myHumboldt Message Center

2018-19 Budget Update

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Campus Community:

Over the past years, we have collectively made significant progress toward achieving a balanced and sustainable budget for HSU, achieving two-thirds of our targeted spending reductions. HSU’s budget situation was also aided by the final 2018-19 State of California and California State University budgets.

I sincerely appreciate the successful advocacy efforts of the University community that helped the CSU secure additional funding, as well as the effort across campus to identify and implement reductions. Together, we are close to achieving our goal of a balanced budget and, most importantly, a budget that is focused on student learning and success.

HSU’s final 2018-19 Budget includes an additional $3 million in available base budget, $2.47 million of which is earmarked exclusively for Graduation Initiative 2025 activities. This additional funding allows HSU to invest strategically in personnel, programs, and activities that stabilize the budget and support high priority student success initiatives, even as we complete efforts underway to reduce overall spending by $9 million.    

For detailed 2018-19 budget information, the University Budget Office’s interactive budget dashboards on OpenBook have been updated with 2018-19 budget information for the University’s main Operating Fund. A summary of changes since April is available here, and additional budget planning details are available on the URPC webpage. Information for “All Funds” will be available shortly.

Highlights of Strategic Budgeting Activities in the 2018-19 Budget

  • Increased Support for Student Employment.

Permanent base funding for student assistants was increased by $1 million, from $1.6 million to $2.6 million, through a combination of new investment, strategic reallocations, and campus department reorganizations. This reflects our commitment to supporting students through campus employment and ensures we have resources in place to absorb any increase in the minimum wage in upcoming years.

  • Increased Support for Classroom Instruction.

Investment in Instruction has been increased by $4 million to be 39.7% of HSU’s total budget (versus 38.0% last year). This increase reflects intentional, strategic decisions to prioritize new investments in areas directly serving students and central to our core academic mission. Simultaneously, investment in Institutional Support activities was decreased by $3 million to 13.9% of HSU’s total budget, down from 16.6% the prior year. However, $1.9 million of this decrease is related to the reorganization of Human Resources and Academic Personnel Services and a shift in how unallocated Graduation Initiative 2025 funding is accounted for.

  • Deliberate Investment in Student-Focused Initiatives.

To further stabilize HSU’s budget, the 2018-2019 budget includes $544,000 to provide permanent base funding for key student-focused initiatives previously supported with one-time funding. These strategic investments include providing student employment and mentorship opportunities, promoting a sense of belonging and connectedness for our students, supporting student programming activities to help build community, and providing a safe and welcoming campus environment.

New Investments to HSU’s Base Budget
The final State of California Budget provided additional funding to the CSU, resulting in $3 million more than what was anticipated in HSU’s initial 2018-19 budget plan. This unanticipated funding is primarily earmarked (by Legislative action) for Graduation Initiative 2025 activities. These funds will allow HSU to:

  • Invest in tenure-line faculty hires for Fall 2019. (Investment: $1.2 million)

  • Earmark funding to advance high-priority student-success initiatives outlined in HSU’s new Strategic Enrollment Management Plan. The Student Success Alliance (SSA) will develop a  framework for how funding will be distributed, including financial and assessment plans guided by the Integrated Assessment, Planning, and Budget initiative underway, and this new framework will be shared in the coming months. (Investment: $965,000)

  • Stabilize key student-focused programs and initiatives previously supported with one-time funding (as mentioned earlier). Specifically, these investments provide support for Retention through Academic Mentoring Program (RAMP), Learning Center, Cultural Centers for Academic Excellence, California Indian Big Time & Social Gathering annual event, Preview Plus, Student Clubs and Activities, Recreational Sports, Educational Opportunity Program (EOP), Student Disability Resource Center (SDRC), Veterans Enrollment and Transition Services (VETS), and campus public safety. (Investment: $544,000)

  • Investing in HSU’s contingency to protect against unexpected volatility and the possibility of an economic downturn. (Investment: $285,000)

Progress on Reductions
To date, we have implemented $6.1 million in specific reductions and savings toward the $9 million reduction target. An additional $2.9 million in reductions are still in progress for the 2018-2019 fiscal year. This marks significant progress. Looking ahead, we must complete the full $9 million in reductions to better position HSU for long-term financial viability and improve the alignment of our spending with our CSU peers. Achieving the final portion of our goal will be challenging, but we are on the cusp of transforming our budget to be both sustainable and strategic.

Details regarding progress on reductions are available here.

Enrollment Update
While we have made good progress and the 2018-19 budget has been bolstered by new GI 2025 funding, I need to emphasize that student enrollment continues to be an area of concern for our campus. Current projections for Fall 2018 FTES enrollment indicate we will be 6% lower compared to Fall 2017. This is due in part to HSU’s successful effort to graduate additional students, but it is also a reflection of our need to stabilize our incoming and continuing student populations. This enrollment decline will result in approximately $2.4 million reduced tuition revenue for the University’s overall budget and reduced fees to support a variety of student programs and activities. The 2018-19 budget reflects the concerted effort underway in stabilizing enrollment.

  • The base funding earmarked for GI 2025 will allow us to advance many of the initiatives outlined on the Strategic Enrollment Management Plan to improve student retention and eliminate student opportunity and achievement gaps.

  • The final State of California budget allocated one-time funding to the CSU for enrollment-related activities, of which HSU will receive $336,000. This funding will be dedicated to recruitment efforts focused on increasing applications and enhancing yield activities in the coming year.

2017-18 Year-End Overview
HSU’s Operating Fund ended 2017-18 in a more positive position than in recent years, reflecting proactive progress toward implementing reductions and curtailing spending across the campus. As a result, we were able to bolster reserves by almost $1.8 million.

A detailed 2017-18 Operating Fund financial overview is available here.
Thank you again for your ongoing dedication to serve and educate our students.

Sincerely,

Lisa A. Rossbacher, Ph.D.
President

 

Humboldt State University