U of M’s proposed budget emphasizes investing in its future in the face of rising cost challenges

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As the University’s fiscal year draws to a close next month, the University of Minnesota Board of Trustees will consider President Joan Gabel’s recommended operating budget for the upcoming 2022-23 fiscal year. The budget proposal comes at a difficult time for budgets of all sizes, as tumultuous political, financial and public health conditions nationally and globally create uncertain and less predictable paths.

“Effective budgeting and financial management has been critical over the past few years as we have had to assume, adjust and accept a variety of unknowns,” said Board Chairman Ken Powell. “As a Board of Directors, we appreciate the thought and effort that went into developing a proposed operating budget under these circumstances. We will continue to make decisions in this uncertain environment that will best position the University for long-term success.

The recommended operating budget projects approximately $4.2 billion in revenue for the coming year, versus approximately $4.1 billion in expenditures. Compared to last year’s budget and removing one-time financial contributions from the American Rescue Plan program, this proposed budget would represent a 1.9% increase in revenue year over year, eclipsed by a 4 .1% of expenses. The latter reflects widely observed economic pressures, including inflation and labor availability, among others.

The budget emphasizes investments guided by the system-wide strategic plan, MPact 2025. Notably, the budget proposes merit-based increases for University employees system-wide, local leaders distributing an average of 3.85% to their teams. President Gabel and her management team have made it a priority to invest in attracting and retaining the talented faculty and staff needed to achieve the goals of the plan.

The budget also recommends that cost increases be funded, in part, through internal reallocations, spending reductions and other operational changes that redeploy existing resources to better meet current and future needs. Depending on the local budget of each college or unit, these reallocation targets will vary, but collectively they will represent a significant increase in additional resources in next year’s budget, over $28 million.

A University undergraduate tuition increase is also included, with a 1.75% change recommended for the Crookston, Duluth and Morris campuses, and a 3.5% change for Rochester and the Twin Cities . These proposed figures continue to keep tuition increases below the rate of inflation, an increasingly difficult proposition in an environment of flat support from state and other revenue sources, and increases in potentially significant costs associated with inflation.

“We have worked across the system to establish a budget that achieves strategic goals and advances University excellence in the face of rising costs. This budget invests in supporting and building a world-class workforce, incorporating a responsible tuition and fee plan, and challenging all units of the University to prioritize and continually improve the efficiency,” Gabel said.

Public forum on recommended annual operating budget for fiscal year 2023
The board will accept public comments on the president’s recommended annual operating budget for fiscal year 2023 as he plans to act next month.

A public forum will be held at 8 a.m. on Friday, May 13. Registration will begin at 7:30 a.m. in the West Committee Room, Sixth Floor, McNamara Alumni Center. Available time slots will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

Written comments can also be submitted online. All written comments will become part of the public record.

As part of its May meetings, the Board should also:

  • Review and act on recommendations for promotion, tenure, and other academic appointmentswhich will include three faculty members detailing their research, education and outreach activities.
  • Recognize distinguished students, faculty and staffduring which the individual winners will be presented and honored by the Board of Directors.
  • Review Gabel’s recommended capital improvement budget for FY23.
  • Review proposed changes to Board Policy: Student Code of Conduct during a discussion with the student affairs department of the Duluth and Twin Cities campuses.
  • Act on proposed changes to board policy: Use of property and facilities.
  • Review annual workforce report and HR strategy.
  • Complete a three-part discussion on Health Science Strategy with a discussion of clinical care.
  • Conclude a series of discussions on the work of diversity, equity and inclusion on the five campuses of the Universitywith the Duluth campus planned to present.

For more information, including future meeting times, visit regents.umn.edu.

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