’09 budgets may change with state numbers

Kristyn Soltis

Colleges wait for finalized figures

Kent State’s traditional budgeting model has had the revenues from tuition and the state of Ohio managed centrally by the university. But now, with the new Responsibility Center Management budgeting model being implemented on July 1, individual colleges within the university will be able to manage their own budgets internally.

Although the colleges’ projected budgets were due in May, final amounts will not be known until the release of Ohio’s state budget, which will be completed in the beginning of July.

“Any projected budget we have for the college is based on the assumption that the state subsidy for instruction will not be reduced,” said Daniel Mahony, dean of the College of Education, Health and Human Services, in an e-mail interview.



• College of Architecture and

Environmental Design

$466,671 positive

• College of Arts

$1,168,258 negative

• College of Arts and Sciences

$197,560 negative

• College of Business Administration

$1,032,489 positive

• College of Communication and Information

$1,078,456 positive

• College of Education, Health and Human services

$133,041 positive

• College of Nursing

$1,212,974 negative

• College of Technology

The figures for each college correspond to the surplus or deficit it would have faced if the university had been running under RCM during the 2008 fiscal year. The office of the vice president for finance and administration provided the projections.

Higher enrollment in the college would also create more revenue which means retainment and recruitment of students is crucial in the RCM model.

Mahony projects his college’s budget will be better under the new RCM budgeting model, especially if it keeps its enrollment high.

“Although the early projections look good, if we fail to reach the targets then we will also need to make adjustments to the budget,” Mahony said. “Still, we have budgeted conservatively for next year so we can handle it if we fall somewhat short of the projections.”

The College of Education, Health and Human Services eliminated three non-tenure-track positions in fall 2008, along with a few faculty who chose to retire on June 30 under the university’s separation plan. However, there is hope to add staff to the advising center.

“Our faculty members tend to be more involved with advising students than is the norm and that has helped with retention,” Mahony said.

James Dalton, dean of the College of Architecture and Environmental Design, said there will be no faculty or budget cuts in his college under the new RCM budgeting model.

Meanwhile, enrollment in the college has grown during the past six years.

“We have an active recruitment system that we use with faculty interviewing students and their parents when they come to campus on a one-on-one basis,” Dalton said. “We’ve done that ever since I’ve been here and it’s paid great dividends in getting the recruiting and quality of students we really want. We bring in the highest students in the university, from an academic-quality standpoint.”

As of spring 2009, the total undergraduate enrollment for the university was 29,115 students while the total graduate enrollment was 5,107 students.

According to a budget presentation made when the model was being considered by the university, some of the potential concerns with the new budgeting model include concerns that there may be too much focus on financial performance. There may also be an increase in internal competition.

However, the RCM model is expected to give colleges and campuses greater control of financial resources and provide integrated academic and budget planning.

Laura Dzurec, dean of the College of Nursing, said her college is doing its best with the difficult economic times.

“In this economy, there aren’t any surpluses,” Dzurec said in an e-mail interview. “Our college budget projections were cut back, but we continue to try to be flexible given the difficult economy.”

While the College of Nursing did not make any faculty cuts, cutbacks were made on various expenses for the year. The college did, however, receive a grant from Akron philanthropist Olga A. Mural and some lesser funding from additional resources.

“We are adding online courses and carefully examining faculty assignments to be sure we are making optimal use of everyone’s time, talents and energy,” Dzurec said .

Contact principal reporter Kristyn Soltis at [email protected].