A look at New College’s expanding budget
“New College’s current overall budget is transformational in relation to past years,” Vice President for Finance and Administration John Martin told the Tangent in an interview. The school’s total budget increased from $36,583,086 to $46,375,205 between this year and last–actualizing the plan for growth–according to the 2017-2018 budget by the New College Board of Trustees. It appears increasing salient to grasp how funds are allocated throughout New College and where growth money has been applied to.
Each year, the school has to wait until the state legislature passes a budget because the vast majority of its operating money is from appropriations from the State of Florida.
“Every June New College makes a preliminary budget, and in October or the beginning of November, we adjust the budget based on additional information we receive after funds have begun operations for the new year,” Martin said. “In order for the State to start giving New College money every two weeks come July 1, our board must approve an operating budget by then even though we do not know what the exact budget will be at that time.”
This lag time between appropriations from the State legislature and New College’s Fall term allows the school and the state to coordinate the funds appropriately. Delays from the state, however, can make it hard for New College administrators to precisely predict its annual budgeting needs.
“The state budget for 2017-2018 had a March start date for their session, but they went into overtime with the budget, and so, the Governor did not receive the appropriations Bill until May 31st of 2017,” Martin said. “We don’t know all the details [of this delay].
“At the time when we wrote the 2017-2018 budget we said, ‘based on the information received from the Board of Governors (BOG) to date–because the Governor could have vetoed it by then–we may receive an additional $5.4 million in recurring funds in support of the first year of the enrollment growth initiative plus an additional $2.1 million in recurring funds in support of new World Class Faculty and Scholarship Program,” Martin continued. Together that’s $7.5 million of new base operating funds, a huge increase for New College.
In June 2017 after the budget submittal, New College was awarded $2.5 million in non-recurring funding for its good performance on the State University System’s Performance Based Funding Metrics.
Comparing the actual budget for the 2016-2017 year and the 2017-2018 year, New College’s general revenue is $10 million higher–a 50 percent increase.
“That kind of increase is transformational for this school,” Martin said. This amount of funding allowed New College to begin growing enrollment, and one way of accomplishing this was to give more financial aid than in years prior.
The June 2017 preliminary budget for this current fiscal year includes a request to increase current tuition and fee waiver authority by an additional $1 million–from $2 million to $3 million–plus provide an additional $1 million in World Class funding financial aid support for the enrollment growth plan, according to Martin.
“The most important takeaway when we compare New College to the other 11 members of the State university system, is that we have the lowest out of pocket tuition and fees costs for in-state students, taking into account financial aid, fee waivers and gift aid, not loans,” Martin said. “For instance, in the 2016-2017 fiscal year–the last year with complete data–for a four year in-state degree, our average the out of pocket expenses for tuition, fees and textbooks was $6,780, not counting housing and food.
“The next closest school to us is the University of Florida, where in 2015-2016 their average was $10,660,” Martin added.
New College has also been focused on growing its physical structures to support the plan for a growing community.
“In addition to the operating budget, we also get appropriations for capital construction of academic and administrative buildings,” Martin said. “This year the Legislature appropriated $1,850,000 to help us finish funding the construction and furnishing of the 22,000 square foot Natural Science’s addition.”
The new Heiser addition total cost was $9,728,201.
New College also received $310,000 for minor renovation projects from State appropriations this year, and $143,000 from the Capital Improvement Fund–which is generated by student fees from the last operating year–which is used to renovate student facilities like the recreation center and the pool, the Ham center and the waterfront program.
Distribution of funds within New College
The following is a limited-in-detail but comprehensive look at the division of funds throughout New College. Growth funds are described separately because they are uniquely monitored for allocative effect by New College administrators and the State of Florida. They should be added to the base operating budgets to find the total operating budget of each source.
According to the 2017-2018 operating budget dated Aug. 21, 2017, the New College Student Alliance’s (NCSA) total operating budget funded from Activity & Service fees is $360,489 including funding for two full time positions. The total is comprised of $160,570 for NCSA operations, $123,919 for Hamilton “Ham” Center operations and $76,000 for NCSA business office operations.
This year’s annual utility budget for water, sewer and electricity totals $1,112,541 of which $125,163 is growth funding.
Additionally, Physical Plant’s total operating budget supporting maintenance, custodial and grounds services with 34.7 positions totals $2,510,356, including $348,633 in growth funding to support the new Heiser Natural Sciences wing and enhancements to campus landscaping.
Postal Services budget totals $111,911–two positions–and $25,079 in expenses and part-time student employees.
The New College Police Department’s total budget is $1,598,502–for 20.65 positions–comprised of $1,171,955 in New College funding plus $426,547 in funding provided by USF Sarasota-Manatee for this “shared service.” The school’s contribution includes $203,983 in growth funds for two positions and enhancements to the police radio communications system.
New College’s administrative bodies have received growth funds allowing them to expand their operations.
The Provost’s budget totals $881,553–with five positions–of which $70,000 is growth funding for enhanced academic support services. The Provost Office’s non-salary pay expenses total $46,084.
Likewise, the President’s budget totals $813,888–with 4.8 positions–including $121,401 in growth funds for salary, benefits and operating funds to support a new position.
Graduate Studies budget totals $720,000–with 5.7 positions–of which $95,065 is non-salary operating.
The Admissions Office operating budget totals $1,525,252–with 15.4 positions–including $148,000 in growth funds to expand their outreach for enrollment.
Student Affairs’ operating budget totals $1,048,017–with 12.6 positions–including $663,623 in growth funding covering nine new positions and $92,500 in increased operating expenses.
Additionally, Disability Services budget totals $87,955–with one position–including $7,500 in growth funds supporting non salary operations. Two of the new positions from Student Affairs’ growth funding are allocated to enhance disability support services, bringing the number of positions to three.
Student resources for health and career and internship consultation have received some funds but less than others.
The Center for Career Engagement and Opportunity (CEO) budget totals $370,896–with five positions–including $44,443 in non-salary expenses of which $7,500 is from growth funding.
The Counseling & Wellness Center’s (CWC) budget totals $627,903–with seven positions–including $112,278 in non-salary expenses of which $6,000 is from growth funding.
Two of the new positions from Student Affairs’ growth funding are allocated to Counseling & Wellness for a Case Manager and a Health Educator, bringing the number of positions to nine. USF Sarasota-Manatee’s budgeted contribution in support of this “shared service” is $189,000.
The academic divisions have also received growth funds reaching almost a $500,000 in total.
The Humanities Division’s budget totals $3,193,665–with 24 positions–including $124,980 in non-salary expenses. Growth funding supports $239,000 of this total.
New Music New College’s budget totals $26,078, including $11,258 for temporary OPS positions and $14,820 for non-salary expenses.
The Natural Sciences Division’s budget totals $2,599,238–with 20 positions–including $91,351 in non-salary expenses. Growth funding supports $246,686 of this total.
Lastly, the Social Sciences Division’s budget totals $2,536,883–with 19 positions–including $85,781 in non-salary expenses. Growth funding supports $17,025 of this total.