Nadler talks specifics in Athletics budget

Luis Martinez, Administration Editor

Eastern has been experiencing a lack of revenue over the years, mainly due to the enrollment decline. As a result, many areas have sustained losses in funding for their departments.

Recently, many faculty members have questioned the athletics budget when it was reported that the athletic department spending resulted in a $1 million deficit.

Dan Nadler, the vice president for student affairs, said Eastern has experienced significant revenue loss because of the lack of enrollment.

“Most recently, not unlike a lot of areas throughout the university, there’s been a shortfall of revenue, and that basically has been primarily because enrollment has gone done significantly in a short period of time,” Nadler said.

Nadler said this past year athletics had its own shortfall of revenue, which resulted in the $1 million deficit.

“What I have been doing is going around and trying to share some numbers and circumstances and situations with various groups,” Nadler said. “I’ve presented to the Faculty Senate. I’ve presented to Student Senate. I’ve presented to CUPB. I’ve presented to the Board of Trustees.”

Nadler said Eastern has 452 student-athletes and they generate close to $3.8 million in tuition revenue on a yearly basis, which then goes into the university’s income fund.

“From the income fund, athletics receives an annual allocation of $1.8 million,” Nadler said.

Nadler also said subtracting the $1.8 million from the $3.8 million will result in a tuition revenue contribution of $2.8 million.

Jonathan Blitz, a chemistry professor, said one of the problems with the athletics budget is the $3.8 million calculation is highly inflated. Blitz also said while $3.8 million is the true number, Nadler should not be counting on the assumption that the entire amount will be received.

“What he’s assuming is all these 452 would leave and there would be no tuition revenue generated if they weren’t student athletes,” Blitz said.

Blitz said this equates the students paying tuition with them being athletes.

“The assumption that he makes in this number is that every one of these students would not attend EIU if they weren’t participating in athletics,” Blitz said. “That’s how he comes up with that number, that’s the implicate assumption.”

Blitz also said Nadler did not include the amount of student fees that goes toward athletics.

“This past year, there was a million-dollar shortfall,” Nadler said. “Basically, student athletes contributed about $900,000 to the income fund.”

Blitz said the statement about student athletics generating $1 million is true.

“The claim that student athletes generate $1.8 million in tuition factually correct,” Blitz said. “However, much if not most that is subsidized by student fee money in the form of grant-in aid scholarships go to support student athletes.”

Blitz said Nadler acknowledges $2 million is provided from state appropriations, but he does not acknowledge as student fees as income.

“As far as I know, Dr. Nadler does not acknowledge much, if any, student-fee money as income for athletics, but really it’s probably somewhere north of $4 million,” Blitz said.

Blitz said at the same time, Nadler does not acknowledge student-fees money is going to help subsidize athletics.

“He claims that he reason athletics is in deficit is because of the unexpected reduction in student fee money from enrollment decreases,” Blitz said. “These enrollment decreases area hardly unexpected since enrollment declines are a multi-year trend.”

Nadler said last year, there was a net contribution to the tuition revenue of $937,480, which was the tuition from 452 student-athletes.

“Of those 452 athletes, 161 of them receive absolutely no athletic aid, 101 received a full scholarship, and 235 receive partial scholarships,” Nadler said. “There’s a good number of student athletes who might (receive) a thousand dollars, a couple thousand dollars, the rest of that money then to make up the difference in the cost of attendance is coming out of their pocket and their parent’s pocket.”

Nadler said regardless of the source of the funds, student athletes are contributing $3.8 million dollars to the yearly tuition revenue. He also said when Eastern has an average year, there is a $1 million dollar net contribution to the income fund.

Not included in the 452 student athletes are the dance team, the cheer team and the marching band; therefore, Nadler said he is not calculating the tuition revenue generation on them even though there are some athletic related expenses.

“I started putting this information together because there was some concern that perhaps this deficit was causing the income fund to deficit which then impacted a number of other people,” Nadler said. “While the contribution to the income fund was not as much as it normally is, there still is a net contribution to the income fund.”

Nadler said the reduction in the amount of students paying fees caused a loss of grant-in-aid revenue. Nadler also said during this time, a little more than $1 million in revenue for the student athletic fees was generated, and both have contributed to the shortfall of revenue Eastern is experiencing.

“This past year, because there was a million-dollar shortfall of various sources of revenue, that net contribution was reduced to $937,480,” Nadler said. “There still was, even after looking at the allocation from the university in terms of the income fund to athletics, after the amount that’s generated by the athletes in tuition revenue, minus the original allocation minus an additional million dollars, there’s still is a net contribution of $937, 480.”

Nadler said the money used toward the income fund is used to help pay salaries on campus.

“When you look at the income fund, only four percent of the income fund goes to the division of student affairs, which also includes athletics,” Nadler said.

 

Luis Martinez can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]