|June 29, 2000||A Laboratory Newspaper at Cleveland State University||Volume 2 Issue 3|
End-of-year news for CSU may be better than feared
By Nathan Sheeran
The Cleveland State University budget for this past fiscal year 1999-2000 is not certain to face a shortfall, according to Vice President of Finance and Administration Christine Jackson.
“We feel fairly confident yet that we’ll (CSU) be OK come June 30,” she said in an interview on June 22.
Jackson acknowledged that the originally proposed budget was different than the actual expenditures of the university, but said in an earlier interview that a reallocation of $1.2 million occurred in January, and that those funds have put CSU in a decent fiscal position.
When asked if the university will be in debt at the end of the fiscal year, June 30, Jackson said, “I think we’ll find we’ll be able to handle year-end closing.” Although she did say that this year-end closing was more difficult than any of the previous six years that she has been at CSU.
Jackson also said that if the university finds itself, “in the red,” or over budget, it has two options. According to Jackson, those two options are asking the university board of trustees for money from the university reserves, or having CSU face a budget deficit for the fiscal year 2000-2001.
The university reserves have already been used to fix money problems at CSU this year. According to Jackson, approximately $4.6 million was asked for out of the university reserves and was approved by the board over the winter. The money was used to address the difficulties that occurred from the installation PeopleSoft software by hiring consultants and technicians to fix the operating system’s problems.
That money was also used to purchase more software, such as Power-FAIDS, the Financial Aid Department’s new software (see story page 1).
According to Jackson, the approximate $4.6 million is not a figure that is included in the budget calculations, so the expenses related to PeopleSoft are not the cause for any tightness in the budget.
Reasons behind the difficulty in this year’s fiscal closing were the relatively flat enrollment rate, and the continuing need to meet class requirements, according to Jackson.
She said CSU had to hire more part-time instructors and graduate assistants to meet the academic needs of the university.
“We had planned on enrollment being 1-percent up,” Jackson said, “that did not materialize.”
At the board of trustees meeting on June 21 discussions were held about the past year’s budget and the coming year’s budget was approved.
At the meeting, Board Chairman Bill Patient said, “This university is not in financial crisis.”
CSU President Claire Van Ummersen agreed with Patient, saying although the university’s financial flexibility had decreased, the board did not believe that CSU was in grave fiscal danger.
“I believe that we will be in balance for the year-end,” said Van Ummersen.
The proposed budget for next year was approved at the meeting.
When asked if the difficulty in closing the budget for this year was considered in calculating next year’s budget, Jackson said that CSU would be more aware of any over-expenditures throughout the year.
She said the university would attempt to be aware through monthly status reports coming from all departments and colleges.
CSU gets full request from state legislature for capital funding
By Nathan Sheeran
Money for capital improvements was recently released to Cleveland State University. Thursday June 15, Ohio Gov. Bob Taft signed a two-year capital improvement plan that includes $530 million to be given to Ohio’s state-owned colleges and universities.
According to vice president of Finance and Administration Christine Jackson, CSU was awarded money for various capital pro-jects.
CSU was given $9.25 million to finish construction of the new College of Urban Affairs building.
The university was also given $3 million for general building maintenance and renovation.
Jackson said money was also received by CSU for land acquisition and an upcoming renovation of the Main Classroom building.
A state university like CSU makes a capital funds request to the Ohio State Senate, and then those requests are either approved or denied by the state government. The CSU Board of Trustees approved the university’s request in October of 1999 and then forwarded those requests to the state.
According to CSU President Claire Van Ummersen, all of the items that
CSU requested capital funding for were approved by the state senate.
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