CUPB hears budget plan for FY 2020

Analicia Haynes, Editor-in-Chief

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The Council on Planning and Budget received an update on the projected budget for fiscal year 2020 and the emergency projects that the university wants to finish over the course of the next two fiscal years (2019 and 2020).

Paul McCann, the interim vice president of business affairs, said he gave the same presentation to the Illinois Board of Higher Education and the Board of Trustees.

As it stands, the current budget for FY 2019 that was approved by the BOT at its Nov. 16 meeting is $77.7 million.

That includes the state appropriation ($39,459.7), net tuition revenue ($37,926.4) and miscellaneous revenue ($340).

But McCann said when presenting to the IBHE, he had to project a FY 20 budget with a potential 10 percent increase in state appropriations.

He said they asked for this because of a discussion revolving around student retention in Illinois.

If the university receives a 10 percent increase in state appropriations for FY 20, then the money will help support items such as student recruitment and support, infrastructure and staff retention, all of which McCann said would ultimately help keep students in Illinois.

McCann also said there is hope that the net tuition from year to year will be flat for 2020.

He said 2020 will be the first time in a long time that the university will be able to say net tuition is flat.

McCann said he also had to provide a flat budget proposal for FY 20 that is similar to FY 19, and aside from that, he said the university also provided the state with a maintenance budget that would need a 3 percent inflation adjustment increase.

These budgets will get recalculated.

Another thing McCann and the university was asked to do was provide an emergency projects list, and on the very top of the list is a new HVAC system for the Life Sciences Building.

“We have been notified and told that the Capital Development Board has about $5.4 million for Eastern to complete a new Life Sciences (HVAC),” McCann said. 

“So that process will begin to work itself through. We’ll have to do a design, we’ll have to fit it all and then get people on campus … that’s by far the biggest project on the (emergency projects) list.”

McCann said the items on the list, such as fixing the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union steps or the McAfee Gym façade, are things that the university has to move forward on, regardless of whether they get money.

“So we are trying to figure out how we can do almost every one of these,” McCann said. 

There are projects on the list that are in the process of being completed, such as the new tankless water heater for the South Quad to make sure there is continuous hot water and the new stairs for Lantz Arena.

Those are expected to be finished during winter break.
Other projects have been completed, like taking care of the Klehm Hall basement flood that damaged an elevator at the start of the semester and replacing fire panels in six buildings.

McCann said there are a lot of other things that the university will have to find money for, but it is a work in process.

For instance, he said there is an opportunity for the university to receive $100,000 of grant money for fixing the Booth Library steps. He said the university filed for the request.

There are also additional capital requests that the university would like to see progress on in 2020, such as getting $120 million for a new science building.
But McCann said ultimately, though they will continue to work diligently, it will take a capital bill to get funds for the additional capital requests.

“Right now there is a new generation of legislators, so maybe we got a chance,” McCann said.

Analicia Haynes can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].