Cayuga CC Board of Trustees approves $30.3 million budget for 2013-14, moves on to county for action

At its regular monthly meeting tonight (June 26), the Cayuga Community College Board of Trustees approved the College’s 2013-14 budget, which includes a 3.5 percent, or approximately $140 a year, increase in tuition. The 2013-14 annual tuition will be $4,090 for full-time students, and the part-time rate will be $165 per credit.

The $30.32 million budget represents a 6.3 percent decrease over last year’s $32.36 million budget, and is based on an enrollment goal of 2,900 full-time equivalents (FTE), which represents an approximately 7.5 percent decrease in the actual FTE number of 3,137 in 2012-13.

“In response to budgetary and enrollment shortfalls during the 2012-13 year, we have put together a fiscally conservative budget that is based on an expectation of lower enrollment than we experienced during the country’s economic recession a few years ago,” said College President Daniel P. Larson. “As the economy picks up, more people find work and put off going to college or become part-time rather than full-time students. Cayuga, like peers across the country, experienced record growth during the economic recession, and we’ve seen that taper off. Based on that information, we needed to scale back our enrollment expectations and operating budget, and I believe this budget incorporates those changes.”

This year, the College needed to reduce expenditures of its $32.36 million operating budget by approximately $1.5 million before the end of the fiscal year on August 31, 2013, to help make up for a 5-percent enrollment decrease. Last fall, senior leaders and budget managers identified more than $778,000 in savings through employee retirements, operating budget reductions, cuts to travel, and reductions in part-time employee hours. Earlier this spring, three of the four bargaining units at the College as well as managerial and confidential employees, executive staff, and the president accepted furlough days and helped close the budget gap for this year, providing relief for immediate budgetary shortfalls.

In creating this year’s budget, College leaders asked budget managers to work from a zero-based budgeting model, requiring justification and approval of every expenditure and making no assumptions of a baseline budget based on previous years’ expenditures.

The 2013-14 budget now goes to the Cayuga County Legislature, which is expected to vote on it at its July meeting.

SUNY community colleges were created on the model of one-third funding each from New York State, the local sponsor, and students. Last year, the state restored $150 per full-time equivalent (FTE) in funding, increasing the rate from $2,122 to $2,272 per FTE. This year, SUNY requested $37.3 million for a base aid increase of $260 per FTE in support of SUNY’s Five-Year Plan to return State funding to one third of applicable Community College operating costs. In its 2013-14 enacted budget, the state restored an additional $150 per FTE for a total of $2,422 per FTE.

In April, the board approved slight increases to several student fees, which are as follows:

o   Fitness Center Fee $15 per course

o   Nursing Fee $20 per credit hour

o   Records Fee (12 or more credit hours) $10 per semester

o   Records Fee (1-11 credit hours) $4 per semester

o   Science lab fee $25 per course with an accompanying lab

o   Technology Fee (over 19 credit hours) $100 per semester

o   Technology Fee (12-19 credit hours) $90 per semester

o   Technology Fee (1-11 credit hours) $9 per credit hour

o   SUNY Learning Network Fee $10 per credit hour

If the county approves the budget in July, it will be sent on to the State University of New York for approval.