Glassman addresses state of university, underlines successes, goals


JJ Bullock

Eastern President David Glassman delivers his State of the University address in the Doudna Fine Arts Center Thursday afternoon. Glassman spoke multiple times of the growing status of Eastern, largely in part to a growth in enrollment and a stronger state budget situation.

Analicia Haynes, Senior Reporter

Eastern will have to continue regulating its expenses this fiscal year to maintain a balanced budget.

However, for fiscal year 2020, Eastern will not be required to reduce spending from the previous fiscal year in order for revenues to match last year’s spending rate.

Eastern President David Glassman highlighted this among other things during his State of the University Address Thursday afternoon.

He said this year’s budget (FY19) does not allow the university to spend any additional dollars over last year’s budget level.

The exception is to meet commitments salary increases to faculty, negotiated staff and non-negotiated employees, such as the 1 percent increase for non-negotiated employees enacted this semester.

He said it would be “essential” that the university community maintain expenses at the same level as last year to ensure the institution remains in a balanced-budget position.

Paul McCann, the interim vice president of business affairs, said these expenses are operating expenses such as supplies or contractual services.

Glassman said all divisions across the university would see familiar limitations on spending and travel and the procurement of only essential equipment and supplies necessary for the current year.

McCann said what this means is that the university does not have a lot of excess money to offer, but it does not mean the university has to make major cuts.

“There still might be some adjustments; it’s just not going to be, ‘We have to take $1 million out in order to stay balanced,’” McCann said for an example.

He said the chairs and deans or the heads of different departments are still responsible for meeting the budget, and those numbers will be provided to them soon.

“It is paramount that we continue to be responsible stewards of our still-limited resources to remain on the pathway to institutional strength and sustainability,” Glassman said. “I know there are many needs and expectations that each of our divisions have been waiting to patiently rectify. However, I can assure you that our endurance in managing our expectations will pay dividends in the future.”

Glassman said for now, as the administration attempts to rebuild the university’s fund balances following the budget impasse, they are slowly integrating more funding focused on student success initiatives, enhanced academic excellence and addressing critical staffing needs across our university operations.

“If we can continue our two-year trend of enrollment increases and maintain stable or improved annual state appropriations, we will soon be able to make measurable strides toward accomplishing our goals and achieving positive net revenues to address a broader array of needs,” Glassman said.

Also, before the start of the fall term, all divisional and departmental operating budgets were loaded at 80 percent.

Now, with 10th-day enrollment numbers driving up an updated budget, Glassman said the administration would distribute the remaining budget allocations.

McCann said the reason the administration kept those operating budgets at 80 percent was in case there was something that was going to surprise them in the 10th-day numbers, like a decrease.

Glassman said the most notable budgetary news for FY20 is in reference to the university’s income fund.

“… I have waited five years to be in a position to announce (this) … Eastern will not be required to reduce spending from the previous fiscal year in order for revenues to match last year’s spending rate,” Glassman said. “In simpler terms, Eastern has achieved a truly balanced financial position in our income and associated operational expenses.”

Glassman said this is the first year since before the state budget impasse that the university is able to say this.

Moving forward, Glassman said people can expect a few things for this year, such as remaining “firmly guided” by the Vitalization Plan with the goal of advancing the university in terms of academic excellence, student success, enrollment growth and financial strength.

He also said this year the administration would continue investing in marketing to reinforce the university’s brand.

“This year we have joined forces with Central States Media, a marketing firm known for its strategic advertisement placements and ongoing analysis of marketing messaging.”

He also said the enrollment management team, which helps promote enrollment growth, created this year’s strategic enrollment plan that consists of 84 action items.

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