Campus Relations and Planning Committee

October 25, 2007 -- 8:00 a.m.

(Approved Nov. 8, 2007)

Meeting Minutes

Student Center - Prairie Lounge





Members present:         Joe Basel, LeAnn Dean, Ken Hodgson, Sarah Mattson, Maddy

Maxeiner, Brook Miller, Lowell Rasmussen, Jennifer Rothchild,

Dave Swenson, Sharon Van Eps, Jenny Wermerskirchen,

Douglas Williams, Pete Wyckoff


Members not present: Sara Haugen, Michelle Page


Guests: Jacquie Johnson, Gary Strei




Next meeting Tuesday at 8:00 am in the Prairie Lounge.


Continued discussion of the budget discussion with Gary Strei

Gary: Each year we budget for a specific amount from central as well estimated tuition and university fees. The current year (2007-2008) was budgeted based on an estimated enrollment of 1700 - we came in a little under this. Gary uses more than just a headcount when determining the budget. The numbers are down, not significantly down, the mix of of students isn't too bad—much of our number drop was from PSEO students, and we only generate around 50% of tuition amount from those students.


Pete Wyckoff asked a question: even normal students have a discount rate, what we're giving them in financial aid that is directly costing us, what is the typical student (not PSEO) bring in? Jacquie responded that the tuition discount rate at Morris is around 29%.


The tuition revenues for this year will be down slightly, maybe $150,000 short of what was budgeted, but Gary also set up a tuition reserve for $150,000 so we should be close.


Retention rates have been going up and so are graduation rates (not quite as high as we'd like). Jacquie observed that a discussion needs to take place to decide how conservatively we want to plan for next year's enrollment.


In addition to our budget for the year we got money allocated through the COMPACT process, a process whereby central administration funds requests for new initiatives and plans (listed in Gary’s handout). The money from this COMPACT process has helped us stay in the black. Some of that money was counted in the 06-07 budget but wasn't spent last year. When you take these funds into account, along with the fact that we will need to spend the funds for their allocated purposes, we face a real budget shortfall for 2007-2008 of between $300 and $400 thousand dollars.


In addition, what we've been doing for several years is moving money from unspent accounts in order to balance the accounts at the end or the year. There is the concern that these unspent accounts won't always be available for flexibility.


For instance, there is probably a good chance that we're looking at a more serious problem than $300 to $400 thousand for the current year because of the following. The Master Planning process has been initiated, and that will cost approximately $100,000. Also, there is an agreement with the high school to redo the track, estimated costs: another $250,000. Lowell feels that we're looking at half a million dollars for these and other similar expenses, which means that we could be looking at a deficit of $900,000 rather than $300-$400 thousand.


We lost our flexibility/our cushion in 2005-2006 when we overspent by over 1. 6 million dollars-- this is the hole that we need to dig ourselves out of. Gary feels we need to get out of the habit of spending money in reserve/restricted accounts. Initially, however, we need to work on the $800-$900 thousand deficit.


Tuition Funding: this year we are dealing with the financial impact of lowering tuition by $1,000 rather than raising it by 4.25%. The net reduction seems to be about $1.3M. Central administration gave us $970,200 recurring money in our budget to cover the reduction. We also were allocated additional funds for our American Indian tuition waivers (now fully funded for the first time in recent years) for $600,000.


As the central administration sees it, we have been given $1,570,000 additional tuition support, so it looks like we have more than we need. However, the money to cover the tuition reduction and to fully fund the American Indian tuition waiver should be considered separately, so it seems that they still owe us if the tuition reduction is to be revenue neutral. Jacquie and Gary will discuss this issue with central administration, and hope to secure funds to partly offset our current year deficit.


LeAnn requested another hour of meeting time to discuss the budget further.


Tom McRoberts will be pushed off for a future week, and next week's meeting will be to discuss the budget.


Discussion next week:

SE & E spreadsheets



Gary will bring summaries of what we can spend, what we have out there allocated.


Next steps: (ways to think about the problem)



Minutes by Jenny Wermerskirchen