SBHE Budget Committee reviews system budget

June 23, 2015

Proposed budget totals $158.6 million

The State Board of Higher Education’s Budget and Finance Committee met last week to discuss the North Dakota University System’s FY2016 budget. The office budget goes to the full Board for approval on June 24.

House Bill 1003, the NDUS office budget, includes approximately $134.6 million for funds that are administered through the system office. In addition, House Bill 1151 includes $23.5 million for the Education Challenge Grants, and House Bills 1021 and 1051 include approximately $500,000 for desktop support and electronic email.

About 95 percent of the total $158.6 million appropriation is for line items that pass through to students and campuses, for technology and to support other system-wide activities and programs, as approved by the Legislature.

The remaining 5 percent is appropriated for the Board and system office operating budget of 7.7 million, which is down $1.7 million, a 17.5 percent decrease from last biennium’s appropriation. These funds are used to support the functions of the Board, such as coordinating Board meetings and communication, and to administer programs, such as student financial aid and grants.

“The system office staff, who make sure students get their financial aid and support the business operations of our volunteer Board is a small group of hard-working people, dedicated to the university system and our campuses,” said Larry Skogen, NDUS Interim Chancellor. “It is an efficient operation already, but they immediately set to work to find ways to save money, once we knew what our final appropriation was this biennium.”

For example, NDUS has consolidated staff at the Capitol and the Horizon building to reduce costs for leased space, which will result in $80,000 cost savings over the biennium. The system will also leave a staff position vacant following an interim promotion of a senior staff role, which could save $320,000 over the biennium.

After these and other measures are taken into account, there remains a projected shortfall for the biennium of $250,000 to $300,000, which will be managed by Incoming Chancellor Mark Hagerott.

“We have a new Chancellor beginning July 1, who needs to be part of the long-term budget conversation,” said Skogen. “But in the short-term, we have already found ways to reduce costs.”

15-17 Biennial Appropriations Budget to NDUS

Student financial aid/grants (pass-through to students)   $51.4 million       (32.4%)

Core technology services (CTS)                                                $46.3 million       (29.2%)

 Challenge grants (pass-through to campuses)                     $23.5 million       (14.8%)

 Deferred maintenance & campus security pools                 $11.7 million       (7.4%)

            (pass-through to campuses)

Capital bond payments (campuses)                                        $8.4 million         (5.3%)

Office and SBHE operations                                                     $7.7 million         (4.8%)

EPSCoR (pass-through to UND/NDSU)                                $7.1 million         (4.4%)

Other (campus marketing, student                                         $1.5 million         (.9%)

  mental health, etc.)

 Title II grants (federal funds)                                                  $1.0 million         (.8%)

Total                                                                                               $158.6 million