WMU News

Trustees approve estimated budget of $272 million

July 16, 2003

KALAMAZOO -- At its July 16 meeting, Western Michigan University's Board of Trustees approved a $272.5 million general fund operating budget for the 2003-04 year designed to tackle a $34.8 million budget shortfall that is the result of reduced state appropriations and cost increases.

The new budget, which is 4.4 percent higher than the 2002-03 budget, includes an expected $113.1 million in state appropriations--a $12.5 million decrease versus 2002-03--as well as nearly $149.6 million in tuition revenue. This marks the second consecutive WMU budget in which tuition revenue is a larger component than state appropriations.

In order to balance the budget, the board gave its approval to a plan that would trim $10.9 million in costs from virtually every area of the University. Included in the cost cutting will be a reduction of the equivalent of 180 full-time, non-instructional positions, which will be accomplished through 61 employee layoffs as well as such measures as reducing the number of part-time and student positions and leaving position vacancies unfilled.

"This has been an extremely difficult budget process, because of the issues that we and the state are facing" said WMU President Judith I. Bailey. "We had two main goals in putting together this budget--to protect our core educational mission and to minimize the impact of budget reductions on our colleagues. Even though we have worked hard to keep the layoff numbers as low as possible, for each individual affected, this will be a painful process, and we will help as much as we can."

Bailey noted that because WMU faculty numbers are already low relative to enrollment, and because the institution is determined to protect its core educational mission, the personnel cuts will take place in non-instructional areas.

Media contact: Matt Kurz, 269 387-8400, matt.kurz@wmich.edu

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