2015-16 Operating Budget Development Well Underway – Budget Scenarios to be Discussed With Board
15-16 operating budget development has been underway since early December, two months earlier than usual, a change implemented by Executive Council to allow more time for budget discussions, and to allow for approved faculty searches to be undertaken in the spring semester when faculty are still on campus and available to participate.
The tentative continuing personnel budget has been developed, and proposed hires and personnel changes have already been vetted by the Vice Presidents and Jesse Wells, who will be going through them a second time in the coming weeks to reach consensus and make recommendations to the Executive team. With personnel costs being 84% of the operating budget, this puts us well down the road with budget development.
The contractual expense budgets are still under development under the usual budget preparation calendar, and estimates of what they might be have been made. This area of the proposed budget will emerge during February and March. Serious consideration is being given to moving this phase of budget development back to December too in future years.
A 15-16 proposed budget scenario has been developed for discussion with the Board of Trustees this month, and will be presented at the board meeting. This scenario includes continuing and preliminary proposed hires and personnel changes and estimated contractual expense and fringe benefit costs. It also simulates the impact of this year’s enrollment growth, and includes preliminary estimates of next year’s enrollments, state aid, tuition, and Broome County support, with a focus on the bottom line. For the first time in at least 25 years – and as discussed with Board members the past few months, the proposed budget does not plan to use fund balance.
Spring Enrollment Settles in at 7% Increase With Annual Increase Forecast at 5% … compares well with budget & other NYSCCs; helps make progress towards fund balance goal
Spring student enrollment has settled in at 7% more than last spring. It is anticipated that enrollments might tick ‘up’ a bit more as high school Fast Forward enrollments are entered into our student information system. Some additional growth is anticipated in this area.
When combined with our 3% fall-to-fall increase, an annual student enrollment FTE increase of 5% is anticipated as long as our efforts to recoup last summer’s 15%, 40 FTE decline are effective. Summer registrations are currently 3% more than last year, the course offerings and calendar have been optimized to attract a diverse group of students, and intensive marketing efforts are now beginning in full force.
The enrollment increase is the result of our enrollment planning efforts bearing fruit – student housing opening with 30 beds more filled than originally planned and staying nearly full, significant growth in our Binghamton Advantage Program, and increasing student retention, more than offsetting a 4% decline in Broome County student enrollments resulting from declining numbers of local graduates.
SUNY Broome’s anticipated 14-15 enrollments compare favorably with our budgeted 2% enrollment increase, and with all other NYS community colleges, none of whom are forecasting enrollment growth and three-quarters of whom are forecasting enrollment declines this year. The average NYS community college is forecasting a 3.4% enrollment decline – following a national trend of enrollment decline.
The current year revenue and fund balance forecasts and next year’s budget model have been increased to recognize the additional student revenues, and as a result of the enrollment growth, it is anticipated that the College will be able to make significant progress this year returning its’ fund balance from its’ current position – near the bottom of the 5% to 15% of budget recommended by SUNY and GASB, to the mid-range goal set in recent months in discussions with Board of Trustee members.
Other NYS County Student Enrollment Grew 29% as Result of Student Housing and BAP … close to budget and offsetting pending tentative annual chargeback revenue loss
Student enrollments from other NYS counties grew by 29% fall to fall as the result of the overwhelming majority of resident and Binghamton Advantage Program (BAP) students being from other NYS counties – two of the three areas that contributed to our enrollment growth this year.
For years the percentage of SUNY Broome students from other NYS counties has ranged from 22% – 24%. This year it will climb to an estimated 30% within the greater context of declining Broome County high school graduates and associated decline in Broome County residents attending.
Interestingly and ironically, the 29% enrollment growth and associated revenues are approximately the same amount that SUNY Broome tentatively stands to lose once (and if) the pending chargeback rate calculation changes are fully implemented in the coming 6 years.
In Search of Best Purchasing Practices for Campus in Consultation With SUNY
SUNY Broome is in the process of reviewing its purchasing practices and guidelines. We believe that our current guidelines reflect standard practice, yet we are interested in improving where possible. Our goal is to identify and implement ‘best practices’ that save money and bring quality goods and services to our campus in a timely way. We have asked SUNY Central’s purchasing expert for assistance in this endeavor – a ‘fresh set of eyes and perspective’ consultation from someone with a broader range of knowledge than Broome. In the coming months we will be bringing recommended purchasing changes forward to Board members for discussion.
cc: Board of Trustees, campus via SUNY Broome Today, developed by R. Losinger, VPAFA 2/17/15
See the attached for the complete report: