WMU News

Trustees approve final general fund budget of $214 million

June 25, 1999

KALAMAZOO -- The Western Michigan University Board of Trustees June 25 approved a final general fund operating budget of $213.9 million for the 1998-99 fiscal year that ends June 30.

The total includes $111.5 million in state appropriations and $84.7 million in tuition revenue. The total is always different from the budget adopted by the board at the start of the fiscal year because of "inevitable changes," said Robert M. Beam, vice president for business and finance.

Changes include funds reserved for specific purposes in various operating units of the University, such as pooled equipment funds, sabbatical leave funds and compensation improvement funds, Beam said. In addition, there also are funding adjustments in various programs.

"As in the past, it is our intent to carry forward departmental balances to cover these program commitments," he explained. "This long-standing practice also provides our fiscal managers with important flexibility to make purchases at the appropriate time, which is not necessarily at the end of the budget year."

The board also authorized the administration to continue normal operations of the University under existing budget authority, pending the Board's approval of a budget for the 1999-2000 fiscal year that starts July 1. That is expected to occur in September.

At the same time, the board authorized President Elson S. Floyd to allocate 1999-2000 salary increases for non-contractual employees, effective July 1. Contract talks continue between WMU and its faculty and police officers unions.

"We are not prepared to recommend the adoption of a 1999-2000 general fund budget at this time," Beam said. "That's because information on our new state appropriation has not been finalized and collective bargaining with the American Association of University Professors and the Police Officers Association is not completed."

In other action, trustees authorized Beam, the board's treasurer, to establish an unsecured $25 million line of credit with Huntington National Bank in Kalamazoo. While WMU has not had a history of short-term borrowing, this line of credit is intended to offer the University flexibility in the management of its cash balances.

The board also approved a resolution that allows employees who are members of the Michigan Public School Employees Retirment System to deduct tax-deferred amounts from their paychecks to buy service credit or pay back refunds. Once begun, the deductions cannot be revoked until the credit or refund is paid in full or the employee terminates employment at WMU.

Media contact: Mike Matthews, 616 387-8400, michael.matthews@wmich.edu

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