WMU News

Board approves general fund budget

July 25, 1997

KALAMAZOO -- Western Michigan University has a new general fund operating budget for the 1997-98 fiscal year that began July 1 that totals $188.4 million. It represents an increase of $9.1 million or 5 percent over last year's budget of $179.2 million.

The new budget was approved July 25 by the WMU Board of Trustees. The University had been operating under the authority of last year's budget until the level of state appropriations was known. WMU is to receive $107.9 million in state funds for 1997-98, an increase of 4 percent.

The budget carries a projected deficit of just under $1.4 million. Of that, $1 million will be made up by .05 percent or one half of 1 percent in cuts to each of the University's five vice presidential areas and the Office of the President. The remaining $399,100 will be accounted for through normal employee turnover. This is the fifth time since 1991 that WMU has been required to set a target budget reduction.

Income from tuition and fees is expected to generate $76.4 million, a $4.9 million increase over last year. Income from indirect cost recovery from research and sponsored programs is projected at $1.5 million, the same as last year.

Despite its budget limitations, the University still will be able to support new initiatives in several areas. The University's academic programs will continue to be bolstered with an additional nine faculty positions, five of them for faculty members with significant international expertise. The number of doctoral associates will be increased by 20 and faculty computer resources will be increased by $250,000.

The University's academic advising staff will be increased by two positions and two computer technicians will be added to support those services. Equipment for the Science Research Pavilion now under construction will receive $500,000 and gender equity in intercollegiate athletics will get $115,000.

The largest increase in expenses over last year comes in faculty and staff compensation, at 4.5 percent or $6.1 million. Supplies will go up by 3 percent, utilities by 6 percent and student financial aid by 6.6 percent. Funds for library acquisitions will increase by 10 percent.

In other action, the board authorized the administration to enter into a contract with James E. Fulton & Sons Inc. of Kalamazoo for site demolition, clearing and excavation on a major addition to Waldo Stadium. Called the Bronco Alumni Football Center, the 50,000-square-foot addition and renovation of the stadium will provide new locker rooms, coaches' offices, meeting rooms, training rooms and other facilities.

The entire cost of the $7 million project is being met through private donations. This is the first of several contracts that are to be awarded as the project continues. Tower, Pinkster, Titus and Associates of Kalamazoo is the architect and Kalleward-Bergerson of Kalamazoo is the construction manager/general contractor. The project is expected to be completed by the start of the 1998-99 football season.

The board also authorized the administration to execute agreements for refinancing existing debt and borrowing additional funds for three projects. They include renovating, constructing and equipping facilities for athletics, engineering and parking. The borrowing is being done on a tax-free basis.

Office of University Relations
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA
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