WMU's estimated 2014-15 operating budget set

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KALAMAZOO, Mich.— Meeting June 10, the Western Michigan University Board of Trustees approved an estimated general fund operating budget of just over $378 million for the 2014-15 fiscal year that will begin July 1.

The newly approved and balanced budget includes an increase of nearly $11.4 million in total revenue. It also includes an increase of nearly $11.4 million in expenses.

Major revenue ingredients to the WMU budget include $102.7 million in anticipated state appropriations for base funding from the state. That amount is up more than $5.5 million—or 5.6 percent—compared to last year's support from the state. The top revenue element in the new budget is $265.75 million in expected tuition and fee income from students both on and off campus. The tuition revenue includes a 3.2 percent increase in tuition and required fees, which was also approved by trustees June 10.

Major expense changes in the new estimated budget include an increase of more than $5.6 million for instruction costs, which includes compensation. The compensation figure in place is tentative, since faculty compensation for the next three years is part of ongoing contract negotiations.

Also part of the budget is an increase of $1 million in support for campus operations and maintenance budgets, including a 3 percent increase in utility costs. A better than $2.6 million increase in institutional support includes such items as debt service. Increases for student services, financial aid and public service activities also are reflected in the new budget.