The budget future of SUNY Fredonia is looking bright, according to a report given at Wednesday's College Council meeting.
Interim Vice President for Administration Karen Porpiglia gave the good news many faculty positions, cut during the past four years of hard times, will be reinstated.
The total consolidated operating budget for 2012-2013 showed a 4.4 percent increase to $103.4 million, which includes funding for 875 employees and 900 part-time student workers.
OBSERVER Photo by Nicole Gugino
Wednesday’s College Council meeting was SUNY Fredonia President Dennis Hefner’s (center) last. President-elect Virginia Horvath (left) will preside over the next council meeting in the fall. Also pictured is College Council Chair Frank Pagano (right).
The budget also allows for 23 tenure-track faculty to be hired along with 9 staff positions over a two-year period.
"We will have caught up on the faculty we lost during the last four years of hard budgets, but not on staff, we were really gutted there. But as we have always said: the education of our students comes first," President Dennis Hefner said.
In fall 2012, positions in accounting, business administration, computer and information sciences, curriculum and instruction, library, music, psychology, sports management and exercise science and theatre and dance will be filled.
In fall 2013, vacancies in biology, marketing, communications, communication disorders and sciences, economics, English, geosciences, history, library, mathematical sciences, modern languages and literature, psychology and sociology will be filled.
The six-month delay in filling vacancies in faculty positions will continue until fall 2013.
Under rational tuition, each students' tuition will increase $150 per semester and the budget also increased students' comprehensive student service fee $10 to $35 due to increased costs associated with technology and the new fitness center set to open in January.
Hefner explained rational tuition has allowed the university to anticipate the next 2 years' budgets, saying, "It makes a big difference."
Porpiglia explained the university still has the $5.8 million shortfall from years past, but this budget was able to decrease that amount by $800,000 and there are plans to continue decreasing the shortfall over time.
The budget book is available online as a pdf at www.fredonia.edu/admin/budget.
In other business:
The council heard the enrollment report, which following the deposit due date last week, was only short 50 students of the 5,215 goal. Vice President of Student Affairs David Herman reported the largest decrease is in the education department, although education students continue to get job offers. However, other majors are more than making up for the difference, and he said the 50 spots will not be hard to fill with quality students. Hefner defended the education program, describing it as "cyclical," with enrollment going through highs and lows periodically.
College Council Chair Frank Pagano thanked Hefner for his service to the school, as it was his last council meeting, and congratulated President-elect Virginia Horvath, who will preside over the next meeting in the fall.