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FY 1998 Proposed Budget

Monday, February 3rd, 1997


This fiscal year we begin the practice of open consultation on the progress of the UNI General Education Fund (GEF) Budget. This consultation will occur at several levels. This paper deals only with the distribution of the increases in income we anticipate in FY98 over FY97 receipts and reallocations from the President's Office budget to the other campus divisions. Allocation of this distribution and reallocations within each Division will be the responsibility of that Division Vice President.

FY97, the current fiscal year, necessarily forms the base year for monitoring this progress. It will be easier to follow the subsequent discussion by referring frequently to the attached spreadsheet.


Income to the GEF derives from legislative appropriations, tuition collections, and a small amount of other income. The legislative appropriation anticipated is based on the budget presented by the Governor in his message of January 15, 1997. In this message, the suggested increase for UNI operations is $804,000. Of this amount, only $150,711 offers any degree of campus discretion in its expenditure. The remainder is budgeted by line and includes $131,000 to cover inflation for library acquisitions, $383,000 to cover increased utility and maintenance costs for the new Wellness Center, $89,289 for salary annualization, and $50,000 to provide the per-student cost for enrollment increases associated with the outreach program at Carroll, IA.

The income increase from tuition collections is estimated to be $1,142,446. Of this amount, 81% is discretionary within the guidelines approved by the Board of Regents. The remaining 19% is designated, under current policy, to increase funds for student financial aid. This portion must be paid out directly to students qualifying for aid or scholarships. The income estimate assumes no change in mix or number of students occurs. The estimate probably is conservative, but there are insufficient data to justify any alternative estimate. The estimate for income increases from other sources, $25,939, also is conservative.

The sum of the portions of the income over which the campus has some discretion is $1,102,031. It is this amount, plus a reallocation of some of the base currently in the President's Office, that will be the focus of the discussion of expenditures.


FY97 budgeted expenditures are listed by Division on the attached spreadsheet. They are: President's Office, includes External Relations, Public Relations, and Affirmative Action, $2,734,202; Academic Affairs, includes Colleges, Library and Information Technology Services, $71,432,380; Educational and Student Services, $5,215,681; Administration and Finance, $20,056,166; Advancement, $1,058,440; General Institution, $1,128,821; and GEF Student Aid Set-aside, does not include financial aid administration, $5,447,810.

Of these lines, all are self-explanatory except General Institution. This line funds items over which the institution has little control such as direct assessments to UNI by the Regents office, the contingency fund, and as a source for one-time allocations that are not well enough defined to merit a permanent allocation. This last category is likely to be more easily understood as discussion of changes in its value follow.

Reading the spreadsheet from left to right for any Division should yield information about the proposed changes in that Division's Budget. For example, the Academic Affairs row will show the FY97 base in column 3, $71,432,380; adjustments resulting from line items in the Governor's proposed budget in column 5, $181,000; allocation from new income in column 7, $550,010; reallocation from other divisions in column 9, $451,934, and, finally, the new base budget for the Division in column 11, $72,615,324. The actual new base for the Division also will include salary increases, once they are determined.

Distribution of the Governor's proposed increases was discussed in the "Income" section.

Proposed distribution of the "discretionary" income, column 7, is as follows: President's Office--External Relations and Affirmative Action staffing plus a 3% increase in Supplies and Services base, $31,824; Academic Affairs--equipment, staffing, incentives for "Iowa as our Campus" initiative, elimination of course fees, plus a 3% increase in Supplies and Services base, $550,010; Educational and Student Services--staffing plus a 3% increase in Supplies and Services base, $54,167; Administration and Finance--increase building repair fund specifically to reduce backlog in remodeling projects, cover increase in utility bills, plus a 3% increase in Supplies and Services base, $306,074; Advancement--staffing of the new visitor center plus a 3% increase in Supplies and Services base, $21,615; General Institution--Wellness Center student assistants, $75,000, marketing with emphasis on the evening program, $50,000.

