Board of Trustees approves 10% decrease in new budget

Despite projecting a 20% decrease in May, the Board of Trustees approved a new budget during its meeting Wednesday, giving the university a little more spending room.

The Board approved the budget for $595 million – a $65 million or 10% decrease from last year. The budget was decreased due to declining enrollment, reduced on-campus revenue and reduced state aid because of the coronavirus.

In May, the Board had approved cutting $36 million in salaries and benefits; that is included in the total cut approved this week. Using the “Planning for the Worst and Working for the Best” philosophy, the university did not decrease the full 20% cut proposed at the May board meeting – only half of it.

Tuition revenue declined because of enrollment dropping 6.5%, but President Todd Diacon said this was expected due to the pandemic. Every public university in Ohio except for Ohio State and Cincinnati went down in enrollment, he said.

On-campus revenue decreased by $28 million due to fewer students being on campus.

Kent State got $13.7 million less in state aid through the State Share of Instruction program, a 4.5% decrease from last year, but depending on the state economy the cut could increase to 10%.

New funding commitments include an additional $1.6 million allocated to mental health services on campus for students and another $1.2 million given to support off-campus and distance learning. There is also a freeze on university-sponsored travel for this year.

Ben Vrobel covers administration. Contact him at [email protected]

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