Webster University is projecting a $400,000 budget cut for the 2014 fiscal year (FY), according to an unofficial statement emailed from Provost Julian Schuster to the Salary and Fringe Benefits Committee of Faculty Assembly, dated April 4. The email was printed and distributed at Faculty Assembly on Tuesday, April 9. According to the university’s most recent financial audit, Webster’s total expenses from June 1, 2011 to May 31, 2012 were $198,981,566.
To lessen the effect of the cut, Schuster said in the email that the university would:
—Increase tuition by three percent or less.
—Increase faculty pay by only one percent and delay implementation of the faculty pay equalization plan, known as the Mercer Study, agreed on by the administration and faculty.
—Delay some staff hiring.
—Reduce travel and entertainment budgets. Professional development funds will be excluded.
The three percent tuition increase mirrors similar tuition increases in the past three academic years. According to the U.S. Department of Education’s College Navigator, Webster has increased tuition at a rate of three percent each year since 2009.
In his statement to the committee, Schuster said Webster’s 2014 FY revenue projections are based on the robust credit hour figures from the last five years.
The revenue projections are lower than the projections for FY2013.
“With Spring II enrollments now confirmed, the actual enrollments in FY13 will be lower than in prior years,” the statement reads. “This reality requires a prudent approach to establishing enrollment targets for FY14.”
Schuster said the budget cut takes into account enrollment, tactical budget changes and a mid-year potential budget increase.
“Should the targets be achieved by January, revenue funds currently reserved will be released to support further salary action and to address some of the targeted decreases,” the statement reads.
The budget cut comes after a budget shortfall of $12.2 million for Webster University.
In January, the university announced budget reductions in the following areas through June 30, 2013:
—Five percent budget reduction for all budget lines except for salary and utilities.
—Limit new hires.
—Hold on travel and entertainment expenses.
—Cap on new classroom furniture expenses at $150,000.
—Cap new site setup spending at $250,000.
Schuster said the finance committee of the Board of Trustees approved the FY2014 Budget on March 27. The budget plan has since been forwarded to the executive committee of the Board of Trustees. The executive committee and the Board of Trustees will vote on the plan on April 26. Schuster said the administration expects the plan to be approved.
Schuster said in the statement the university would share more information about the budget in the coming week. He also said in the statement that data about expenditure trends for various segments of the budget would be shared.