Tuesday, September 28, 2004
I�m writing with some very good news for our campus. As we review the accounting of our finances, it appears that St. Cloud State University will have a positive budget balance from fiscal year 2004 after we have accounted for carry-forwards, set-asides, enrollment, MnSCU formula adjustments and settlements of contracts. This is in addition to the five percent that we are required by Minnesota State Colleges & Universities policy to hold in reserve.
So how did he make this happen? Three items are cited:
- "The Business Services Office has taken significant steps to reduce our accounts receivable balance from previous years that resulted in a one time collection of $1.35 million."
- "This includes a $250,000 savings in our utilities last year because our maintenance staff was careful to buy fuel oil when prices were most favorable and our collective efforts at conservation."
- "Nearly $1 million remains in unspent supply and equipment budgets from across campus, and we had significant savings from unpaid leave, salary savings, lower than expected health care premiums and unfilled positions because of postponed or failed searches."
The last one, however, is galling. I took about five years to build up departmental technology to the point where every computer in an office of lab was no more than three years old. For roughly $6000 I could have maintained that edge for a department that has 18 faculty and 130 majors, running about 3000 seats a semester. But I got no equipment money ... so that this guy can proclaim he has a surplus? And I have students complaining about not getting seats, and adjunct faculty having their salary cut, and we just approved a rather skimpy contract ... and they declare they have extra money.
Is there a plan to spend it? And can Saigo show that it will have greater value than it might have in new instructors and instructional equipment?
Cui bono from a budget surplus?