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Town Hall held to discuss the college's 2019 budget

by Kari Ashworth - News Editor
Tue, Nov 12th 2019 08:00 pm
The College at Brockport held a Town Hall regarding the budget for the 2019 school year.  Vice President for Administration and Finance Jim Wall gave the presentation.
The College at Brockport held a Town Hall regarding the budget for the 2019 school year. Vice President for Administration and Finance Jim Wall gave the presentation.

The College at Brockport held a Budget Town Hall on Thursday, Nov. 7, to discuss its finances. The presentation of the 2019 budget was given by Vice President for Administration and Finance Jim Wall. 

Wall began by discussing the college’s current state operating budget, which is $70.7 million. This is $500,000 higher than it was last year. The number of employees at the college, which includes faculty and staff, is roughly 1,011. 

As for enrollment, the current projection is 7,925 students, which is down from 8,290 for the 2018-2019 school year. 

“The financial impact of the enrollment decline is being evaluated,” Wall said. “Right now, we have a submission to SUNY; we believe it’s about a million to a million two.”

Wall moved on to the college’s capital projects. He said all the SUNY facilities are measured on a Facilities Condition Index (FCI).

“The ideal FCI index is 5%,” Wall said. “And what it is is SUNY’s conditioning index contains about 28 different components in the calculation, and the projects we currently have planned for Tuttle, Holmes and Brockway, they will simply improve our FCI. The SUNY FCI is already at 9.5; Brockport’s FCI is at 15%, so a lot of work to be done to get the FCI factor up to an acceptable level.”

Wall also mentioned several projects that will be done within the next few years. Wall said there is about $170.2 million in projects that are underway, all at different stages between planning to complete. 

“The ones in planning are energy conservation projects, the Seymour Union Ballroom upgrade, facilities maintenance barn and shed, renovating Brockway Dining Hall, Holmes Hall renovation, Tuttle Complex renovation,” Wall said. “If you look at Holmes and Tuttle alone, they account for $100 million dollars of the $170 million, which is forecasted to be spent on this campus over the next number of years.”

Projects in the design phase include replacing the roofs on Bramley and Briggs halls, upgrading the elevators in Perry, Bramley and Briggs halls, upgrading Cooper access and lobby, upgrading the athletic facilities such as the turf and the lighting and upgrading the fire alarm systems.

There is one project in bidding right now, which is reconstructing parking Lot F, and there are two projects in construction, which include structural repairs in a few residence halls and renovations on the Allen Administration Building’s exterior and the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system. Wall said the exterior renovations are ahead of schedule and should be complete soon. 

Wall moved on to enrollment and its financial impact on the college next. Enrollment is expected to continue to drop over the next five years.

“The impact on financials if you look at the blue line that’s the revenue we were receiving from tuition,” Wall said. “If you look at the orange line that’s the expenses we incur as a campus on the state side. So, you can see that if we don’t do anything our expenses are going to exceed our revenue which is not a good situation.”

The total gap for the next five years is roughly $38 million, which equates to about $7.6 million per year required to come out of the base if these enrollment trends continue. 

Wall said there are a number of projects in place to mitigate this deficit, which includes improving retention, a work process reengineering, reserve and rollover management, events management, program and school financials, space management and utilization, auxiliary cooperation profitability, asset acquisitions, managing printing services, e-procurement and energy management.

One way energy management has recently been tackled is by putting the lights in Drake Memorial Library on timers, which is projected to save the college between $30,000 and $40,000 a year.

Following the presentation, the floor was open for questions. One man was interested in how open positions will be filled and how the cabinet members will review those open positions since not everyone will be privy to those discussions. 

“So during the presidential task force and budget planning of ’15 and ’16, we started a very robust quarterly review of open positions,” President Heidi Macpherson said. “What we did at that point was no position could get filled until we’ve gone through that process and that actually is very helpful to us to help us rethink some positions… if a resident director leaves, you have to fill that position. If a university police officer leaves, in order for accreditation, you have to fill that. There’s certain ones we decided ‘OK, they can come out of that quarterly review.’”

Macpherson said the quarterly review was reinventing what the college did two years ago in order to make up for the downturn of students. The quarterly review is meant to be a way to prioritize positions that must be filled before others are. 

Another employee from Brockport Downtown, who sent questions to an audience member while watching the livestream, asked if anyone was looking into the financial opportunities of offering micro credentials.

“The answer is yes,” Provost and Vice President For Academic Affairs Katy Heyning said. “We’re trying to figure out what we would be good at. And then also, we can use that as a revenue generating stream. I’ve been talking with SUNY about the possibility for that… Know where areas of opportunity and opportunity growth [is], particularly if you go out into the community, the business community, in the education sector, in the healthcare sector that people may want at Brockport and may require expertise but not necessarily want to get a whole degree.”

Following the question and answer session, Wall thanked everyone for coming and called the meeting to a close.

 

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