University News

Frequently Asked Questions - FY'14 Budget Information/Projections

April 19, 2013

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Q: Why is the University leadership sharing FY'14 budget projections with the campus community?

A: In the spirit of transparency and shared governance, President Jack Thomas and his leadership team is asking the campus community for its help with our continued financial situation. We are proud that so far we have been able to protect our employees through no layoffs and furloughs during this budget crisis. As the budget situation continues to worsen, we need to come together as a campus to address the challenges and possible solutions.

Q: How much have state appropriations for WIU decreased over the last decade, and how much has tuition increased over a similar time period?

A: State appropriations for WIU have been cut by $7.7 million over the last five years and $12.2 million over the last 11 years. Western's tuition has risen 61 percent in the last eight years as a result of the decrease in state appropriations.

Q: What other financial aspects are affecting Western's budget outlook?

A: Uncollected student receivables (bad debt) in the last year has grown from $2.6 million to $3.5 million, and MAP funding and other financial aid for our students continues to be cut. In addition, the University's total enrollment has decreased by more than 1,000 students in the last five years, which affects the income brought in by tuition.

Q: How have University expenses increased?

A: While the University's overall appropriated revenue (both tuition and state appropriations) have decreased by $1.3 million in the past five years, our expenses have grown by more than $10 million.

Q: What are some of the other challenges facing the University in the next few years?

A: Western is facing a 3.5 percent FY'14 salary increase and a 4.0 percent FY'15 salary increase, for a total of $4.6 million in FY'14. If the state shifts pension costs to WIU at 0.5 percent per year, this would mean an additional $540,000 in expenses each year for the next 12 years.

Q: What can we do to help?

A: Every member of this campus community needs to help with recruitment and retention efforts. For every 100 students that we do not recruit or retain is an approximate decrease in revenue of $1 million. Begin looking at how you can take part in recruitment and retention efforts. Talk to prospective students you see on campus and be a positive influence for those who are here. Participate in Discover Western programs. If you see a tour group on campus, stop and talk to the students and parents. Help your students to succeed. Volunteer as a Building Connections mentor for new freshmen. Every little bit that you can do will help our retention and recruitment efforts. Talk with your respective vice presidents about ideas you have regarding cost-saving measures and any ideas to raise new funds during the next three years.

The PowerPoint presentation from the April 17 budget sessions is available as a PDF at

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Office of University Relations