June 25, 2003

RSU Budget for 2003-2004 Includes 10 Percent Reduction in State Support

The University of Oklahoma Board of Regents approved a budget for Rogers State University that includes a 10 percent reduction in state-appropriated funds.

During its meeting on Wednesday, the OU Board of Regents the governing board for RSU approved a $19.5 million education and general budget for the 2003-2004 fiscal year, which begins July 1.

Most of the projected expenditures of $19,538,403 will be utilized for instruction, with the remainder going toward academic support, student services, scholarships and the operation and maintenance of the university's three campuses.

RSU has reduced its administrative expenditures to 13.8 percent, which is below last year's rate and the 16 percent cap required by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education.

The university will increase some spending to hire new faculty members, retain existing faculty and meet the rising costs of employee health insurance and utilities.

"While state funding has sharply decreased this year, we have worked diligently to protect the quality of our academic programs and student services," RSU President Dr. Joe Wiley said. "Despite budget reductions, we plan to expand the number of faculty members with doctoral degrees in the classroom this fall."

Total projected revenue for 2003-2004 is $17,513,953, including state appropriations of $11,158,949, or 63.7 percent of RSU's budget. Last year, state appropriations were 72.1 percent of the university's budget. Other projected revenue sources this year include student tuition, fees and donations to the university. Also on Wednesday, the OU regents approved an increase in tuition and fees, beginning this fall, to help offset state revenue shortfalls. An expected enrollment increase for the tenth semester in a row also is expected to add to the university's revenue stream. RSU has been the fastest-growing university in Oklahoma for the last several semesters, experiencing double-digit enrollment growth.

To bridge the gap between projected expenditures and revenue, RSU will use $2,024,450 in prior-year (2002-2003) reserve funds to fill vacant faculty positions and purchase library books and periodicals.

"We anticipate much of our reserve fund to be replenished in the next year through expanded recruiting efforts, increased enrollment and conservative spending patterns at the university," said Tom Volturo, vice president for business affairs.

RSU has projected a reserve fund balance of $2,269,573 at the end of the next fiscal year (2003-2004), above the amount required by the state regents.

In addition, the university is projecting an increase in federal support, grants and other outside sources of revenue totaling $10,664,499 for fiscal year 2003-2004, compared to $9,388,459 in 2002-2003.

Most Oklahoma colleges and universities have experienced a 10 percent reduction in their 2003-2004 budgets as a result of lower state appropriations, and most institutions also will increase their tuition and fees for the new fiscal year to help offset the reductions.