WMU Board approves 2016-17 operating budget of $397 million

Contact: Cheryl Roland

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Meeting June 29, the Western Michigan University Board of Trustees approved an estimated general fund operating budget of $397 million for the 2016-17 fiscal year that is set to begin July 1.

The newly approved and balanced budget includes a 2.43 percent increase of $9.4 million in both total revenue and expenses, as compared with last year's budget. Major revenue ingredients to the WMU budget include $107.4 million in anticipated state appropriations for base funding from the state. That amount is up $3.1 million—or 3 percent—compared to last year's support from the state. The top revenue element in the new budget is $280.5 million in expected tuition and fee income from students both on and off campus. The tuition revenue includes a 4.19 percent increase in tuition and required fees, which was also approved by trustees June 29. That increase will result in a $6.4 million increase in tuition and fee revenue.

Major expense changes in the new estimated budget include increases in compensation levels for University employees in 2016-17. The increases, which include amounts negotiated with collective bargaining groups as well as raises for nonbargaining employee groups, will result in $7.69 million in new compensation costs to cover those increases. Compensation is the single largest expense in the University's budget each year.

Also part of the budget is a 2 percent increase in utility costs. Other adjustments include more funds for financial aid, additional funds to cover increases in health care and retirements costs, and support of WMU's strategic plan through the WMU Signature program and safety alert system.

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More from the June 29 Board of Trustees meeting
WMU trustees opt to keep 2016-17 tuition increase below state cap | June 29, 2016