Academic Senate Budget Committee

Meeting Notes

July 30, 2009

3:15 p.m.

McMullen 305



Members Present:

Ronald Sexton

Stacy Klippenstein

Shelly Anderson

Lorrie Steerey

John Cech

Liz Tooley

Tyler Harris

Michael Barber

Gary Young

Brian Reed

Jane Howell

Linda Wham

Tasneem Khaleel

Karen Heikel

Keith Edgerton

Mark Hardt


A.  FY10 Budget


Ms. Liz Tooley presented the balanced FY10 budget details, which is a list of investments and reductions (attached to these minutes).  She reminded the group that they began planning FY10 last summer, and our budget reduction has turned out to be much smaller than expected.  Many of the cuts and investments are OTO (one time only).


She noted in the handout that the first section (in yellow) is new investments.  They are permanent or temporary and in addition to the budget base.  Some investments are funded from cuts elsewhere in the budget, but not many.  This section also includes promotion of faculty, part of which is funded out of fixed costs while the rest comes in this “new investments” section.  There are also funds in this section which are in need of permanent funding, and so are deemed “new investments.”


The second section (in blue) lists reductions to the base budget, both permanent and temporary.


The third section (in purple) shows salary savings due to faculty being temporarily moved to a grant rather than state funding.


The fourth section (in dark purple) indicates funds which are being moved out of the state funds and into designated accounts.


Ms. Tooley noted that in FY09 the campus had $10.978 million in designated funds.  “Designated” means not from the state general fund.  These funds come from student fees and other outside sources and often have a certain purpose (i.e., a fee for a class to ski at Red Lodge will be used to pay Red Lodge Mountain for use).  A positive balance in these kinds of accounts carries over from fiscal year to fiscal year.  A negative balance must be made up from elsewhere.


Ms. Tooley also explained auxiliary accounts, such as student service fees, facilities fees, the campus’ rentals, utilities, and so on.  These accounts also carry over from year to year and a negative balance must be made up.


The fifth section of the handout (in peach/orange) indicates areas where funding is being reinstated from previous cuts made last summer when we thought the campus budget cut would be larger.


The sixth and final section (in white) shows our fixed costs, such as utilities and raises.


The question was raised as to what happened with the money from Bozeman.  Ms. Tooley stated that they basically took general/state funds out of our budget and replaced it with the SCAR (Small Campus Assistance Reallocation) funds.  This results in no additional money for us, but it did make our budget cut smaller.


Ms. Tooley noted that the color-coded handout is only our general fund money.  Designated and auxiliary funds are not listed here and they are separate but connected.  She stated that she would be happy to return during the fall semester and explain the funds.


B.  Enrollments


Chancellor Sexton cited enrollments are up at the COT, while FTE is about the same at the east campus as last year.  Our summer headcount was up, but FTE was down, so we will have to make up for that lost FTE in the fall semester.  He noted that we are now tracking events such as orientation and other marketing to note if there is any increase in enrollments the week after such events.  Right now we need to enroll about 28 FTE every day until the start of the fall semester, and we can do it.


Dr. Sexton noted currently Bozeman, and most likely Missoula as well, are “buying” students.  They have the resources in their scholarship funds to offer students much more than we can.  Bozeman got all but three of the valedictorians of Montana high schools this year; Missoula got the remaining three.


C.  The Financial Cliff


Chancellor Sexton noted that recently Bozeman made public the fact that they will have to cut about $3 million from their budget after this biennium ends (i.e., cuts in FY12) because the stimulus funds used to backfill the state budget in this biennium will not be made up for the next biennium.  The University System has been told that we will not get the funding back after the stimulus is gone.


At MSUB, we will need to cut about $1.8 million from our FY12 budget, and we need to start making those decisions now because it cannot wait.  If general funds go down, tuition has to go up because we likely cannot make up the difference in outside funding like grants.  We need to know if the Regents will let us increase tuition and how much.  Last year, the BOR did not pay attention to the students who came and spoke to them about how they would prefer to have higher tuition than to cut budgets and possibly reduce the quality of their education.  The BOR did not listen at all.  They went completely against the students’ wishes and cut budgets.


Currently, the BOR are split down the middle.  Half want to balance the MUS budget in FY12 and 13 by only cutting—and they think it should be easy.  The other half are looking for another approach besides budget cutting.  As part of this, we will have to submit a “campus management plan” which will address how we will be meeting this “cliff” in the next biennium.  It must be finished and ready to present to the BOR by November, 2009.  We do not yet have a good template; it will be coming from the Commissioner’s Office soon.  This management plan will likely have us revisit our mission statement, list budget cuts planned, and show where our efficiencies lie.  The BOR will not want to hear about new growth and development.


The Chancellor noted that some (at other units) think a money-saving solution is online.  However, online classes are actually very expensive.  You must keep classes online, even though they may not have high enrollments and/or some students want to take them onsite.  You must also develop new classes for online, and you must keep up with technology.  All of these things cost money!


D.  Other Notes


Chancellor Sexton noted that we have budgeted in FY10 for a reversion to Missoula (because their in-state enrollments have grown so much), but they will likely not ask for a reversion until FY11.


We are now less expensive, especially in room and board, than many of the other units.  We are working on marketing this point.


We are also using non-state funding to recruit international students, especially from China.  We probably won’t see many of those students in FY10, but we could have 100 students by FY11.  The Chinese students must pay all of their tuition—they are not allowed scholarships.  We are currently building student services for this special group, and once the Chinese students start coming we can use that revenue stream to further develop services.


We are opening additional sections of high demand courses this fall, and we are funding those sections by pulling funding from spring.  We will be cutting low and non-enrolled courses as well.


The question was raised as to how the bonus of $450 for people earning $45,000 or less is being implemented.  Chancellor Sexton responded that the unions have not yet decided how that will be implemented, but that money is in our budget and can only be used for that purpose.  Ms. Tooley noted that the bonus funds are also OTO money for FY10.


The Governor has indicated that he will not be giving any more funding to post-secondary or K-12 education for the remainder of his term.



The meeting was adjourned at 4:40 p.m.


Respectfully submitted by Rita J. Rabe Meduna