking at a shortfall of $570,000 that has not factored in the relatively mild winter through December. It does include the savings from shutting down the cogen plant for the month of October. The second cogen engine will remain off until next January unless needed, and the primary engine will be shut off once again in April or so while we go on Coop power for the summer. A predicted price increase of 70-80% percent in the Coop’s energy costs will affect our costs there as well. We are budgeting up enough to protect ourselves as best we can without influencing tuition enough to affect our enrollment.
Julie Bernier will talk about the evening division and its budget at the next meeting along with a discussion from Bill and Frank about student fees.
The next CBC meeting is Tuesday, February 14 in HUB 119 at 8am.