Wed. Oct 16th, 2019

Leaders warn CEU on budget

The College of Eastern Utah should not think that it is done cutting budgets according to leaders from the Utah State Legislature. CEU’s state fund budget was pared by approximately seventeen percent during the session, but federal funds of just over $1.5 million mitigated the immediate impact of the cut.

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The College of Eastern Utah should not think that it is done cutting budgets according to leaders from the Utah State Legislature. CEU’s state fund budget was pared by approximately seventeen percent during the session, but federal funds of just over $1.5 million mitigated the immediate impact of the cut.
In a letter signed by the Speaker of the Utah House of Representatives, the President of the Utah State Senate and the co-chairs of the Executive Appropriations Committee. The letter, addressed to Interim President Mike King, was sent to “caution you that the on-going cut in state tax dollars to your base budget is approximately 17 percent.”
The letter is not a surprise, according to Kevin Walthers, the College’s Vice President for Finance and Enrollment. “During the last week of the general session, Senate President (Michael) Waddoups told me we’d be getting something like this,” he said.
Walthers went on to explain that this can be viewed as important for the college’s planning efforts. “While we’d hope to have the money back, this letter makes it clear that we need to prepare to make long term adjustments to our budget. If we aren’t ready next year, we’ll have no one to blame but ourselves,” he said.
Even if the economy staged a significant turnaround, it’s unlikely the state will restore the $1.5 million as unrestricted income. Walthers noted that this was a topic of discussion among the ten chief financial officers of Utah’s System of Higher Education. He said the consensus among the group was that in the unlikely event there are new funds next year it would likely be put into compensation or used to expand programs. The money won’t come back as discretionary revenue.
Over the next year the College will face some difficult decisions – decisions that all stakeholders will have to weigh in on. “Luckily, we have our shared governance system in place and we have a budget committee to tackle these tough issues – it won’t all come down to one or two people making all the decisions.” Walthers said.

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