options designed to balance Northern’s budget were discussed at
a campus forum this afternoon. Each would implement nearly $3.4
million in “low-impact” adjustments – a combination of reductions,
cost-avoidance, reallocations and revenue-generating measures –
spread over two fiscal years. Two would include a mid-year tuition
increase. The proposed reductions for each division were presented
by Fred Joyal (Academic Affairs, pictured), Gavin
and Planning) and Interim President Mike Roy.
said in developing its proposals,
the President’s Council assumed a 6 percent executive order for
the current year and a 5 percent cut in state appropriation for
fiscal year 2005. It also anticipated a 3 percent increase in enrollment
President’s Council classified budget adjustments as having either
a low or high impact on Northern’s ability to fulfill its mission
statement and vision. Members also used as their guide an ASNMU
budget litmus test for FY04. The test addresses the impact on scholarships/loans,
learning environment and overall cost, as well as the number of
students benefiting from current programs or services and the short-
and long-term effects of any reductions.
$3.4 million in low-impact adjustments would result in the loss
of about 16 full-time equivalent (FTE) positions, some of which
are vacant. These reductions are in addition to the previously approved
Budget Alternatives Committee (BAC) recommendations for FY05.
group also identified $2.3 million in potential high-impact adjustments,
which would impact about 38 FTE positions. Roy
did not cover these at the forum,
saying they are not included in any of the options being forwarded
to the Board
essence, a high-impact adjustment – based on discussions we had
– would impact the university’s ability to offer classes and have
courses available for students to take when they need to take them,”
Roy said. “The President’s Council is not advocating that they be
implemented because of concerns that, with previous reductions and
continuing enrollment growth, they would jeopardize the university’s
ability to accomplish its vision.”
below is an overview of the three budget-balancing options, in no
particular order. Each calls for implementing only the low-impact
1 would generate additional
revenue through a 5.2 percent mid-year tuition increase ($134 per
semester) effective in January, and a 2.4 percent increase ($120
per semester) effective in fall 2005.
2 includes a 3 percent mid-year
tuition increase ($77 per semester) and a 4.6 percent increase ($235
per semester) for fall. It would also require the university to
identify $415,480 one-time dollars to balance the FY04 budget on
a cash-flow basis.
3 calls for no mid-year
tuition increase, but a 7.7 percent fall increase. It would also
require the university to identify $977,000 in one-time dollars
to balance the FY04 budget on a cash-flow basis.
Media reports have predicted
the executive order impact on higher education will be a 6 percent
cut in funding for the current year.
mid-year increase would give us more flexibility, especially with
tuition-restraint talk coming out of Lansing,”
Roy said. “But you do have the tradeoff. We were conscious of not
trying to push it all into tuition. If we do 3 percent mid-year,
our rank as second-lowest in the state would not change. At 5 percent,
we would move above Central for the current year.”
annual tuition and fees are the second-lowest among the state’s
15 public universities.
questions raised during the forum regarded affected employees. Roy
said impacted positions that are currently filled would be eliminated
effective July 1. He added that the Reduction in Force plan established
for the previously approved BAC reductions will continue for employees
whose positions are being eliminated through the proposed adjustments.
three budget options, along with itemized details on the low- and
high-impact reductions, are available at Budget
Reduction Proposal. They will be presented to the NMU Board
of Trustees for consideration at its meeting later this week. The
budget is a topic of a board focus discussion at 2:15 p.m. Thursday,
Dec. 11, in 602 Cohodas.