Thursday, June 09, 2016

FAMU lost $9M+ due to enrollment drop in 15-16, expects to lose 920 students in 16-17

The Florida auditor general reported that FAMU lost $9.2M in tuition and fees due its enrollment drop in 2014-2015. Today, the FAMU Division of Finance and Administration told the Board of Trustees (BOT) that the university lost more than $9M after the enrollment decline this year.

“The increase or decline in enrollment not only results changes to the tuition and fees revenues but also to revenues from sales and services,” the division said in the BOT budget workbook.  “The significant enrollment decline which occurred in the current fiscal year resulted in a decline in tuition and fees revenues in excess of $9 million.”

FAMU had 10,738 students in Fall 2013. That went down to 10,233 students in Fall 2014 for a loss of 505. FAMU lost another 313 students in Fall 2015 for a total of 9,920.

The university expects to lose 920 students in 2016-2017, which will lead to more budget cuts.

“The FY 16-17 budget has been prepared with an anticipated 920-student decline in enrollment,” the BOT budget workbook said. “The decrease in enrollment is expected to be off-set by reallocation of vacant positions, performance base funding, and budget adjustments to all divisions’ operating budgets.”

FAMU expects to receive about $11M in performance funding for 2016-2017. That money is supposed to give universities a boost. But FAMU won’t see much of a gain because it has to use most of those funds to cover the money it will lose from the enrollment decline.

“$10M of the $11M [in performance funding] was applied to what we called an enrollment gap,” Acting BOT Chairman Kelvin Lawson said of the 2016-2017 budget.

President Elmira Mangum said the enrollment decline is a concern because it could affect essential faculty jobs for programs that FAMU needs in order to keep its accreditation with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

“61 percent of our resources are in salaries,” Mangum said.

Provost Marcella David said the administration is doing its best to find ways to make cuts that will spare faculty jobs.

“We have looked at vacant faculty lines…We have looked at other savings,” she said.

Trustee Thomas W. Dortch, Jr. asked whether hiring freezes were in place.

“I assume there are hiring freezes for the nonessential positions and positions that haven’t been filled,” he asked.

“It’s an option,” Mangum told him. “A hiring freeze is an option.”

Lawson saw what he considered to be some problems in the 2016-2017 budget prepared by the administration. He said the administration hadn’t gone far enough to make the adjustments that were necessary.

“The revenue stream is dropping quickly and the expense line is relatively flat,” he said.

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