Committee examines KSU budget

Rachel Abbey

The university budget is still incomplete, but the situation in the state is looking more positive than negative, said David Creamer, vice president for administration.

All the debates and discussions about higher education have gotten attention from legislators, hopefully bringing in more funding.

“At least there is more time devoted to higher education than I’ve seen in two decades,” Creamer said.

The University Priorities and Budget Advisory Committee met Friday. The committee, made up of members of the university from faculty members to graduate students, meets about six times a year to discuss the university budget, Provost Paul Gaston said.

The committee has three main purposes, Gaston said. Administrators can provide information to the university community and the members can give feedback. Also, at the end of the year, the committee reviews the budget planning process and gives advice on how to do it better next year.

A lot of current budget concerns are complex because of enrollment issues, Creamer said. Tuition has risen rapidly in the past five years as enrollment has begun to fall.

Next fall will most likely bring a 6 percent tuition increase and a 3 percent enrollment decline for the Kent campus, Creamer said. Regional campuses determine their own budgets. He estimated the enrollment decrease will cause a loss of about $12 million.

On the other hand, there are places within and outside the university where funding for Kent State is likely to increase, Creamer said. The funds from the university’s investments will have risen almost $7 million in the past 7 years.

Funding from the state through the State Share of Instruction is expected to increase as well, Creamer said. Many of Kent State’s courses are first- and second-level, and the current system funds those kinds of courses less than they probably will under the new model.

The largest tentative increase in budget spending is for scholarships, Creamer said.

The committee also discussed academic and financial goals for the university until the centennial year of 2010.

Contact administration reporter Rachel Abbey at [email protected].