Proposed reallocation among Divisions is as follows: President's Office--reduce technology enhancement fund base, $(496,296); Academic Affairs--increase telephone budget to cover cost increases attributed to new digital system, increase base budget of ITS to assure digital data network availability to all academic buildings, $451,934; Educational and Student Services--increase telephone budget to cover cost increases attributed to new digital system, $16,794; Administration and Finance-- increase telephone budget to cover cost increases attributed to new digital system, $24,922; Advancement-- increase telephone budget to cover cost increases attributed to new digital system, $2,646.

Strategic Considerations

How specific allocations within any Division reflect the Strategic Plan are best discussed with that Division's Vice President, but it is clear that the above allocations reflect some fundamental decisions on the part of the Cabinet as a team. It is our judgment that non-salary items have not recovered appropriately from years in the past when these funds were used as the source of budget reductions. The single most important tactic we could use to support the strategy of improving instruction and services to meet our goal of intellectual vitality was to begin to hasten that recovery. By far the largest fraction of allocated and centrally reallocated funds are, therefore, distributed to supplies, services, and equipment. It is intended that these proposed expenditures improve the tools each person, student, faculty and staff has at their disposal in order to increase their personal productivity. This allocation also allows elimination of general course fees. The Cabinet believed that this would be more convenient for students and reduce overhead for Departments.

The next largest fraction was allocated to staffing. Some of that staffing seemed unavoidable and was created by previous commitments. Examples of this are the addition of a Manager of the Performing Arts Center and some personnel support for the Wellness Center, in the form of student assistants.

The Cabinet also identified the inability to get timely remodeling of spaces necessary to changing functions, primarily academic and instructional, as a barrier to quality instruction, and allocated $150,000 to help relieve some of the backlog in this area. While the amount is too small to make a major difference immediately, it clearly establishes an interest in making certain that the physical environment supports the primary functions of the University. An allocation of $99,000 was made to "just pay the bills," as the cost of fire protection, refuse disposal, and electricity and steam generation have risen regularly.

Finally, some smaller amounts were allocated to targeted programs. Outreach (Goal I.C.) was addressed by providing support to sustain enrollment in the Evening Program and to lower the barrier to developing courses that might have participation from remote sites, be that directly, via ICN, WWW, or whatever.

Enrollment management continues to be an important priority. If the strategic plan objective of increasing out-of-state enrollment is met, that will change the income mix in a positive way. Those changes are not anticipated in this budget discussion as presently they are speculative. Increased costs of out-of-state recruiting, if successful, will be offset by increased income.


UNI will be asked to prepare its budget request for FY99 before the end of FY97. Readers of this document are asked to help their division identify needs that require new income. Please be aware that many needs can be met by internal reallocation. Most "business as usual" needs fall into the reallocation category. As is apparent from the treatment proposed for higher education in FY98, we need to prepare requests to the Board that truly reflect innovative thinking in order to develop the political support necessary for legislative increases.


Each Vice President and the Director of External Relations have been asked to prepare a consultative process within their respective divisions that allow employees of that division to have a mechanism for comment on the proposed budget. Each division, in that process, is expected to make provision for student input as well.

Each division is asked to report back to the full Cabinet by March 14. In that report, each VP/Director will be asked to identify proposed changes in the university allocation as suggested by the consultative process in their division; reallocations within the division; and proposals for funding for FY99.

The Web version of this document provides an e-mail response field (see below) for those wishing to provide comments directly to the Cabinet, but you need to be aware that individual comments will carry less weight than those developed by the consultative process in each division.

After considering all the suggestions, the Cabinet will publish a near-final draft to the web site on April 7. There will be only one week available to respond to this version and the e-mail response option will become the preferred mode for input on that version.

The final draft, to be shared with the Board of Regents, will be published to the web on April 21. Necessary adjustments from final action by the General Assembly will be made before the proposal is forwarded to the Board. The Board, of course, has the authority to make changes from the recommendations we forward to them.