UM Faces More Budget Shortfalls In Coming Years [YouTube]
The University of Montana will face even more financial challenges in the next two years as one-time funds will disappear, and leave the school between $10 to $12 million dollars short of its budget.
Vice President of Administration and Finance, Mike Reid said on Tuesday, that reduced enrollment, combined with other factors will leave the university looking for ways to economize in the years ahead.
"The 2017 budget is really the focus of what we're looking at right now," Reid said. "We have been using some one-time monies from the auxiliaries, roughly $3.2 million, and then there's about $2.8 million in benefit increases in 2017 that we wouldn't have in 2016. What caught us by surprise was the reduction in enrollment from our non-resident students, and that added about a $3 million shortfall from the fall semester, which we expect to repeat in the spring. In total, we're looking at anywhere from $10 to $12 million that we have to make adjustments for.in the fiscal year 2017 budget."
Reid said faculty and staff cuts are only a part of the plan to bring the university's budget into balance in the coming years.
"The federal government requires us to pay back loans that the students are obligated for if we don't track their loans appropriately," he said. "We have to determine if we're using financial aid and scholarships and waivers that we're providing effectively. We're looking at our utilities, we're looking at software, are we duplicating purchases, and consolidating services. We're looking at the entire gamut of things, in addition to looking at personnel reductions."
Reid said planning for the future means having a firm hold on incoming enrollment to have an accurate picture of the university's budget from fiscal year to fiscal year.
"The reality is, it's not a really solid budget until we see those new biennium figures," Reid said.
Meanwhile, the process of downsizing the faculty and support staff continues as the Christmas and New Years holidays approach.