FY 2006 Proposed Budget

Saturday, February 5, 2005

The Board of Regents has requested a $40 million base increase to be allocated to the three Regents universities.  The Regents request is posited on a commitment for by the universities to internally reallocate a total of $20 million and hold tuition and fee increases to 4%.  The Board of Regents also has requested a $15 million one-time appropriation for deferred maintenance, to be allocated among the institutions with a match requirement.

The Governor has recommended a $40 million increase for the Regents, divided equally into two accounts:  $20M in the salary bill and $20M to the general university budgets.  The Governor has not recommended a one-time appropriation of $15M to the Regents for Deferred Maintenance.  Should the legislature fund it, UNI would need to provide an increase to its building repair budget of at least $270,000 according to the Regents plan.

The Cabinet is discussing several potential budget scenarios.  Whatever the allocation, the cabinet is proposing that all mandatory cost increases be deducted first.  These include salary, wages, and benefits (to be determined by the results of collective bargaining), financial aid increases, utility cost increases, fee replacements and matching costs (the last two result directly from Board action this year).  The remaining dollars will be allocated to each division proportionately to its share of the total budget to then be allocated by the Vice President to strategic initiatives within the division.

Failure by the legislature to fully fund the Board request, a Board decision to reduce UNI’s share of the request from the higher to the lower end of the traditional range, or a higher than usual settlement in collective bargaining will reduce any amount available for distribution.

Significant underfunding of the Board’s request may precipitate a second round of tuition and fee discussions by the Board.  No accurate estimates of the outcome of such discussions are available since there is no prior history of such action.

There are many variables and unknown factors at this stage of the budget process.  The campus community will be kept informed as the legislative session progresses and details of the budget become more clear.