December 6, 2016

Webster’s International campuses set for stronger FY15, CFO says

Webster University’s International operations in Fiscal Year 2015 (FY15)  contributed a $3.6 million gross gain, a slight drop from FY14’s gain of $4.2 million. Interim Chief Financial Officer Douglas Anderson said the gain was consistent with a historical trend stemming from FY13, when Webster gained $3.8 million.

Expenditures for international operations in FY15, including non-operating, one-time expenses totaled $5.4 million. Anderson said one of the largest of these expenditures was the Vienna campus’ purchase of the Palais Wenkheim, a historic palace which offered increased classroom space and amenities. Anderson said while the cost may look high for this year it will more than pay for itself in its future benefits.

While sustaining losses on some of the international campuses from expenditures, Anderson said the money could be made up through cost-saving measures from the university. He said the university would have to look at making budgetary cuts at international campuses in some cases.

Anderson and university Comptroller Curt Vehlewald could not comment on which campuses would receive cuts, but said that they would be university-wide.

Anderson said that to help raise international campuses financial stability President Elizabeth Stroble has implemented an initiative to bring in more students university wide. This initiative would shift recruiters’ focus from recruiting for their home campuses to instead recruiting for Webster as an international campus.

In foreign currency exchange, Webster sustained a $4.1 million loss that Anderson said was mainly due to the devaluation of the Euro, but varies from year to year. In March 11, 2015, The Guardian reported the euro had fallen to its lowest level against the dollar in 12 years. In 2014 the Euro averaged 1.33 compared to the U.S. dollar, according to the U.S. Foreign Exchange Services. In 2015 it dropped down to 1.11.

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