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Operating budget tops $353 million for 2011-12

by Cheryl Roland

June 9, 2011 | WMU News

Photo of entrance to campus of Western Michigan University.
KALAMAZOO--Meeting June 9, the Western Michigan University Board of Trustees approved an estimated general fund operating budget of more than $353 million for the 2011-12 fiscal year that begins July 1.

The newly approved and balanced budget exceeds the previous year's estimated budget by more than $10 million. It includes a nearly $13 million increase in total expenses as well as $2.4 million in targeted budget reductions for the coming year.

Major revenue ingredients to the WMU budget include $93.17 million in anticipated state appropriations. That amount is down more than $16 million compared to last year's appropriation from the state. The second major revenue element in the new budget is $250 million in expected tuition income from students both on and off campus. The tuition revenue includes a 6.66 percent increase in tuition and required fees, which was also approved by trustees June 9.

Major expense changes in the new budget include financial aid, which will see a more than $4.4 million increase. The increase is part of a longstanding commitment by WMU to increase financial aid resources whenever it is necessary to increase tuition and to increase the financial aid fund by the same percentage as the tuition increase.

Expense changes in the new budget also include budgeted increases totaling just over $4 million for program support and additional financial aid in the Haworth College of Business and the College of Fine Arts. Those increases are offset by expected increased revenue to those two colleges in the same amount. That increased revenue is the result of differential tuition charges for those two colleges approved earlier this year by the Board of Trustees.

Also part of the budget is $300,000 to fund the hiring of additional academic advisors, as well as investments of $300,000 in student services and $200,000 in the campus' diversity and inclusion efforts.

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