Budget Committee submits budget for next year
February 9, 2007
Filed under Archives
On Jan. 31, the Budget Committee held an open forum to present and discuss Guilford’s proposed fiscal year 2007-2008 budget. Representatives from faculty, staff, and students worked together to determine allocation of the upcoming year’s $64.8 million budget. “It makes me proud that everybody on the Budget Committee, students, faculty, and staff, all participate. Nobody dominates the process,” said Jerry Boothby, vice president for Finance and Administration.
After months of appraisal and revision, the committee submitted their final proposal to President Kent Chabotar on Feb. 1. Chabotar, in turn, will submit the proposal to the board of trustees on Feb. 23, who make the final decision whether to accept or reject the financial plan.
Each year, the Budget Committee analyzes the amount of money that Guilford receives from revenue, state and federal grants, and donations. With these figures, they determine the distribution of funds throughout the entire college, allowing for possible unforeseen contingencies.
“Every year we have an outside audit,” said Heather Hayton, chair of the Budget Committee. “They review every single line of every single budget. This year and last year, we have had zero negative findings, zero problems.”
Major goals of the plan include keeping all expenses in check, being conservative in revenue projections from enrollment, and staying focused on the long-term financial health of the college.
Tuition and fees for traditional students will increase by an average of 5.5 percent from this year, while the cost for CCE students will increase 4% per credit hour. With this increase in tuition and fees comes a rise in total institutional financial assistance by approximately $1 million.
“If the increased tuition is going to be going towards addressing and solving the problems that Guilford has encountered this year, then I think it’s a good thing,” said junior Andy Freedman. “If it’s just more outward growth, I can’t really support it.”
Major recommendations for the fiscal year 2007-2008 budget include increasing wages and salaries by a base of 3.5 percent. Additionally, the Budget Committee has proposed cutting capital budget, the money used for campus improvements and major maintenance projects, in half.
“Over the past several years, we have devoted a larger-than-usual amount to capital projects to try to make up for some previous years of campus neglect,” said Hayton. “This year’s and the 2007-08 capital budgets will be more in line with what other campuses do – fund a limited number of projects out of the operating budget and solicit donations to embark on other large-scale or long-term building projects.”
As of Jan. 1, the student minimum wage was raised from $5.15 to $6.15 per hour, reflecting North Carolina’s state-wide wage increase.
“This is definitely a much-needed change,” said sophomore Menemsha Milnor, a student worker. “Especially with our tuition and room and board getting more expensive, our wages should be increasing, too.”
According to the proposed fiscal plan, approximately $26.6 million will go to salaries, wages, and fringe benefits, while about $13.5 million is allocated for institutional financial assistance. The rest of the budget, approximately $24.7 million, is to be used for the year’s operating expenses, such as utilities and the budgets for academic departments. Any unused funds will be deposited in the campus endowment fund to contribute to Guilford’s long-term financial health.