June 30, 2010
Dear Campus Community:
On June 24, the University System of New Hampshire (USNH) Board of Trustees approved Keene State College’s FY2011 general operating budget of $76 million, a 5.8 percent increase over FY2010. This concluded six months of budget discussions, which demonstrated the extent to which state revenue shortfalls would affect USNH and its ability to offset appropriation reductions, provide salary increases, and support strategic initiatives through tuition increases. Through the collective patience and deliberation of campus constituencies, board committees and the USNH Chancellor’s Office, these objectives were achieved while holding in-state and out-of-state increases in total costs of attendance to 5.8% and 4.0%, respectively.
In achieving these objectives, precedents were set that are likely to carry into the next biennium. USNH avoided state appropriations reductions by returning $25 million to the state of New Hampshire prior to June 30th. This reduction was offset by agreement to raise an equal amount in state bond-funded capital appropriations for deferred maintenance projects in FY2011.
These actions left USNH’s FY2011 state appropriations level funded at $100 million. Though this agreement is a positive outcome for both the state and the USNH, it signals how tenuous funding levels are in the near future.
Tuition and Access
A second precedent is raising tuition by the same amount for both in- and out-of-state students. Given the inability of state appropriations to keep up with cost increases over the past four years, the trustees authorized a flat increase. Traditionally, tuition increases have been applied on a percentage basis causing out-of-state tuition to increase more than in-state tuition. For FY2011, all full-time students will contribute equally to total cost increases of $1032 per student over the academic year. This is similar to the comprehensive fee approach of private colleges. Total academic year cost of attendance—tuition, mandatory fees such as the deferred maintenance assessment, room, and board (19 meal plus flex plan)—will be $18,810 for in-state students and $26,980 for out-of-state students.
Financially needy student access is supported through a 28% increase in the institutionally funded financial aid program. To further assist students, the college will implement the Federal Direct Lending program which replaces the Federal loan program. The program should reduce borrowing rates and allow students to more easily consolidate loans over their undergraduate education. In addition, the college is funding two new financial aid programs: the Program for Undergraduate Research Experience (PURE) and the Keene Leadership Award. Federal Work Study funding remains at the same level.
Strategic and Quality Initiatives
The tuition increase at all USNH residential campuses is $650 per academic year. This includes $400 to cover basic cost increases, such as those associated with negotiated faculty contracts and staff salary increases retroactive to Jan. 1, 2010, and $250 to support campus strategic initiatives like the Keene State College Quality and Access Initiative that implements strategic plan and academic plan recommendations. One funded primary initiative doubles the number of new faculty lines for fall 2011 to six tenure-track faculty lines. New staff positions are also funded, including those needed to support accreditation in Athletic Training and Chemistry. Start-up funding for the new Nursing program (funded initially by the USNH Chancellor’s Office) and continuing funding for key Advancement positions have also been allocated. Continuing to improve the ratio of courses taught by full-time faculty and funding staff positions that enable the college to implement revenue generating or cost saving initiatives are part of the college’s next biennial budget request to the board. Fee supported increases totaling $382 allowed the college to fund cost increases and to correct funding deficiencies in shuttle, health and wellness and counseling services, all of which experienced significant increased demand over the past few years.
Reallocation allowed the college to fund additional initiatives recommended through the planning process. Energy supply contracts negotiated during FY2010 allowed the college to reduce the utility budget for FY2011 by more than 5%, approximately $300,000. One-time allocations were eliminated from the supplies and services line and USNH administrative cost savings resulting from a 10% staffing reduction saved $63,000. As a result, several part-time staff positions were converted to benefit-eligible positions and continuation of previously approved academic department initiatives—media arts and chemistry—were supported with recurring funding. Honors program and academic supply funding were also continued. Strategic initiatives approved during the FY11 funding cycle have been added to the cumulative listing on the planning website at http://www.keene.edu/planning/.
Furthermore, end of FY2010 savings provided a source of one-time funds for projects such as the next phase of replacing music practice modules, installing energy saving LED lighting to outside lights, marketing and advancement programs, and a seed fund for future cost savings initiatives. The business office will contact financial managers directly to provide information about the placement of one-time and recurring initiative-funded dollars.
I am also pleased to announce that the USNH Board of Trustees approved the following promotions to associate professor: Brinda Charry, Saran Ghatak, Yi Gong, Sara Hottinger, Loren Launen, Nigel Malcolm, Shirley McLoughlin, Judith Reed, Margaret Smith, and Barbara Ware. Sally Jean has been promoted to professor.
Jiwon Ahn and Loren Launen have been granted tenure by the board who also awarded emeritus status to the following retiring faculty: Thomas Antrim, Larry Benaquist, Helen Frink, David Payson and Patrick Eggleston. Please join with me in congratulating the faculty on these accomplishments.
The Board of Trustees ratified the Keene State College Educators Association (KSCEA) contract covering a period from July 1, 2009, through June 30, 2011. A salary increase of 2% effective January 1, 2010 is authorized to be distributed as an across–the–board increase for both contract years. I provide my sincerest thanks to the KSCEA and KSC negotiating teams who set a high standard for consideration of the needs of the campus community throughout this process. The ratification of the KSCEA Collective Bargaining Agreement was a critical outcome for the USNH Board of Trustees, and Keene State will move quickly to implement the agreement.
The board approved a salary increase for staff equivalent to that provided to KSCEA for FY10, which will be processed as a simple across-the-board increase. Details of the timing and method of distributing the applicable retroactive pay components will be communicated shortly to faculty and staff in a separate communication from Director for Human Resources Kim Harkness. FY11 salary for staff will be considered by the board later in the year.
During this year’s very challenging budget development cycle, we were able to build on the success of our on-going strategic planning efforts. The President’s Cabinet, the Planning Council, the Budget and Resource Council, the College Information Technology Council, the HR Planning Advisory Board, the Facilities Planning Advisory Council, deans and their staff, directors, and the Student Assembly all contributed in important ways to this year’s budget development.
FY2011 budgets can be viewed on-line through Banner’s FGIBAVL form or by running WebIntelligence reports for FY2011. Consult your business office cost center support person (John Halter, Karen House, Melissa Laughner, or Liane Wiley) if you need assistance accessing information about your FY2011 allocations. If you have any other questions, please contact your principal administrator.
Thank you for your work. I am pleased that we made progress in our goal to align our resources with the priorities of our strategic plan, and despite the economy, are finding ways to help students finance their education and to enhance the quality of programs at Keene State.
Helen F. Giles-Gee
Keene State has set up this page to share information about the financial challenges facing the College and to ask for ideas and input from the whole campus community. More resources, documents, and interactive features will be posted as the situation develops, so please check back.