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Trustees tackle money matters Tuesday

Operating budget is up for review

Contact: Heather Smith

The Central Michigan University Board of Trustees will be asked to approve the 2015–2016 operating budget when they meet in formal session Tuesday.

Barrie Wilkes, vice president of finance and administrative services, says the $483 million proposed budget includes several new strategic investments:

  • $6.1 million in financial aid — a 15.2 percent increase over this year and a 67 percent increase over the last five years;
  • An additional $513,000 for Enrollment and Student Services;
  • $5.9 million in compensation increases; and
  • $2.3 million for athletics for gender equity, base fund positions and operations.

The budget also reflects a number of cost containment initiatives including:

  • $3 million annually in energy savings and sustainability. CMU's utility budget has not increased in six years;
  • $21.2 million savings through self-funded health care; and
  • Savings of up to $4 million annually through competitive bidding and purchasing cooperatives.

CMU is ranked 13 out of 15 Michigan public universities for having the lowest administrative costs. At the same time, 49 percent of expenditures are dedicated to academic instruction compared to a national Carnegie average of 39 percent.

The budget is based on state appropriations of nearly $81 million dollars and a freshman class of 3,500 students. State funding accounts for 17 percent of the university's revenue while tuition contributes 56 percent.

CMU continues to receive among the lowest in per student state funding and has had the lowest cumulative tuition increase for the last five years.

Trustees also will consider a $2.9 million proposal to convert 105 utility control panels from pneumatic to electronic. The new controls are more economical and energy efficient and the money saved will pay for them in 2.2 years.

The meeting, which is open to the public, begins at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday in the President's Conference Room of the Bovee University Center. 

The agenda for the June meeting is available on the Board of Trustees website.

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